The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley with Kids #Review

Like most parents, we seem to be on a continuous quest to find accommodation that meets our family’s needs. Hotels, in particular, can be tricky. It’s surprisingly difficult to find a solution that affords us the space we require for the stage we’re at with the kids. What starts as an idyllic hotel getaway can quickly descend into claustrophobic chaos. The novelty of five in a room wears off quickly when, following a fraught period of attempting to entertain and then coax younglings to sleep in a confined space, adults are left to question their life choices in the dark, in hushed whispers, while drinking wine from shallow bathroom glasses. We’ve all been there. And paid through the nose for the privilege.

Suite Dreams

When our kids are older, I think we’ll enjoy all being in a room together but for now, with a toddler in a tow and two smallies who don’t cope well with insufficient slumber, we’re generally happy to throw some extra cash at the situation and spring for a family suite or interconnecting rooms where we can. We tend to justify the expense by reminding ourselves of how rarely we stay in hotels these days anyway! And sure can you really put a price on sleep?

When the newly re-branded Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley (formerly Clarion Liffey Valley) invited us to stay, I was thrilled to see that they had the option of a suite that would suit us.

Location, Location, Location 

The location of The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley couldn’t be more perfect for people travelling from the west. Located at the M50/N4 intersection at Liffey Valley, it’s very easy to find and the journey is less than two hours from Galway. The culchie in me loved that we didn’t have to navigate the city centre with cranky passengers.

A Warm Welcome

We parked in the basement and arrived in the bright, airy reception area via the lift. The hotel was a popular choice for little Disney on Ice revellers, judging by the abundance of pint-sized princesses in the check-in queue. Despite the fact that it was busy, there was plenty of friendly and efficient staff and the check-in process was swift.

The Gusto coffee bar in reception provided the perfect welcome. Caffeine is exactly what a weary parent needs after two hours of refereeing I Spy. We enjoyed good coffee and some pastries as a reward for surviving the expedition east, before going to our room.

Room for Everyone

We couldn’t have been happier with the space we had in our suite. A small square hallway led into two bedrooms and a bathroom. The larger of the two rooms had a double bed, a small table with two chairs, a couch, a cot and oodles of floor space – perfect for an ambling toddler. The second had two single beds and a well-equipped kitchenette behind a sliding door, complete with a sink, a fridge, a microwave and very importantly, actual WINE glasses!  Each room had a TV too. Phew!

Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley Review

The suite was very clean and had everything we needed. There were even some Lily O’Brien chocolates and two large fruit bowls waiting to greet us, along with some glossy mags and the Indo. Perfect!

Clayton Liffey Valley Review

Dining In

DINNER IN GUSTO 

Guests have the option of dining in Kudos bar or in the Italian restaurant, Gusto. Our meal in Gusto was included, much to my pizza-loving kids’ delight.

The restaurant is spacious, modern and casual with colourful, funky decor. In fact, it felt more like a bustling Italian you’d stumble into off the street than a stuffy hotel dining room, which I loved. It even had a stone fired pizza oven.

Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley

The restaurant staff were friendly, helpful and extremely nice to the kids, who were promptly furnished with crayons to enjoy the activities on their menus. Usual Italian favourites populated the menu; pizzas, calzones and pasta dishes like lasagne, gnocchi and linguine with seafood. There were also some meat and fish offerings – something for everyone.

The kids had some cheesy garlic bread to start, my husband had some fiery wings and I had (an enormous) bruschetta. The pizza got the thumbs-up from the older kids and my other half. The toddler polished off some pasta pomodoro and I opted for a delicious chicken dish stuffed with Sicilian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley Review

If you fancy lighter bites or if Italian isn’t your bag, Kudos serves some Asian options as well as sandwiches, burgers and fish and chips.

BREAKFAST 

A buffet breakfast served the usual fare; hot food, a great selection of cereals and fruit, yogurts, cheeses, breads and pastries. Again, the staff were friendly and efficient, even under pressure. We were glad we dined early (at around 8.30am) because a significant queue had formed by the time we were leaving.

I can neither confirm nor deny that my kids had two bowls of Coco Pops each at breakfast.

For the Kids…

There are some super facilities available for kids; there’s a great little outdoor playground with swings, a slide, a climbing frame and a see-saw. Sadly we didn’t get the weather to use it.
There’s also an indoor play area for toddlers which was located right beside our suite – perfect when they need a change of scene for a bit.
Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley Review
There we are now, having a great time. Just kidding. Image credit: Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley.
The kids loved the Club Vitae pool and the the smaller play pool was perfect for the toddler. I was still on crutches during our visit and couldn’t join them but I could sit on the deck and throw longing glances towards the Jacuzzi.

The Last Word

WHAT WE LOVED 

  • We had ample space in our suite for the five of us.
  • The location of the hotel is ideal for visiting attractions like Tayto Park, Dublin Zoo, Imaginosity or the National Aquatic Centre and the proximity to the shops, cinemas and restaurants in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre is fantastic.
  • The hotel is very family-friendly. There were lots of families with young kids around the public areas. This is exactly what we look for when we travel with kids.
  • Hotels with playgrounds and play areas are always a winner.

ROOM TO IMPROVE 

  • While our accommodation was listed on the site as an ‘executive suite’, it seemed more suited to families than to executives. The furnishings in our room were a little tired and the couch, which I’m guessing was a sofa bed, wasn’t very comfortable. Not a huge complaint, really. It would probably have mattered less if the room wasn’t so big that we couldn’t see the TV from the bed.
  • The staff on reception didn’t outline any facilities on check-in. I knew the playground existed but we only stumbled upon the toddler play area because it was located beside our room. I’ve since learned that there’s a Teen Zone and movie room with a foosball table, a pool table and games’ machines, including Xbox & Wii consoles. It’s a shame that the reception staff aren’t shouting about these super facilities proudly from the roof tops! I had to specifically ask about access to the pool as information wasn’t volunteered by staff.
  • Despite being quite family-oriented in so many ways, the hotel doesn’t offer a babysitting service.

Would we return?

We would absolutely stay here again. The location is smashing; it’s on the right side of Dublin for us, it’s easy to find and it provides the perfect kid-friendly base for exploring the city’s attractions with kids. Mine might be the only children in Ireland who haven’t been to Dublin Zoo. We’ll be back in 2018!

If you’d like to see more of what we got up to in The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley, have a gander at my YouTube debut below. I’ll get better. I will. I promise. Have you been? I’d love to hear your comments below.


Disclosure: We were guests of Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley for the purpose of a review. We were offered an overnight stay in the hotel and dinner in Gusto in return for our thoughts. As always, I endeavour to be honest and fair in my review posts. All opinions and words are my own. If you’d like to read more about my approach to reviews and collaborations, check out my disclosure page

We recently enjoyed a night in The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley, just outside Dublin. Read our review of this family-friendly hotel here... #familyfriendly #Ireland #hotelsforkids


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26 Comments

    • Sinéad Reply

      It really is. We’re always on the hunt.

      My kids think that Coco Pops are only available in hotels. 🙂

  1. Great review Sinéad.

    The last time I rang the hotel (about six months ago) looking for a room for five of us they said that they couldn’t accommodate families of five! I wasn’t even offered the option of an executive suite.

    Do you know how much the suite would cost for an overnight stay?

    • Sinéad Reply

      Thanks so much. They’ve just changed from Clarion to Clayton, Debbie. Perhaps they’ve changed things around as a result. I think the change of management happened in October. As far as I understand, you can add a third bed to the executive suites – we had the option of a third bed or a cot. The suites start at around €150 room only per night.

      • Thanks Sinéad. That’s a great price for what you get.

        We’d have to include breakfast though as the kids go mad for a hotel breakfast buffet 🙂

  2. Looks lovely! I find it so difficult to find truly family friendly hotels – it’s such a tricky thing to get right!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Same as that. They are few and far between. And a lot of them charge crazy money too!

  3. What a lovely, family friendly place to stay. We keep saying we really need to visit Ireland, especially as it is so close to us! We shall keep Clayton Hotel in mind for when we do! IT is nice that the rooms are so spacious and that there is a pool.

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh you should. So much to do here – if we could only guarantee sunshine, we’d be laughing!

  4. Great review, and great that you got the suite too! It makes such a difference. I still can’t fathom that even new hotels make rooms with two king sized beds in them – like whose kids are happy to share a king sized bed? They either fight or carry on until parents separate them by sleeping one in each bed. great. So bravo for the suite I say! The play areas and pool are a great plus too. Sounds fab.

    • Sinéad Reply

      I can only imagine the night’s sleep (or lack thereof) if my kids were in the one bed, the scamps!

  5. This looks lovely. Gusto is my girls favourite so this would be a winner and the facilities look amazing. My girls love staying in a hotel and the especially love the buffet breakfast – they would love it here!

  6. We are thinking of planning a trip to Dublin and I would totally stay here. It looks amazing. I love that your suite had two bedrooms. Also, the food looks delicious 🙂

  7. I’ve only been to Dublin once and that was before having children. I would love to go back and take them too. This looks great for children, I love that you had 2 rooms. Shame they didn’t tell you about all the facilities and these are things that matter to parents

  8. We have just had our 3rd baby and are already wondering how we will all fit in a hotel room, that room looks perfect and the hotel sounds lovely too.

  9. This sounds like a great choice for a family. Agree, a suite is a must! Sounds quite reasonable too. And the buffet breakfast I’d say is an essential with kids in tow! x

  10. Sounds like the perfect choice for a family. We were lucky enough to stay in a suite in the Autumn and found it a totally different experience to being crammed in. Will be bookmarking x

  11. We’re planning a trip to Dublin in the next few years and this looks ideal for families. Any hotel with a playground is a winner for me! Love that they had wine glasses in the room too – I’ve definitely drunk wine out of toothbrush cups!

  12. Ah thats amazing I am with you on the hotel problems. We usually opt for private rentals and apartments these days as getting all of us, inclusive of a 2 and 3 year old into one room is just a nightmare – we’ve been known to put the youngest’s travel cot in the bathroom before…. I love that you had rooms and a kitchen – there should definitely be more hotels like that. If we are ever in Dublin I will certainly keep this one in mind as it would be perfect for us! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

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