The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley with Kids #Review
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?
Location, Location, Location
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
For the Kids…
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.
I’ve linked this post with #familyfun