Limerick Strand Hotel
We’ve never needed an excuse to visit Limerick, it’s a great city. In fact did you know that Limerick is one of Ireland’s oldest cities? And is in fact Ireland’s third largest. It’s a bustling city that has a past as far back as the Vikings, some say further. It has has a castle built by the Normans. The biggest Georgian Quarter outside of Dublin. A footbridge to rival others, one of the longest in Europe actually. And with its home by the majestic River Shannon – it has one of Ireland’s natural wonders ebbing its strand. And on that note an invite to stay at the luxury four star Limerick Strand Hotel is as good an excuse as any to bundle the boys up and head off on a family city break to the Treaty City for a few days.
Located on Ennis Road in the city, with views of the river, Limerick Strand Hotel very recently invested €1.6 million refurbishing 184 bedrooms, corridors, executive lounge and presidential suite. And we were there to reap these interior decor rewards. It looks great any time of night or day, don’t you agree?
Our Stay in Photo’s
Our Family Room at the Limerick Strand was stylish and comfortable. It had all the mod cons you’d expect from a luxury four star hotel. And was spacious enough to be home to an articulated truck-sized double buggy and suitcase.
Our bed was also large enough for the whole family to watch cartoons before breakfast. It has to be done when you’re ‘on holidays’ apparently. And the room was spacious enough to comfortably fit a cot bed next to the bed for our littlest Cassidy to sleep in.
Because gone are the days when two bed cots are required. At four years old, Smith is a big boy now and gets his own springs to spring. Pooh seems to agree too.
After a scan of the goodies left by Stephen O’Connor, the Hotel Manager (no relation by the way) and his team. Us kids decided to nibble on delicious toffee created by Tom Flavin, the hotel’s multi-award winning Executive Chef. While Patrick opted to sip on one of Limerick City’s local brews. He also enjoyed the toffee so to keep it even …
I claimed the chair on the left as my own for our stay. In fact I claimed both.
In the bathroom, it was lovely to know we’d be in good company each time we washed, showered or bathed. I always enjoy a cleansing moment with Paul Costelloe.
But what about the view I hear you say! Well we might not have been perched high in the presidential suite but we still got to enjoy the beauty of the city from our third floor Family Room.
And a view of the castle never goes amiss.
Dining at The Terrace Bar and Restaurant
Past the River Restaurant, where we enjoyed breakfast each morning. And past the inviting hotel bar, because it wasn’t that type of city break. (Patrick and I will return minus the buachaillí for some of that, some day).
We had a number of stylish seating areas to enjoy dinner in the Terrace Bar & Restaurant.
And our host Hugh, made us all feel comfortable. A hugely important factor to consider when dining out with littles. A quality to celebrate.
And while they enjoyed colouring and their selections from the Children’s Menu. Patrick and I anticipated the dining choices we had made. Because we knew if the handmade toffee in our room, that was made by Chef Tom Flavin was anything to go by. We were in for a delicious dining experience. And we were right.
Our Dining Experience
Chef Tom Flavin and his brigade work with the cream of the crop when it comes to fresh, locally sourced Irish produce. For starters Patrick chose ‘The Burren Smokehouse Smoked Salmon Salad‘. It was created with garlic scape, rapeseed oil vinigarette, seasonal leaves and brown soda bread. Mouth-watering.
I couldn’t resist choosing from the ‘Taste the Place‘ Menu. A menu that has been developed over ten years, celebrating the relationship the restaurant has with their local food producers. There are over forty. And all the ingredients from this menu is sourced from the Wild Atlantic Way. So I chose half a dozen ‘Dooncastle Oysters‘. Served with shallot, red wine vinegar and lemon. They did not disappoint. You could taste the sea.
Patrick’s main course was ‘Seared Skeaghanore Duck‘. It consisted of a seared duck breast and confit leg served on bed of braised red cabbage, celeriac and jus. Had the restaurant been empty, he would have licked the plate. The duck was tender, tasty and restored his faith on choosing a duck dish when dining out in Ireland.
My choice, again from the Taste the Place Menu, was a fantastic dish of local sea bass. Perfectly seasoned, its skin had that slight crispy crunch I adore. Underneath, the fish was succulent and juicy, meaty, yet light enough to thoroughly enjoy the colourful plate of freshly prepared goats cheese salad and roasted potatoes. So satisfying.
Breakfast & The Pool
Coffee in bed, and the view of Limerick City awakening was a great way to start my day. Before the boys squeezed in a quick cartoon and we made our way to breakfast.
And if that didn’t shake the cobwebs off. A quick swimsuit change aprés brekkie and a trip to the pool did. Oh how I love a good pool. And with the added bonus of a kiddie pool, and very welcoming staff, we were happy splashing about before exploring the city and countryside.
A Great Base for Exploring
The Limerick Strand Hotel makes for a super base for exploring Limerick City, or further afield.
Things to Do in Limerick City
For family-friendly travel inspiration, do what we did. Visit the three areas of Limerick City; English Town, Old Town and New Town.
King John’s Castle
Climb to the top of King John’s Castle after interactively learning about life at the castle. Dress up as a Smith, then dine in the courtyard or café. We had a great few hours exploring the site. It’s well worth the visit.
Play in the playground in the People’s Park. Visit the Limerick City Gallery of Art (it was closed for renovations when we were there). Dine out, or go shopping.
Walk the Boardwalk
Walk along the river, but don’t feed the birds. Take the Three Bridges Walk Route. Starting at Arthur’s Quay Park, walk along the banks of the River Shannon. Crossing the Shannon Bridge, pass Sarsfield Bridge and cross Thomand Bridge as you do. Slí na Sláinte.
Enjoy the Angela’s Ashes Tour
Take a tour! We took the Angela’s Ashes Tour with Noel Curtain. He should write his own book! He was full of insights into the life of Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes and the city he knows and loves so well.
Things to Do near Limerick City
If you’re driving, consider going further afield. We took ourselves to Lough Gur in Bruff. It’s only about 25 minutes from Limerick City by car. I recommend giving yourself at least half a day there – our stay was too short. And there are walking trails and fairies to be found.
A Stone Circle
We visited the Stone Circle at Grange, near Lough Gur. It’s the largest stone circle in Ireland and it has a wonderful energy.
A Fairy Garden
And to completely satisfy our little imps we visited the Terra Nova Fairy Garden in Raymondstown. It’s about a 35 minute drive from the city. It’s not a free activity like the previous two but it’s an enjoyable family-friendly fairy-filled couple of hours. Plus there’s a Hobbit House. Who doesn’t love a good Hobbit House?
Thank you to the Limerick Strand Hotel management and staff for a great stay. Limerick is lovely, and we look forward to exploring more again soon.