LET’S face it. It isn’t easy to find a hotel that will welcome you open-armed when you step up to reception with an eight- year-old, two-year-old and a baby.
A toddler prone to tantrums and a crying infant? Who can blame any hotel manager for trying to hide their panic. Kelly’s Resort Hotel and Spa, though, is the one place where you will be genuinely welcomed with your family. Dinner time tears aren’t judged, instead, you get knowing, compassionate looks from your neighbouring diners. It’s a little piece of heaven for parents of toddlers who have forgotten what it’s like to sit at a restaurant table as a family.Though, to be honest, crying fits are few and far between. The children are simply kept too busy to even find the time to get upset. There are two kids’ clubs — one for smallies and another for the older ones. The Aqua Club kept the eight-year-old entertained with a games room, movie nights, painting classes, sandcastle competitions and baking. There’s even shell hunting, an obvious option when your hotel is built right onto the beach, as Kelly’s is.
The toddler had the option of the Starfish Club, for under 4s. We used the supervised playroom for the two-year-old and baby. If you leave the kids (we stayed with them but it was nice to know the option was there), it’s €3 per hour. A small price for a welcome piece of ‘me time’ and ease of mind. This playroom was every toddler’s dream — Peppa Pig on a constant roll on the TV, a plastic play kitchen almost as big as my own at home and virtually every toy your two-year-old would point at in the Smyths catalogue. The baby, meanwhile, relaxed on a play mat surrounded by bright, attention-grabbing colours in the safe and enclosed infant area. It gave me time to sit back with the Saturday papers. Quite the treat.
With a family-focused hotel like this just a car journey away, who really needs to travel abroad? No airline — and few passengers — would give you the welcome (and patience) that’s waiting at Kelly’s.* Rates from €485 per person sharing for a five-night stay or €295 per adult for a two-day weekend full board experience. Rates plus 10% service charge. Contact 053 9132114 or see www.kellys.ie
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