Family time at the Charleville Hotel, Cork, Ireland
That’s where the 4-star Charleville Hotel in County Cork comes in. From our house, it’s 1 hour and 45 minutes, door to door, on great roads.
This family hotel has a swimming pool (including kiddies pool), sauna and gym, is near Cork City and brilliantly, does Afternoon Tea for the family. Far from being a stuffy affair, there is a children’s version with stuff they will actually eat, plus kid-friendly sweet treats like mini-brownies, while the adults can have a cheeky prosecco along with their Irish Breakfast tea and dainty sandwiches and cakes.
That’s a good plan for when you arrive after the drive, (check in is 3pm) or you could go to the pool before chilling out in the room with the free wi-fi (happy teenager) and Netflix for the smaller ones.
The rooms are spacious, comfortable and unfussy. One my biggest bugbears is being crammed into a family room with extra beds and having to be quiet from 9pm so the children can sleep. That’s why interconnecting rooms are such a winner. There is security in being the other side of the door, but it means you can relax with a glass of wine and chill with a box set while the under 10s are asleep. Two televisions and two bathrooms are always a win with families.
With no shortage of things to do outdoors and indoors, they will be pleasantly tired by bedtime.
The historic market town of Charleville itself is just 4 km away from the Charleville Park Hotel. It has a bustling main street and feels like much more than a satellite town. It still has independent businesses and cafes and is a nice place to while away an hour. The playground is very good and the older ones can play football or basketball on the astroturf. before heading onto the Donkey Sanctuary just 20 minutes away at Liscarroll. They do such great work here and the little donkeys are super cute. Probably even more so since The Banshees of Inisherin.
The teens could do ziplining at Farran Park (www.zipit.ie) while the smaller children will love the wildlife enclosure, duck pond and woodland ecology display centre.
The children will also enjoy Ballyhass Aqua Park just half an hour away. It’s the largest inflatable water park in Munster and even has Axe Throwing as well as Archery and Wakeboarding. It’s fully supervised for over 11 year olds while the 6-11 age group need an adult with them for the outdoor soft play area.
After all, that a relaxing dinner back at the hotel before the little ones watch a movie and the teenager catches up with friends online. You can walk into the Park Bar and Grill whereas you will need to book the Greenfinch Restaurant. My guess is that you will prefer casual dining with the children.
Other activities to think about include Clay Pigeon Shooting (lazydogshooting.ie), mountain biking with Ballyhoura Trailriders, the free to enter Doneraile Wildlife Park and the Farm at Grenagh.
This hotel is well-worth considering for a short family break and would be ideal over mid-term. By that stage, everyone needs to recharge the batteries in different surroundings and The Charleville Park will leave you all feeling rejuvenated and relaxed.