After a beautiful week of camping next to the beach, my back was ready for a bed and a hot shower. I drove my rental car an hour and a half east to Castlebar in County Mayo, Ireland. Arriving at the Harlequin Hotel it just looked like any other building with their name on the front.
It looked nice enough, with a cobblestone walkway and big automatic revolving doors. There were even well manicured plants decorating the front. As I walked through the front door a wave of elegance hit me. Chairs and couches faced each other to cater to small groups wishing for a nice place to lounge and chat. The decor followed the color palette of creams and purples with touches of pinks.
The staff was courteous and friendly. They checked me in quickly and efficiently. They gave me the needed information and told me where to park. There is a garage next to the hotel and they validate for the hotel guests. Which is quite handy as parking can be tricky in Ireland. It was nice to have a safe place to leave my car as I explored the city by foot.
My room also had the feel of luxury. Everything was clean and tidy. It was a comfort to have a relaxed feeling as I entered the room. The key card went into a little slot in the wall near the door to turn on the electricity. The bathroom had a modern feel to it with its long tub with a rain shower head and it's flat sink raised on top of the marble like counter top. One wall was lined with windows with two curtains, one sheer to let in diffused light and one dark to keep out the evening sun that on occasion stayed up past 10pm.
Two tall closets were at one end of the room. One had a safe you could store your valuables in, a hair dryer, and a pot with complimentary tea, coffee and cookies for your enjoyment. A desk had a short wall to block it off from the rest of the room. There was also a little sitting table for you to relax at while you had your tea. Every modern hotel wouldn't be complete without a TV; this room had a modest sized flat screen for your pleasure.
I slept well that night. In the morning I went down to enjoy the breakfast. A buffet was set up in their restaurant. You could choose from the traditional Irish Breakfast consisting of bacon, sausage, eggs, and fried tomatoes, or you could have fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, and toast. Of course you could have whatever mixture you would like. There was also coffee, tea, water, milk, and a variety of juices to choose from. I decided on peaches topped with granola, pastries, toast, and orange juice. I even went back for seconds. It was great food!
I would have been happy to stay there longer, but everything comes to an end eventually. I had no problems, just a bit of a wait, when I decided to check out. That wait was not their fault, because I like many others decided to wait until just before the noon checkout time to leave. They were actually quite quick about checking out once I got up to the counter. Had I wanted to explore the city some more I could have left my car in the garage as long as I wished.
I would definitely recommend staying at the Harlequin Hotel Castlebar if you're visiting Mayo County and Western Ireland. It was a perfect place to relax and recuperate from my week of camping.
To book your stay go to the Harlequin Hotel Castlebar website or call +353 (0)94 9286200
Visit the Ireland Tourism website for activities to do, food to enjoy, and all you need to know while in Ireland.
Published on Aug 07, 2013