“An attractive and well-equipped hotel that is conveniently situated on the outskirts of Wexford town. Enjoy award-winning food on the sunny terrace overlooking the River Slaney Estuary, get the latest beauty treatments in the spa or relax in the pool. “
THERE’S something magical about Wexford. It’s a place that can’t help but induce relaxation. Whether it’s the ballad-inspiring scenery, bustling town or sandy beaches – there’s something to please everyone.And, with the promise of rest in mind, last week I headed away from the city to the four-star Ferrycarraig Hotel & Spa for a short visit.
Located 15 minutes from Wexford town, enclosed by leafy trees and foilage, you will feel truly hidden from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s also a family-friendly hotel and answers that age-old problem for so many parents: how to enjoy your break – and keep the children happy at the same time?
Its swimming pool and kids’ clubs mean children of all ages are entertained. Meanwhile, parents can go for a bit of full-on pampering in the spa, unwind in the bar, soak up views across the River Slaney Estuary – or book into the beauty salon for a treatment at Riverwood Wellness.
7/10: First Impressions
The weariness of the week’s nine to five starts diminishing as soon as we pulled into the landscaped grounds.Although the exterior of the hotel was pretty, I felt it lacked the wow factor. However, the staff were very welcoming, and within minutes I was deep in friendly conversation with the lovely lady on reception about the best local places to visit.
The hotel is the perfect base for exploring beauty spots such as the Hook Lighthouse, Colclough Walled Garden or the glorious strands of Curracloe Beach. And, if you fancy a spot of shopping, Wexford town has a vast array of shops with a fantastic mix of fashion, crafts, jewellery, vintage clothes, antiques, homewares, toys, accessories and much more.
Michael Foley Flickr
8/10: Style & Atmosphere
We were directed to a second-floor bedroom overlooking the river. Décor is inoffensive, with grey or cream tones on the walls, curtains and carpets – tastefully accented with pops of lime green.
The room was an average size with an armchair, desk, large television, built-in wardrobe, bedside tables and selection of lamps. And, of course, the bed. The loveliest bed I have ever had the privilege of sleeping in.
Large in size with one hundred and twenty rooms, the hotel is mysteriously quiet and serene, save birdsong from the stunning lake-view room balcony. The hotel is contemporary in design with the emphasis on luxury, comfort and relaxation. .
9/10: Food & Drink
With a magical waterfront location Reeds, Restaurant is appropriately named with breathtaking views across river Slaney and a menu that features the finest local seafood and fare.
Executive Chef Tony Carty says his ethos is to use ‘local, seasonal, quality ingredients’ and the proof is in the pudding as the menu is stacked with suppliers from all across county Wexford.
For starters, I ordered a feta cheese & pea “kattafi” with Wexford beetroot and orange ‘vierge’ followed by the pan fried Kilmore monkfish with grilled fennel, celeriac puree ( see below). It was as good as anything I’ve sampled in any of the Michelin star restaurants I’ve visited.
It’s no surprise then, to discover that it has been named the Best Hotel Restaurant in Wexford 2016, 2017 and is listed in the top 5 restaurants in Leinster by the Restaurant Association of Ireland.
Breakfast is also served in Reeds Restaurant -offering a self-service option. A hot buffet is on offer as well as fresh pastries, fruit salad, yoghurts and cereals. Very tasty.
The Table D’hôte dinner menu is priced at €37.00 per person or a superb reasonably priced Early Bird Menu available from 6.00pm – 6.45pm for €27.00. Reeds Restaurant is open seven days per week for dinner and also for Sunday Lunch; reservations are recommended via 053 9120999.
9/10: The Spa
As I entered Riverwood Wellness, in my fluffy white robe and slippers, I was greeted by Jody, a friendly and courteous hostess who showed me around. A lovely fragrance and a soothing and calm atmosphere ensured that my visit and impression of the place began positively.
The treatment started with me laying face down on the bed. An aromatic oil, which smelt divine, was applied to my arms, shoulders and back. Using a firm pressure, Jody massaged the oil into my skin easing out the enduring tension in my shoulder and back muscles.
At the end of the treatment, I was like jelly and felt as if about a years’ worth of stress had magically melted away. I’ve had plenty of massages in my time – in spas from Sweden to Tunisia – but I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed one as much as I did at Riverwood. My only regret is that I didn’t book a longer session.
T: +353 (0)53 9120555
Price: 2 Night Bliss Package – from €175 per person sharing.Includes: One Evening Meal in the award winning Reeds Restaurant.One 25 minute treatment per adult in the Riverwood Wellness treatment rooms, Full breakfast.
Facilities: Facilities are fantastic with a sizeable pool area with a sauna and steam room along with a gym, spa, hairdresser, bar and kids club.
Wifi is free, and parking is plentiful.
Access for guests with disabilities? Ferrycarrig has full access for persons with disability and also wheelchairs.
Family-friendly? The supervised kids club ‘Crazy Clubbers’ offers a full weekly programme including Mini Olympics, Teddy Bears Picnic, Scavenger Hunts, Arts and Crafts plus an extensive outdoor playground. The Ferrycarrig Kids Club is open daily during the school holidays from 10 am to 1 pm and again from 6 pm to 10 pm.
Verdict: For a deeply relaxing experience, the Ferrycarrig is the place to go. Service is outstanding, and the polite and professional staff are one of the hotel’s highlights.
For further information on Ferrycarrig Hotel see www.ferrycarrighotel.ie