Kelly’s Resort Hotel and Spa is arguably Ireland’s most beloved family holiday destination. Built on the foundations of five generations of the Kelly family hospitality, this hotel gets it right.
Year after year, Irish families return, so much so, that it has become the premier multi-generational staycation spot. Reservations for the next family stay at this hotel often happen at checkout. After our most recent stay, I too, booked again, just like everyone else, as we bid a sad farewell. Roll on 2022.
On entrance to the hotel we were greeted by a health manager who directed us to the covid temperature checker and the sanitiser before moving us along to reception. Everything felt controlled, safe and most importantly relaxed.
Our health manager then helped with luggage to the rooms. I don’t know if it was because the sun was shining or that it had been so long since my last holiday, but everything seemed so perfect as I packed up the two kids and brought them down to lunch. And this was only my first 30 minutes of a three-day stay.
Food, Glorious Food
We decided on lunch in the Ivy restaurant as the kids could play outside in the giant pirate ship playground and at the same time make some new friends. Kelly’s have extended their dining options this year and we had a choice of four eateries on site during our stay.
One is the award-winning and more formal dining area in ‘Beaches Restaurant’. La Marine Bistro sits at the front of the hotel and offers cuisine for residents, locals and holidaymakers to Rosslare. The Ivy Room buffet is where families flock for a casual breakfast, lunch or the kids dinner.
Finally there is a new tented area out the back that offers an exciting and relaxed alternative to the other eateries named ‘The [email protected]’s’ taking in the new craze for food truck dining.
There is a loving joke about the ‘Kelly Belly’ from regular guests – and you guessed it – its because of the wonderful and plentiful food offerings. Food options can be on a bed and breakfast basis, half board or full board basis. Make sure not to miss afternoon tea.
It’s all about Family
Those who have been lucky enough to holiday at this hotel will know that the kids facilities are top notch. Kids Clubs and Creche areas along with the aforementioned giant pirate ship, tennis courts, pool, mini-golf and the onsite beach make this hotel incomparable in Ireland.
We made our way up from a day on the beach and after a quick change we went down for the kids dinner, this, to me is a highlight as I love to see my kids make friends. Dinner is followed by the mini disco, and after the disco it is on to ice cream and a kids movie.
Then its on up to bed for a well deserved sleep – if they can manage staying awake that long – while the babysitter takes over and parents gets a child free and delicious dining experience. What child (or adult!) wouldn’t love that and want to come back.
But this hotel is not all about the kids. Mums and Dads, Aunties and Uncles and Grannies and Grandads will have lots to do too. There is an impressive on site art collection and nightly entertainment. Sports activities include two swimming pools, billiards, crazy golf, tennis and table tennis with tournaments.
The Aqua Club fitness centre, an outdoor Canadian hot tub, Jacuzzi, a jogging track, a gym, yoga, crazy golf, bowls, croquet lawns, badminton, billiards and snooker. And for a special treat, there is the Sea Scape Spa.
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t partake in any of that, after a long 18 months my head and heart only wanted the beach and as the kids made more friends I was lucky to enjoy one of the sun loungers with a book and a coffee.
Wine and History
Kelly’s is also known for its wine, Bill Kelly, the 4th generation in the hotel met and married his wife Isabelle Avril daughter of leading French wine-maker Paul Avril. He has been producing the wonderful Clos Des Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape wines and with that comes a cellar many Irish hotels would view with envy.
These days Laura Kelly, Bill and Isabelle’s eldest daughter runs the show (see Laura’s interview here with Joan Scales) and I had the great pleasure of speaking to her on numerous occasions as she went around each guest and treated them as an old welcome friend, which judging by the repeat business they receive it’s likely they are.
How to Book
Bookings for this property happen well in advance, with families booking their next trip as they check out of the hotel. On this occasion, we did just that, and I’d recommend it as it means that you can secure the right room for you and your family.
And as we all got ready to leave, echoes of girlie chatter of ‘we will see you next year’ and boys high-fiving goodbye reminded me of what truly is important in a child’s life.
Rosslare and Wexford
The town of Rosslare is famous for its long sandy beach and every year people flock to its beautiful shores any time there is a sign of sun. This area is known for its relaxed and casual approach and offers little more than a few coffee shops, restaurants and convenience stores. But, thats the beauty of it. If you want to get more from a holiday then this is the best source, VisitWexford.