The Brooklodge Hotel – another month another pushed-out staycation.
The Brooklodge Hotel in County Wicklow has long been one of my favourite places to stay in Ireland. This was one trip that wasn’t getting canceled, just postponed. Originally booked for New Year’s Day we decided to move the stay to my sister’s birthday in July. Luckily we did – as the lockdown for hotels was endless, as you know.
On arrival, the property did not disappoint. While Covid_19 restrictions did limit the experience, it did not hamper the overall incredibly relaxing ambiance of this lodge and surroundings.
However, the service was completely different. We booked our times for breakfast and dinner at the famous Strawberry Tree Restaurant in advance. We were informed lunch was not available to book. This was very disappointing and resulted in waiting over two hours for service and lunch. Check-in time was at 4 pm, which meant everyone arrived at the hotel at 2 pm with the idea of lunch in mind. As a result, the staff was overwhelmed.
This did not dampen our day though and we enjoyed Margarita cocktails in the sun. We eventually checked in and made for our rooms. We had booked a mezzanine suite that was just as I’d remembered – perfect. We promptly changed for dinner. I was so looking forward to this meal.
My sister, a pescatarian, had never eaten here before and I had high hopes for her and the rest of us. And it didn’t disappoint. This award-winning restaurant offers the best of organic Irish cuisine and everyone was impressed by the culinary delights we chose. Starting with the homemade wild garlic pesto on bread, all the way down through the menu, and ending with the cheeseboard, we were spoilt.
While we were taking our first bite of the main course, the waiter brought out my sister’s birthday cake with a burning candle. We did our best to laugh off the disappointment. In fairness, the manager apologized for what she framed as ‘new staff’ and offered us a glass of prosecco as an apology which was a nice touch.
I know that the hospitality industry is currently struggling for staff and that things have been very difficult for them so I will give the benefit of the doubt and to be fair it won’t stop me from visiting again.
The next morning I took advantage of the outdoor hot tub, swimming pool, and sunbeds all before breakfast. Breakfast was a feast. Even if they only serve percolated coffee, I would have loved an espresso – first-world problems eh!
All in all, it was short and sweet. If we had stayed for a longer duration, my patience may not have lasted the pace.
Booking – we booked online and upgraded to a Mezzanine suite which cost €420 for two people including dinner in the famous Strawberry Tree Restaurant.