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Hodson Bay Hotel 4.0

Athlone, Province of Leinster, Ireland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful lakeside location, a 10-minute drive from Athlone town
  • Spacious rooms, some suitable for families, others for couples
  • Multiple dining options plus a bar and juice bar
  • Wellness facilities include an indoor pool with hydro-pool and children's area
  • Fitness center with modern equipment overlooking the pool
  • Spa with a full array of treatments plus a sauna
  • Extensive events space and popular wedding location
  • Live music and a seasonal kids' camp
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking

Cons

  • Can get crowded when big groups are on-site
  • Breakfast not included in standard room rates

Bottom Line

The 176-room Hodson Bay Hotel is an upscale property situated on Lough Ree, a 10-minute drive from Athlone. Rooms range from traditionally appointed Classic Rooms to more fresh and contemporary units in the adult-only wing, which is popular with couples looking for a quiet getaway. The hotel has a great spa with a wide array of treatments, and the fitness center offers modern cardio and weight equipment. The indoor pool is a plus, as are the on-site dining options. The hotel's picturesque setting on the lake draws many couples tying the knot, as well as corporations hosting events. Travelers looking to be extra-close to the area's golfing action could check out the Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club.

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Scene

Lovely lakeside property popular for events and celebrations, as well as quiet getaways

This hotel is a busy place year-round, as it's popular with locals who frequently book it for special occasions such as weddings, christenings, and other gathering. On the weekends, it buzzes with lots of families and children running around plus live music playing in the bar. It's also popular with local and international companies for corporate events. The style inside is fairly straightforward -- a generically modern look with mostly traditional decor like patterned carpets, sharp light wood floors, dark wood bannisters and tables, and plush couches. Elegant details like damask wallpaper used tastefully in hallways gives everything a bit of upscale polish. The lakeside setting is lovely, and there are views throughout the hotel of Lough Ree. As the hotel is so close to Dublin, many people drive out for a weekend break. With the newer side limited to just adults, the hotel does provide a calmer space for guests seeking quiet, but everyone is welcome here, from families and couples to groups of friends and corporate guests. 

Location

On the beautiful shores of Lough Ree, a 10-minute drive from Athlone

The hotel is situated among parklands on the banks of the lovely Lough Ree. A country road leads out to a small peninsula, and there is a small harbor and marina opposite the hotel. It's a great location for getting away, as the area feels relatively undeveloped despite being a popular getaway for residents of Ireland's coastal cities, like Dublin and Galway. It's about a 10-minute drive from Athlone town, where there is a train station as well as pubs and restaurants. Next to the hotel is one of Ireland's largest water parks that also offers water-sports lessons. Galway is about 50 minutes west, while Dublin and its airport are about 90 minutes east.

Rooms

Spacious rooms with family-friendly configurations and a contemporary adult-only wing

The hotel offers two types of rooms: Classic Rooms in the older part of the hotel and more modern rooms in the Retreat at Hodson Bay, which is for adults only. All are spacious and offer electric kettles, interactive flat-screen TVs, radios, free Wi-Fi, and safes. Mini-fridges are available on request. Family Rooms and suites are available in a variety of configurations. Classic Rooms look well kept, but traditional, with burgundy patterned carpeting, colorful leaf-patterned bed runners and accent pillows, oak-veneer furniture, and earth-tone upholstered armchairs. Tiled bathrooms are small, but clean, and come with shower/tub combos, large granite counter space, and toiletries. Rooms in the retreat are more modern and upscale, with floor-to-ceiling windows, some with lake views, funkier contemporary furniture, individually commissioned artwork, and separate soaking tubs and showers. The most luxurious space in the hotel is the Penthouse on the fifth floor, with a two-person hot tub and beautiful views of the lake. 

Features

On-site dining and bar, live entertainment, wellness facilities, kids camp, and events space

Like many of the large-scale retreat-style hotels in this part of the country, there are a good number of features on-site, including excellent welness facilities. The Spa at Hodson Bay is a high-end space with thermal rooms, a sauna, steam room, tropical rain and ice showers, and heated relaxation loungers. Treatment options include massages, facials, body treatments, and light therapy. The hotel's leisure center encompasses a fitness center and aquatic area with a main pool, hydro pool, and children's pool. Both the gym and pool are enclosed in glass with views of the lake. Group classes include aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, and body pump. The Penguin Kids Activity Camp for ages 4-12 keeps the little ones entertained, and there's also a Tiny Tots playroom for the youngest kids. Camp on Saturday nights is free. Another area for teens is stocked with games and activities. 

There's also multiple dining options, including L'Escale Restaurant, which serves regional cuisine sourced locally. The Tower Room off the restaurant is a place where groups can gather for private dining, and the Octagon also can accommodate small to mid-size groups. The Waterfront Bar with a carvery station serves Irish fare for lunch daily and a menu that changes frequently. Live entertainment performs there every Saturday night, and sometimes on Friday and midweek nights. It's a cozy space with a fireplace and big-screen TVs. A juice bar by the fitness center serves fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. Breakfast is not included with standard rates.

With its picturesque lakeside setting, the hotel is a popular place for weddings. The Clonmacnoise Suite can accommodate up to 380 guests, and the Killinure Suite is well-suited for about 100 guests. Corporate and team-building events also frequently book the hotel. It can get a bit noisy when there are multiple groups on-site. Wi-Fi and parking are both free. 

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Things You Should Know About Hodson Bay Hotel

Address

Hodson Bay, Athlone N37 XR82, Ireland

Phone

353 (0) 90 6442004

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