We decided to spend a couple of days around Connemara and subsequently booked an overnight stay at the Leenane Hotel. It was booked via the internet, to include breakfast and eveneing meal. In addition I also phoned the hotel to confirm the checking in time of 2.00pm onwards. On the day we were due to arrive we travelled down from Ballina Co. Mayo. we left around midday and upon arrival at Leenane (1.45pm) decide to take in a cruise up the Killary Fjord. We eventually arrived at the hotel at around 4.00pm. Unfortunately there didn't appear to be any members of staff around the reception area, so after standing there for around five minutes I decided to venture into the hotel bar to see if there was a member of bar staff who could locate someone from reception. Again after waiting at the bar for around five minutes or so, it was apparent there was also a shortage of bar staff. So I returned to reception, whereby now another half a dozen residents waiting to check in were also looking somewhat perplexed. After a further ten minutes a member of staff appeared from the bar area (it would seem the reception & bar staff were one and the same person!) No apology just a, 'who's first to be booked in?'
I replied 'we were here first ... that would be about twenty minutes ago', again nothing said, just head down and on with the form filling etc. We were allocated a room in the new section and made our way there only to find it was not ready, sheets & towels strewn all over the floor etc. We carted our luggage back down stairs to the reception
and told the receptionist that she must have booked us into the wrong room as it wasn't made. She replied it was the correct room, but they had been very busy and were running behind schedule, so if we would like to take a drink in the bar, our room would be ready in an hour. Seeing that the same person who was looking after the reception was also looking after the bar it was not unreasonable to deduct we could be waiting a while for our drink, so we decided to take a walk into the village and call in a bar there instead. (both bars in the village, Gaynors & Hamiltons, have good atmosphere) we returned to the hotel a good hour later and eventually got into our room. Which I have to say was very nice. Apparently the new section had only opened in 2010 so it would appear we landed on our feet with the allocation at least. The room itself was very spacious, nicely decorated and furnished, a double & single bed, excellent en suite, incorporating bath and seperate shower. There was also a small balcony with spectacular views over the mountains & killary harbour. We went down for our evening meal around 7.15pm which again I have to say was produced to a very high standard, we had fish (monk fish & salmon) but after speaking to other residents most dishes on the menu was of a similar standard. The following morning we enjoyed a first class full irish breakfast, again couldn't fault it. I can't vouch for the rooms in the established part of the hotel but I got the impression they were somewhat less spacious and the furniture was a bit 'tired'. Certainly the public areas, lobby, reception and bar etc. look a bit passed the sell by date. (some nice paintings though) It also has to be said some of the staff are not the warmest I,ve ever encountered. However all in all, we both enjoyed our overnight stay at the Leenane Hotel and as a result would probably recommend it to a friend ... or anyone else for that matter!
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