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The Amber Springs Hotel: Family Friendly Heaven!

The Amber Springs Hotel: Family Friendly Heaven!

Amber Springs Hotel
We took our middle guy J (who is 11) and headed off to the sunny south east, Wexford to be more precise.
 
This was our first time to Wexford. We were booked in for two nights at The Amber Springs Hotel,Gorey, North Wexford.
 
Driving into the car park the hotel looked very ‘fancy’ in the words of our eleven year old. He was right. The exterior was very well kept, in the middle of the grounds stood a shiny marble tiered fountain surrounded by an impressive stone wall.
 
“This looks very fancy to be a family hotel” my husband stated as we unpacked the car.
 
I don’t know what we were expecting, maybe to see children running all over the grounds or in and out of the lobby or at least some disregarded sweet wrapper thrown in the car park but we did not see anything remotely like that as we made our way into the lobby.
 
“Right place” I laughed as I spotted a big banner with times and location of a ‘kiddies club’ .
 
We arrived at reception where we quickly checked in and were sent happily on our way to our family room.
 
The hotel itself, once inside reminded me of Disneyland hotels; for those of you who have never stayed in a Disney hotel - they tend to be ran extremely well; a little like how I would imagine a caption runs his ship-- all on schedule. Mostly, it was the amount of children I spotted throughout one of the restaurants as we made our way to our room which reminded me of our time in Disneyland.
 
Our room was exactly what any family would need, it wasn’t overly fancy (my son's new favourite word), but rather warm and welcoming and perfect for our short stay.
 
We spent our first evening just sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. There is a small playground off the ‘BBG’ restaurant (which is just off the lobby of the hotel).  
“Where are those kids disappearing to?” I asked no one in particular as we sat in the open plan seating area outside the BBG restaurant.
 
“Follow them J, they look to be about your age!” D (my husband) encouraged J.
 
Slowly he got up and followed the group of pre-teens who were disappearing behind the ‘Farina’ (another restaurant which was across from our seating area).
 
Twenty minutes rolled by when we decided to check in and see what was keeping our ‘I don’t want to follow random kids’ boy.
 
To say we got a surprise, would be an understatement.
 
We marvelled at the view before our eyes as we turned that hidden corner behind Farina.
 
A path lead us passed some chickens and rabbits, while a ‘crazy golf’ course was hidden in between the trees to our right.
 
At the end of the path we were outside a sweet/ gift/ information shop with the friendliest man ( I dare say, we have ever met) standing inside chatting to a group of kids.
 
In front of us was a farm.
 
To our left a Go-Kart course and beside that another small play area.
 
We both laughed. “No wonder he didn’t come back!” D pointed at J, who was chatting to the farm hands while trying to get ‘Harry’ (a blue and gold Macaw parrot) to repeat him.
 
We later learned Harry was not that kind of parrot, he much preferred scaring people when they got too close- he wasn’t friendly but he had a draw to him that seemed to pull many holiday goers to him. J fell in love with him and made a point of visiting him a few times a day. 
We had never been to a hotel like this before, it really was shaping up to be all about family.
 
We tried the kids club for J but after 20 minutes we ‘broke’ him out, as he was a little too old for it. Maybe I'm wrong but it seemed to suit 4-9 year olds more, so it is ideal if you have children that age.
 
But there was so much for him to do. We took the Amber train around the farm and helped feed the animals - the train departs at certain times of the day and brings you to a small farm with the friendliest bunch of animals, including a Racoon!
 The same man drives the train and runs the shop and can tell you every single little thing about ‘his’ animals - he clearly loves his job and he is fabulous at it! Since J was one of the eldest there he included him by giving him jobs like feeding the goats while the younger children were feeding smaller animals - it made J feel important and we appreciated that.  
 
We then had a go at holding Owls - J only wanted to hold the baby... so cute! 
We then headed off for a day away at Hook Head lighthouse, which again was something special. I highly recommend taking the scenic route there and back. It’s a beautiful drive just over an hour away from The Amber Springs. Staff there were friendly, helpful and well able to have the craic, and we all know how we Irish love the craic!
 
We finished our final evening with a round of crazy golf back at the hotel after another beautiful meal in the BBG restaurant (ideal for all the family!)
 
The downsides? Well, there weren’t any! A few tips for those visiting though.
We were so busy we didn’t have time to use the pool, the pool closes (to children) at 6.30pm and opens again for them at 9.30am. We were too busy and too tired on both days to fit the pool in, unfortunately; but we did hear it was ‘awesome’ from a little ginger haired American girl. We don’t doubt it.
 
For older kids, I would recommend planning day trips in the afternoon, there is plenty to do in the morning at the hotel and in the evenings.  
 
For younger kids, use the kiddies club, it looked brilliant and we could see and hear the kiddies having a ball!
 
For couples, it isn’t really a romantic getaway especially in the summertime but you are looked after as the pool hours are there to suit you guys and there is a restaurant for adults only (which is also gret if mum and dad want a quiet meal).
 
Live music can be heard each night from the main restaurant and bar (BBG) - while sitting out on the decking enjoying a glass of wine and watching the fountain beside the wooden bridge. It is a lovely relaxing way to spend an evening or two!
 
As always, I tend to keep an eye out for wheelchair accessibility even if my eldest son Ethan isn’t with me. The Amber Springs had toilets and ramps. The golfing and go-karts weren’t accessible for wheelchair users but everywhere else was. Ethan would have been able to enjoy the farm, the train and the pool had he been with us.
 
We really enjoyed our stay at The Amber Springs and would recommend it to young families who would like a few days away with activities for the children all under one roof.
 
Written by Ger Renton, who keeps us up to date on her crazy family life with Ethan & co. Read her amazing blog at geraldinerenton.com