The truth about Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges
In 2015 DayOut.ie spent a week at Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges Carlow where we had a 4 bed family lodge.
Finding the right place to spend a family holiday is a huge decision. You want a bit of everything and obviously the more amenities and activities on site or near to you the better. Value for money is everything too. Not knowing where you are going to be staying, that is not being able to see inside the house or lodge where you might be staying is always a curiousity. At DayOut.ie, we hope to solve that problem for you, with particular reference to Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges.
We’ve traveled extensively throughout Ireland visiting family venues, staying at hotels and occupying holiday lodges to get the low down on what’s hot and what’s not. We are parents too so we know all about keeping kids occupied, indoors and outdoors and we also know that when the day is over, you want to be comfortable, warm and safe.
You’ve probably done some research yourselves and checked out this venue but here’s our low down following our few days out at Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges.
At Mount Wolseley, you’re going to stay at large and very spacious holiday homes. They state on their own web site that total floor area is 1,650 square feet. The current online photos (see below) show nice landscaped gardens etc. which were taken when the complex was first built circa 2005. Picture these now with mature trees and hedge rows and it takes on the appearance of a stylish landscaped terrace of large houses.
Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges – launch pictures
Summer 2015 pictures
Interiors are very spacious with open plan layout including kitchenette, dining room and sitting room combined. People will wander with food and drink – young children etc. so ‘fabric’ couches and rugs in sitting room were probably a great ideal at the time but are now showing signs of wear and have the obligatory few stains here and there. Elsewhere the interiors are showing some signs of wear with a few dings and scuff marks on walls and skirts etc. Some little refinement issues like cracked tiles etc. in bathroom, tap fixtures might not have finishing buttons on every tap etc. but all fully functional. (I have same in my own house so not unhappy about this).
Personally, I really liked the open style layout on the downstairs, everything in one large room and it’s bright, spacious, clean and well laid out.
Dish washer, washing machine and clothes dryer all in good working order and fully functional. 1 or 2 wash tablets provided so bring your own tablets and washing powder. (You are paying for electricity so use it….see more on this further on). Metal, circular clothes line at rear of kitchen accessed via sliding doors.
General consensus between our family and the family we were holidaying with, who were staying next door, was that the lodges were clean and well maintained. You could if you wanted, check every corner and you might find a cobweb but let’s be fair here. Similarly, if you wanted to be ‘obtuse’ about it (Shawshank Redemption anyone!!) you could say that a lick of paint here and there and one or two small items to be fixed like tiles etc. could also be addressed. I don’t think small items like this are going to stop you staying there or cause you to move out. Again, I reference my own house and there’s plenty of things that would be brought to my attention if I had people staying there for a week!
Other than that, Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges are absolutely ideal and perfectly suited to families or groups. They are very spacious and rank highly when compared to lodges at other locations where DayOut.ie has stayed at throughout Ireland.
Self catering lodges, like all other lodges in the country are purpose built for your family and also others. They are used by others and you use them with this in mind. As a base for your family, I would have no problem recommending them. We were very comfortable for the duration of our stay.
When paying for a holiday home or holiday lodge, you are paying for a home away from home experience.
There is NO internet access at lodges. Now I’m really sorry for my next comment but I feel strongly about this and in my humble opinion, in 2015 the practice of having to walk to the hotel reception to get an internet signal is stone age!
We were away on a family holiday but it was also a working holiday for us – we run an online business and I would wager that the vast majority of visitors to any location in Ireland would now see Wi Fi as a decision making factor in their choice of venue. Having spoken to some business owners and hotel proprietors in the past, the absence of Wi Fi is attributed directly to cost.
My message to business owners or hotel proprietors reading this is as follows – I feel we are long past the expectation of overseas visitors and indeed domestic visitors seeing the absence of Internet as something quaint or a lovely ‘get away from it all’ Irish experience. My fear is that hotel proprietors and business owners are actually losing business by not making this service available.
There are many online thread articles related to this but we’d like to look at this specifically relating to Ireland. Failte Ireland have articles dating back circa 2012 about the importance of internet access for overseas visitors re: conferences etc. See more on this…
Would Internet access be a deciding factor on where you stay in Ireland? Let us know here >>
You can of course argue that you’re on holidays, isn’t it nice to get away from it? It’s a personal call really, some will welcome it, some not. We were traveling every day visiting venues in the area and writing reviews for our group of web sites so having access to internet and email was a necessity, simply for correspondence and making arrangements etc. Signal strength only 2 bar in some parts of the hotel reception area and stronger in others, so have a wander and find your spot.
The inclusion of Wi Fi may also bump up the cost of the stay, as proprietors attempt to recoup the cost of their investment with levees on the accommodation. Lots of debate on this but I feel we are now well and truly living in the digital age and services should reflect this.
Electricity cover charge is 10euro per day during Summer months. I’m afraid I’m not a fan of this but it seems to be the norm at several holiday lodges throughout Ireland. I’ll just say with our own house at home, our electricity bill is circa 130-150euro every 2 months!
In fairness and to give credit where credit is due, there are more positives than negatives.
Holiday lodges are large and spacious. Open plan downstairs, large front bay windows and rear sliding doors make it bright and homely. All have lined curtains which close in the space at night time and make it cosy. Furniture all in good condition. Nicely decorated interiors with pictures and furnishings etc. Fireplace has a coal light effect only, no heat but it was August during our visit so not an issue for us.
All appliances fully functional and instructions provided. Dishwasher appeared brand new. Cooker was clean, powerful and had wide grill pan which meant we could feed our family of 5 in one go when grilling anything. Microwave was spotless. Couple of utensils a bit grubby but fine after a dishwasher run. Kitchen presses have cups, plates, bowls and glasses etc. Small dish on counter top has tea bags and coffee for one of two nights so you’ll need to stock up or bring your own.
Our fridge had no inside door shelf – not standard ours was just missing – so bottles, milk etc. were going into main fridge meaning it was fairly tight on space for first few days because you’re arriving with your own grub and you’re fully stocked. No biggy though as we soon ate our way thru it!. 3 large freezer drawers which were all clean and freezer functioning.
4 bed lodges will sleep 7 people.
- Master bedroom is double bed with en suite
- There are 2 other rooms upstairs with 2 single beds each. One of these rooms has a door that opens into the main bathroom, making it like another ‘en suite’.
- then there’s a smaller room with 1 bed.
Nothing stopping you bringing an extra blow up bed (or two) and packing the place out e.g. we spoke with 2 sisters recently who were looking to get away somewhere, each with their own children. They were looking for something specifically where they could share – this would be ideal!
Evening / Night
The holiday lodges are situated at the side of the resort, numbered 1 to 14.
We were situated past number 6 (see arrow below) on on the end furthest away from the hotel itself. On the day we checked in, there was a wedding in the hotel that night. I can honestly say that we did not hear a thing!. No ‘bumf, bumf, bumf’ music, no shouting or voices, no heavy traffic, nothing. It was very peaceful and would be welcomed by anyone seeking the ‘get away from it all’ short break experience. When the family were in bed, I would stand outdoors the odd night and with the exception of some distant livestock sounds on one night, there was not a sound for the entire week.
After a hectic few months at home, this was utterly welcome and it was a real sense of having a break away! This is of course, all dependent on who is in the lodge next to you, which none of us can foresee. On the week we were there, it was all families and I imagine given the location and price etc. it will always be families.
Lodges to the hotel pool is a very short walk which was perfect for the kids. Closed at 7pm each evening but ideal for a splash about for an hour or so before dinner. (Also the showers were magic!)
LOCATION / LOCAL TOWN
Mount Wolseley Hotel is green all the way – Park land golf course, hedges, trees and tree lined avenues. There is a secluded feel to it and it’s surrounded by Carlow and Wicklow countryside. It’s about 1½ hours drive from Dublin, out thru Naas, take the M9 for Waterford and leave the M9 at junction 4 signposted Castledermot, Carlow North & Tullow.
Coming from South / Waterford direction – Leave the M9 at Junction 5, then at roundabout take the 1st exit onto the N80 (signposted Carlow). Continue following the road for approximately 2KM and at the roundabout take the second exit signposted for Tullow.
The hotel is situated about 3 minutes drive from main town Tullow, which is a busy little spot and has everything you will need to stock up, eat out, eat in or do a weekly shopping. At one end of the town there is Aldi, Supermacs, Indian Restaurant and filling station. Town centre has Supervalu, Takeaways, Apache Pizza (also serves Chinese food). If you fancy eating out, the Riverbank Restaurant Tullow is about 3 minute drive or 20 minute leisurely stroll from the hotel. The other end of town has Tesco, Lidl and another filling station.
As we were self catering, we didn’t eat in the hotel but Frederic’s restaurant there has a good menu, keenly priced and serving lots of local produce. Some good fish dish variety on the menu, along with the several meat and poultry dishes. Snug wine cellar off main restaurant was nice to see and offers an impressive selection. Daytime bar menu in Aaron lounge has lots on offer from club sandwiches, panini’s and kids menu. Evening menu here is also ample and the less formal layout is ideal for some quick bites with no fuss. Evening menu has salads, burgers, steak and also some nice desert options.
TV channels at lodges are via Saorview box providing Terrestrial and Satellite channels. There are some kids channels also which is ideal for the evening wind down.
Visited the lounge bar (as you do!) on the Saturday night we arrived and there was a relaxed atmosphere there, along with some easy listening solo entertainment. Nice pint of Guinness and staff friendly and chatty.
The Leisure Centre was a popular feature for our gang and we visited every day. Read some online comments about staff being a little ‘cold’ but I think these are older comments and Mount Wolseley have certainly addressed this issue. For the week we were there, we were met with good mornings, smiles, interaction and a real feeling of enjoy your time here. Honestly the staff at the Leisure centre could not have been more helpful, polite and courteous so a nod to them for this.
We didn’t use the spa facilities but from what I heard from other guests, it is all you would expect from a 4 star establishment. Check out more here >>
Soft Play Rooms
There’s a couple of indoor soft play rooms with some spongy pads and brightly coloured accessories. It was clean but had a ‘well used’ appearance. With 3 kids ourselves, our own house at home has a very similar appearance!. They’ll get a hour out of it but that’s about it. There’s plenty of walking outdoors which we did on a couple of evenings and a nice little circular pagoda overlooking the approach fairway and our kids were happy to simply wander around this. Within the main hotel complex, above the Golf Shop, there’s an older kids room that has Xbox and some other gadgets. Honest opinion here is that it needs to be revamped!
Linen / Cleaning
In lodges, all bed clothes and linen etc. were spotless on our arrival. No issue here. Unlike a hotel experience, there is nobody visiting your house for cleaning during the day so like at home (kids listening??!!) it’s up to you to maintain and look after it. There was a large hotpress with some additional towels. For the week we were there, we were using towels every day bringing them to and from the leisure centre.
We didn’t get to play it but it’s a beautiful 18-hole parkland golf course designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr. and voted as one of the top 25 courses in Ireland. See more >>
A weeks stay in the Mount Wolseley Holiday Lodges, depending on season will cost between 850euro and 1100euro, plus the 10euro per day electricity surcharge.
Overall comments: Liked the lodges. Lack of Internet access disappointing but available in main hotel. Lodges perfect as a base for your family. Clean, comfortable, spacious and quiet. DayOut.ie are happy to recommend 🙂