Thursday, February 13, 2020

Embrace a Shannonside Star: the Limerick Strand Hotel

Embrace a Shannonside Star: the Limerick Strand Hotel

The Limerick Strand Hotel has much going for it: a splendid location, terrific rooms, delicious locally based food and a top chef in Tom Flavin, and a splendid location. We appreciated all of those but we have to say that the staff here, from reception to bar, to the various dining rooms, are premier class, friendly and helpful.

They knew we were heading to the Milk Market on Saturday morning so they handed us a brochure and, as it turned out, there was a little map in the room as well with the market highlighted. But it wasn’t just for us. We saw numerous examples as they interacted with other guests, the bar staff making a toddler feel at home, the restaurant staff chatting and helpful to a foreign family. 
Just one small part of the superb breakfast offering.

Our room was on the third floor and we used the lifts all the time, never a bother, all working perfectly. The room itself was splendid with great views from the large floor-to-ceiling window out over the mighty Shannon. It had all we needed, comfortable chairs, TV, Wifi, Controllable Air Conditioning, Tea/Coffee Making Facilities, a cooler, Hairdryer, Iron/Ironing Board, Bottled mineral water and more, including 24 hour room service. 

All guests at the Limerick Strand Hotel enjoy daily laundry service, and access to the Energize Health Club with 20m pool. Our bathroom was top class, with separate bath and shower and Paul Costello toiletries.

Let there be light!
The decor in rooms and corridors and open spaces is excellent. There’s a chandelier that stretches over two floors and also a spectacular display of county jerseys. We had a beautiful large scale picture of King John’s Castle on one wall of our room.

The bar is long and very comfortable with its own food menu. Doors can be opened in the good weather. And while you can get all the mainstream drinks here - I enjoyed a Jack Daniels nightcap - they also support local and a couple of pints of ale from the local Treaty City Brewery (you’ll find that over by King John's Castle) went down well earlier.

No shortage of food here and they have two main restaurants. One is the Terrace Bar & Restaurant which is a stylish place to meet throughout the day and evening in an informal riverside setting. This was where we had an excellent dinner and you may read all about the experience here…
King John's Castle

The River Restaurant is another special dining room, again overlooking the magnificent River Shannon and again with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce. It is a great spot for breakfast and for Sunday lunch and more.

And it was here that we had breakfast, one of the very best hotel breakfasts that we’ve come across. No wonder they won Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Irish Breakfast Awards. Many more awards as well as you may read here

From our table, we could indeed see the Shannon below but, at this point we were really interested in the food, much of it sourced locally. You could ladle your porridge (Flahavan’s Jumbo Oats) from a large pot and spoon on some honey from a full Croom honeycomb alongside. Lots of cereals (including a Gluten Free selection) available too, seeds and yogurts and more. And a splendid selection of fruit. Breads and pastries from the in-house bakery. There were juices galore and even a smoothie station.

I enjoyed the muesli and a scatter of seeds while CL selected a plateful of fruit and that was a very good start. The staff again were very helpful, getting the teas and coffees out sharply and offering to take our order to the chef station. You could also order direct from the station yourself, egg dishes, omelettes, and pancakes all available.

If you wanted the Full Irish, all you had to do was help yourself from the buffet. It was the Cheese (including Cashel Blue) and Cold Meats that caught our eyes and we each filled a plate from a choice that included Chicken breast, sliced Irish ham, chorizo, salamis, Silver Darling Pickled Herrings, some leaves and relishes too. Splendid stuff and a great start to the day!

The hotel is easily found. You’ll see it as you cross the Sarsfield Bridge. It’s on the left and, after passing the main building, turn left immediately for the car park which is underground. You pay €8.50 for 24 hour parking. There is a lift up to reception.
Sarsfield Bridge and the Strand Hotel

The location is terrific for visiting Limerick city itself. Main attractions such as King John’s Castle, the Hunt Museum, and the Milk Market are just a walk away. This being Ireland, you’ll get various estimates. For instance, different people told us the Milk Market was  anywhere between three and seven minutes. As it turned out, we strolled over and forgot all about the time! Definitely more than three minutes though! And we were a lot slower coming back with our bags full! It was well worth it. As is a visit to Limerick and a stay at the Strand!


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