Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Central Hotel in Tullamore ~ Our Midweek Midterm Escape!

If you’re a regular reader round these parts you may remember I wrote a post of my top buys under €50 for Mother’s Day. OK, I admit I bought most of them for myself, while researching the post but that's an occupational hazard when you're writing about great travel deals. One of those deals was €49 for one night B&B in the Central Hotel in Tullamore via escapes.ie. I bought the two night option and paid €89 for two nights B&B for two people, with two children under 12 staying free. The offer also included a free bottle of sparkling wine, if you dined in their restaurant.

As my husband works away from home a lot, I decided to take our five children on my own down to Tullamore for a two day break over the Easter school holidays. First impressions of the hotel were great, we received a lovely warm welcome from Garry and were advised when and where breakfast would be served before being directed to our room. The Central Hotel really is aptly named and located in central Tullamore. There’s ample on street parking out front and to the side of the hotel. I was lucky there was a Lidl directly across the road as I made the rookie mistake of forgetting to pack spare nappies for the baby. There’s a Dominos and a chipper within a few steps of the hotel entrance too so snack options are there.

Spacious Rooms in the Central Tullamore

At check in I was advised that I was given one of the best rooms in the hotel, it was a spacious family room with plenty of space even after a roll out bed and baby cot were added. We had a lovely view of a public park from our window, at night with the window open we could hear the water splashing in the water feature, a nice relaxing way to drift off to sleep. Breakfast is served in the restaurant which also has a view of the park as it’s located to the rear of the hotel. 

Continental breakfast is served buffet style while a server will take your order for a cooked breakfast. The first morning my daughter chose an omelette, staff were really helpful and the chef made her a child sized portion. The rest of us had variations of a full Irish breakfast and, while it was tasty I opted for an omelette the second morning and it was so delicious I regretted not having it the first morning too!

Smiles all 'round at breakfast time in Tullamore

Unfortunately our evening meal in O’Malley’s Restaurant did not live up to expectations. The children’s menu consisted of the usual sausages/nuggets/burgers and chips, while they did have a pasta option, it was served with a plain tomato sauce. My twin daughters decided to share an adult portion of Carbonara and thankfully there was no issue with doing this. My sons both chose burgers and chips while I went for their special of a steak sandwich with pepper sauce, salad and chips. I also ordered a baby bowl (soup and mash) for my youngest son.

Lorcan appreciating the snack options in Tullamore - so much so that he tried to get started, while backs were turned!
The restaurant was very quiet the night we dined; there were only two other tables occupied. One by a couple and the other by a lone diner, despite this service was extremely slow. Little things like having to remind our waiter to bring the baby bowl as soon as he could as the baby was getting hungry and I was anxious that he’d disturb the other diners and having to remind him to bring back the baby’s bottle after he heated it. While my children enjoyed their dinner, unfortuantely I did not, there was more gristle than steak on the ciabatta and no pepper sauce but rather a couple of dots of bottled BBQ sauce. I advised the waiter of this when he eventually came to take our plates; his response was that I should have told him. I decided against dessert but the children all wanted some ice cream so they ordered a scoop each, which we weren't charged for.

The Central Hotel restaurant - Tullamore
After a long wait, I resorted to sending my daughter out to the bar to find our waiter so we could ask for our bill, after receiving it and waiting a further 20 minutes to pay I decided to go pay at reception as I wanted to get the children to bed and couldn’t wait any longer. On the way to reception we found our waiter in the bar chatting. I paid our bill of €40 and expressed my dissatisfaction at being charged for my meal which I didn’t eat. In fairness, when I got back to the room I received a call from the duty manager to advise the price of my meal would be credited to our room account. As I had prepaid our room and we had no other bill I decided to just leave them with the credit as we checked out.

Overall I would recommend the Central Hotel in Tullamore as it’s a bright modern spacious hotel ideally located in the heart of Tullamore. Each member of staff we met was lovely, really friendly and helpful. Our room was spotless, spacious and comfortable. Breakfast was tasty and fresh, it was just our evening dining experience that put a dampener on our stay. However, we all have off days so I wouldn't rule out staying there again.

Pop back next week when I’ll tell you all about what we got up to in Tullamore and further afield over the course of our two day break. 

Tell us, have you stayed in The Central Hotel before? Or do you choose a different hotel when staying in the County Offaly town? 

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