Not every family is 2+2. Some have the gall to have three children. Or four. Or – shock, horror – more!
nd yet it sometimes feels like the family holiday industry is built around the number four. If that’s you, it clicks. If not, well… you’ve probably spent countless hours online learning that it doesn’t.
“We have four children under 10, and it’s very hard to find a nice hotel that can cater for this size of a family plus have space to walk around the room,” says mum Jacqueline Kelly. “Most hotels just offer us two rooms.”
“A couple of years ago, I booked a family room in a hotel in Dublin,” says another mum, Ruth Hegarty. “When I mentioned [that we have] three children, they told me that ‘for insurance reasons’ they could not have more than four in the room. I had to book two rooms, at nearly double the cost.”
Interconnecting rooms are one fix, but can ramp up costs (though it’s always worth asking for a discount on the second room).
Families of five are more likely to find single rooms that fit with camp-beds or bunks, but if you’re a party of six or more, the going is tough. Lots of online drop-down menus only allow you to select limited kids, and ages max out at 12.
For ‘non-standard’ bookings, it’s generally best to book direct, and by phone (both to discuss your individual needs, and for options not listed online, like unusually large rooms or apartments).
But this can be a hassle, too.
“What I found most frustrating was I ended up emailing the hotels directly,” says Carol McKeown from Co Meath. “It made the booking process so much more drawn out and most responses were that they could not accommodate five in a room and very few actually have interconnecting rooms…
“My only holidays in Ireland in the future will realistically be glamping/camping, as hotels are just not worth the money or the stress!”
That’s a shame, because one of the joys of hotels are their facilities – pools, kids’ clubs, breakfast buffets, bars… all in one place. Of course, you can book an Airbnb or self-cater. Hostels and glamping lodges are options. But they are different types of holiday. Large families like hotel breaks, too.
So how can you book a big room, without the expense?
Below are lists of hotels sleeping six or more, or five or more in Ireland (prices show different midweek and Saturday rates in autumn, and are subject to availability – they may be higher during school holidays like summer and mid-term, for example).
Irish hotel rooms sleeping six or more
1. Diamond Coast Hotel, Co Sligo
The Enniscrone four-star has family suites sleeping up to eight in two doubles, a double bunk, camp bed and cot if required. “We can boast that we have the largest family rooms in the West of Ireland,” says manager Michael Yates. A separation wall allows for “semi-privacy” between adults and kids , and there are two separate TVs to boot, with Netflix and in-house games. Prices range from €179 midweek to €289 on peak Saturdays; 096 26000; diamondcoast.ie
2. Amber Springs, Co Wexford
Previously named Ireland’s top family-friendly hotel in our Reader Travel Awards, this Gorey four-star has 48 family suites, with “family dens” including a double bed in the main room and a separate, private internal kids area with two sets of bunk beds and “a heavy duty blackout curtain” for privacy. 65m2 open-plan family suites have a double, two singles and you can add a cot or camper bed. B&B from €214 to €337 for six in the dens. ambersprings.ie
3. 360 Quay Stay, Co Waterford
The largest family room at this new Dungarvan stay sleeps up to seven adults in a double, two singles, bunk and pull-out bed. “We felt there was no place in the town to accommodate large families or groups, especially on a one- to two-night stay,” says Tiarnán Murray. It’s dog-friendly, too (recently featuring in our ‘Ruff Guide’ to dog-friendly Ireland). Family rooms sleeping five from €160; large rooms from €210 to €230, room-only. 058 3646; 26 60stay.ie
4. Marine Hotel, Co Antrim
This Ballycastle four-star has two beach house family rooms that can sleep five in a double, a three-sleeper bunk and space to add in a cot or camp bed, making it popular with larger families. B&B from £155/€180 to £175/€205. +44 (0)28 2076 2222; marinehotelballycastle.com
5. Breaffy House Resort, Co Mayo
Larger family rooms include bunk beds – the largest has a double bed and double bunks (i.e. sleeping two on each level, or four children in total). B&B from €129 to €209. 094 902-2023; breaffyhouseresort.com
6. Glenview Hotel, Co Wicklow
Executive family rooms at this four-star near Kilmacanogue cater for up to four kids (though it stipulates they should be under 12… something worth checking everywhere). B&B rates range from €269 to €350, and you should contact the hotel directly to book. 01 274-0000; glenviewhotel.com
7. Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny
This Kilkenny four-star’s Club rooms can sleep up to six with a double, single, bunks and pull-out sofa, it says. Overnight B&B stays for a family of six start from €219 to €279, depending on the month. Family dining can be added from €55 total for four and €8 per subsequent child. kilkennyormonde.com
8. Midleton Park Hotel, Co Cork
A recently refurbed family suite has a king, queen and bunks sleeping six in total. Rates at the Midleton four-star start from €209 to €269 per night. 021 436-5100; midletonpark.com
9. Mill Park Hotel, Co Donegal
“We have two rooms that can sleep up to six people and still have place for a cot,” this four-star in Donegal town says – the basic configuration is a double and four singles, and the rooms were recently refurbished. Contact the hotel directly to discuss. B&B from €225 to €300. 074 972-2880; millparkhotel.com
10. Camden Court Hotel, Dublin
The city hotel’s largest family rooms can sleep up to two adults and four children (up to 12 years) in a double and one or two double sofa beds. Rates from €145 to €205 per night (breakfast extra at €13pp). 01 475-9666; camdencourthotel.com
11. Galway Bay Hotel, Co Galway
“We have really large family rooms here that can accommodate up to six,” the hotel says. The configuration is one double, two singles, one camp-bed “with a proper mattress” and an additional cot or camp bed. Rates from €199 to €320 per night for two adults, plus €46 per child over the age of three. 091 514-644; galwaybayhotel.net
12. Glenavon House Hotel, Co Tyrone
The four-star Cookstown hotel has family rooms that sleep two adults and up to four children in a double and four single beds. B&B costs €205 per night. +44 (0)288 676-4949; glenavonhotel.com
Irish hotel rooms sleeping six, with a cot
13. Riverside Hotel, Co Wexford
The Enniscorthy four-star can sleep five in its superior family rooms, with the addition of a cot making six (extras include additional TVs and headsets for kids – some have dividing walls). Rates from €162 midweek to €242 at weekends. 053 923-7800; riversideparkhotel.com
14. Hodson Bay Hotel, Co Roscommon
Newly refurbished family rooms at this popular lakeside resort include two doubles, one single and space for a travel cot. B&B for six from €367 to €477. 090 644-2005; hodsonbayhotel.com
15. Roe Park Resort, Co Derry
The four-star golf and spa resort has newly refurbished family suites that can sleep up to six with a king-size bed, two singles, a sofa bed and “ample room for cots.” B&B rates from €280 to €403. +44 (0)28 777 22222; roeparkresort.com
16. Sheraton Athlone, Co Westmeath
Family rooms have two double beds and a large sofa bed – in total these can be arranged to sleep a family of six, with a cot placed in the room. B&B from €305 to €405. 090 645-1000; marriott.com
17. Connacht Hotel, Galway
Bunk Bed Family Rooms sleep a max of five (from €170 midweek), but family suites offer self-catering options with a double and adjoining bedroom with a double and single – you can add a cot to sleep six (from €200 midweek). The Connacht Cruiser RV (see video) is an American-style motorhome sleeping up to eight from €250 a night; with a two-night minimum. Read our Connacht Hotel review here. 091 381-200; theconnacht.ie
NB: In addition, the Maldron hotels in Wexford and in Smithfield and Parnell Square in Dublin, as well as the Clayton in Sligo and Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford, tell me they have rooms that can sleep families of 2+4 “or more, including camp bed availability”. See maldronhotels.com and claytonhotels.com.
Irish hotel rooms sleeping five
18. Kingston’s Townhouse, Kilorglin, Co Kerry: A family room at this bar and townhouse sleeps five across a double and three singles. “We are a family of five ourselves so felt it was important when designing the townhouse,” the owners say. 066 976-1178; kingstonstownhouse.com
19. Clonakilty Park Hotel, Co Cork: Family rooms sleep five; apartments and holiday homes are available too (with use of the leisure club). clonakiltyparkhotel.ie
20. Garryvoe Hotel, Co Cork: Family rooms include one double, two singles and one fold-up bed (suitable for kids up to age 10). garryvoehotel.com
21. Vienna Woods Hotel, Cork: Family rooms have one double bed and three single beds – this can take up to five adults. viennawoodshotel.com
22. Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Adare, Co Limerick: Regular superior rooms can take up to two adults and three children, the hotel says. woodlands-hotel.ie
23. Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan: The Monaghan four-star has family rooms with a double and single, plus the choice of bunk beds, couch bed, or camp beds. hillgrovehotel.com
24. Holiday Inn, Dublin Airport: 42m2 king rooms feature a king-size double and a sofa bed suitable for two children aged 12 and under; a cot or fold-out can be added. holidayinn.com/dublinairport
25. Treacy’s West County, Ennis, Co Clare: Family bunk rooms sleep five – children up to age 13 are included in the family rates. treacyswestcounty.com
26. Great National South Court, Limerick: “We have some family rooms here at that cater for a family of five with a double bed and three singles,” the hotel says. southcourthotel.com
27. The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim: Luxury twins & family rooms can accommodate a family of five, the hotel says. thelandmarkhotel.com
28. Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare: Superior family rooms have a double, single and pull-out sofa bed sleeping two small children. glenroyal.ie
29. Inn at Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co Clare: The 3-star has rooms with a double and three singles (these haven’t been refurbished), or doubles and two singles with a cot. theinnatdromoland.ie
30. Emmet Hotel, Clonakilty, Co Cork: One of the hotel’s family rooms has a double and three singles. emmethotel.com
31. Radisson Hotel, Limerick: 32m2 family rooms feature one double and three single beds. radissonhotels.com
32. Brandon House Hotel, New Ross, Co Wexford: Ground floor superior family rooms have a double, two singles and “a sturdy sleeper sofa bed” with room for a cot, too. brandonhousehotel.ie
33. Charleville Park Hotel, Co Cork: Open-plan superior family suites have one king bed and two singles, with “ample space for extra camp beds and cots”. charlevilleparkhotel.com
34. Ardilaun Hotel, Galway: This four-star has superior family rooms that can sleep five (king, single, sofa bed) and a family suite with two rooms. theardilaunhotel.ie
35. Coach House Hotel, Ballymote, Co Sligo: Up to five people can stay in family rooms, with a double, two singles and a camp bed. coachhousesligo.com
Family travel blogger Sinéad Fox has a great list of hotels in Ireland with rooms for families with three or more kids on her blog, bumblesofrice.com.
In addition, I’m adding other hotels that contact us here:
Holyrood Hotel, Co Donegal: Family rooms can accommodate two adults and up to four kids – with a double, two singles and additional camp beds, for example. B&B rates from €129 midweek to €189 at weekends, with a two-night minimum stay. holyroodhotel.com
Creggan Court Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath: The midlands hotel has family rooms with room for up to six in a double, single and up to two camp beds and a cot if required. B&B from €117 midweek and €164 on a Saturday night. creggancourt.com
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