So I was sent to Ballina for work and booked into the Downhill.
I arrived on the Bus Eireann coach [route 22 from Dublin via the Airport] and found that the train station is next door to the coach station. The hotel is on the outskirts of town, and would be a problem for walking with luggage or for the infirm. I took a taxi which costs about €6.
The hotel is set in its own grounds with ample car parking and a lovely river just across the road. Check-in was quick and the receptionist pleasent. My room was overlooking the aforementioned grounds and was large with plenty of space. The bathroom/toilet was clean and neat with both shower cubicle and a bath. The bedroom was clean but the carpet, being beige, showed signs of stains. The TV had about 10 channels and the room was supplied with tea/coffee and ironing board. The bed was comfortable although a little on the firm side which didn't bother me.
There is a gym/swimming pool attached which is free to hotel guests. There are weights and a good selection of cardio machines for use upstairs. Downstairs there is a space for exercises and during my visit a number of local members were doing aerobics to music there. The pool is not too big and difficult to swim lengths as it is oval shaped. There is a paddling pool for small children. For relaxation after a workout there is a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi in the pool area. One downside to the pool area, especially for the sauna users, is the lack of a drinking fountain - so bring a bottle of water.
Dinner was in the bar. There seemed to be very few guests in the hotel so I reckon it made sense to fed the guests in the bar to reduce costs. The menu had a good selection of starters and mains and these were well varied to cater for different tastes. The food was good and welcome after the workout and sauna! I had the Guinness which was well served too!
Breakfast was the usual affair of fruits and/or cereals with a selection of juices to start. Tea/Coffee & toast was brought out and there were other breads and scones with preserves available at the buffet. I had the fry and I'm sure I heard someone else ask for porridge. The breakfast filled me for most of the day.
Overall, the impression I had was of a well run operation but suffering somewhat from the current economic downturn and consequent lack of business. The place was very quiet save for the few locals using the gym/swim [which I was told cost €100 for 3 months] and the aerobics. The bar, where I had dinner had only three guests in. There seemed to be a conference ongoing somewhere but I didn't meet any of these people but heard them depart from the car park after I had gone to bed. I did notice an award for Best 3 star Hotel in 2012 posted.
The Downhill Hotel would be an ideal hideaway for a quiet break.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in tranquil gardens near the banks of the River Moy in Ballina, Co. Mayo the Twin Trees Hotel (formallyDownhill House Hotel) is a family owned and managed hotel. The Moylett Family have been welcoming guests since 1936 and are proud of the excellent reputation the hotel has achieved over the years. Hospitality is a Mayo tradition and nowhere is the family tradition more honoured than at the newly renovated Twin Trees Hotel & Leisure Club (formally The Downhill House Hotel). With 55 comfortable bedrooms set in idyllic gardens within a 10 minute walk into Ballina town. Facilities include leisure Centre with indoor pool, Frogs Piano Bar, and excellent homemade locally sourced produce. Situated close to 3 golf links, Knock Shrine, 45 minute drive to Knock Airport. A long tradition of Irish Warmth & Hospitality awaits you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Downhill Hotel Ballina