TRIP REPORT INDEX
Hen party hot spot. Great location and price.
This is an upscale Sheraton hotel in the center of Ireland. It's one of the few larger hotels in the area (in one of the few larger cities in the area) so it is used for weddings and events.
We stopped in Athlone, Ireland for 1 night only because there was a Starwood Hotel, it was inexpensive, and it was on the way to Galway. I would definitely stay here again.
There are only two Starwood hotels in Ireland: this one and the Westin Dublin, and I needed stays to maintain my Platinum Status. If not for this Sheraton, I probably would have driven south west from Dublin towards Cork instead. Althone is located about half way between Dublin and Galway and was a good stopping points after an overnight flight. There is not much for tourists to do here but plenty for a relaxing day – perfect for a jet lagged day. The surrounding areas are beautiful too!
Using SPG points, one night would have cost only 3,000 points vs $139 taxes included. The award redemption was an excellent value, but this time I decided to pay cash since Starwood offered me double elite stay credit for any paid stays this summer (and I want to make sure I hit platinum again this year).
BOOK A ROOM or STAY FREE
Want to stay for free? SPG American Express is offering a 25k point sign up bonus I just wrote about (only $3k spend instead of the usual $5k). Book this and other hotels at Booking.com (unless you need the elite stay credit or points, then be sure to book directly with SPG.com). These are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if use these links — many thanks in advance if you do!!
My Starwood Platinum status usually gets us upgraded to a nice suite. Not this time. Instead we had a corner Club Room. I was hoping to get one of the deluxe rooms or suites with panoramic views, however, I didn't bother to use one of my suite night upgrades as I knew I would not be there very long.
The views of overlooking the city of Athlone from the room…the clouds and rains were off and on.
A large modern bathroom with a tub and shower
The shower door – not so good. It didn't close completely and water leaked all over the floor.
The usual: Two free waters (with and without gas), coffee, etc.
It's tough not to get lost at first. Then again a couple times later. The hotel has a strange room numbering system because there are two different buildings. Our room, with a # in the 400's was on either the 7th or 8th floor. To get there, you had to go up the elevator in the lobby, cross through the pathway (pictured below) to the second building and take another elevator up. Everyone there was confused… it was quite funny to see people circle around looking for the correct elevator in the correct building.
As a Platinum member, the full Irish breakfast was included for free. Plenty of good options + blood pudding/sausage.
There is the blood sausage in the middle (black and white versions). I have tried this in the past…until I learned what it was.
Tangerines and yogurt. The yogurt with the Passion Fruit Coulis (probably fresh/locally made) was fantastic!
Real ORGANIC (I'm impressed) Maple Syrup to put on your mechanically produced (the machine behind to the left) pancakes. The syrup was good. The pancakes… meh… about as good as Holiday Inn (not impressed).
And a little bit of smoked salmon. I would expect amazing smoked salmon here but it fell short a bit.
THE CLUB LOUNGE
The lounge was closed due to a private event, unfortunately, but it was back to normal in the morning before we left. Platinum members have access to hang out and grab drinks and snacks here at anytime. While they were closed, they setup a station in the lobby bar with some scones and muffins. The scones were setup in these serving containers where when you open it, everything could come crashing down onto the floor. That's exactly what happened to me – the tray almost slipped out of my hands.
We grabbed a couple snacks and drinks.
The views from the lounge:
I didn't realize they had such a nice pool until I saw the pictures hanging in the lobby. I thought they were advertising a spa. It was, in fact, located right next to the gym where we worked out in the morning. If you have time, check it out.
Since we would not have access to a gym for a while, we fit in a quick workout before breakfast. Do you feel weird when you can't work out for a while? We do. This gym was fully equipped and even had free classes.
Have you been here? Did I miss anything?
My Cameras: These photos were taken using my Canon S110 Digital Camera (which has been replaced by the S120) as well as my larger Nikon D50. I love the S110 – it’s tiny, fits in my pocket, and takes amazing pictures/videos.
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