So a few months ago, myself and my boyfriend got an invite to our friend’s wedding in the Doolin Hotel, County Clare. Since we were going to be taking a few days off for the wedding, we decided why not take a few days extra and make a mini holiday out of it? I have never had a massage before so I suggested that we go to a nice hotel somewhere on the way to Clare with spa treatments available.
We began looking up hotels in Galway, Limerick and other areas when we came across somewhere we had never heard of before, The Twelve Hotel in Barna, Co.Galway. It looked absolutely beautiful, modern and relaxing and also had some good deals.We ended up booking a Wednesday night here for €250 which included a superior room in the 4 star hotel, a three course meal, breakfast, a late check out and two back, neck and shoulder massages in their spa!
So on Wednesday we pulled up to the gorgeous little town that is Barna, the sun was scorching and we were greeted by, honestly, the friendliest staff we have ever came across. They were so welcoming and chatty and offered us juice and brought us all the way to our door. We opened the door to find a gorgeous room, with a lovely view, a king size bed, an ipod docking station, a mini fridge full of beers and champagne etc and the best part of all, a card with a welcoming message to us and some freshly baked cakes and chocolates from the hotels very own bakery! We knew then we were in for a treat (excuse the pun).
They told us to get changed into our robes and make our way down to the Le Petit spa. Damien went first while I waited in the room and helped myself to some beers. The lovely masseuse, Lorraine then came to the room to bring me down for my treatment. I explained to Lorraine that I have never had a massage before and I get bad back pain from work etc. Lorraine was so welcoming and friendly and made me feel so comfortable the whole time. The massage was amazing and I felt so relaxed and refreshed after. I could feel all the knots loosening in my back and shoulders, it felt amazing. I left with so many tips from Lorraine, from where to shop, what to order in the restaurant and lots of tips about the skincare range they use ‘VOYA’. I could have came back for the treatment all over again the next day!
I then went back to the room and we got ready for dinner in the Pins restaurant. There are two restaurants in the hotel, ‘The Pins’ which is the bar menu and ‘The West’ which is more of a restaurant type of setting. We never went to The West as we were only here for one night so I unfortunately can’t comment on the food there, but I imagine it would be delicious. I love my food and I always look up the menu before I go to the restaurant and decide what I’m having since I’m ridiculously indecisive, especially if it’s a good menu. I looked up the bar first on instagram and saw photos of the camembert starter which looked incredible and some prawn and chorizo skewers with flatbeard which looked equally as good. My mouth was watering when I was handed the menu until I realised that because we had gotten the deal with the meal included, the menu was slightly different (only slightly smaller) but my two favourite things were gone from the menu! This was literally the only negative part of the whole night. Although I’m sure the chef would have given it to me I didn’t want to be annoying so I ordered the honey glazed and bbq wings for the starter and the steak and chips with pepper sauce for the main. I was actually almost happy that the choice for the menu changed at this point as they were the best wings I’ve ever had and the steak was cooked to perfection. The meal was amazing from start to finish and Damien felt the same. The kitchen was right beside the table so you could see your food being freshly prepared which is obviously great and they had their own wood stove pizza oven and Damien said the pizza was to die for! I then asked the waiter for the orange genoise cake for dessert and he replied ‘trust me, get the bread and butter pudding with caramel sauce’ so I listened and it was beautiful, the caramel sauce was amazing and the pudding was nothing like I expected, it was fresh and air-like. The waiters were once again, extremely friendly and made the meal that much more enjoyable.
We then moved on to The Pins bar for drinks where they have over 500 drinks to choose from! this is no lie, there is easily 50 different whiskeys, gins, vodkas, cocktails, you name it! I opted for a pornstar martini and they gave me a glass of Prosecco along with it to ease the bitterness so I enjoyed both. I then got a bellini which was lovely too. I could have tried every cocktail. They also tell you to drink a lot of water after a massage to avoid dehydration, which of course we didn’t do so maybe try and drink water in between to avoid the hangover, since we regretted that. We had such a good night here, I would recommend even coming to try the food even If you’re not staying in the hotel.
The next morning, while we were checking out we noticed that they had an area for pets. It turns out it is a pet friendly hotel so if you want to bring your dog/cat etc along for the weekend you can. Although if animals aren’t your thing, it wouldn’t matter as we didn’t see one animal the whole time. I assume they have a pet friendly seperate side to the hotel.
When finished checking out, the receptionist offered us a free coffee in their bakery. We went around to the bakery and they had an amazing selection of fresh cakes to choose from, along with sweets and homemade chocolates. So we got some for the road. We also then noticed they have a pizzeria outdoors connected to the pins restaurant where you can get takeout pizza. This was called Pizza Dozzina. I loved all the nice little touches to the hotel. It really is a hidden gem. The only thing I missed was not having a pool, but I suppose if the weather was good, the beaches make up for that.
We had to put our stay to a quick finish as we moved onto Clare for the rest of the weekend, however I would 100% perfect return to this hotel and would love to see Barna and it’s beautiful beaches properly. It is a stunning hotel, with lovely views in itself but the finishing touches, amazing food and lovely staff made it a goldmine for me. Barna, we will be back! 🙂
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