Half Term break at the Dunadry Hotel.
Half term this year was spent at the Dunadry Hotel in County Antrim and I have to say we have never stayed in a place steeped in such a fascinating history – this was a brilliant break for the kids with a history lesson thrown in for good measure!
To begin, the Dunadry itself means ‘Middle Fort’ – and this simply means the hotel was originally one of the middle forts that ran between two roads thought to have been used by Red Knights! The kids were enthralled with this story and the rest which followed. In the sixteen hundreds, the Dunadry took the form of a paper mill.
During the 19th century, the product from this wonderful place changed from paper to linen which turned the Dunadry into a very industrious little business and a village was formed around the Dunadry itself – complete with its own railway!
In 1986 the site was bought by the Mooney Family and the Dunadry Hotel took form. The Mooney family certainly made the most use of the layout with the bedrooms looking out over the gardens down to the old mill and river.
They have expertly kept the most striking unique characters yet developing the Hotel to the level of 4 star – making this the perfect place to stay!
I have included some of The Dunadry’s own photos but also some of my own – please read on and you will see how the Dunadry is simply a ‘must see’ place to visit with your family.
Although the Dunadry is a large building well spread out, the necessary amenities are rather close together making is suitable for a single parent visiting with kids like myself. I was able to haul all the overnight essentials (including an enormous plush dog Cait simply couldn’t leave home without) to the door from the easily assessable car-park. Despite our room just being a ‘stones through’ from the reception area, a very kind man ? manager ? porter insisted on helping us to the room. Isn’t the interior simply stunning? I loved the old style yet immaculate feel to the hotel with the wooden beams and staircase. All this wonderful history yet with free WiFi – perfect!
Our room was immaculate. The Dunadry call it a ‘family room’ and we had a very large bed with two single beds. This is what the room looked like on arrival:
…and this is after our invasion! The kids further hastened to ‘rearrange’ the room by removing both the bedside tables and pushing the three beds together. This was rather ingenious as no-one got up in the middle of the night to look for ‘mummy’ and when anyone rolled over or ‘tossed about’ in their sleep, the fact that I was on a different bed meant I got the best nights sleep in probably 12 years!! Thank you Dunadry!
Breakfast was just scrumptious. The younger kids were delighted with the cereal selection – I refuse to buy chocolate cereal at home so the Dunadry will always be remembered for their coco-pops!
Myself and ‘Miss Sensible’, my eldest daughter, opted for a cooked breakfast and it was so good having a wonder up to the buffet, selecting my food and returning to a table without having to cook, clean, wipe up and do dishes – in fact, I could do with a little treat like this once a month!
After our food we opted for an adventure. This was when we discovered the fascinating history and had a look at the original structures of the building and the gently inserted ‘modern’ additions.
Look at these little corks – for every bride and groom who shared their special day at the Dunadry, they have their names on a cork for all to view – my daughter took to reading every single one!
The long awaited pool trip followed this history lesson. The pool was located fairly close to the main reception but on the way out of the grounds. I soaked my body in the hot tub while the kids had fun – the Dunadry even had floats for children which was fab as my son is learning to swim and we had forgotten to bring his armbands.
So, the big question I always ask the most important people is:
‘Kids, will we give the Dunadry a huge ‘thumbs up’, a ‘maybe’ or a ‘no’?’
As you can see, it was a huge ‘thumbs up’ for the Dunadry Hotel. We will definitely return, hopefully sooner rather than later!
For further information visit www.dunadry.com