This is a review of the Hilton Templepatrick hotel, in Northern Ireland. We stayed here for two nights in April 2017 and had an excellent experience. This is how we got on.
Last week, myself and the kids went on a little adventure. My husband was in Madrid, so I decided i would make this mummy-and-us weekend special and planned a road trip to Norther Ireland.
For an extra special time, we enlisted the company of the Italian grandmother and, on a sunny Friday afternoon, we set off to our multi generational holiday.
Many reason made me choose Northern Ireland as a family destination. It is a short drive up from Dublin, where we are based. It is home of world famous attractions such as the Giant’ Causeway and the vibrant city of Belfast, full of indoors attractions in case of bad weather.
Last but not least, it offered what seemed to me an excellent family friendly accommodation option, the Hilton Templepatrick hotel, an establishment boasting an enviable location, beautiful rooms and onsite amenities such as family friendly restaurants and pool.
The Hilton Templepatrick hotel: location and arrival
The Hilton Templepatrick is a hotel and golf resort just to the North of Belfast. It is close to Belfast international airport (20 minutes drive from Belfast city centre) and is surrounded by beautiful, green grounds.
The hotel is in a great location both if you are looking to stay put and relax and to explore. If you are looking to get rest, the hotel is somewhat a destination in itself: onsite, you have nice rooms, cafe’, restaurants, a swimming pool and of course its beautiful golf course.
If you prefer to explore, from here you can easily drive to Belfast city or farther North, all the way to the Northern Ireland coastal route and breathtaking places such as the Giant’s Causeway.
We got to the Hilton Templepatrick in the late afternoon on Friday and parked in the (free) guest car park at the front.
My attention immediately went to the hotel, but the kids noticed a fenced lawn just in front of the hotel entrance and dashed that way to see if there were any animals to spot. They were in luck: this time of the year they found some sheep and super cute lambs!
After a few minutes with the lambs, I was itching to go see our rooms and finally walked in.
The Hilton Templepatrick has a beautiful wide reception area, opening to a bar with terrace overlooking the golf course.
Check in procedures were fast and efficient and the staff incredibly friendly: they involved the kids’ teddies in all conversations and Little Ms E was delighted to see her panda welcome as a guest!
The rooms at the Hilton Hotel Templepatrick
We had booked two separate rooms, one for myself and the kids and one for my mum.
My mum got a nice room on the first floor while ours was on the second. They were both similar in decor and had very comfortable beds and a large bathroom.
The main difference between ours and hers was the size and the view. My mum’s room was perfect for one person or a couple, with one comfortable double bed, while ours had extra space to accommodate a family and was kitted out with one large double bed and a comfortable sofa bed for two.
A well as the extra space, our room ad the added advantage of a beautiful view over the golf course. If you can, do ask for a room with a view as especially on a sunny day, waking up to that view is very special!
The rooms are spacious and beautiful, without being over the top luxurious, a balance of elements I always appreciate in the Hilton hotels and that makes me go back to them over and over again.
I was expecting the kids to argue over what bed they would sleep in but their attention was caught by something else.
On our bed, they saw two very exciting welcome presents, just for them!
The presents consisted in a lovely red bag decorated with a bear and filled with activities (colouring sheets, word searched, puzzles etc) a water bottle and an object my kids are obsessed with: a rubber duckie!
The activities were perfect for them. With our little treasure, we walked downstairs to the bar and while I sipped a (delicious) cocktail the kids got to work on their puzzles.
Good to know. The hotel is very welcoming to children and they were quickly invited by the staff to have a good run around the terrace. They reassured me about the area being car free and offered additional colouring equipment for when they wanted to rest. I really enjoyed this relaxed vibe as it allowed the kids to have fun under my supervision without having to compromise my ‘down’ time.
The hotel offers several dining options and over the course of our two days there there we tried a couple of them.
The first night, we had dinner at the cafe. Here you can choose between indoors and outdoors seating and you have a good bar menu with choices for adults and kids.
The food menu is not extensive but has option to suit all tastes, from fish and chips (delicious!), to curry, pizza and a very tasty plate of lasagna. The drink menu is generous and the quality of the cocktails high: I don’t drink much but when I do, I want the one glass I pick to be amazing and the Negroni I ordered didn’t disappoint.
The bar is open for food for lunch and dinner and we had meals here on two occasions, once inside and once outside.
The other restaurant we tried was our favourite and the one that, looking back, we should have probably chosen for both nights. Located just beside the bar and overlooking the same lovely terrace, the restaurant has a very nice menu and hits the family friendly note perfectly with a kids-eat free policy and a kids buffet. This is where you have both breakfast and dinner.
When I asked my kids about the favourite part of the weekend they had no doubt: breakfast in the hotel!
I was surprised considering I had panned pretty exciting days our for them but I can understand why breakfast at the Hilton Templepatrick went down so well. The hotel has a lovely hot and cold buffet with a good selection of cereals, pastry, bread and an offering of several hot choices as well as juices, fresh fruit and yogurt.
Hot drinks are served directly to the table and I loved that I was given a full jug of coffee. I recently stayed in a (great) hotel in London and while the breakfast there was lovely and the hotel excellent, I had to call for each coffee refill, which was annoying and made breakfast at busy times a lengthy affair.
The little touch of the whole jug is the typical small thing that makes a huge difference: the kids busied themselves refilling their cereal bowls over and over again while I could get as caffeinated as I needed. A good start of the morning!
This restaurant is also open for dinner and this is where we came on our second night.
The dinner menu here is extensive and the course beautifully presented. Unlike the bar, which has a main menu and a kids menu, this restaurant caters for families in a different way and this is a kids buffet.
The kids buffet is organised like the breakfast buffet but it is specifically geared towards little guests. The offering has hot dished and they are all kids’ favourites. Among the things on offer there were small burgers, sausages, chicken nuggets and chips, then of course vegetables, bread, pizza and desserts (from jelly to chocolate muffins etc).
My kids went back and forth to the buffet about a million times and it was lovely to see them in charge of their meals: they surprised me picking mostly protein based stuff and quite a variety of it too!
I was my first time experience a hotel with children buffet for dinner and as I told in enthusiastic tones to pretty much anyone I met in the hotel, a stroke of genius. With a buffet, the parents can sit at the table and enjoy their meal and the kids can at the same time move about (they would anyway, so the buffet gave purpose to their wanderings!) and the selection of small bites meant they had a quite varied meal.
The other advantage of this set up is that even if your meal is slightly delayed, like it was in the case of my steak, which took a while to cook, the kids don’t fret: they can get their food before you and the pressure is off!
What to do in the area
The Hilton Templepatrick hotel is in a strategic position to visit Northern Ireland. During our weekend and without exhausting ourselves we were able to drive up to the coast and visit some of the country’s highlight. On the Saturday, we visited the Dark Hedges, The Carrick-a-rede bridge, the Giants Causeway and Dunluce castle. On the Sunday, we went the opposite directions and visited the Ulster folk and transport museum, which was a great hit with the kids.
It was a great adventure and the ability to stay in a hotel as welcoming as the Hilton Templepatrick made everything easy.
Should you be visiting Northern Ireland with kids, I highly recommend staying here. You can check availability and prices here and don’t forget to come back to this site next week, when we are going to review another Hilton property, this time in Dublin city!
Disclaimer: Our stay was partially sponsored by the Hilton Templepatrick hotel for the purpose of this review. However, the opinions expressed in this post are our own reflect out experience of the hotel only. This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only review and recommend products and services we have tried ourselves and feel will provide you with a good customer experience.