The Falls Hotel: Ennistymon, Co Clare

Living in Limerick has its advantages. Everywhere is a short driving distance. A few weekends ago my husband John and I decided to take a few days out of our busy working schedules and spend time as a family away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We decided upon a short weekend in the Ennistymon/Lahinch area of Co. Clare. My husband John’s family spend summers in Lahinch and after returning to Ireland last May we too fell in love with the area.

After deciding on a spot to visit we immediately knew where we would stay. The Falls Hotel and Spa in Ennistymon came highly recommended to us in the past so this was just the excuse we were looking for to stay overnight. We packed the kids (Colum, 2 and Sadie 11-months) into the car on a Saturday morning and headed to Clare.

If its peace, tranquility and a feeling to serenity one’s after then a weekend at the Falls hits the spot.  Overlooking the gushing waters of River Inagh, the Falls is perched up high dominating the wonderful countryside.

The four-start hotel is renowned for weddings in the West of Ireland (voted best Munster wedding venue of the year in 2012) and it’s easy to see why. It’s an intimate venue that has class, comfort and definition. There isn’t a couple in Ireland that wouldn’t appreciate the personal attention given to them on their special day. The staff at the hotel, from the front desk to the managers, are friendly, professional and are on hand to help with the smallest things. The weekend we visited the hotel there was a wedding being celebrated and after meeting some of the guests who stayed the night they weren’t disappointed. They raved about the wonderful food, attention to detail and the overall venue went down a treat.

The hotel itself lies within the walls of an eighteenth century medieval castle. The castle saw the O’Briens, the Finucanes and the MacNamaras make their mark on the place but now the McCarthy’s (since 1986) are running the show and doing a fine job of it. They purchased the 20-bedroom hotel in 1986 and have since extended it to 140 bedrooms, two restaurants, a bar, conference and banqueting room and more recently a leisure club containing a gym, swimming pool and a massive spa facility, called the River Spa.

For those visiting from abroad, the hotel provides the perfect location to access a multitude of west coast attractions including the Aillwee Cave, Cliffs of Moher, Burren Region, Burren Interpertative Centre and Doolin Cave. On this particular occasion we didn’t visit any of the above but an afternoon in the seaside town of Lahinch opened up our eyes to surfing. Dozens of men and women took to the boisterous waves on the cold Saturday afternoon drawing dozens more onlookers. My 2-year-old son was in awe of what he witnessed before his eyes.

After an afternoon of strolling and eating I relaxed into a mini facial and massage at the River Spa, so aptly named. There I met several women (and one man) who raved about the treatments they received. While I lapped up the relaxation, John took the kids swimming in the pool. They were in their element. Afterwards we took a trip to the games room where Colum interacted with some of the age appropriate games and our daughter Sadie just looked on.

That night we dined in one of the hotels three eateries, the Cascades Restaurant. The layout was perfect for family style dining. There was ample room for strollers and the space between tables was enough that our sometimes energetic kids were not interfering with other people’s dining experience. The food was second to none and we cleaned the plates. I would also have liked to have tried out their Thai River Restaurant but that’s one for another night, maybe when we have time for romance.

We will be returning to the hotel in the summer for John’s cousin’s wedding and this time the kids will be at home so it will be a different type of experience. We look forward to our visit back to the Falls.

The Falls Hotel: Ennistymon, Co Clare, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)65 707 1004 Fax: +353 (0)65 707 1367. Website-  Email: