Looking for inspiration for your next staycation? From family friendly activities to soothing spa treatments, I’ve got 10 reasons why you should choose Breaffy House Resort in Mayo.
We spent three wonderful nights as guests of Breaffy House Resort. The staff were so friendly, the facilities top class, but most of all, there was a genuine holiday atmosphere throughout the hotel. Breaffy is aptly named a ‘resort’ hotel, and from the moment we arrived we were in holiday mode. There are outside tables overlooking the gardens, the perfect place to unwind with a pre or post dinner drink. We enjoyed listening to live music while the kids played happily – isn’t that what holidays are all about?
Breaffy House was built in Victorian style in 1890 and you can not help but admire its recessed facades, turrets, and extensive grounds. There are many reasons to choose Breaffy House Resort for your next staycation – here are my top ten.
1. There are two hotels to choose from, with a wide selection of hotel rooms, suites and apartments.
A member of Select Hotels of Ireland, Breaffy House Resort consists of two hotels on a 101-acre estate. The 4-Star Breaffy House Hotel and the 3-star Breaffy Woods Hotel are located just minutes from each other. You are welcome to use the facilities in both hotels, regardless of which hotel or room type you are staying in.
The Breaffy House Hotel has 106 bedrooms including luxury suites and large family rooms that sleep six. The Breaffy Woods Hotel was built in 2006, along with a sports and events area. This was designed with events and families in mind and has large family rooms and interconnecting family suites, as well as six spacious self-catering apartments – one of which we stayed in. You can see a full tour of our apartment on my Instagram highlights.
2. Breaffy House Resort is situated on 101 acres and there are delightful looped walks to enjoy.
Breaffy House Resort is beautifully set in 101 acres of wide-open space. There are forest trails as well as 2km, 3km and 5km looped walks. You can download maps that outline the routes and highlight 13 points of interest along the way. These include the remnants of the Walled Garden, Breaffy’s own beehives, as well as a delightful fairy trail beside the lake. We enjoyed a leisurely walk along the 5km trail, it is a lovely walk to start the day, before or after breakfast.
3. There is a Leisure Centre with swimming pool, gym, fitness classes and health suite.
I was really impressed with the 20 metre indoor swimming pool and kids pool in the Breaffy House Hotel. Pool slots needed to be pre-booked in advance, but this is standard practice during Covid-19. The numbers were restricted in the pool, so there was plenty of space. Bath robes are provided in your room so you can get dressed into your swimwear before you arrive at the pool – this avoids having to use the changing facilities.
The fully equipped gym and health suite with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi were closed during our visit, but they are expected to re-open later in the year. The Leisure Centre also run aqua aerobics and fitness classes – these are also expected to return, but please confirm availability with Breaffy directly before booking.
The Breaffy Club has held the White Flag Award since the club was established over 10 years ago. The White Flag Award is the quality mark that is endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation. It is the only industry quality standard for sports/leisure centres, gyms, health/fitness clubs, swimming pools & Spas.
4. Breaffy House Resort has four dining options and a Scandinavian BBQ Hut!
There are plenty of dining options available in Breaffy House Resort. We were delighted to learn that the breakfast buffet was still available! Breaffy have managed to follow Covid-19 guidelines by having staff serve food from the buffet stations without guests having to touch any food or utensils. So if you like a full Irish breakfast and plenty of buffet options, you will find it in Breaffy House Hotel. We also had a delicious lunch in Healy Mac’s Bar, and a relaxing dinner in the Mulberry Restaurant which overlooks the beautiful gardens.
Legends Bistro and Woods Bar are the dining options in Breaffy Woods Hotel, and although I didn’t personally get a chance to try them, we did enjoy some authentic Italian pizza from their in-house Pizzeria. If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can even host your own private BBQ in their new Scandinavian BBQ Hut!
5. There is a Spa with a choice of treatments available.
I visited Breaffy Spa before I checked out – this was a massive mistake! I had booked badly needed pedicure, (which was great by the way), however, what I should have booked was one of Breaffy Spa’s signature treatments. There are 12 treatment rooms, including two Dry Floatation therapy beds, a hydrotherapy bath, and what looked like a must-do if you are visiting Breaffy House Resort – their signature Rasul Mud Chamber.
You begin the treatment by applying a traditional eastern cleansing mud to your whole body, and then sit back and relax while the herbal steam soothes away all your stresses. This Rasul Mud Chamber sits up to 4 people so it is ideal for couples or friends, however you can also go it alone and prices are very reasonable. Price for four is €100, three is €85, two is €60 and solo is only €30.
The hydrotherapy bath has 252 powerful jets and I’m told 30 minutes on the the dry floatation bed is equivalent to eight hours bed rest – I’m sorry to say I didn’t try this either…
6. Breaffy House Resort is very family friendly.
From the minute we checked-in, we could see how family friendly Breaffy House Resort was. There is super playground and mini-golf course right in front of the restaurant and bar area. We were able to enjoy some al fresco drinks while the kids played happily in the gardens.
The Leisure Centre’s 20 metre swimming pool is 1.2 meters deep all the way around, which is ideal for family swimming, and there is a kids pool for younger children. The kids club was not open during our stay due to Covid-19 restrictions, but this normally runs during school holidays. There is also a fairy trail on the grounds, as well as another play area at Breaffy Woods Hotel.
The fact that the hotel has so many family rooms that can sleep up to six, as well as interconnecting rooms and apartments, also separates Breaffy House Resort from many of its competitors.
7. There is a cool wine cellar.
If you are a wine lover – don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Bordeaux in the Breaffy wine cellar. This cellar opened in 2018 and was a labour of love for Wilson Bird, the General Manager of Breaffy House Resort. Wilson’s passion for wine shone through as he showed us wines from the Bordeaux region, the Loire Valley as well as a selection of new world wines. We enjoyed a wonderful wine tasting experience (well a little more than a tasting if truth be told) in the wine cellar. This is something I can highly recommend. Top Tip: Breaffy’s House wine is great too!
8. It has Ireland’s only Healy Mac’s Bar – voted the best Irish bar in the world!
I was lucky to visit Healy Mac’s bar in Kuala Lumpur, which The Irish Times and Diageo voted it the best Irish Bar in the World! But you no longer have to travel overseas to visit the multi-award-winning bar, because it has arrived at Breaffy House Resort. We enjoyed a delicious lunch there, food is served from 1230pm – 9.30pm daily and the bar is open from morning until night.
9. There are luxury champagne & spa packages available.
While Breaffy House Resort is very much suited to families during school holidays, it is an ideal hotel for couples or groups during the autumn or winter periods. Breaffy House Hotel also offers excellent value in their suites with dedicated Moet & Chandon spa breaks available. The junior suites are modernly furnished with free-standing baths and are the perfect choice for a romantic getaway. Prices for a two-night stay in a junior suite are from €250pp and include:
- Bottle of Moet & Chandon – served chilled in your room on arrival, or on the south terrace during your stay.
- 5 course evening meal on the night of your choice in the Mulberry Restaurant
- Full Irish Breakfast each morning in the Mulberry Restaurant
- Chocolate dipped strawberries
- His & Hers Elemis gift sets
- €50pp spa credit
- Late check out 2pm
There are various packages available, and if you travel from October – April you can claim a 20% tax rebate (up to a maximum of €125pp) with the ‘Spend and Save’ staycation incentive from the government.
10. Breaffy House Resort is close to Mayo’s top attractions and stunning beaches.
I am very much aware that during our short visit to Mayo that we only scratched the surface. The vibrant coastal town of Westport is only 20 minutes drive from Breaffy House Resort and the Great Western Greenway stretches all the way from Westport to Achill. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to cycle it – hopefully next time. The award-winning Ceide Fields is also in Mayo, along with Ballycroy National Park, the locals favourite Lough Lannagh, and if you are feeling up to to the climb, Croagh Patrick is only a 35 minute drive away.
However, we did get to visit Dún Briste at Downpatrick Head, Ireland’s most impressive sea stack. Located in North Mayo, its location on the Atlantic coast is really impressive. There are no barriers, crowds or visitors centres, it is still relatively unspoilt – sshhh…. It is also home to a WWII lookout post and the EIRE 64 sign, which let WWII pilots know that they were flying over a neutral country.
View this post on Instagram
I am convinced that some of Ireland’s best beaches are in Mayo, it is home to eleven Blue Flag beaches. We missed out on visiting most of them, but the three we did visit were spectacular.
Achill’s Keem beach has the wow factor and is definitely a contender for Ireland’s best beach. The sheltered cove has white sand and crystal clear water – it felt like a beach from the Caribbean, rather than the west of Ireland. Make sure you take the 40-minute hike behind the beach to catch one of Ireland’s best Instagram locations.
View this post on Instagram
Keel Beach is also worth visiting, it stretches for 4km and is one of the most popular sandy beaches on Achill Island. It is a haven for water sports such as kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing and of course swimming.
Silver Strand Beach is another stunning secluded beach, and although remote and unspoilt, it is only 15km from Louisburgh. It is surrounded by green headlands, high sand dunes, and blessed with crystal clear waters.
View this post on Instagram
For booking and information visit BreaffyHouseResort.com
** Note: We were guests of Breaffy House Resort, but all views, as always, are my own.