Why Stay Here?
- Excellent Location and access.
- Brilliant blend of historic charm and contemporary luxury.
- Great food, super spa and leisure facilities and top conference venue.
This hotel is a great find - it is full of historic sporting memorabilia while seamlessly incorporating modern design and state-of-the-art facilities within its quirky walls. Family-owned, with its feet strongly planted in local soil, it has become the go-to spot for a few days R&R, a business meeting or just a great bite to eat while traveling between Dublin and Cork.
While many remember it as a renowned Tipperary bar with great food which actually gave it's name to the locality, The Horse and Jockey was a favourite pit-stop for years before the new M8 altered the route slightly. Over the past few years the hotel has added spacious bedrooms, conference meeting rooms, a luxury gift shop, a super bakery, an excellent gym and leisure centre, a deluxe spa, Q Hair Salon, several food & beverage locations and super fast and free Wi-Fi. Add to that ample parking and a one minute turn off the M8 and you wonder why you had not swung by this hotel before.
FOOD AT THE HORSE & JOCKEY
They take food seriously at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, and even have their own gourmet pastry section, with items from The Bakery on sale to take home. The breads are delicious, but the selection of pastries on offer are seriously tempting. Afternoon Tea is renowned, and far superior to the norm with home-made bread sandwiches, crumbly scones, lemon coconut cake with lemon curd (delicious) and a selection of dainty tartlets, cupcakes, mousse and chocolate concoctions that would tempt a Trappist Monk. Having enjoyed this at The Courtyard, I checked out the full menu available at The Enclosure Bar with its cosy booths and friendly local atmosphere and I found the place was buzzing, even on a Monday night. The menu was very well crafted and the wine list was the perfect foil to the food on offer. While a comprehensive sandwich menu is on offer all day, a full restaurant menu is on offer for dining which includes healthy children's portions. Fish of the day was fabulous, there was also a full steak and burger choice list along with good old traditional dishes such as the Horse & Jockey Mixed Grill, which is the favourite of some of Ireland's famous sporting celebrities as they pass through!
On my previous visit I dined at Silks Restaurant. With the A La Carte and set menus to choose from, I opted for some Japanese Panko coated Prawns to start, and Pan-fried chicken with asparagus and spinach from the Seasonal Choices. There is a section entitled The Old Reliables containing the house favourites, like the Horse & Jockey Mixed Grill, T-bone, Sirloin and Fillet steaks, the House Omelette and other dishes that regular diners insist on. It is good to see that there is a serious nod to local and seasonal produce, with producer and supplier details included on the menu. A couple of glasses of French unoaked Chardonnay were the perfect foil to my chosen dishes, and despite having had Afternoon Tea earlier, I did opt for a melt-in-the-mouth apple sponge cake with Creme Anglaise and vanilla ice-cream. Finishing off with a coffee, this was a lovely dinner in a stylish eatery and it was good to see that it was busy while not crowded on a Monday night.
THE SPA AT HORSE & JOCKEY
With seven treatment rooms, a calm relaxation area and full menu of treatments for both men and women, this is a luxury contemporary spa using Elemis and Voya products. There is also a hair salon and beauty rooms. I enjoyed a very relaxing and nourishing skin-specific Elemis facial from my therapist, Sam, and while drifting off to dreamland during the treatment, I was thinking this would make a great girls mini-break destination. Hen parties these days are often less manic affairs than previously, and rather than a pub crawl, women prefer great food, a few cocktails and some super spa treatments. With a full Leisure Centre including Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam room along with the swimming pool, there is also a great gym. I did visit the gym and spent a while on a cross-trainer to work up an appetite for breakfast the following morning. I noticed there is a weights room as well as every kind of equipment you would expect to find in a modern gym.
I was delighted to learn that along with the other facilities at this lovely hotel, there is also an excellent hair salon which offers some deluxe hair treatments as well as cutting and styling. I had a Moroccan Oil treatment, which is particularly good for dry and curly hair and leaves the hair silky smooth and nourished from inside the actual cuticle. They also offer extensions, colouring and highlighting. Other quality products used are Sebastian and Kolestin. And they also cater for men, and will even arrange child minding while you have your hair treatment while bring you coffee and treats! Now, that is a proper Hair Salon!
ACCOMMODATION AT HORSE & JOCKEY
All the bedrooms are located on the first floor, and mine was looking out over that pretty courtyard with its small trees and colourful hanging baskets. I had a window that opened, a large working area, good lighting and flat screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, comfortable bed with quality linen, Elemis bathroom toiletries, contemporary decor - all the boxes ticked for a great nights sleep and a good stay. I was really impressed with the fast and free Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the hotel. Both my phone and laptop connected straight away without a password or delay. So important for work and communication.
I can understand why The Horse & Jockey is the business choice for conferences, all the necessary facilities are there. I know it is a very popular lunch and dinner venue, both for locals and passing traffic. I think it is a great destination for a mini break, it is so accessible from the major cities, and it is the perfect base for enjoying the unspoiled county of Tipperary. Highly recommended by Hotel Reviews Ireland for 2017.