I was trying to work out as I drove up from Waterford when I was last in the Hodson Bay Hotel. I think it was about 1990. The hotel I was working in at the time had just received it’s ISO certification, and as a thank you they brought us to the Hodson for the day.
We didn’t stay on that occasion, and from the website it looked like there had been a few changes.
The hotel is situated right beside the lake. And on a day like the one I was there for, really beautiful. There is ample car parking close to reception which was lovely. I was staying the night as was attending a conference in the hotel at 8 the following morning, and the thoughts of a 3 hour drive at 5am didn’t appeal to me.
I was put in a “retreat” room. It was so full of light, and the personal touch made me feel very welcome.
As I arrived quite late, I booked dinner in the restaurant straight away. There are a number of dining options, but the menu looked lovely and seasonal in the L’Escale. After a very quick freshen up, I arrived by myself down to the restaurant. The staff were so nice, and I asked for wine recommendations with the meal, as I had been disappointed to miss the complimentary wine tasting that the hotel runs for guests.
I started with the wild mushroom risotto, which was quite a large portion, but a lovely flavour. Even if the parmesan crisp wasn’t quite crispy.
Next was the recommended Loin of Venison, another rich dish, but went beautifully with the recommended wine, and now that I understand what it means to have single grape, and single estate on the bottle, I enjoy it even more!
The dessert choices looked very appealing, with multi layers of texture and tastes, and it was quite a difficult decision. I went with the rhubarb composition, as I felt it was the most seasonal.
The three layers of macaroon were the star attraction, I think the fruit on the top of the mousse was un-necessary, as there was enough with the rhubarb. I think a little simplification would have heightened the dish.
The wine accompaniment was a great success, however.
The sleep quality was helped by the quiet room, and for someone who doesn’t generally sleep well away from home, I had a good nights rest.
- The Restaurant Staff are very professional and friendly, as was the Duty Manager on that night, who very professionally dealt with a small issue in the room
- The Room was modern, airy, with incredible views of the lough.
- The menu in the main restaurant was very reasonably priced both for wine and food, with good choices, and food both tasty and well presented.
And the most important positive for me? The social media person made the stay for me exceptional and personal. So often people use twitter to complain and moan, or businesses use it to purely sell. The twitter account for the Hodson Bay hotel makes the brand accessible and customer focused. Stand up, take a bow @Hodsonbayhotel I’ll be back ,and the family are insisting on coming with me!