“Ice House” – with a name like that, you’d expect the hotel to be made of ice, but thank God it isn’t because Ireland is already cold enough.
A few weeks back I visited Ireland to attend one of the biggest travel blogging conferences – TBEX Ireland. After the conference, I explored Ireland’s County Mayo with Fáilte Ireland.
During my time in Ireland, I stayed in many different hotels but the place that really took my breath away was Ice House hotel in County Mayo’s little town – Ballina. Before I start my story about the hotel, I’d like you to give you a little information about Ballina and Mayo.
Ballina is a charming little town in Ireland’s County Mayo along the river Moy. It is small enough for you to cover it by walking. County Mayo is on the West Coast and has some seriously stunning destinations like Achill Island and Westport.
First Impressions of Ice House Hotel
My visit to Ballina was towards the end of my Ireland trip. By the time I reached this little town, I felt like doing absolutely nothing and just collapsing on my bed. You see, I had spent most of my day coasteering and cliff jumping in Belmullet. Before you ask – yes, the water was very cold! I’ll save that story for another time.
Anyway, after sleeping in a different hotel room in a different city every day for a week, I finally reached Ice House hotel in Ballina. While checking in, I was politely told that my room number name was Aquamarine. Believe it or not – at that moment I suddenly woke up from my sleep like state and started noticing the surroundings.
Ice House hotel’s chic interiors were refreshingly different. No overly elaborate carvings but straight and clean lines. The décor yelled out “fresh” in capital letters and it somehow made me feel very zen. My belief in the power of facilitating a positive flow of energy through interior designing was reinstated.
Riverside Room with an INSANE view
An extremely polite lady showed me my room and my law literally fell when she drew back the curtains. There was no wall, only glass, and a river right next to the hotel. Holy shit, my room was directly at the edge the river!
Despite being tired, I spent a lot of time just sitting by the window and enjoying the view. It was the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset and watch how the birds flew over the river.
I found a booklet inside my room with the history and information about the hotel. It’s then it hit me – I am at a spa resort, I should get the F out of my room and enjoy the spa facilities.
Chill Spa with Open Air Hot Tub at Ice House Hotel
The spa at Ice House hotel is called Chill Spa – and true to its name, I felt full relaxed [and chilled out] as soon as I stepped in.
The hotel staff guided me inside the spa and handed me a booklet of different kinds of spa treatment. I decided to just relax in a hot tub and enjoy sauna facilities – which was complimentary with the room.
I stepped to the hot tub area and almost jumped with joy when I saw outdoor Jacuzzis and wooden barrel tubs. The best part – the view! Of course, I picked the Jacuzzi and sat there gazing at the river.
There is something special about spending time in a hot tub while it’s super cold outside. The spectacular view of the river next to the Jacuzzi made the experience even more special.
If you want to use the sauna and hot tubs, it’s included in your room price but you need to pay extra for additional spa facilities.
Hot Tub in the Room
In Ice House hotel, the hot tub experience is not just restricted to the Chill Spa. Guess what, there was a lovely tub in my room too. I couldn’t keep myself away from the rooftop hot tub for long so I didn’t really utilize mine, but here’s a picture of my friend enjoying it.
Breakfast with a view
Big breakfasts make me happy and my breakfast at Ice House hotel was really good. Apart from the usual bread, cereal, eggs and meat, I was very happy to see a lot of fresh fruit.
I made a little fruit salad for myself with honey and yogurt. I picked a breakfast table that was next to the window so that I could fully enjoy my favorite meal of the day. A fluffy cheese omelet and a cappuccino later, I was ready to start my day.
Booking Information about Ice House Ballina
Average Cost per night in Euros : €180 – €250
Location: The Quay, Ballina, County Mayo
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