Spa Stay at Hodson Bay Hotel Athlone


Nestled against the edge of Lough Ree, The Hodson Bay Hotel boasts one of the finest views in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. I’m here for a spa break with my pal Jackie who has flown in to Shannon Airport earlier. Being in the centre of the country and just outside Athlone, The Hodson Bay is easily accessible from all corners of the country and a great meeting point for friends who live in opposite directions.

The facilities on the doorstep of the Hodson Bay make it uniquely positioned for those who love water sports – either at the luxurious leisure centre or outside at Baysports offering kayaking and the fabulous inflatable Waterpark. The addition of the Yew Walk is up to speed with the demand for wellness breaks and guests can enjoy forest bathing while breathing in nature with free entrance. A vast array of birds and wildlife make it a haven for nature lovers and entrance is free for hotel guests.

With the backdrop of Athlone Golf Club there is something for everybody to enjoy without having to get in the car. The Hodson Bay Hotel caters well for families, but also for adults as the new wing is an adult only section. A gorgeous conservatory links the original building with the new seamlessly showing the development of the property.

Jackie and I have appointments booked and I’m enjoying an Elemis age defying facial from Jocelyn who has worked in the spa for almost twenty years. She tells me that most of the staff have been here a long time because it is such a good place to work and that sense of family is carried through the hotel when we dine at l’Escale Restaurant in the evening. The menu makes it difficult to choose and is well priced at €45 for three courses and even better value if booked as part of an overnight stay. I opt for the salmon starter and cod main which arrive to the table like mini works of art. The sommelier is anxious to provide the perfect wine to accompany our dinner. He too has worked here for several years. Jacqueline chooses the organic chicken and after a scallop amuse bouche It’s difficult to find room for Panna Cotta, but we just manage it.


We decide to work off our gorgeous dinner and make our way to the gym next morning, which is a hive of activity and well kitted out. The amazing thing about the seventeen-year-old leisure centre and Spa is it looks like it was only recently built – the curves and clean lines make it aesthetically beautiful as well as practical creating a timeless build. We started in the bubble pool before enjoying the refreshing power jets in between swims. The relaxation room at the spa is large and invited with floor to ceiling windows and we were given a raspberry, sorbet and cup of herbal tea after our relaxing massage and facial.


Accessibility is another novel option that the hotel offers its guests. Speaking to the food and beverage manager, Johnny Connaughton, I learned that wedding guests can travel from the centre of town on a Viking boat tour, and be delivered at the harbour just in front of the hotel. The hotel has links with Ireland’s oldest pub Sean’s Bar in the centre of Athlone town where food and entertainment is offered to hotel guests who would like alternative option the second day of the wedding.

A new water taxi option is also available for guests who want to go to Athlone town in smaller groups. Whatever way you arrive at the Hodson Bay Hotel one thing is for certain you will want to return for a longer stay next time. As we uncovered the delights of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands the Hodson Bay Hotel is a true gem at its centre and perfect spot to meet in the middle.

Spring Wellness Escapes at Hodson Bay Hotel:

Package includes:

  • Experience a luxurious overnight stay, including a delicious full Irish breakfast.
  • A one-hour Thermal Spa Experience at The Spa at Hodson Bay.
  • You can also join one of our complimentary hotel activities, find your inner Zen & join our Yoga session or join the fun Aqua Aerobics Classes
  • Additional complimentary activities include Flower Crafting , Wine & Cheese Tasting, Whiskey or Craft Beer Tasting and more.


Packages starts from €80 per person sharing.