Old Jan 7, 09, 2:17 pm
  #68  
moulder3
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, JetBlue Mosaic, AA Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 579
Although a month overdue, I wanted to give a review of my trip to Sheraton Cork:

First off, I was traveling to Ireland with my entire family, and had emailed James to get a better sense of the hotel's features & amenities. He was extremely prompt in replying to my email, and very helpful in arranging our reservations.

Now the trip review:

Location
As mentioned previously, this hotel is about 5km outside of Cork, on a lovely tucked-away island. The only downside to the location would be if you don't have a car. If that's the case, I'm not sure it makes sense to stay here. That wasn't an issue for my family though, and we really enjoyed the somewhat secluded location.

As for touristy places to visit nearby, I HIGHLY recommend Kinsale (about 45 minutes away). Make sure to visit Charles Fort when there--it was probably my favorite place in Ireland (and we traveled all over the country).

I also recommend the nearby Jameson distillery (about 15 minutes away), as well as the town of Cobh (about 10 minutes away) which has a museum documenting the genealogy of those who left Ireland for America.


Hotel Amenities
First off, the hotel is practically brand-new. The lobby is among the best looking I've ever seen at a Sheraton. It has a real fireplace, which my mother LOVED, several comfortable couches & chairs and free wi-fi (the rooms also have free wired high-speed internet, via the VOIP phone). The gym and pool are also tops among the chain, although we were somewhat disappointed that the pool closed so early at night (9pm-ish). The restaurant looked great, although we didn't eat there due to the prices (pretty expensive, even by *wood standards). We did have dinner at the bar one evening, which was great (although still pricey, especially for the surrounding area--sandwiches were around 17EUR). Although there are no ice machines (which is common in Europe, although many Starwood hotels have them), we called for ice the first day...and it was waiting for us the next day too!! I'll get to the service later, though...


Rooms
We had suites on the third floor which were simply amazing. The tvs (at least in our rooms) were HD and had SEVERAL international sports channels, which made us very happy! Each room had a balcony, large living room, separate half-bath & two closets. They also had bath tubs, with a separate, walk-in shower. Again, top-notch among *wood and almost unprecedented for a Sheraton!!!


Hotel Staff
I should start by saying that I stay at 25-50 different Starwood hotels each year (although 95% are in USA) and have been staying at Starwood hotels since 2000. I wanted to mention that first, because I honestly believe this to be the kindest, most accommodating staff of any hotel I've stayed at.

I emailed James (who unfortunately wasn't working during our stay) to tell him about our trip and I'll share with you all what I told him:

From the moment my father and I checked-in we were greeted by Maria, who would also later help us plan our day trips. By the time we left, I think she'd had conversations with almost everyone in my family, and most of them started with her simply coming up to them as they passed through the hotel lobby. And while I didn't know about this until we checked-out, apparently my mother (who had been looking for good Irish glassware & crystal all trip) loved the design of the glasses at your hotel lounge, where we had a late dinner our first night at your hotel. She apparently had spoken to Maria about what stores would have them for sale, and when we checked out, Maria had arranged for us to purchase six of the glasses from the hotel. To put it mildly, my mother was shocked. She ended up hugging Maria before we left, all the while thanking her for truly going above & beyond.

I would be remiss if I did not also call attention to Scott at Concierge for going out of his way to help us during our stay. Our first night we arrived very hungry and wanted to find a restaurant close to the hotel. Scott showed us several menus that your hotel had (kudos for having them, by the way!) After picking a restaurant, I thanked him and started walking away, when he offered to call to verify the restaurant was open. As it turned out, all THREE restaurants were closed! If Scott hadn't called, we would have spent an hour (or more!) driving around looking for a place to eat. Instead, we were able to order dinner without going anywhere. During the rest of our visit, both he and Sean always talked to us every time we came and went. Although it's the job of every concierge to greet guests, Scott & Sean were truly interested to hear about our trip, what brought us to Ireland...etc. I have never felt so welcomed at a hotel in my life (and I travel a LOT!) I truly felt this was the first hotel where EVERY MEMBER of your staff we interacted with not only went out of their way to make us feel welcomed, they truly wanted to help in any way they could. Please thank them for me



While I suppose this trip report probably reads like a PR piece for the hotel, I happily stand by my review. The next time I'm in Ireland I will absolutely stay there, and I have mentioned this hotel to everyone I know planning a trip to Ireland.
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