Belmullet - on the tip of north Mayo - is known for many things -from its exotic wilderness and scenic remoteness to its community spirit and the warm friendliness of its people, that have all grown the town to the busy, happening centre it is today.
One particular attraction that has helped put Belmullet on the map since its construction some 15 years ago – is the Broadhaven Bay Hotel – standing tall and proud over Broadhaven Bay – along the coast road – with the speckling lights of the town and its many residences beckoning in the near distance.
The hotel itself is a vast, sprawling, largely bungalow-design complex, whose perimeter alone takes several minutes to explore. The structure is imposing yet straightforward, with various wings and corridors extending out from the main hub - that is the expansive welcoming carpet-clad and cosy central foyer complete with plush sofas and chairs.
This inviting foyer in turn conveniently connects guests to spacious bedrooms, the Bayside Restaurant serving up delicious modern and traditional Irish dishes, the roomy Kilmore bar and lounge, as well as the Elly Bay Suite with function/conference room (currently undergoing a €100,000 renovation ) plus fully-equipped corporate meeting rooms – all accessible at single storey level.
The long linear layout and extensive grounds of The Broadhaven is also framed by several dome-shaped buildings, housing special-purpose amenities to provide for guests every need – including an on-site leisure centre (Ealu ) and gym complete with weights, cardio machines as well as a newly refurbished swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi due to open in early 2020. The hotel additionally has its own private beauty salon and spa – The Elysium – professionally run by manager and expert masseuse – Natalie, whose kneading skills can remove even the knottiest of knots - and her busy team.
Possibly the greatest attraction of all at The Broadhaven is the instant feeling of space it conveys to arriving guests topped off with an immediate sense of having lots of options to choose from in which to relax and mingle in comfort with family and friends.
While much frequented and supported year-round by locals and visitors alike, in recent years this family-run hotel owned by Eamon and Mary Padden, has become known as a supreme wedding destination venue – winning multiple national awards for its unique and professional offering.
Such recognition comes as no surprise, given the particular make-up of the Broadhaven Bay Hotel – because what you have here – sitting magnificent alongside the Atlantic ocean in this rural capital of north Mayo – is a massive, stand-alone, self-contained and purpose-built mansion hotel, that can accommodate up to 200 guests across its 90 deluxe rooms/family rooms and superior suites – with a professionally trained staff capable of catering to the every need of more than 500 wedding guests at a time.
Moreover, given that weddings are now often two or three-day affairs with guests travelling from near and far, the Broadhaven also offers special tailor-made packages for guest parties booking to stay the night before, the night of the wedding and even the night after – for the perfect mini-holiday stay.
Best Wedding Venue Awards
“We have won the Best Wedding Venue awards – which take in everything about the venue, from the hotel’s location just a 10-minute walk away from Belmullet town, to its spacious lobby, bar, lounge and food”, explains General Manager, David Tyrrell, acknowledging the hotel’s Best Wedding Venue Award both in 2011 and 2016, as well as its Best Wedding Venue in Mayo Award in 2016, and also Best Overall 3-star wedding venue in Ireland – from national adjudicator - Wedding dates.ie As the Awards are based solely on reviews and feedback from couples whose weddings were held in the hotel, 15 years of such first-hand face-to-face experience with guests has naturally helped The Broadhaven finesse its craft and perfect its offering. Indeed, the goal there is to take all the hassle and stress away from couples planning their wedding by arranging everything they need to think of for their big day.
“We have developed a wedding template that the bride and groom can just slot into it, basically taking care of everything from A-Z. The only other thing the couple needs to do is turn up,” reveals David Tyrrell, adding: “Our dedicated wedding co-ordinator team runs a checklist on all the final touches that must be put in place down to the last detail.
“In addition to hotel arrangements we cover budgeting, band/music/photography hire – all laid out on three spreadsheets so the couple can plan with ease. We log the invitation list, names, contacts, addresses, rooming lists, even the gift-list for thank-you follow-ups. In our spa and salon, guests can also book all hair and beauty treatments, so that everything needed is on-site. All this gives the couple confidence they are doing everything right and all is taken care of.”
Famous for its warm welcome
“It’s the people and the warm welcome you get here – we’re famous for that and for making the newlyweds feel so special on what is such an important day in their lives. As soon as they return from the wedding ceremony, we announce their arrival to guests, who gather in a semi-circle arrangement in front of the entrance along with the bridal party - mums, dads, families and friends - who have been waiting at the special wedding counter set up in the foyer enjoying teas, coffees, biscuits, prosecco, Champagne, Sangrias etc. On stepping inside the door, we make a big fuss of welcoming the couple, offering a toast to their new status as man and wife before releasing a celebratory glitter-bomb. This unique and special festivity lets the couple know they are loved and their marriage celebrated.”
All-inclusive top value accommodation
Wedding packages at The Broadhaven are all-inclusive and top value for money, starting at just €45 per person. The hotel also provides its own fleet of cars for the bridal party (all white Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar ) as well as chair covers, backdrops, downlighting to wash the room in colour, and even a sweet cart for young and old to enjoy.
“Many of the guests stay at the hotel – and we work 12 months in advance on bookings to make sure the rooming list is correct. We even have two bridal suites available – so that the newly-weds can continue to enjoy their time in the hotel where another wedding is under way. So, we won’t rush you away and a lot of what we have has evolved over time as we saw patterns develop and knew what we needed to invest in.
“We offer 90 exceptionally well-appointed bedrooms in the hotel and wedding rates apply to all guests and not just a fixed group number. It’s all very self-contained and ideal for weddings and we made it that way intentionally. We value our wedding bookings and take the work out of it for the bride and groom, customising a tailor-made package and personalised service to suit individual requirements. We are aware of where we are on the tip of north Mayo but in this unique location we also boast beautiful beaches and backdrops, surf, sand, stone, grass and elevation above the Atlantic Ocean, that make for stunning wedding photographs. Our aim is simply to exceed expectations and that is what we continue to do.”
Rich ex-pat history and second-generation weddings
Given its rich history of emigration over the years, the Broadhaven Bay Hotel has also developed a unique market of providing a home-from-home wedding destination for families whose roots remain firmly in Erris.
“The barony of Erris in which Belmullet sits is as large as the entire county of Louth in Ireland and over the years many of our people have left and done well in parts of the UK – especially in places like Luton, Leeds, Cambridge and London, as well as right across the USA. A lot of second-generation Irish also come home here specially to get married.
“So, I suppose people just don’t realise how busy we are here, particularly in August, when the population of Erris probably quadruples. There is a huge expat community constantly coming and going and we have regulars who book here year on year - 83 of our rooms are already sold for August 15 and fair day next year.”
Even the staff at the Broadhaven get married here – as Gillian, on reception, whose nuptials take place next year, revealed: “It had to be the Broadhaven because the hotel caters for all requests and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I know we can look forward to a wedding with a personal touch and customised to requirements.”
Mary Walsh, reservations manager adds: “We thrive on customer care, and satisfaction; it is very important we meet and exceed customer expectations.”
Go along and see for yourself why this beautiful hotel in the enchanting location of Belmullet has it all. A word of advice for those wishing to celebrate their wedding at the lovely Broadhaven Bay Hotel - be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
For further information contact David on + 353 (0 )97 20600 or email [email protected].
Joan Geraghty stayed at the Broadhaven Bay Hotel as a guest of the hotel.