Review: Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Ireland
Our travels through Ireland took us from Dublin across to the Galway area in Western Ireland. Marriott doesn’t have a huge presence in Ireland and Northern Ireland. When I located the Sheraton Athlone which was at a halfway point on our travels to Galway, and always chasing Marriott Bonvoy status nights, it made sense to check in here for an evening during our driving journey across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland via TAP Portugal and British Airways Business Class.
- A Positioning Flight: Air Canada Vancouver – Toronto
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Toronto – Lisbon
- Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa, Lisbon, Portugal
- The First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal
- Exploring the Turrets of Castelo del São Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal
- The Seaside Town of Belem and the Jerónimos Monastery, Portugal
- The Lisbon Cathedral and Iberico Ham at Time Out Market, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Premium Business Lounge, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Lisbon – London Heathrow
- Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge: London Heathrow Terminal Two
- The Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington, United Kingdom
- Walking Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, London, United Kingdom
- Churchill’s War Rooms & Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
- Touring the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom
- Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
- De-Cyphering the Rosetta Stone and Camden Locks, London United Kingdom
- Day Tripping to Stonehenge, Salisbury, United Kingdom
- The Moxy London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal Two
- Aer Lingus: London Heathrow – Dublin
- Aloft Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland
- Discovering Temple Bar District, Dublin, Ireland
- Calling on the Guiness Storehouse and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
- The Shertaon Athlone Hotel, Athlone, Ireland
- Drinking at Ireland’s Oldest Bar, Athlone, Ireland
- Hiking Along the Cliff’s of Moher, Ireland
- Crystal Springs Bed and Breakfast, Killarney, Ireland
- Circling The Skelling Islands and Driving the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
- Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland
- AC Hotel by Marriott, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Experiencing the Tragedy of the Titanic at the Titanic Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- In the Shadows at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
- Terminal One T1 Lounge, Dublin Airport, Ireland
- British Airways Club Europe: Dublin – London Heathrow
- Cathay Pacific Business Lounge, London Heathrow
- No1 Lounge, London Heathrow
- British Airways Club World Business Class: London – Vancouver
Review: Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Co. Westmeath, Athlone, Ireland
Today was departure day from Dublin. We started the morning with a walk to the Distillery just around the corner from the Aloft Dublin City; although on arrival we discovered that they did not offer tours without a 17 tasting to go along with it. Since Jr wasn’t going to be able to legally partake, we left and headed for walk down to the usual Temple Bar District.
It was a nice sunny day and being a weekday, it was surprisingly quiet in the district typically known for indulgence and debauchery. We had a gorgeous last morning walk through Dublin.
Booking the Sheraton Athlone Hotel:
While Ireland has a number of Marriott Bonvoy Hotels, it’s surprisingly limited in hotels in the countries’ South West Region towards Killarney and Shannon.
Our travels by car were taking us directly across Ireland to the Galway are and the Cliffs of Moher which would take us through Athlone. Always chasing Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status nights, when I discovered there was a Sheraton in Athlone, it made some sense to work it into the journey. We needed to stay somewhere in order to avoid a marathon day of driving of 5+ hours along with spending time at the Cliff’s of Moher.
The rates at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel are generally quite decent and often under 100€ ($108 USD) a night. Occasionally, the property seems to get a full book out if there is a tour bus group passing through that causes upwards rate pressure above 250€ , but otherwise the rates are quite reasonable. I was able to locate a rate of less than 95 € ($102 USD) for our particular stay.
For those that are so inclined to use Marriott Bonvoy rewards points, rooms can be reserved for 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in what was the Category 4 band. I tend to value Marriott Bonvoy Points at 0.005 cents per point. As a result, you’d be better off redeeming points if the room rate was more than 115 € ($125 USD) per night.
Getting to The Sheraton Athlone Hotel:
After a terrific morning walk through Dublin, we wandered back to Hertz local edition location near the Aloft Dublin City hotel for about 12:45 PM where we picked up our car rental for the week.
My success rate with upgrades as a Hertz Five Star is highly variable depending on where you are, but occasionally you get a gem. Today’s booked “mid size” Jetta diesel turned out to be a terrific and luxurious 2019 Volvo XC 60 D3 Diesel sport utility vehicle.
After we were all sorted, with a damage check, we returned to the Aloft Dublin City to pack up the car. We hit the highway for Athlone for the drive westward midway across the island.
It was only about 2 hours up the road on some fairly good highways and we were there. We easily found the Sheraton which was situated right in the middle of town in what it describes as a “city centre” location.
The Sheraton Athlone Hotel was a low rise tower situated right on top of a mall. The location couldn’t be any more central, with lots of stores within close proximity to the hotel.
Checking into the Sheraton:
We self parked in the mall parking lot underneath the hotel and checked ourselves in. The mall parking doubles as hotel parking, so you can expect to share self parking with mall customers.
On check in, we were advised that we had been upgraded courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status from the base Classic Guest Room, to a larger Family room. We were thanked for being a Titanium level Marriott Bonvoy elite member. Like with our experiences in Australia, they must not get a whole lot of elite members through here, as I was treated like gold.
We were also offered a 1,000 points as Marriott Bonvoy Titanium welcome amenity gift, in addition to a free breakfast in the restaurant. This was pretty generous of the hotel to offer a hot breakfast in the restaurant, and I suspect it was as a result of the hotel preferring to set up one breakfast in the restaurant, as opposed to hosting a breakfast in both the restaurant and the lounge.
The Lobby also featured the usual Sheraton Link zone, which offered some lobby computers and work spaces.
After the check in process, we led ourselves up to the hotel room. In doing so, we had to pass by the second floor “Siege Room”. Nothing like themed names for the conference rooms.
The Room: Family
Larger Guest room, 2 Queen, Sofa bed
The Sheraton Althone is an older property but everything is still in reasonable shape. Our assigned Family Room #312 was decorated in the usual Sheraton browns for the décor leading to a familiar feel. Our family room had two queen beds allowing for a reasonable amount of space.
The beds were otherwise comfortable and we had a pleasant night sleep on the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed.
The room offered two occasional chairs and a small sofa bed. While the furniture wasn’t super aspirational, it was highly functional and perfectly fine for a family room.
We found a very small amenity of welcome cookies in plastic wrap and bottled water waiting for us in the room. It’s always a nice touch to receive an elite welcome amenity, so I applaud the hotel to think of this little touch for their elite loyalty members.
There was a standard room safe and proper glassware. Actual glassware is always a welcome improvement over wrapped plastic cups.
The bathroom was actually quite spacious, with a large tub.
Perhaps the only negative to the room, was that the room had a view over a tired and unkept balcony that was looking a little worse for wear.
Around the Property:
The Sheraton Club Lounge
Our room happened to be next door to the Club Lounge. It was among the smaller Sheraton Lounges that I’d seen in the system. I didn’t happen to have ever seen anyone in there. We stopped by once but there wasn’t much happening there.
There was no exciting evening happy hour or anything scheduled during our stay. It had pretty eager offerings in the fridge; Pepsi, water and that’s about it.
We did happen to pick up some Pepsi Cola for the room, which my son appreciated the ability to have access to.
The Harvest Homemade Restaurant:
After a great night’s sleep in the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, we woke up the next day at about 8 AM. We were downstairs into the Harvest Homemade Restaurant on side for a complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Breakfast at 9 AM.
Although there was no dedicated egg or omelette station, Jr was happy with pre made fried eggs and scrambled eggs were also available. After two weeks on the road, he was growing tired of the European cold cuts at the Aloft Dublin City so he appreciated the option of having an International breakfast. He was also stoked that there was cranberry juice available at the juice bar; the first time we’d seen it since we’d left home in Canada. He happily rated the breakfast a “9 out of 10”.
During our time at the Sheraton Althone Hotel, we walked about town to experience Ireland’s Oldest Bar and to inspect the Athlone Locks amid the waterways around Athlone. After our breakfast, we packed up the car and headed for a great day at the Cliffs of Moher.
The Bottom Line: The Sheraton Athlone
Overall the property was all we could have asked for in a quick stay. The property was reasonably priced and was in good overall condition. The food and quality of the room was better than expected and we found the rate to deliver really good value. While the Sheraton Executive Club Lounge wasn’t anything to write home about, the hotel more than made up for it through alternate offerings. I would easily repeat a stay at this Sheraton in this area again.