In April 2017 Clayton Hotel Sligo was proud to become Ireland’s first hotel with a sensory room for guests living with autism and other sensory issues. The room was a labour of love by our hotel’s Kids Club leader Mary Clarke.
What is a Sensory Room and who is it for?
Also known as multi-sensory rooms, sensory rooms are specially designed environments that act as a form of therapy to children and adults with special needs. They help with the development of social skills. Our sensory room provides children with a calming space away from the bustle of the hotel. We’ve given children and their families this area to enjoy and feel safe in.
The room is open 7 days per week to hotel guests and members of the hotels Club Vitae health club.
Sensory Room Inspiration
Mary witnessed the benefits of sensory rooms while completing her work experience in a school that had its own ASD unit. (ASD units cater for children with autism who are of school-attending age and are attached to schools.)
Although the Kids Club at Clayton Hotel Sligo is excellent, it can be overwhelmingly busy for children with additional needs. Mary knew that there was a need for a sensory room at the hotel and brought the idea forward to senior management and the whole team were onboard from the get-go.
The room is specially designed to allow its users to relax and enjoy a range of sensory experiences:
Smell – the room contains different aromas.
Sight – the room is colourful and has moving lights, lava lamps and glowing paintings.
Touch – there are a range of fabrics and soft toys to touch as well as different textures and sensory boards for feeling. The room also contains a ball pit with over 1,000 multi-coloured soft balls.
Sound – calming music always plays in the room.
Movement – the room contains several moving and touch sensitive objects such as the plasma ball.
Creating this room was collaborative experience. Mary received support and guidance from the Irish Society for Autism, Irish Autism Action and Down Syndrome Ireland. It was important to have them involved to ensure this room reached its full potential in providing children with a safe and enjoyable sensory experience.
Sensory Room Launch Day
Following the rooms creation by the Kids Club team and the hotel maintenance staff, we hosted a launch day for our sensory room. We’re extremely proud of the room and wanted to inspire other hotels and organisations to install their own.
The launch went brilliantly. There was a great turn out from local organisations and support providers, and, most importantly, there were lots of children in attendance to test the room out. Parents watched with excitement as their children played in the room and the room’s creators felt proud and satisfied to see it being used.
When asked about the launch day Mary said, “We were thrilled ourselves to see the Kids actively using the room and that’s what is most important to us”.
Not Just for Children
The sensory room at Clayton Hotel Sligo is open to all hotel guests and members of the hotels Club Vitae health club. This includes both adults and children. So far, the response has been amazing from families availing of its use.
More Facilities at Clayton Hotel Sligo
Families are at the heart of Clayton Hotel Sligo. As well as the sensory room, we have a range of facilities and activities suitable for families and children during their family breaks in Sligo:
We have a Kids Club room at the hotel with activities including:
- Arts and crafts
- Treasure hunts
- Quiz and story times
There’s also a mini cinema where we play a movie each night.
We have an 18-hole Crazy Golf Course on site that will keep the whole family entertained.
Along with our 20-metre swimming pool we have a kiddies pool and there’s a giant inflatable obstacle course to make things extra fun! You can check with the leisure centre to find out when the inflatables are in action.
Adult supervision is required at the pool for children under the age of 16.
Filled with arcade games and a pool table, this room is for the young and the young at heart.
Occasionally we’ll host a Kids Disco. Information about the next disco can be found on the notice boards in the hotel. They’re always great fun and the children sleep great after dancing the evening away.
We’re dedicated to providing every member of the family with an amazing experience at Clayton Hotel Sligo. We have a range of special offers on Family Rooms, Spa Breaks, Retirement Getaways and Couple’s Escapes. Find a deal to suit you and get ready to relax and unwind at Clayton Hotel Sligo.