Republic of Ireland locate luxury base on Baltic for Euro 2012
Published 17/01/2012 | 00:47
The Republic of Ireland football team will be staying in a luxurious seaside resort during the Euro 2012 championships in Poland this summer.
Although two of Ireland's three group matches will be in the industrial city of Poznan, players and management will be based in Sopot near the historic Baltic Sea city of Gdansk where they will play their other group game.
The FAI last night confirmed that the team's home during the tournament will be the Sheraton Sopot Hotel which is just a stone's throw from the city's beach front and Europe's longest wooden pier.
The 189-bedroom hotel boasts a spa and conference centre as well as bars and restaurants. However, the players will no doubt be keen to check out its well-equipped gym.
The team will travel to Poznan on June 10 for their opening encounter against Croatia before returning to Gdansk where they play Spain four days later. Their final group match sees them return to Poznan on June 18 for a fixture against Italy.
Poznan is around 440km from Gdansk and the journey usually takes around four hours.
However, supporters hoping to rub shoulders with Robbie Keane and his teammates over the breakfast buffet at the Sheraton Sopot will be disappointed as the hotel is booked out completely for the duration of the Ireland group games.
A standard room at the start of June costs ?240 a night rising to ?265 for a club room.
The resort of Sopot is renowned for its spas and was a tourist destination since the beginning of the 19th century. It is located between Gdansk and the beach resort of Gdynia and has been dubbed the "summer capital" of Poland such is its popularity.
Sopot mayor Jacek Karnowski, who met Irish ambassador Eugene Hutchinson last week, said the resort was doing everything to ensure a warm welcome for the Irish.
He is encouraging as many Irish as possible to stay in Sopot.