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“Relaxing stay in Ballyliffin” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel

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Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Inishowen, Ballyliffin, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ballyliffin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Northern Ireland
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Relaxing stay in Ballyliffin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Had a fantastic St Patrick's weekend in this hotel and can't praise it highly enough. The hotel itself is gorgeous and looks like it has had a refurbishment. We had a beautiful view of the hills ans the sea. Every member of staff we met from the lovely lady who cleaned our room to the very hard working professional restaurant and bar staff were very friendly and helpful.The management team obviously treat them well. We didn't use any spa facilities or leisure facilities but there were quite a few people on SPA breaks. The food was excellent. We had food in Jack's bar and the restaurant and it was lovely. Everything was a very high standard at breakfast and evening meal times. The service was top notch and the staff could not do enough for you. I would totally recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing break. There is someone playing music in the bar most weekends and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Its not the place to go if you are looking to party but if you want a quiet, chill out weekends, maybe a game of golf, this is the ideal spot.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room ask for the second floor, as you may hear the music on first floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Derry, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

My Fiance and I have just returned from one of the best vacations we have had in a long time.
when we read on tripadvisor of some of the comments we honestly were a bit weary, but as our friends had stayed here before we decided to go on their recommendations.
when we arrived, we were in shock of how beautiful the hotel actually was, every area of the hotel is immaculate and decorated to a 5* standard not 4*.
As we walked to reception we were greeted by a huge friendly smile from a lady called Jo. As she checked us in, she was friendly and chatty, exactly what you want and explained about the local area and of what was available in house.
we booked for the restaurant that evening as we were too tired to travel.
as our room wasn't ready (@12.30 because our flight was at 6am in Belfast) we sat in the bar and had complimentary tea and scones. At 1pm our room was ready so we headed up. the room was on the first floor and it was beautiful also, spacious modern bathroom and amazing views over the beach and golf course.
Later we wandered down to the bar which was quite busy, but we were welcomed straight away and taken to our table. the menu was plentiful which isn't normally expected from a Table d'hote menu. Starters, Main course and Dessert all delicious and staff were amazing. True believers in hospitality.
we had a few drinks in the bar afterwards while listening to the live music and then went back up to our room for a early night. Our sleep was fantastic, a little warm but a phone call to reception informed us that we can control our own room temperature from inside the room. Perfect, we slept like two babies.
the next morning we arrived for breakfast, your normal continental was there along with you're cooked to order breakfast. everything was what you expected, nothing exceptional but delicious at the same time.
we traveled around the astounding peninsula of Inishowen, Beautiful, Beautiful area, a really must see for everyone, young and old.
Later that evening we got a bit peckish and decided to try somewhere different for a meal. asked a few locals and were told about another hotel in Inishowen to go to, The Harbour Inn Hotel, Absolutely AMAZING. The service was outstanding and the food made you weak. a wonderful place with wonderful surroundings. A must go if ever in the area!!!
as we got back to the hotel, there was a wedding in full force. as we have read on here about noise and of the inconvenience it causes we didn't know what to expect. we went to the bar for a few nightcaps and went up to bed. i myself am a light sleeper and i didn't find this hotel any noisier than others when holding a function, the only difference is, we knew of this in advance!! Again, we slept like two babies.
All in all, we loved this hotel, the staff and the area. Only disappointment is we didn't try out the leisure or spa areas. But there will definitely be another visit, and for longer next time!!
Keep up the good work, this is why people love coming to Ireland on holidays!! xxxx

Room Tip: ask for a sea view, outstanding!!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My wife and I decided that a nice relaxing weekend break in Donegal would be the perfect thing for a short break before the arrival of our first baby in a few months' time.

Our room was at the end of the corridor on the first floor and had an attractive view out towards the sea. The room was very clean with a nice comfortable bed, however, that was as good as our experience would prove to be for the next two nights.

We decided to dine in the hotel on our first evening but unfortunately found the food very bland and the menu itself pretty basic. The burger which I ordered was certainly not home-made and actually really tasteless. Equally, added to the fact that the bun in which it was served was stale and that I had to ask three times for ketchup and vinegar, service seemed pretty poor for a supposed 4 star hotel.

Having made a long journey to get to Ballyliffin, we thought we would make an early night of it so as to be able to enjoy the next day fully.

Much to our disappointment, we were awoken at about 12:30 to the pulsing beat of music from the bar below. We thought it would be likely that music would settle down and come to an end fairly soon. Cutting a long story short, the rest of the night turned into a total nightmare. I rang down to reception at 2:00am to complain that, although having received a notification with our booking that there may be the possibility of evening functions with entertainment, surely there should be a reasonable expectation of guests to be entitled to an atmosphere allowing sleep to be possible by this hour of the night.

The reception was not manned and the phone, despite ringing for a long time, was not answered. 3:00am passed and my wife and I felt awful. Despite being reluctant to do so, I ventured downstairs to see if I coud find a night manager or member of staff to register my unhappiness and frustration. There was no sign of any such member of staff being on duty and when I entered the packed bar, a drunken crowd of revellers were in full song to the ongoing medley of party tunes being belted out by the band. When I asked the bar manager when he expected the 'entertainment' to wrap up since we were totally prevented from getting any sleep, he simply shrugged his shoulders and obviously seemed amused by our situation!!

I am sure that the hotel was in breach of its licence playing loud music and serving drink this late into the night to local, non-resident customers. I was tempted to give the Gardaí a bell but for the fact that I'm sure they know all about the hotel from what I can tell from other unhappy reviews and must be quite happy to turn a blind eye to this!

The racket continued until 3:45am and noise followed outside until well after 4:00am with noisy, drunk, local customers being collected by taxis. The next morning, following breakfast, I complained to the receptionist about our ordeal and demanded that we be given the choice of another room on the 2nd floor since more 'entertainment' was planned for our second night's stay. She made no attempt to offer us an apology but reluctantly agreed to allow us to relocate to another room on the floor above.

Unbelievably, the noise once again woke us at about midnight, however, and continued until 2:30am!! We left for home the next day exhausted!! The sound proofing in this hotel is pathetic but only matched by the attitude of the management and some of the staff of the hotel. Overall, it is not a 4 star hotel and obviously places greater value on its hard all day and all night drinking local customers than its guests and residents from much further afield!!

DO YOURSELF A BIG, BIG FAVOUR AND DO NOT STAY AT THE BALLYLIFFIN LODGE AND SPA.. A REAL DISAPPOINTMENT!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoDBL, customer care at Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review the Ballyliffin Lodge. I am quite disappointed to note that your experience was not to your satisfaction.
We have two menus available in Jacks with over 25 different main courses to choose from so I am shocked to hear you found this pretty basic, I can assure you our burgers are homemade in house daily and receive so many compliments so I am quite surprised that you found yours tasteless , the bun itself is toasted slightly to warm it up before serving and this may have been mistaken for stale, however the poor service you received while dining was totally unacceptable, we were extremely busy over the St Patrick’s weekend but service should not have been compromised and will certainly be addressed with the food and beverage department.
Your expectations of an atmosphere to enable a peaceful sleep are not unreasonable and I am truly sorry that the noise from our function over the weekend disrupted your sleep. We had a fundraiser for local schools which attracted a lot of locals and a full house of residence so the hotel was particularly busy last weekend.
There is a night porter on duty after the receptionist leaves in the evening that carries a portable phone on him at all times so I am surprised that you were unable to get an answer when you were ringing, sometimes if they are vacuuming they are unable to hear the phone so perhaps this is what happened but I will certainly investigate this with the night porter on duty over the weekend. We have a duty manager on duty also who should have been contacted by the staff member you approached in the bar and a shrug of the shoulders is absolutely unacceptable. If management were alerted to your issues we would have done our absolute best to ensure you were looked after and I can only apologies that you did not receive the treatment expected from our staff.
The following morning our reception team were able to accommodate your request of a room move and an offered an apology, they were not informed of the detail mentioned in your review and had they been made aware of this we would have arranged our duty manager to meet with you immediately to discuss your issues.
I would like to apologies most sincerely for any distress caused to you at the ballyliffin lodge as we continuously strive to exceed all our guests’ expectations on a daily basis and I am sorry to learn that we have not succeeded in this instance.
I would like to assure you that your comments have been taken seriously and will be addressed in-house immediately.
I accept your reservations about returning to Ballyliffin Lodge but we would most certainly appreciate an opportunity to redress the negative impression garnered on this occasion. Best Regards
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Cortlandt Manor, New York, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

We were in The Ballyliffin Loge and Spa for a wedding. We stayed the night before and the night of the wedding. Both the hotel and the Spa were fantastic. Staff were amazing and the food was unbelievable. 260 dinners for the wedding and food was piping hot and plentiful. Great job to the staff... We'll be back.

Fiona and John Brennan NY.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoDBL, Customer care at Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear Fiona and John, thank you for taking the time to give your feedback on your recent stay with us. I am delighted to hear you had an enjoyable time here with us and that your wedding meal was unbelievable! We strive to deliver excellent quality food and service here at the Ballyliffin lodge and I will be sure to pass on your feedback to the rest of the team. We hope to have the pleasure in welcoming you back again in the near future. Best wishes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Playing peekaboo was not something we had anticipated when visiting the Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel in Donegal for the second time on a Groupon deal.
A free upgrade to one of the hotel's superior rooms was a bonus, but the sea, sand and rolling hills were not the only view we had!
For the location of our room was such that the honeymoon suite jutted out to our immediate right and had a window which gave the occupants a complete view of our bed - not something that we particularly wanted.
A call to reception to outline our concerns prompted a very quick response with offers of other rooms, but we liked where we were and opted to stay since the suite was unoccupied on our first night.
Next day a couple booked into the suite and we couldn't resist peeping out of our window to see if our neighbours were doing the same - a cat and mouse game that didn't cause either any issues - at least nothing was said to indicate otherwise.
A simple net curtain was suggested for our room which would prevent any potentially embarrassing situations. Our kindly receptionist said she would bring our suggestion to the management for consideration.
Having said all that, the Ballyliffin Lodge still figures high on our list. It's clean, has atmosphere and the food is excellent. We gave it the thumbs up last time and do so this time. The view issue was not something that would put us off, but if you get a chance to stay in room 117 you'll get the picture - but not too clearly!

Room Tip: Don't avoid room 117, but watch the views!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoDBL, Customer care at Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay. I am delighted to hear that the i location of your bedroom did not deter you from enjoying your stay with us recently. I am glad our receptionist was able to assist you promptly with your issue and she has certainly brought this matter to our attention which we will,look into addressing. We hope to welcome you back in the near future. Best regards.
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coleraine northern ireland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

stayed two nights in ballyliffin lodge and would highly recommend,the service, great staff and spacious clean rooms all added up to make it a great stay .excellent menu and really good value. fantastic leisure facilities would most definately go back

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoDBL, Customer care at Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to post your great comments on trip advisor, I am glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Best wishes from all the team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donegal Town, Ireland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I have been to a number of weddings over the past few years in this hotel and found the food and service to be excerllent. We had the opportunity to stay there last night and were not disapointed. The room was spotlessly clean with one of the most comfortable beds i have slept in, the staff were more than helpful and the spa facilities very relaxing. We had eveningmeal in the restaurant 5 star dining, and the breakfast the following morning was no disapointment.
Donegal being one of the most ruggedly scenic places in Ireland Ballyliffin and surrounding area are among the top ten.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoDBL, customer care at Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to post your review , i am delighted you were able to enjoy an overnight stay here recently and that it lived up to your expectations. Your kind comments on our food and hotel are very much appreciated. I hope to welcome you back again soon. Best Regards from all at the Ballyliffin Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel

Address: Inishowen, Ballyliffin, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > County Donegal > Ballyliffin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ballyliffin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ballyliffin Hotel Ballyliffin
Ballyliffin Lodge And Spa Hotel
Ballyliffin Donegal
Ballyliffin Hotel Donegal
Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel
Ballyliffin Spa Hotel

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