I attended a wedding here in January and it was very clear that the hotel is only open occasionally for events. Our room was freezing and we know other guests had the same complaint. The bed linen also had a musty smell and felt a little damp. Staff at reception seemed a little overwhelmed which was strange, surely they knew that there was a wedding booked.
You will read in a lot of reviews that there is no phone signal here, and there isn't any coverage for any of the 4 Irish mobile operators, but I don’t think that this is the hotels fault. However, you can't dial externally from the room phone so you really are cut off! We couldn’t even find instruction on how to dial our friend’s room, and had to get reception to transfer us!
There is no wifi in the hotel, certainly not in the rooms, and we had no remote for our tv (we called reception to ask for one and it was never delivered). So with no phone, wifi or tv you really are cut off. Fortunately as we were at a wedding it wasn't the end of the world. The rooms and bathrooms are big but quite stark and lack atmosphere and cosiness, and we had no toiletries in our bathroom. I also received a very abrupt "no" when I phoned to ask if the hotel provided bath robes.
The food in the hotel was ok, the wedding reception was in Balyna House and what we ate for dinner was nicely presented but unfortunately wasn’t hot and there was no service during dinner to mention this to staff. Balyna House itself looks very nice but unfortunately it was very cold, with most guests leaving jackets and coats on throughout the day. There are a couple of lovely fires in Balyna House, but for some reason they weren’t lit which was a real pity, it would have made it much more comfortable.
The weather was very bad while we were here so we didn’t get to explore the grounds or play golf the next day as planned (I believe the golf course is very good and despite the weather it was quite busy), there is a very nice old chapel room on the grounds though for weddings or meetings.
A few of us wedding guests went to the main hotel bar for a while after the wedding dinner and the staff there were very nice and very friendly, a stark contrast to the rest of the staff.
I think if I was invited to an event here again, I wouldn’t stay. I would happily spend the €100 room charge on the 30min taxi journey back to Dublin!