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“Historic experience; an amazing place.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballaghmore Castle

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Ballaghmore Castle
Dublin Road, Borris-in-Ossory, Ireland   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Roscrea, Ireland
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Historic experience; an amazing place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

The castle is a genuine ancient Irish castle (1480 according to the web site) which has been restored to basically its original apart from the obvious mods such as electricity and plumbing etc. Now, this is not your en-suite everything type of location, it really is a castle so don't expect to be pampered. Our party consisted of fifteen friends having two nights of celebration, dancing and relaxing in front of a huge log fire that was lit for us when we arrived. We set up our own music, stocked the bar, cooked in the kitchen and slept in the two bed rooms (dormitories) that had enough beds for us all. A couple of the beds are like four posters so quite regal really and then there are a couple of small bed rooms off the main rooms for privacy .. no complaints. What is great about this place is that you really are experiencing the whole castle thing. We were allowed to get on with our own thing and the owner and her helpers were very friendly and around to help if we needed anything but otherwise we had the run of the place. The surroundings are lovely, fields and hills etc and yet it was handy enough for the town of Roscrea for us to do our shopping. The showers and toilets are okay, like I said, not en-suite luxury but they did the job and the place was clean and warm. I would recommend this place to anyone who is doing a week end party with a bunch of friends where you want something really different and special. You have to see the main hall where the big fire place is to believe it and there is another huge room at the top of the castle where we set up the music.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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29 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Port Townsend
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2009

I toured this castle with the owner with the possibility of renting it with a group of friends. After seeing the castle, I decided my friends would expect just a touch more than this castle offers. Since most of the beds are in one large room, guests would need to be really good friends. The kitchen facilities also leave alot to be desired. The sofas in the great room looked positively seedy. The photos on the web site don't show the castle's true character. On the other hand, Ms. McCormac quoted E2,000 per week, which is cheaper than you will find any other rental castle.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2009

I stayed with 3 friends in Ballaghmore Castle GUEST HOUSE as opposed to the actual castle but by the looks of the terrible review of the castle that I just read - there's not much difference between the two!

On arrival we were greeted by the 'odd' owner and told that this was the oldest house in Borris-in-Ossory...which was not a surprise considering how dirty and damp it was.

There were cob webs EVERYWHERE including directly over the heads of the beds. The bathroom (if weren't lucky enough to stay in the room with the 'en suite') was so damp that you'd feel dirty after a shower in there.

We were told that the price was €60 per person for the night - to be honest if somebody paid ME €60 to stay there again I wouldn't go back. My skin is still crawling from the night I spent there and I will not forget it in a hurry.

Avoid at all costs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

one particular tourism website (i'm not saying who they'll only sue me for suggesting they supply false information) described it as "lovingly restored and welcomes visitors" - wrong!

i do not claim to be an expert but i have had many opportunities to stay in a range of digs worldwide from five star hotels down to a campsite in the himalayas with no water facilities - i have always been able to find the unique charms of any accomodation i have stayed at no matter how basic the facilities were but have to admit would sta longer in some than others!

the castle is in an amazing location in the middle of nowhere - ideal for a hen party! the deal was €2000 for the weekend - self catering- bring your own towels.

it certainly has the potential to beautiful and a very refreshing change from the "run of the mill hotel" rooms and the bedrooms did indeed have amazing character. unfortunately it is clearly not being offered the care and attention that would allow it to meet its potential. the carpets looked like they hadn't seen a vaccum cleaner (or a carpet beater) since the place was first built and the rest of the fixtures and fittings met similar standards of cleanliness.

i understand that it is difficult to avoid damp, spiders and insects in such an old building but really someone should have removed at least some of the cobwebs, dead woodlice and dust.(maybe they were kept to create an atmosphere and i just didn't get it?)

i was told that there was sufficient space for twenty people. it was not made clear to me that this meant that one or two of us would be sleeping on an air matress in the bathroom.

during the course of the weekend, three of the four lavatories backed up - see my note below and you'll understand that we definately did not use too much toilet paper!

most of these shortcomings would have been forgivable had it not been for the owner of this establishment. i note that i am not allowed to make personal insults so lets just stick to the facts.

one of the bridemaids arrived on the friday with a group of her friends. she was made to purchase fuel for the fire and was told that she "may need to purchase additional toilet paper"

when i arrived at the castle, she greeted me by shouting that i had parked in the wrong place. i tried to explain that i had a lady who required special assistance in the car and would move as soon as i had seen her to the door - for some reason this just incurred more shouting.

this shouting continued every time someone arrived to drop a guest to the castle. i have no problem with being informed that i am in the wrong car park - but there's really no need to shout.

the next morning as we were clearing up and clearly making efforts to "leave the place as we found it" as requested, she decided to shout some more - she even shouted at some gentleman who had come to pick up some of the hens and had nothing to do with the party whatsoever.

if we were her employees, there are laws that protect against this type of treatment. i cannot understand how she can justify treating paying guests this way and i do not think that this castle "welcomes visitors" - quite the opposite in fact.

it is very unfortunate that such a place exists in a country that is deservedly world famous for its hospitality.

Stayed August 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ballaghmore Castle

Address: Dublin Road, Borris-in-Ossory, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Laois > Borris-in-Ossory
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Borris-in-Ossory
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ballaghmore Castle 1480 Celtic castle - perfect for family holidays. Only one and a half hours from Dublin yet set in beautiful peaceful countryside rich with activities and amenities. The castle is rented exclusively to your family group giving you the peace and privacy of the whole castle for the duration of your stay. Set in thirty acres of private grounds the castle offers sleeping accommodation for up to twenty family members over two floors of shared sleeping accommodation. The castle includes shower, bathroom and four WCs.The spectacular banqueting hall with its long tables, minstrels' alcove and roaring log fire forms the centre for gatherings in the castle. Off the Banqueting hall is a well equipped self-catering kitchen including large oven, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, washing machine and dryer. In addition, the fabulous Great Hall at the top of the castle also offers its cosy open fire, comfortable arm chairs and fun areas for table-tennis, snooker and games. On the ground floor of the castle is the generous flag-stoned basement that is ideal as a bar area if you are having a party whether inside or outside of the castle. The main entrance to the castle leads you to the beautiful mature and natural garden, ponds, woodlands and covered barbecue area with its long banqueting table for all the family. Adjacent to the castle is the owner's Manor House B&B which offers additional accommodation if required for those needing their own bedroom such as parents with babies and older members of the family (the B&B is offered at a separate cost). The Castle is positioned in the centre of its own land with a long grass lined avenue, surrounding paddocks and plenty of space to relax and for children to play. The countryside, small towns and villages within the locality of Ballaghmore Castle are rich with amenities including fishing, golf, horse riding, hiking, sightseeing, ancient heritage sites, eating out, shopping and pubs. A holiday at Ballaghmore Castle is a rare, unique and thrilling experience. The castle has been restored and maintained as close as is possible to its original and thus to stay here gives you a true experience of castle living. ... more   less 

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