We enjoyed a wonderful 5 night stay (30 Sep - 4 Oct 2008) at Clontarf Castle Hotel in conjunction with a conference held there, and we highly recommend it (with a "Caution", see below).
I researched the hotel on Trip Advisor, and found poor reviews, along with excellent ones. Knowing that there seems to be consistent problems with noise, I sent an email to Siobhan Fagan and Gabriela Santos at Clontarf Castle Hotel addressing our concerns about noise and requesting a quiet room, a top sheet for the bed (another complaint found in the reviews), and extra towels. Ms. Fagan and Ms. Santos followed up and graciously accommodated our requests.
Our room was comfortable and clean (as noted in so many of the past reviews), and wonderfully quiet. Two minor negative comments about our room: the hair dryer was mounted inside a drawer in the dresser, making it a little awkward to use; the bar of soap was annoying small and constantly slipped out of the wire soap holder.
Our room rate included breakfast, which we would rate as excellent, with the exception of the scrambled eggs on the buffet (they had a funny taste and texture). Another minor negative comment about breakfast: the pancakes are listed on the menu as coming with berries (seasonal?); mine came with a marmalade, which I would have liked to have known about beforehand (I was so looking forward to the berries).
All of the hotel staff we encountered were helpful, attentive and caring, but some staff members in particular stood out, especially Ms. Fagan and Concierges Ankur and Vijay; the management /owner(s) of Clontarf Castle are fortunate to have such dedicated and efficient staff. I would also like to commend the hotel management in supporting guest feedback on Trip Advisor - not many properties read and respond to guest reviews.
Now, the caution: Clontarf Castle Hotel is a lovely and romantic property - truly a beautiful setting for weddings and parties. I found that most of the negative comments on Trip Advisor involve noise from wedding receptions/parties (music in particular). The last night of our stay was a Friday and we returned to the hotel around 11:30 pm, having taken the bus from center city Dublin. As we walked up the park-like path to the hotel from the street we heard a very loud (very bad) band playing music even before we got to the hotel parking lot. Once inside the lobby, the noise was extremely loud, however, our room (which was on the opposite side of the hotel and not near the function rooms) was peacefully quite. So the caution is, consider that weekends are prime time for wedding receptions and parties when booking your room, and that you may, unfortunately, experience the noise problem that is consistently commented on in the negative reviews on Trip Advisor.
Our stay at Clontarf Castle Hotel was a delightful highlight of our trip to Dublin - we loved it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin Ireland is a perfect blend of boutique and luxury, providing unique style and exceptional service in comfortable surroundings. This unique luxury hotel in Dublin is well thought out from the guests' point of view by providing a modern aesthetic built around an ancient form. Located just 10 minutes from the heart of Dublin City Centre and 2 miles from Dublin Airport, Clontarf Castle Hotel is an oasis, tucked away in a tranquil setting, surrounded by fabulous golf courses and the sounds of lapping waters from the Irish Sea. ... more less
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