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“A Real Castle” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ballyseede Castle

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Ballyseede Castle
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Ballyseede, Tralee, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 15 hotels in Tralee
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“A Real Castle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

We were booked on a trip to stay at 4 castle hotels. Of all four castle hotels we stayed at in Ireland, Ballyseede looked and felt like the only real castle -- all the rooms are actually in the castle, not in some addition or annex attached to the castle.

We arrived a few minutes after 9 PM. The proprietor was tending bar and greeted us with warmth and graciousness. He asked if we had eaten because the Castle's dining room had just closed and the chef was about to go home for the day. We told him we had not, but not to worry, we'd just drive into town and eat. He replied that the dining places in town closed at 9 PM also, and offered to get us some dinner while we got our bags to our rooms.

Of the many interests of the castle are the castle dogs. We never got to meet the Irish Wolfhound, Mr. Higgins, but Einstein, the "stone" dog was in the pub entertaining guests. He is a somewhat famous dog because he is obsessed with stones. People throw marble size stones across the room and he chases after them, retrieves them and puts them in front of him where he can stare intently at them until someone throws them again.

Our breakfast here was the best of all the hotels. It was a made-to-order menu breakfast combined with various assortments of pastries, juices and fresh fruit from a buffet.

Our room was a little bizarre; we were on the cellar floor all the way in the far corner. While the room itself was huge, the room's appointments weren't as nice as the public spaces of the castle. However, it was clean and comfortable. Rumors are that the castle is haunted, which adds to the lure of it being a real castle. I would return again simply because it really felt like we had visited a castle -- something I cannot say for the other three "castles" our travel agent booked us at.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the upper levels, not in the cellar.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your comments and your positive feedback. We do what we can for guests arriving to us and particularly if you arrive late in the evening, you are tired and need food and rest. We are glad you enjoyed your time with us. Staying in Paddy's way in the lower level is a fun castle experience and all floors have all room types. Thank you for your feedback. Rory & Marnie
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506 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (89)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, VA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Ballyseede is an elegant and simultaneously cozy castle. It is indeed, a grand castle with elegant rooms beautifully furnished. It has an attractive and lively bar, elegant dining rooms, and beautiful sitting rooms. Our room was quite grand and comfortable. The castle is surrounded with beautiful gardens. What made our stay especially comfortable was the warmth of the staff who tried to please and assist in every way. The sitting rooms provided privacy and simultaneously facilitated conversation with other guests if one chose to be social. Two dogs, Mr. Higgins and Einstein, were delightful and added a bit of homeyness to this grand hotel castle. The food was ample and quite good. We were delighted with our stay at Ballyseede which provided a lovely combination of grandeur and warmth.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your comments and you summarised Ballyseede Castle and what we do very well. We are delighted you had a good time and glad you took the time to share your comments with others. Our goal is to offer a unique castle experience to those who visit us. The may come here as strangers but we hope they leave as friends. Rory & Marnie
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Newbury, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

We stayed at Ballyseede Castle for 1 night after a wedding. We stayed in the castle double room, it had the wow factor. The bed may have been the most comfortable I have slept in. My friends stayed in the lodge which is small walk from the castle and she also loved the room. The food was so tasty and the staff were really friendly. Absolutely a place I would recommend.

  • Stayed October 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.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your email. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and The Lodge is proving very popular. It's great to get a good night sleep and this always adds to the relaxation. You got the three good experiences, food, accommodation and great staff. Many thanks, Rory & Marnie
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Waco, Texas
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

This is a very nice old castle hotel. The rooms are very large, very clean and the common areas excellent. First the rooms were large with good beds and a great bathroom. There is a library, a bar and a sitting room in addition to the restaurant. We had no luck getting a seat in the bar 2 nights in a row. That was diappointing, but they serve the overflow very nicely in the sitting room. The food is rather expensive for what it was, but the drink was fine. Parking was plentiful with a main lot and an overflow, both of which were right out front. The only negative is they charge about 5% extra if you charge your bill in USD$ and do not tell you, which I found deceptive. I highly recommend this place! It was the best sleep experience we found in Ireland.

Room Tip: We stayed in the main building which was perfect. I cannot speak to the rooms in the extended addit...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your comments we are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Pappy's Bar is very popular and fills quickly in the evening but as you mention the other lounges are also very comfortable for food or drinks in the evening. We are glad you slept well and we are very happy that you would recommend us to others. All of the bedrooms are in the main castle apart from the newly built Lodge and this is clearly marked on the website. I will raise the credit card issue with the reception staff as this is an option rather than compulsory on your transaction that the cardholder chooses. Thank you again for your comments. Rory & Marnie
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

This stay was a highlight on our trip. Although there are areas that could use some maintenance (bathroom & carpet in room) staying Ballyseede was real treat.
All staff were friendly and efficient.
You are free to roam around and use all the rooms at your leisure. With tea, coffee & biscuits available all day.
We had the 5 course menu in-house and weren't disappointed at all.
Breakfast was also plentiful and delicious.

PROS; Truly feel that the opulent setting is yours (if only for your stay)
Thoroughly recommend the evening meal in restaurant. Great value for money.

CONS; Bathroom could certainly use some modernization
Upon check in, would have guidance to more information on property (ie. History) and
perhaps a map of the grounds to explore

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your comments. We are glad you enjoyed your stay and delighted you enjoyed your room and dining experience during your stay. We are constantly improving and updating and doing what we can to improve our guests experience. A history of the castle is in each room and Tim one of our staff take guests on a tour of the Castle each evening on request. We constantly look for ideas to improve the guest information and thank you for your feedback. Rory & Marnie
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Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

I attended a family wedding in the hotel. As someone who is recently engaged, I would strongly advise any 'brides to be' against booking Ballyseede for your wedding if anyone in attendance has mobility issues or is in a wheelchair.

My father and two other guests were in wheelchairs. The toilets in the function room were completely inaccessible to wheelchairs (despite being assured in advance that they were accessible). When approached about this issue, the manager Rory was quite defensive and unsympathetic to the situation. Ramps are provided which a far too steep and unsafe. My father was forced to leave the wedding after a short time due to a lack of toilet facilities and the removal of ramps from the common areas. Despite raising this issue with management, no attempt at a reduced room rate or any gesture was provided to my parents on check out. My father has since written to Ballyseede but again, no attempt was made to empathise or reimburse.

I think the management of Ballyseede should take great care in assuring guests are aware of the abysmal wheelchair accessibility. I was entirely unimpressed.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you again for raising this issue. We have discussed this at length before during and after the wedding mentioned. We the hotel were the first to raise the difficulties associated with moving around a listed building and offered every assistance on the day once the man's needs were mentioned. We invited a member of the family to come and look at the castle before hand to be sure it would be suitable but this didn't happen. As an owner and a son of a mother in a wheelchair for many years I am very aware of the difficulties associated with access and here at Ballyseede Castle due to the historic nature of the building and limited works that can be carried out. we have limited access but it can be overcome with assistance. Portable ramps are used as all floors are accessed by steps. The gentleman was offered a fully disabled designed room in our newly built Lodge as we felt this would be more comfortable for him, this was declined and we facilitated him with the most suitable room in the castle. They enjoyed a nights stay with us and we discussed the matter at length on departure. We have take your comments on board and are in the process of improving our access to the restrooms on that level. Thank you again for your helpful comments. Rory & Marnie
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Miami, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

An absolutely awesome experience all around. We stayed at the Balleseede during our honeymoon and everyone made us feel like royalty. From the entrance we were impressed with the furnishings in the hotel, and then the food took it to another level. We actually ate at the castte all 3 meals and we absolutely were pleased. At Dinner a Pork Belly appetizer will be in my memory for a long time as one of the best things I have ever eaten ,absolutely decadent! We loved our room, so large and spacious. Tub and shower also luxurious and just all was pleasant. The grounds are beautiful, and I love the connection with nature at this hotel, their dogs are oh so cute and the mini horses too!

  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MCTralee, Owner at Ballyseede Castle, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you had such a good experience. You managed to say in a few sentences what Ballyseede Castle is all about. A unique experience with good food, accommodation and friendly staff. We love the connection with nature and as a family who have small children the dogs, donkeys and horses add a different dimension to a stay at Ballyseede Castle. Rory & Marnie
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Additional Information about Ballyseede Castle

Address: Ballyseede, Tralee, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Kerry > Tralee
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 hotels in Tralee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Ballyseede Castle 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxury 4* Castle hotel located just outside of Tralee town on its own thirty acres of woodland. A very grand Hotel with two AA rosettes and shortlisted for Country House of the Year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballyseede Castle Hotel Tralee

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