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“Feel like a Princess” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Waterford Castle Hotel

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Waterford Castle Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   The Island, Ballinakill, Waterford, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Waterford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Feel like a Princess”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Lovely castle, have stayed here twice and was delighted both times, with everything. It is an old building so it does have its quirks but we have found everything spotless and welcoming. We found the staff service excellent

Room Tip: Our second visit we stayed in the Pembrook suite, if you can its fab a real suite!!
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you so much for sharing such lovely feedback with us. Your comments are most complimentary and the staff will be immensely proud of the stamp of excellence you have given them.
We look forward to your third visit!
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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830 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

The castle and history was great. But the rooms feel a little run down for price. And shower is a little difficult to operate. The overall service and dinner were very good. Take a walk around the grounds, you'll enjoy it.

Room Tip: High for a better view.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for finding the time to share your views. I was delighted to read your compliments in relation to service and dinner. We have identified rooms that are to receive refurbishment and refreshment and I assure you that we are implementing a program.
We do hope that you will return to Waterford Castle.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilkenny, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Loved our stay at the castle. Very unique place to stay.

The ferry ride really helps you switch off and go in to holiday mode! very impressive drive up to the hotel and the castle itself is amazing, very quaint looking.

I feel I have to mention the level of service received from staff member Liam - very personable and yet professional - made us both feel very welcome.

The lobby/restaurant/bar, etc are amazing. tapestries, big stone fireplace, luxurious wood panelling is in contrast to the musty hallways and tired rooms. there is a certain charm about the rooms but definitely looking a bit shabby when compared to the standards of the rest of the hotel. this castle is not a cheap place to stay and I feel is slightly let down in this regard.

Having said that the rest of the castle and the grounds are amazing, it is truly spoilt for where it is located, really enjoyed our walk on the trails around the grounds.

The food in the restaurant was superb and had a great atmosphere with a piano player, attentive staff, great lighting, etc. each course was better than the last with the nicest chocolate brownie I have ever eaten, my wife had scallops for starter and I am still hearing about them 2 weeks later! amazing food, cannot say enough good things about it!!!

I would definitely stay here again but I think for what the castle charges to stay here it needs to pick up its game a little. In comparison to other hotels of a similar vein it still has a lot to do before it can hold a torch to the likes of dromoland or ashford castle.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Reviewer
We are most grateful that you have taken the time to share your feedback. Your review was most complimentary and I look forward to passing your comments to all concerned and in particular to Liam whom I am sure will be most humbled.
We are giving room standards ongoing attention to bring them up a level.
Thank you indeed for your recommendation and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Kind Regards
Derek
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

We visited Waterford Castle yesterday to check out as a wedding venue. It started out well, with the novelty of the trip to the island by ferry. On arrival, we noticed how generally unkempt the property is, generally untidy grounds, culminating in a dreadful, pot hole filled car park, which was our initial impression on leaving the car. We walked around the outside of the castle before entering, and once again, were disappointed at the general feeling of it being uncared for, especially at the rear, where the service area was untidy, and on display.

On entering, I approached the reception desk, to ask where to go, as we had a table booked for 1.30. A receptionist called Paul informed us where to go, rather brusquely, and again, we were disappointed with our first, and unwelcoming impressions. We found our way to the bar, and I waited, or rather was ignored, whist standing at the bar, waiting to get menus and order drinks, as there didn't seem to be anybody waiting on tables. When she ( I think her name was Fiona) did finally deign to serve me, her demeanour was also less than pleasant. We ordered, and waited, and waited. The service here is amongst the worst I have ever encountered, and, as seasoned world travellers, have had much experience of.

We elected to dine in the bar, as were on a schedule for time, and felt this may be more expeditious, and whilst the drinks were served reasonably quickly, we waited over half an hour for our soups to arrive, which were very shallow bowls with pea green leek and potato soup, that had been over seasoned with salt. At nearly €8 each, this was a tad saucy, given that it was bar food, in a four star. Time passes, eventually our bowls are removed, and another twenty or so minutes pass before our mains arrive, Monkfish goujons, and a beef burger, both accompanied with fries. They were both adequate, although nothing special. At nearly €17 each for this course, once again, for bar food, it struck us as being a little much.

I then went to use the bathroom, and asked the same receptionist where they were located. Once again, the same dour and brusque attitude, and thus is their front of house representative, the first impression of the hotel?! On my way back from the bathroom, this same man is thundering down the corridor towards me, and I have to stop, and wait to let HIM past?! Has he no hospitality training, or even common good manners to realise that as a member of staff, you acquiesce to the guest at all times, stand aside on a corridor if space is an issue, hold a door open etc... This man needs retraining or to redeploying if he doesn't realise this.

Time passes, and our plates are cleared, and deserts menus are brought, and ordered from, with a lovely, warm and friendly server called Derek, who redeemed the appalling attitude and service we had encountered thus far. The deserts, quelle surprise were nothing special, mine was a sticky toffee pudding that was just about passable, but was neither sticky, or tasted particularly of toffee, and was barely lukewarm, with cold and poor quality butterscotch, and once again, for nearly € 8 each?!

Utterly appalling from start to finish, this is most definitely a four star that thinks its a five star. We have no problem in paying for quality, believing that you usually get what you pay for, sadly, this is not the case in Waterford Castle. Style over substance comes to mind, but even the style could be improved upon. It could be amazing, and has the capability,with work, to become a five star, but falls well short of the mark.

On driving to the ferry, we were also struck by the ugly, and appallingly inappropriate "lodges". Not only were they utterly inappropriate in both architecture and location, looking tired and dated, but they also looked semi derelict, almost like a post Celtic tiger "ghost estate" with poorly maintained moss drizzled facades, faded paint and untidy grounds...

Such a pity, definitely wouldn't be in a hurry to return, and most certainly wouldn't choose it as a wedding venue based on yesterday's experience!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Reviewer
I appreciate the time you have taken to share your views of Waterford Castle. As you will well imagine the reading was met with considerable dissapointment. May I say that I am profoundly sorry to hear of your experience and to hear these comments is of major concern to me. I will be taking your feedback in relation to staff hospitality, pace of service and food quality along with pricing to all concerned and I assure you I will be acting accordingly where necessary.
On a positive note I was pleased to read that you experienced warm and friendly service from Derek which served as a redemption amidst everything else. Anything but this goes against the grain of all Waterford Castle is about.
I would welcome the opportunity to have you back at Waterford Castle and provide you with an experience which is positively memorable. I hope you would consider returning and I ask that you would please contact me directly at the castle.
Thank you
Kind Regards
Derek
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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Great place for a relaxing break.. Lovely log fires. Wonderful castle features. A pleasant if somewhat muddy walk around the island ( bring boots) A great sense of history but with most modern conveniences to hand and for a castle in february remarkably well heated.

  • Stayed February 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.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Reviewer
We really appreciate you sharing your feedback with us. Thank you for posting such a complimentary review.
We look forward to having you return to Waterford Castle.
Kind Regards
Derek
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MALVERNE
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I went to visit a few friends who live in Dublin, and we decided to take a weekend trip down to Waterford Castle. Though we weren't able to stay in the castle (they are all allegedly double occupancy rooms) we decided to stay in one of the lodges that are about a 10 minute walk away from the castle. Our lodge was amazing. It was so clean, modern, spacious, and beautiful. Although it wasn't the same experience as staying in the castle (I want to go back and do this!), it was still perfect. I just wish we brought more food with us since there was a full and impressive kitchen that was just inviting me to cook an amazing meal. Instead we went to the castle for dinner, where I ate one of the most delicious meals that I've had in my life. Although I had a wonderful time with my friends, the castle seems like it would be the perfect place to take the love of your life for a romantic getaway.

Room Tip: Stay in a lodge with larger groups (they sleep up to 8) and bring food/entertainment with you!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you so much for sharing your views on a recent stay with us. We were delighted to read your review and indeed to learn of your pleasure with the lodge. I will be more than happy to pass your comments in relation to the food experience to our chef whom I am sure will be most proud.
We do hope you can experience the castle on your next visit.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We have just returned from a last minute one night stay in the family lodges at Waterford Castle, our new "summer home" (I wish) where the kids have told us we have to go every time we go away again.

This has a perfect mix of luxury and family friendly, beautifully equipped spacious lodges, really comfy beds, gorgeous cocktails, great food in the bar, and most importantly really really great friendly and professional staff and service. People make a place, and this is really understood and valued here - special thanks to Eugene and Amy who looked after us so well.

Its a 2 hour easy drive from Dublin with a fun 2 minute trip on the ferry. It sets the scene for a very special private experience. We were indoors most of the time as we were there in January but when we return during the summer we will make use of the driving range, archery, picnics, walks and tennis. Even with horrible weather the lodge was really cozy, and the candles and fires in the castle made a great atmosphere.

I would totally recommend this to any family, or those lucky enough to be able to go without kids :) its a really special place. I can't wait to go back.

All at the castle should be very proud of the job they are doing so well and the exemplary hospitality they show in beautiful surroundings. Its great to come back from somewhere and say not only that it was worth every penny but that it was excellent value. We got a lot more than we had expected and we will be back again soon with family and friends!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Reviewer
We greatly appreciate your feedback and the kids seal of approval puts a smile on our face. You have spoken so highly of the lodges which is most reassuring for us.It will be my pleasure to pass on the recognition you have given to the staff. To hear that you got a lot more than expected is most rewarding and indeed humbling.
We look forward to having you and your family return!
Thank you
Kind Regards
Derek
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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 Waterford Castle Hotel

Address: The Island, Ballinakill, Waterford, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Waterford > Waterford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Waterford
#2 Luxury Hotel in Waterford
#4 Family Hotel in Waterford
#4 Business Hotel in Waterford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Waterford Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on its own private Island on the River Suir, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort offers 4 Star Luxury Castle Accommodation nestled in the suburbs of Waterford City.Feel yourself travel through time as you make the magical journey by our complimentary Car Ferry to the 310 acre Island Resort.With an amazing history stretching back to the 6th century, wake up in Waterford Castle Hotel Ireland after a peaceful night’s sleep to the picturesque and enchanting scenes and sounds the island has to offer. Enjoy gourmet food served in our award winning Munster room restaurant and Fitzgerald Bar or simply relax by the large open fire in 16th Century surroundings.For family, group or self catering in Waterford our Island Garden Lodges are the perfect place to experience the South East.Island Activities include our 18 hole Championship Golf Course, our fantastic tennis courts, clay Pigeon Shooting or croquet on the Castle lawns.Waterford Castle also provides a stunning Irish castle wedding venue for an unforgettable Wedding Day. Imagine… A legendary Castle, on an Island Haven; exclusively yours. All in all Waterford Castle Hotel and golf resort provides a luxury destination to escape from life itself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waterford Castle

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