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“A lovely stay.” 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
cork,ireland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A lovely stay.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

I have just returned from an overnight stay with 3 friends at the Lodges No 35 at Waterford Castle. Eventhough there was a private function at the hotel and the foyer was extremely busy, we were not waiting and were checked-in in a very friendly and efficient manner (I would expect nothing less from a Cork girl, thank you Denise). The lovely touches of the lighting fire and upstairs heaters were really appreciated on what was a bitterly cold day. As the hotel restaurant was unavailable to us, we decided to stay in and cook our evening meal in comfort. Having visited Tesco just up the road for ingredients, everything else we needed was available in the lovely modern kitchen and we had a very relaxing time. Check-out is normally 11am but we were permitted to stay until 12 at no extra charge. This enabled us to tidy up and leave the lodge in the condition it was on our arrival. I agree with the fact that the lodges could perhaps do with a facelift externally but other than that, they want for nothing. I would highly recommend a visit and am already planning my next stay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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 26, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you very much indeed for sharing your feedback. I was delighted and proud to read such a fantastic review. Your words were most complimentary and I greatly look forward to sharing them with all my colleagues and in particular Denise. We have identified the exterior of the lodges being in need of attention which we plan to action.
Thank you for your recommendation and we look forward to your next stay.
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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756 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I spent two nights at Waterford Castle, eating dinner in the restaurant once. The hotel is really relaxing and in most respects is very good. Staff are friendly and professional and the food is excellent. The ground are a joy to walk around and the ferry crossings are frequent making a trip to Waterford City easy.

Our only small gripes were about the rooms which are large and ooze character however cleaning was not great with debris visible behind the bath and obvious dust in some corners.

Overall though this is a lovely place for a city break with a difference.

Stayed February 2013
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 26, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for finding the time to share your views. We were delighted to read of your experience with us and we are most grateful for your compliments. I will give housekeeping my immediate attention and I am sorry for our shortcomings in this area.
We do hope to welcome back 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.
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Myself and my husband recently stayed in Waterford Castle for a two night break. We left feeling totally relaxed and indulged. The staff at the Castle were lovely, very polite, friendly and professional. The Castle itself is perfect as a castle should be i.e. there are quirks, and things that are old and slightly off centre and it all added to the experience for us. Its easy to bright and shiny and new and much more difficult to get a stay like that provided in Waterford Castle.
The food is just great. I had scallops which were delicious, venison that was melt in the mouth fantastic and a tonka bean panacotta that is quite simply the best dessert I've ever had.
The only improvement I could suggest for a stay at Waterford Castle is to have a spa on site. A therapist can be arranged who will visit your room but thats not quite the same thing. There are tennis courts on site that look very under used and I'd love to see a spa there instead.
Overall though it was a lovely getaway, great food, lovely wine, and would certainly go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you very much indeed for posting such a complimentary review following your stay with us.
I was delighted to read of your experience and it will be a great pleasure to pass your comments to all of my colleagues at Waterford Castle. We sincerely appreciate your recommendation and we will keep the spa in mind!
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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
34 reviews 34 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
Report response as inappropriate
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Waterford
#3 Business Hotel in Waterford
#3 Family Hotel in Waterford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Waterford Castle Hotel 4*
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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