We spent two delightful nights in late November at this superb B&B during a 10-day trip through Northern Ireland, our first trip to the country. We chose Willowbank House because of the reviews on TripAdvisor, and booked by e-mail directly with the owners, who were very good about responding to my inquiries and sent very detailed directions for driving there. This was the all-around best of the three very good B&B's we stayed in during our trip. We paid 60 British pounds a night at all three places, but got more for our money here.
The house is in a gorgeous location, as the pictures of other reviewers show. The interior, both the public areas and the private rooms, is beautiful and well-appointed. Tom and Joan were warm and welcoming hosts, and at the same time professional and discrete; and we had delightful chats with them at breakfast both mornings. And the breakfast!--Although we were the only guests during our stay, the spread that greeted us each morning was as rich as if the place had been full. There were large bowls of fruit (delicious fresh hot stewed plums, stewed prunes, cut fresh fruit, citrus), cereals, breads to toast, scones, cream and yogurt; and then a wide selection of cooked entrees--which, as we discovered, is unusual. The typical Irish fried breakfast, which was the only selection at the other B&B's, was available; but also a plate of tasty ham and local cheeses, porridge (with heavy cream--yum!), pancakes, french toast, and other tempting things, all served in a beautiful glassed-in dining room opening on to a lovely patio and grounds and overlooking the lake. The breakfast was more than filling enough to last us until dinner (well, with a stop for tea and pastry in the afternoon). Our room had the standard set-up for making tea/coffee, but also included packets of cookies, which we appreciated. The queen-size bed was very comfortable (the pillows were only ok, but I rarely like the pillows). The room also contained a twin bed, two chairs, nightstands, chests of drawers, and a huge closet. The bathroom had thick towels (but no washcloths, as was the case in another of the B&B's), dispensers of shampoo and liquid soap (no bar soap--but none of the places we stayed had bar soap), jars of cotton balls and swabs. There are no outlets in the bathroom (I would guess that's a code requirement in Ireland), but there is an outlet right by the bathroom door, so the mirror can be used for hairdrying. The weather was quite cold and drizzly while we were there, with gale force winds the first night, and I do have to say that the room was rather chilly. But we found out that chilly bedrooms are apparently typical, at least in B&B's, at that time of year, and there is a warm comforter on the bed and an extra blanket in the closet. But, in any case, the luxurious warmth of the rest of our experience at Willowbank House more than made up for the temperature deficit.
We have stayed in many boutique hotels and B&B's in the U.S. and Europe, and this one rates among the very best. We highly recommend it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.