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“Excellent hotel in a super location! Great for a relaxing break” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ice House Hotel

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The Ice House Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   The Quay, Ballina, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Ballina
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Mayo
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel in a super location! Great for a relaxing break”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Had a wonderful weekend break, greeted with Champagne on arrival, personalised chocolate strawberries awaited us in our room. The room was very comfortable, clean, spacious and had nice décor, the attention to detail was excellent. The room looked out over the river with spectacular view of the wildlife and forest. The disabled access throughout the hotel was good. Our evening meal in The Pier restaurant was lovely. We treated ourselves to some spa treatments in The Chill spa and I cannot recommend it enough!
Staff were warm and welcoming which added greatly to making our stay relaxing.

I would definitely stay here again, a must if you want to explore north Mayo.

Room Tip: River rooms are excellent value for money.
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  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear AilineHanlon,

Our sincere thanks for taking the time to air your views regarding your recent visit to the Ice House; they are very much appreciated by everyone here at the Hotel.

I am also very pleased that you not only enjoyed the relaxing experience at the Ice House, but also the array of attractions near by.

Hopefully it will not be to long before your return visit to Ballina

Warm regards,
Ken and the Team at the Ice House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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803 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 (157)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

I cannot say enough good things about The Chill Spa @ The Ice House Hotel. Based on the incredible location, luxurious furniture and fittings, excellent service and wonderful facilities I sincerely regret not opting to pay the extra few bob to stay at The Ice House Hotel as, I have no doubt, it would have been worth every cent.
If you're visiting Ballina, I highly recommend a visit to the Chill Spa (at the very least). The treatments are diverse, comprehensive and relaxing beyond a doubt. Bring your swimsuit as the Thermal Suites and outdoor hot-tubs are well worth a visit while you're there!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear N_alde,

Elaine and her team at our Chill Spa are very grateful indeed for your very kind review regarding your recent experience with us.

Thank you for taking the time to air your comments and certainly look forward to welcoming you back and hopefully for a stay over as well .

Warm regards
Ken and the Team at the Ice House
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

Really lovely hotel. Clean, VERY comfortable bed, room with great character and a bath you need arm bands for.
The staff in the hotel are all very friendly and helpful always smiling.
The hotel is within a 10-15mins walk of the town, some nice restaurants nearby so a car is not needed if you are planning to socialise in the town.

Room Tip: I was in a room in the old part which was full of character but had no view. the new rooms all seem...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear Evelyn_078,

Thank you so much for your very kind review regarding your recent stay with us her at the Ice House.

We do indeed have a great location with plenty on offer to suit everyone's needs.

I look forward to your return visit to us here in Ballina,
Warm regards
Ken Bergin
General Manager
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
211 helpful votes 211 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

I have a few favorite hotels/manors in Ireland and after our recent stay at the Icehouse (for two nights), it has certainly joined my top ranking. The reviews swing high and low it appears for this property but we had nothing but the most fabulous stay. I had been searching for a special hotel between Belfast and Clifden to stop over for a couple of nights and by surfing the net, the Icehouse website caught my eye right away. I chose one of the riverview suites and requested to be situated as far away from humanity as possible (both for privacy and also so that staff/guests in the hotel would not be a distraction from the river view/bird life that we might be able to view from our balcony). For me privacy is a huge issue and from my reading of the hotel's website, the property best caters for privacy, a quiet spa area and romantic encounters...not like a pub or meant for crowd t.v. sports gatherings (but definitely a fantastic wedding venue; after our stay, I'd readily choose the Icehouse for a special celebration).
Upon arrival, the architecture of the building is very eye-catching/appealing/eclectic. Parking was easy (adjacent to the hotel). The front reception area and adjacent parlour were cozy. The receptionist was very cheerful and welcoming (maybe they made note of past complaints as we had nothing but exceptional service our entire stay). She offered us bubbly and we asked to first go to our room and come back once unpacked and more relaxed; no problem at all (and I'm glad she didn't say champagne as it was obviously prosecco, which was fine but I hate it when one is offered champagne and then is actually served sparking wine--a first sign of deception to me). When we returned to the bar area (we sat upstairs in the glass atrium area...very comfy and bright) my husband asked for a glass of wine instead and it immediately arrived along with my drink.
We had quite a bit of luggage with us and the young man (Michael I believe) whisked it away cheerfully (amazing to even be offered a porter in Ireland these days...); our suite ended up being at the very end of the hotel (which is what I requested), down and around loads of stairs so we empathized with this fantastic porter who was not grumpy about lugging two sets of luggage to the room. (I recall a review where someone complained about so many stairs, but to me if this is a concern, then prior to booking a hotel, one should ask about this sort of thing....lots of stairs? child friendly or not friendly? noisy or quiet? what kind of facilities, etc?)

We had to walk past the spa to get to our room, and the spa area was just lovely (see photos) with little candlelit lanterns leading down the hallway to the treatment rooms (very inviting!). We did not use the spa for any treatments as they are quite expensive compared to where we live in Asia, but the smell coming from the spa area was full of scented aromatherapy...very nice to pass through this each time on the way to/from our room.

We also noted the outdoor jacuzzi (both were working and one was kept covered to stay very hot while the other one might be in use). I was simply too cold to even think of stepping outside to use the jacuzzi, but it looked very appealing (and a really nice touch to have this and the steam bath free for guests). Another review mentioned the lack of a pool...in Ireland? (I would have loved it if they had a fitness center for that matter, but how many hotels have decent ones in Ireland either?) I opted for a hot bath in our lovely bathtub (that had candles provided on the bathtub edge).

Our room was called the Bronze Room (all the river view suites..10 total I counted...were given names) and it was the second from the end (the end one being called "Medal"..as in "Bronze Medal"). Nothing was faded or broken down or tiles missing, etc. as some other reviewers noted (and mentioned standards seem to be slipping--at least in our room they were not). I loved the room immediately. (And finally a hotel within this price bracket (Euro 200/night) with goose down pillows and a thick down duvet.) The room was split into a living area and a bedroom (with the ability to shut off one room from the other if one is napping or you need to make two bedrooms) plus a balcony where we spent most our time; private and right over the river Moy...swans/herons/gulls/ducks galore. We could not hear any neighbors (the balconies have private walls) nor unless by boat no one could pass by. And by being in an end room suite, no staff would be down our way unless to specifically clean or by request.

There was a jar of freshly made, delicious chocolate chip cookies in the cabinet (but no fridge; I guess they don't want you buying your own refreshments, etc?) and the typical tea/instant coffee with a note to dial "0" for fresh milk which was a nice touch.

The bathroom was quite aesthetic but not very practical. Pretty to look at but difficult to use. The stone/tile sink is at a slant with the stopper you have to push by hand to let the water go down...a bit yucky to use and the sink easily collects water at the bottom. The shower has no door (again, pretty but not practical) and water splashed out on the floor with every use (yuck again)...my husband remarked that the design was a good lesson in how not to build a bathroom. The amenities were very nice (all spa quality using lavender and peppermint infusions in the shampoo/conditioner/bath gel/lotion/soap bar). Bathrobes were big and furry and slippers useful to go out on the balcony and not bring in the wet whenever it rained...

We had drinks again in the glass atrium area while waiting to eat in the restaurant the first night. There is also a bar area but we found it a bit dark and claustrophobic for me as one only looked straight at the bar; much nicer to be able to look out at the water. The waitresses were fantastic at dinner and at the breakfasts (same ladies...tough job); always professional, prompt and service with a smile. Our dinner was good but not exceptional. Nice wine at a reasonable price. Breakfasts were acceptable but again nothing special as one would expect at a hotel that is supposed to be renowned for its restaurant. We didn't order it but the table next to us had a few people order the full Irish breakfast and it looked quite feeble.

Wireless internet connection was excellent in the room.

The second night we chose to eat outside of the hotel and went to Crockets on the Quay (just a few minutes walk)...fantastic comfort food (the chicken wings are to die for, good soups and we had a very lightly fried plaice...really good and so reasonable). They also had the most amazing fiddler/guitar player that evening (the Ceide boys) so we were very lucky to happen to be there.

It was a perfect two days in this hotel (other than the damp/soggy bathroom) and we will be recommending it to many and hopefully be back again ourselves before too long.

Room Tip: End suite Bronze room was perfect. Private and no other view than the river and birds. Very very qui...
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  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear Asiaexpat81


Our sincere thanks for taking the time to air your views regarding your recent visit to the Ice House; they are very much appreciated by everyone here at the Hotel.

I am very pleased to read that you enjoyed what we strive at all times possible to do, and that is to Enjoy, Relax, Chill and experience the warmth of hospitality we provide in a relaxing and care free environment.

We are of course mindful of other issues raised in your review that are working on to improve.

Hopefully it will not be to long before your return visit to Ballina

Warm regards,
Ken and the Team at the Ice House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thiene, Italy
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

It was one of the best places I'd ever been during holidays! The welcome was really nice, we were offered a glass of bubble in an old and very lovely restored living room while someone was getting our luggage into the rooms: after lots of hours driving it was the best thing that could happen to us:-) But it was not only the first impression which was excellent... the rooms were better than expected, modern and comfortable, with everything you need in and a gorgeous view on the river! The dinner, which we booked in advance, was fabulous: best "raw material", fresh fish, interesting recipes and lovely dishes preparation.
The stuff was nice and not too formal, which gave the place a very relaxing ambience.
I would recommend it to everyone and for sure I'll get there again as soon as possible, even just for a restful weekend in a beautiful surrounding.

Room Tip: You must choose the rooms on the river side.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear Claudia I,

I am really very pleased that you both enjoyed your recent stay here at the Ice House. Your comments in your review have been well received and greatly appreciated by all.

Hopefully it will not be to long before your return visit to Ballina

Warm regards
Ken Bergin
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

On website had box for dietary needs. Receptionist said they could accomodate a coeliac vegetarian. No chance. Was only given miserable side orders. Was only given one piece of burnt gluten free bread ages after everyone else. Grand for meat eaters but terrible for people with allergys. Waiting staff very unpleasant and disrespectful. The room was an absolute dump. Very dirty. €35 for a bottle of wine. Will never come here again.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

A group of 19 of us descended on the Ice House for a Hen weekend at the beginning of August. We found all the staff to be exceptionally helpful and obliging - nothing was too much trouble! I'd like to mention Leo in particular - he went to so much effort with our cocktail making class which all the girls enjoyed immensely. The food was of an excellent quality and the rooms overlooking the water were amazing. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much and agreed we would love to return some time. Thanks for a great weekend!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
ICEHOUSETEAM, General Manager at The Ice House Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear BelfastLG,

Our sincere thanks for taking the time to air your views regarding your recent visit to the Ice House; they are very much appreciated by everyone here at the Hotel.

It goes without saying that our Team, especially Leo, also thoroughly enjoyed looking after "The Girls" and I am delighted that everyone enjoyed themselves and we were apart of your memorable weekend away.

Hopefully it will not be to long before your return visit to Ballina

Warm regards,
Ken Bergin
General Manager
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 The Ice House Hotel

Address: The Quay, Ballina, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Mayo > Ballina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ballina
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ballina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Ice House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Contemporary chic meets old world elegance throughout the Ice House. Funky furnishings, eclectic styling and stunning architectural design combine to make you feel like you're in the heart of the city. One look at the unrivalled riverside views from all our rooms and you'll immediately know you're not. The distinct, interior fusion of traditional and new styles are woven in to an eclectic mix. Together they form the perfect accent to the amazing views that stretch across the River Moy to the woodlands beyond. With great service, fantastic food, fine wines, clever cocktails and a hotel spa guaranteed to sooth... ...Discover the best of both worlds at The Ice House and make it your escape to the extraordinary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ice Hotel Ballina
The Ice Hotel

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