The Ice House – What an Apt name for this hotel! –
We stayed at the Ice House last weekend for a birthday treat, we had booked a riverside suite and after perusing the Hotel’s website several times, we decided to give it a try as we had stayed at the sister hotel Lisloughrey Lodge, if only we had the same great experience, however a number of what I would call small to medium negative points about the hotel were greatly surpassed by the completely unprofessional way in which both myself and my partner were treated by Dara Cruise the General Manager upon our departure! I will start by reviewing our stay and the hotel itself.
We arrived mid afternoon and I was surprised at how small the hotel was and its close proximity to the main road. We were greeted in a very friendly manner by reception and shown to the lounge to await our room being prepared. We were given a glass of Prosecco as a complimentary gesture and not a glass of the Champagne displayed so visually on the cocktail cabinet, all in all, a nice touch. As we sat in the lounge, a laundry service man came in and out the main door with large trolleys of towels etc, I have stayed in many 4 and 5 star properties and have never actually seen service people use the main guest entrance, not the most appealing sight! Our room (Wedgewood) on first glance was contemporary and clean, and very closely situated to the river. The room is well formed and bright, the view is lovely, however, the windows are extremely low down and anyone over 5 feet tall can easily see into the bedroom, not what one wants when looking to relax in private, I completely understand another individuals review on a previous occasion to this effect. We had lunch in the Bar and the food was good, the cocktail list good, but could be better. Again, the whole hotel is very small, including the restaurant and communal areas, any reviewers who prefer a larger hotel, would be disappointed. We returned to our room and decided to eat in our room and ordered food and drinks. I ordered 2 cosmopolitans and they arrived in 2 high ball glasses loaded with ice, I have NEVER in my life been served a cocktail of this nature, in this way and it was inadequate to say the least! The burger was very over seasoned and chicken wings very under done. However, we had a pleasant enough evening until, and this is where the weekend started to go wrong, we experienced the constant noise from the room next door, we could hear their TV the whole evening and even some conversation, the walls must be extremely thin! As the evening progressed, we opened the lovely balcony up to experience the beautiful river air, to be choked by 2nd hand smoke from people, mainly staff, smoking below. It was disgusting. The stay got even worse when I received a call from home that I did not want to get, a very good friend of mine had been in hospital and had got progressively worse, and I needed to head back home the next day. I telephoned reception and explained that I would prefer to check out the next day and would this be ok/would there be any issues etc. I was told that was absolutely no problem and she would cancel my 2nd night and inform the team. I had a very unrestful sleep, mainly as I was understandably concerned for my friend and also due to the hard pillows. We got up the next day and had ordered breakfast to our room which arrived cold, not to worry as I had more pressing issues on my mind! As I left the room at 10am I noticed that a window cleaner was aggressively cleaning the windows and balconies and I remember thinking that if I had been staying that morning, I would have been very annoyed to be woken so early and also due to the lack of privacy and window level, would not have been comfortable with someone looking in at me eating my breakfast.
We arrived at reception and I was met by a visibly annoyed looking Manager whose first words to me were I believe you are leaving us early. I had expected a smile, an enquiry as to why we had to leave early, or more importantly a query as to how we had enjoyed our stay thus far. I am a very private person and did not want to elaborate regarding my personal issues with a stranger and confirmed that I did indeed need to check out early. As I was upset at this stage, I did not want to go down the feedback route on the issues we had as I was keen to get on the road and back home. He then preceded quote the cancellation policy to me and at this stage my partner, who was sitting across the room, joined me as he later told me that he got a very aggressive vibe from this gentleman that I was dealing with. We explained that we had called down the previous evening and we were not told of any charge or any issue. I then raised the fact that he was the gentleman who took my booking on the phone initially and he did not request any credit card details which I thought strange, nor, did the lady checking us in ask for my card. He then proceeded to lie to my face and say that at the time of the booking that he told me to call him back with my credit card details – and he most certainly did not! At this stage, due to his overall attitude and the fact that he was completely bending the truth to suit his own needs, we stood our ground and told him we were not happy with this. Then, to my horror, he did not indicate that he had decided to waive the charge, he simply and very rudely, got up, instructed a lady to finish our booking and walked away from us.
I have been in the service industry for a number of years and not once have I ever walked away from a paying customer whilst in the middle of serving them, nor, have I had anyone do that to me. The ironic thing is that the in-room info book gives a blow by blow account of the fine establishments this manager has been working at, yet he cannot show a basic level of professional courtesy. This individual is clearly only interested in making money in any way he can for this establishment – even by charging a paying customer who spent almost €400 on 1 nights stay, for accommodation services that they did not avail of. I will never step foot in this hotel again and must say that the dismissive and unprofessional way in which we were treated was an extremely poor reflection of this property and I would strongly urge anyone thinking of booking a stay here, to seek rest and relaxation at an establishment where their custom will be appreciated and in these challenging economic times, one would think that hotels and particularly hotel managers, should be at the very least, listening to and treating their customers with courtesy and respect.
Icy by name and most certainly icy by nature.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.