We were attending a wedding at the hotel, and as we always do if possible, decided to stay at the venue. Given the relatively huge room rate coupled with many of the reviews on here we were really excited about our stay, expecting something really special - how wrong could we be.... The castle itself is set in beautiful grounds and the entrance particularly impressive. It seemed even better as we were informed we were being upgraded to a deluxe room. Eagerly opening the door we were greeted by possibly the most hideously decorated room i have ever seen - straight out the 70's and really quite shabby. The decent size of the room didnt even come close to allaying my disappointment. After unpacking I had a shower, thinking someone had entered my room, i ran back in to see who had entered - no one! there was an adjoining door between our room and next which meant that you could hear absolutely everything coming from the next door room - ordering room service, phone conversations, even the chink of the glass as someone was having a drink. I later went to comment on this at reception but the person there just did not seem interested. I didnt want a room move as i had already unpacked (they were full anyway) but wanted to make my comments known to the manager as this really wasnt what i would expect from a hotel of this supposed class. The manager was unavailable and never got back to me during my stay.
I then went over to the golf course - really stunning and hugly enjoyable... until we went back to the club house! After waiting at the bar for over 10 minutes, I was blatantly ignored as someone else came in and was served straight away; 'sorry, they're regulars' said the barmaid. I couldnt believe the blatant rudeness. We then ordered some food which was bought over to a table by the manager. The table had no chairs (we had to find these ourselves) and i asked for a wine menu - met with a sneer. Surprise surprise, it never turned up....
Later we went to the hotel bar - ordering a round of drinks i was told it was x amount. I asked it to be charged to my room and to my surprise saw a 10% service charge had been added. I asked for this to be taken off as i was standing at the bar only to be told that all charges to the room incur a 10% charge. I then asked to see the manager who wouldnt remove it and said the same thing - i really couldnt believe that it costs 10% more to charge things to the room than to pay by card or cash. I then went to see reception about this rather than continue an argument at the bar. Again, the staff were totally unconcerned and said 'it was just policy'. I was flabbergasted and again asked to see the manager - not there....
Back into the bar, the room was full of Americans who were over attending a 'Piggly Wiggly' conference. I spoke to a chap at the bar in his 40's who was on his first trip out of the states. This really for me summed up the whole ethos of the hotel - an attempt to blatantly rip off these american tourists expecting an 'authentic' castle experience. The service and standards are so far below similar quality hotels i have stayed at before it is untrue, yet this is way up there with the most expensive - I still can't quite figure how they have the audacity to charge that amount. Shannon airport has direct flights to/from the US and these are obviously the target customer.
My advice to non US residents is stay away - you will be horribly disappointed at wasting your money. To the Americans - dont believe the hype - there are far better, more impressive hotels throughout the UK offering much better value. Please don't waste your money and come away feeling like you've been mugged as i was....
- Also Known As:
- Dromoland Castle
- Castle Dromoland
- Dromoland Castle Ireland
- Castle Dromoland Ireland
- Dromoland Castle Hotel Ireland/Newmarket-On-Fergus
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, the Dromoland Castle 5 Star Hotel in Ireland was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, this Irish 5 star luxury Castle Hotel overlooks its own Championship Golf Course and a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds. ... more less
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