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“Best view in Ireland” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ballinalacken Castle Country House

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Coast Road R-477, Doolin R477, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Doolin
New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Best view in Ireland”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

A great big thank you you to Declan and Cecilia O'Callaghan and staff. As we drove up the winding driveway to the country house we were overjoyed at the view. One could see the majestic Cliffs of Moher on one side and straight out in front we could see the beautiful Aran Island. The location alone is to die for. Our room with it's four poster bed and period furniture was both comfortable and clean. I would have preferred a fluffier pillow, but was having so much fun in the area that I never bother to ask for one and didn't remember until I put my head down at night. I know if I had spoken up the O'Callaghan's would have taken care of it immediately. What was very surprising to me was that in this country setting I did not expect the food to be as good as it was. The chef was amazing, using as much local food as possible to keep it amazingly fresh. I even tried porridge which is not like oatmeal. It is much more creamy and delicious. I do not feel so bad for "Oliver" any more. Their Chef could compete with any of the fine chefs at larger establishments and win hands down. Attention to detail was good, but the bathroom flushing was rather noisy in our room. Maybe a pump used due to the country location. If you needed to stay in the Doolin area, this probably is the only hotel I would choose, based on owners, staff, food, and view. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Room Tip: The room with the bay/bow window has an amazing view and plenty of space.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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391 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Tiburon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Our recent visit to Doolin, Ireland had us lodging at the Ballinalacken Castle Country House. It was one of the best places we stayed during our Ireland trip. From the moment we arrived, Declan O'Callaghan made us feel right at home. We checked in and had dinner in their dining room. The food and service were outstanding. Our server, Yvonne, was very professional, friendly and attentive to our needs. Our spacious room had a comfortable bed, good bathroom and comfortable living room. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and highly recommend Ballinalacken.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

From the moment we drove through the gate and up the winding path to the hotel, we were enchanted. The broad field in front of the inn was filled with wildflowers, and just to the right and beyond the sprawling hotel loomed the ruins of a castle. To the left of the field was a splendid vista, sunset over a calm, blue sea. What more could one want in a vacation spot?

How about a personal tour of the castle given by the owner's son and hotel manager? Our host was more than knowledgeable about the castle's romantic history and this he told us as we ascended its winding, stone staircase. From the top there was a spectacular view of the surrounding land, small farms enclosed by low stone walls, the vegetation so green it could only be termed emerald. We walked the structure, bottom to top and down again and could only imagine what gorgeous photos would result from our foray into the past

Upon returning to the hotel, we were seated in an old and elegant dining room, where we ate a meal which compared favorably with any to be had in New York's finer restaurants. Sea bass and lamb were the order of the day for us and both were excellent with fresh vegetables and the hotel's famous brown bread, the recipe for which was once featured in "Bon Appetit". Service was prompt and polite and, because we were in Ireland, delivered with a smile.

Our sleeping room was fitted up with Victorian furniture, in keeping with the architectural style of the hotel, and was quite comfortable, with two armchairs before a large window overlooking the ocean to the west. The room had all the amenities we required without the pretensions of an urban hotel. In other words, the feel was that of staying in a friend's lovely and comfortable old home.

The full Irish breakfast we enjoyed the next morning was spot on, with fresh roses on our white linen tablecloth and a view of the front garden from the adjacent window. After touring the nearby village of Doolin and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, we returned to our hotel and its cozy bar for drinks and a chat with our amiable innkeeper, who could not have been a more gracious host. This hotel is a place we highly recommend and will visit again if the fates allow.

Room Tip: The one at the far end has the best views, while those closest to the lobby have truly fine antique...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Lenexa, Kansas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

On our recent trip to Ireland, my husband and I had booked all nights but one in advance, not sure where we would end up after visiting the Cliffs of Moher. The night before we headed to the cliffs we did some research on the Internet and were fortunate to land a room at Ballinalacken. After many days of driving around the country, this beautiful country setting was heaven sent. The hotel itself is lovely, the staff friendly and helpful, the food scrumptious, and the view of the sunset into the sea that night was incredible. We stayed in the suite with the glassed-in octagonal breakfast nook which was comfy with a commanding view. One of the best parts was the personal tour of the original castle given by Declan O'Callaghan - my favorite castle experience in all of Ireland! My only regret is that we had only one night to stay. It was so peaceful and relaxing, and such a scenic yet strategic location, I wish we could have stayed longer. Would love to go back!

  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 5 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.
Limerick, Ireland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

I stayed here with six ladies to celebrate a birthday the end of June. Cecilia is a welcoming hostess. The rooms are spacious, great mattresses so a good nights sleep had by all. We met Michael the chef early in the afternoon and told him we were hoping for a good meal. He did not disappoint. It was the best dinner we had in a long time-a varied menu- good ingredients expertly cooked so congratulations to the chef. The waiting staff were very attentive, house wine very good. After dinner we took a stroll in the moonlight and the views when you go out the avenue and turn right are breath-taking.
If you want a quiet location with good quality food and accommodation but near all the delights of the Burren, Ballinalacken is the place for you.

  • Stayed June 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CeciliaDoolin, Manager at Ballinalacken Castle Country House, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Dear Marguerite
Thank you for lovely review.We are glad youand friends had a lovely meal and enjoyed your stay.Its great to have guests return to us.We hope to see you soon again and thank you for booking direct
Declan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We had spent the previous night at Ashford Castle so Ballinalacken had a tough act to follow. It measured up and even surpassed Ashford in many ways. Dinner was better than the one we'd had in the posh George V dining room at Ashford and the hard-working staff was unfailing cheery. Proprietors Cecelia and Declan couldn't have been more solicitous even upgrading our room unasked to a beautiful suite with a glass walled semi-circular sitting room. When we arrived it was raining and foggy, but the next morning was brilliant and we had a breathtaking view of the Cliffs of Moher through our window. Declan gave us a tour of a well-preserved castle on the property and with his explanation, I finally understand how people could live in tall, round house.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
CeciliaDoolin, Manager at Ballinalacken Castle Country House, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Hello Guests
We are honoured that you believe we are better than Ashford Castle.This makes all the hard work rewarding.Glad you enjoyed our half suite room 16 with its fab views.This room with its panoramic views can only be booked direct with hotel.
We do hope we will see you or your friends back with us again
Declan
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

We had an excellent visit here. We only wished we had been able to stay more than one night. Our rooms were beautiful and the food was delicious. The personal attention by The O'Callaghan family was superb. I would love to go back for an extended visit.

Stayed June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CeciliaDoolin, Manager at Ballinalacken Castle Country House, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Hello Nancy
Thank you for your review.We are glad you enjoyed your stay and we do hope you will return
for a extended stay soon.Thank you also for booking direct with hotel
Declan
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 Ballinalacken Castle Country House

Address: Coast Road R-477, Doolin R477, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Doolin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Doolin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel Doolin is one of the leading Castle Hotels Ireland with views of Cliffs of Moher. This Clare Hotel has an award winning restaurant and is the best place to eat in Doolin. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful place on the West Coast of Ireland in which to wake up. The Ballinalacken has been described in the press as one of the finest located houses in Europe. Our guest rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay. A 15th Century Castle ruin of the O'Brien Clan stands imposingly beside the Ballinalacken Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel Doolin
Ballinalacken Castle Country Hotel
Ballinalacken Castle Country Doolin

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