Stayed here with 9 friends for one night, availing of a dinner, bed & breakfast offer. The purpose of the trip was a long overdue catch up, and to celebrate two birthdays. We contacted the hotel ahead of time, & others in the area, explained what we’re looking for (rooms close together, dinner, B&B), and they offered us a good package so we choose Aghadoe Heights. About half of our group had stayed there before also, myself included.
On arrival we were greeted with a smile, and checked in efficiently, and our bags brought to our room. Regarding the rooms, the view is AMAZING, it catches your attention and takes your breath away the moment you walk in. We immediately sat out on the balcony, just relaxing, savouring the view, enjoying the break from work, husbands, children, etc. and waiting for our friends to arrive....at 7pm we had "sundowners" on one of the balconies, which we had prearranged with the hotel. As a result of having our aperitifs in the room, we decided not to go to the bar before dinner.
Our table was booked at 8pm. We arrived in the restaurant pretty promptly, all together at about 8.05. On arrival we could see our table was ready for us; however the Maître D' asked us to please go to the bar for a drink first. So off we went to the bar. However, on arrival in the bar, we were advised that there was no room for us there, and to go back to the restaurant. So somewhat perturbed we all trooped back to the restaurant again. All of us found this process of being moved from pillar to post quite embarrassing, but we were assured once we were settled and comfortable at our table that we were welcome to stay there for the night.
The meal was very good - I ordered the crab tian - very good, and my friend ordered the scallops, both of which we shared, and both were delicious. Beautifully presented. Then for a main I had the Duck, based on recommendations read on Trip Advisor before hand - also delicious!! I chose the cheese for dessert, also very good. The staff also presented us with birthday cake for the two girls celebrating birthdays (I was one!) and we were delighted. We also offered teas and coffees.
Then at 11.25 (we were seated at about 8.15) the staff came over and told us we had to leave the table because they had to get set up for breakfast. Some girls were still drinking coffee so we asked for 20 mins more - we were told NO! Go to the Bar! When I was in University I worked for 3 years at a fine dining restaurant here in Cork city and never once did we insist customers leave a table, especially if they weren't finished?! The mind boggles. I can understand the earlier misunderstanding, as we were told afterwards that the gentleman who escorted us from the bar to the restaurant didn't realise the restaurant had just sent us to the bar. But to chase us from the restaurant for the second time that night, having earlier assured us that we were welcome to stay as long as we liked, is completely unacceptable as far as I am concerned. I have to wonder if it was to do with the fact that we had stopped ordering alcohol at the table, and had moved onto teas & coffees? Are the restaurant staff encouraged to try to get guests to also go to the bar, to prop up the bar takings? We were not a Hen party but a group of 10 hardworking people who just wanted a chance to catch up with friends in a lovely surrounding.
The following morning for breakfast, many of our group ordered room service, however 3 of us ate in the restaurant, and were served by the charming Michael. Choices for breakfast are varied and delicious. I had the baked eggs with asparagus and emmenthal cheese - a bit overcooked.
I love this hotel, I stayed here just before my first son was born 5 years ago and really enjoyed the tranquility, the views and the Spa. I think they should not have offered us the package of dinner B&B if they weren't going to accommodate us as a group, rather than making us feel like we were "in the way".
We explained on check out that we weren't very happy with being shepparded around repeatedly between the bar & restaurant and were offered an explanation for being moved the first time, but not the second time. However the gentleman we spoke to was very apologetic and assured us that it certainly was not their intention to make us feel unwelcome or uncomforable. Mistakes can happen I know, and I hope they will take this feedback into consideration going forward when booking groups. If it is only couples you want, then don't offer special deals to groups.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.