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“We were a bit disappointed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ballyhannon Castle

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Ballyhannon Castle
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Quin, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Quin
Rathgar, Dublin
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“We were a bit disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

Went with my husband in early Feb. We did have to cancel our first trip and were accommodated before our Voucher expired. Our voucher was worth €500 but if we paid that in full, would have found it very overpriced. Castle was cold (naturally) but heater in room not working so had to depend on a small electric fire. Our bed was lovely - a four poster bed with an electric blanket - but room was small. Bathroom also cold. We were asked if we were staying in that night (we weren't) would be contribute towards firewood for a wood burning stove in Guest Drawing Room. I was expecting a big "Henry VIII" fire - fireplace there alright but no fire! Would have made a huge difference. No breakfast included - again, told we could go to Quin for scones or whatever for breakfast in Castle or for a proper cooked breakfast in the Village, which we did. Maybe if we were from the USA, we would have been impressed with an Irish Castle, but as we are both Irish, it wasn't such a big deal and next time I will be going to Dromoland or somewhere warmer and more comfortable and might I say better value!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballyhannoncastle, Owner at Ballyhannon Castle, responded to this review, March 30, 2012
We welcome our guests' observations so that we can always present Ballyhannon Castle at its best.

Just before these guests checked in we found that the wall heater in their small bedroom wasn't working so we placed a portable heater in there instead. Sometimes guests don't observe the notice we have placed on all the radiators highlighting not to cover them (which shuts them down and they require repair by an electrician which is what happened just ahead of this lady's stay). Our temporary fix was to provide a similar but portable heater in their bedroom, which we did, and we showed them how to it turn up/down as required. There are electric blankets on the bed (dual control) also, as well as extra blankets, a duvet and bedspread.

When we meet guests during their stay we always ask them if they are warm enough, or if they would like us to turn the heating up or down, and we regularly find that some of the group say they are too warm, while others in the same group say that they are 'just perfect', and a few say that they would like it warmer! We are sorry to read that this lady was a bit disappointed because of the temperature.

We let it to the guests themselves to light a fire in the Great Room (for which we can organise a delivery of firewood, or they can get it themselves locally if they prefer) and that's what the other guests staying on the same night did themselves. In fact, some of the reviews below were written by guests sharing the Castle with this reviewer on the very same night (see Jamelia from Galway and also Scruff80 from Cork).

As ours is a self-catering / vacation rental accommodation, breakfast/catering is not included, as indeed this reviewer points out, though again this can be organised should guests specifically wish, and we had left milk, tea and coffee that night should they have wanted "a cuppa" anytime!

Re the comparison with Dromoland Castle, theirs is a 5-star luxury hotel whereas Ballyhannon Castle is an authentic (or as many guests observe: 'real'!) medieval 15th century Irish castle as it actually was in the 15th century, so the experience in each is quite different as you would expect!

This lady and her husband were one of many couples who booked a room-only as part of a promotion we ran in late 2011 when we tried something new - renting a room per night as opposed to our "normal" business model of renting the entire Castle (& Coach House) to a single group. We were absolutely delighted with the response to the promotion and several of the most recent reviews below are from such guests, all of whom seemed to enjoy the Castle and opportunity to stay there. Many expressed their delight especially as they wouldn't normally have the opportunity or reason to stay in a Castle, and for that one-off special promotional price.

We are very grateful to everybody for taking the time to write their reviews and sharing their own experiences . We know and always say that a 'real' castle experience isn't for everyone, as seems to be the case for this particular lady whom we now know was expecting Ballyhannon to be a hotel and not the self-catering authentic Castle it actually is.
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102 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

What can i say, well I had a daunting task of organising a reunion between a lagre group of friends i had met across the world. Luckly I had been to Ballyhannon Castle a number of years prior and though it would be a perfect location. As soon as I suggested it to people they all jumped onboard and flew from all over. The pictures itself sell it, but on arrival you'll be blown away. Our host Margaret was very helpful with the booking and provided all the information needed to get there (from all over Europe and Ireland) and all things possible to do there.
The location is very private and we all had a really great time and are even thinking of making it a yearly thing.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Cork, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2012

This castle is a must see. It really was a fantastic experience. I don't think we realised that it was going to such a real life castle when we booked it, and that made it all the more special.
It was like stepping back in time.

It's very close to Ennis so we headed in there for dinner, and came back with a few sticks for the fire. Ended up drinking wine all night and chatting with our fellow guests till the early hours. It was like a hostel atmosphere in a castle.

It was a great Night, we would definitely go back. If you're looking for something a little different I would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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.
Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

Travelled form Dublin to Ballyhannon Castle in two and a half hours. Motorway all the way, apart from the last mile. Although located 15 min drive from the town of Ennis, you really get the feeling that you are away from everywhere. We arrived early but this was not an issue for Margaret, our host. In fact we were given a full tour of both the Castle and the Coach House. The Castle is magical!

While we stayed in the Coach House, and only for one night,I really would like to return with a group and book out both the Castle and the Coach House.

This is a location with a difference and should be experienced.

Room Tip: Family room available both in the Castle and the Coach House
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Galway, Galway, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

I defenetly will return soonallyhannon Castle to the B DDDDD xxxxx

Room Tip: The rooms are Beautiful!!! You choose the Room on depend who you comming with as there are amazing D...
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

I will start by saying that I had an excellent experience while staying in Ballyhannon Castle, however my overall experience was let down by the fact that the owner of this castle refused to return our €700 deposit, and further charged €500 to our friend's credit card for damages to the castle.

This €1,200 was on top of the €1,800 we had paid to rent the castle for 3 nights.

I will admit that the castle was left in a messier state than it was when we arrived, however this could have been easily solved by employing a cleaner to come in for a day, which is surely what happens after any rental anyway.

We were charged excessively for cleaning, electricity (€250 for 3 nights - bizarre as electricity for a house for a 2 month period wouldn't come to this. €250 for 3 nights works out as €2,500 a month, or €30,000 a year for electricity. Good of you to keep the ESB in business).

The owner also charged us for replacement of bed clothing, quoting us over €200 for replacement of sheets and a duvet for one double bed. I can confirm that the bed clothing on all beds in this accommodation is not of the quality you would expect if €200 is spent dressing the bed.

The damage to the bed clothing could have been solved by bringing them to a dry cleaners, and would have resulted in a lower charge than replacing them.

There were other charges that I cannot remember right now, but do recall thinking that they were excessive when I heard about them.

I will finish by stating that we acknowledge that we did not expect to receive back our full deposit of €700, as we expected refuse and cleaning charges to be applied. However, we did not expect to incur a further €500 to be taken from a credit card.

The castle owner may have got €3,000 out of us but has lost out on potential bookings/rental as several members of our group refuse to refer this castle to friends and colleagues that have enquired about it since our stay.

If booking this premises do not hand over a cash deposit and your credit card details.

Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballyhannoncastle, Owner at Ballyhannon Castle, responded to this review, February 22, 2012
Firstly, we are delighted that this reviewer ‘had an excellent experience
while staying in Ballyhannon Castle’, and we do appreciate their fairness
in acknowledging this.

We are, of course, disappointed that the issue of the damage done to the
Castle & Coach House during their stay has become this reviewer's abiding
memory. This was just one of those regrettable incidents no business wishes
or expects to happen - our first such experience in all our years of
renting our Castle and Coach House to guests.

This reviewer (who we did not meet) quite understates the degree of the
damage (which we detail below under ‘Facts’), and certainly if s/he wasn’t
one of those who caused the damages, we completely understand how s/he is
so aggrieved at having to share the cost. The lead booker with whom we
exclusively dealt, both before and after his group departed, was genuinely
embarrassed and disgusted at what the minority of his group had done, and
fully accepted the nature and extent of the damage that the group caused to
both properties. He paid us for the damages caused by his group honourably
and after we had provided him with receipts. We always found the lead
booker to be an absolute gentleman, and as we didn’t meet any others we
don’t know if he was typical or exemplary of his group.

We can only reassure prospective guests reading this review and this
response that while our check-in procedures involve the swipe of a credit
card as security for damage in excess of the damage deposit, this was the
first and only occasion in which we had to rely on it to put the property
back in (almost) the same condition as this group received it. As owners of
a self-catering vacation rental property, we really never know what calibre
of person will be among any group, so we hope that you understand that
these measures are only there to protect our heritage property, a national
monument, and all the antiques from being damaged which we are actually
obliged by law to protect. If the reviewer would see it from our
perspective (a small family-run business trying to survive in these
difficult times simply recouping the cost of damages, not profiting) and
realises that a permanent publicly-advertised negative post on the internet
is unfair or disproportionate in the circumstances, we hope that s/he may
reconsider and take it down, as otherwise the damage to us continues
indefinitely.

Facts:

This booking turned out to be a group of 'twenty-somethings' on a weekend
drinking binge, and the aftermath showed us that alcohol overcame some of
them. This reviewer considerably understates the degree of damage done to
our property, the least of which included:-
• red wine spills and mud on the carpets throughout the Coach House;
• candle wax spills on the antique sofa;
• swords securely fastened to walls removed;
• fire-extinguisher released;
• cigarette butts scattered into the plants and garden;
• broken lampshades;
• broken kitchen ware;
• spillages of wax and alcohol in various areas of the castle;
• broken cast-iron garden furniture;
• 17 black refuse sacks of garbage after a 3-day stay, and a huge
quantity of bottles.
• The worst, though, was the human excrement, vomit and urine which
penetrated the soft furnishings in several bedrooms. We had to put them in
the bin (trash) and replace them as we would never launder and reuse them
for other guests. We accept that this reviewer views this as unnecessary,
but not in our opinion or for our rental property.

The lead booker did acknowledge that he anticipated a challenge in
recouping the additional costs from some of his friends - and accordingly,
even though the extent of the damages exceeded what we settled for, we
didn’t want to expose him beyond the €500 on his card as he had been so
decent in his dealings with us, so we replaced the mattresses at our own
cost.

We were the ones whose property was damaged and our pre-booking terms and
conditions did clearly highlight the course of action that would be taken
in any such event which, very unfortunately for us, did occur.

Ballyhannon Castle & Coach House
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Straffan, Ireland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011

We stayed in the Coachhouse which was well-maintained and clean. It was very chilly though and you are charged extra for heating the stove. The owner was very friendly, helpful and accomodating. I would highly recommend the Coachhouse or the Castle to a GROUP rather than to a couple as both buildings are self-catering and I could imagine it could be quite awkward sharing the breakfast/dinner table with strangers! (We were fortunate to have the place to ourselves.) But the properties are original and the Castle is really quite something.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballyhannon Castle

Address: Quin, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > Quin
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Quin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Ballyhannon Castle Ireland/Quin

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