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“A memorable stay at one of Ireland's lesser known attractions” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballymaloe House

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Ballymaloe House
5.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Shanagarry, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Shanagarry B&B and Inns
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A memorable stay at one of Ireland's lesser known attractions”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

Ballymaloe House, I first experienced the amazing hospitality of this establishment back in 1996 or thereabouts when I hosted a number of fellow sailors on a visit to Ireland after the New York Yacht Club's Sesquicentennial. It was the last stop on what to then had been a memorable tour of Ireland. Well no on the tour has let me forget the few days we spent at Ballymaloe. Years later, while discussing possible venues for another sailing reunion the name popped up again. I imagined that perhaps things had changed, different management, different economic climate etc. So I undertook to visit Ballymaloe and check it out on my next trip to Ireland.

My memory had not deceived me, it is (still is) the best small hotel experience in Ireland. The staff could not have been more friendly and welcoming, The food was without any doubt the best we've had on out stay in Europe this year and we've eaten in some supposedly great places over the previous 3 weeks. The rooms were comfortable and well furnished, the showers were to European if not Aussie standard and the service was personal, quiet, confident and professional.

I've convinced my friends to visit again next year and we've already booked... What more can I say! Simply great!

Room Tip: Choose a room in the main house for preference, this is a Dinner Bed and Breakfast event so best not...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
We are delighted your returned visit after so many years did not disappoint - we look forward to seeing you and friends again soon . If you need any help with selecting rooms , Caroline will be glad to help

Hazel
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248 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
scotland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012 via mobile

Well I must say as the years pass , I am glad little changes in Ballymaloe ..
"shabby as some have said " wake up it's a bizz farm ! HOTel ..

If you want all singing all bling this is not for you ...

If you want perfect food , perfect service , then this is for you ...

Why people look for faults ! .. I love coming here with pals and my Dog .. Who is well looked after too . He loves it a barks with excitement as we enter the drive ...
KEEP it REAL . My warm wishes to staff , Ann and Bunny ! You make it just So ..

Enjoy it

Gordon Tom Gordon , and Josh

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Thank you - it was great to see you again , and hope you enjoyed being in the Tower!

H
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Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Eighteen years ago I had the amazing experience of dining at Ballymaloe House. I don't know how or why it has taken me so long to make a return visit for I still treasure the memory of every moment of that late November evening which was faultless from start to finish.
Last friday evening I had what i can only describe as the most exquisite experience which not only lived up to but indeed surpassed my high expectations of this unique establishment.
My partner and I arrived a little early as we were escaping from the hustle and bustle of a wedding at the nearby Resort Hotel in which we were staying. The young lady at reception invited us to have a drink either in the conservatory or outside the main house while we looked through the menu and wine list. We choose outside of the main house as the sun was shining and it was a most beautiful evening.
Sipping a glass of cool champagne, looking out over the wheat fields, reading the beautiful menu, it was pure magic. Could it get much better than this?
The waiter answered all our questions and took our order and after a while the young lady from reception returned to take us to our table.
She gave us a choice of 5 different tables in various parts of the house, we settled on a delightful table in the little side conservatory overlooking the gardens.
Friday night dinner starts with the famous Ballymaloe Buffet. Smoked Salmon, Oysters, Lobster Vol au Vents, Hot and Cold Mackerel, Crab, Cold meats, Egg Mayonnaise, Potato Salad, Cucumber Relish Salad, Simple Leaves, Ballycotton Shrimps with Sauces and so much more and all Simply Delicious.
A little door behind our table led out onto a balcony/terrace overlooking the gardens and pool which we stood out on with our wine in between courses.
Two exceptional soups followed before our main course of the Freshest Cod and Lobster with sides of ratatouille and the most delicious Potato i have ever tasted.
The service was without fault and they asked between every course if we were ready to proceed. We were offered seconds of everything which we declined as we both knew that there was still a way to go before the night was over.
A Cheese Trolly of 3 goats and 3 cows cheeses served with delicate biscuits was brought to the table. We choose a little mature Cashel Blue and St Tola which were both magnificent on the palate.
The Sweet Trolly had an amazingly light Chocolate Moouse Cake, a richly flavored Plumb Compote, a Banana Caramel Meringue and The best Strawberry Ice cream we had ever tasted in our lives.
Two good coffees and Petit Four brought the evening to a close.
There were five tables in this little conservatory and we could see that everyone was having as good an evening as we were.
Mrs Allen who is responsible for all that Ballymaloe is was entertaining some guests and her son at a table beside us and was joined half way through the evening by Darina who while helping herself to a little dessert form the Sweet Trolly offered everyone in the room more ice cream or whatever they desired from the trolly, true hospitality without a doubt.
We sat down to eat at 7.15pm and with breaks on the balcony and the most pleasant unrushed service I have ever experienced it was almost 11pm when we finally left our table.
Mrs Allen who had begun to tidy her table and blow out the candles while Darina saw their guests off the premises came to our table with more Petit Fours and chatted with us briefly about our evening hoping that we had enjoyed everything. Straight from the heart we both agreed it was simply a most perfect evening.
The tastes, textures and flavors of every morsel that was put in front of us was a treat for the senses, we were both satisfied and yet in no way did we feel stuffed to the gill's. Maybe that's what 'real' food, fresh on the day, prepared simply with skill and attention to detail and no doubt a lot of love makes Ballymaloe a true jewel. Faultless service, exceptional staff and timeless ambiance and elegance made our evening simply exquisite.
Thank you so much to you all at Ballymaloe...

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Thank you for taking the trouble to write , your visit to Ballymaloe was on one of the few sunny days , so glad you took time to enjoy the evening sun

Hazel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

I spent a week at The Ballymaloe House while I attended The Ballymaloe Cookery School cooking classes. The house in Shanagarry is set in an exquisite locale in East Cork. and the rooms and restaurant were delightful. Run by The Allen Family, Ballymaloe House is all you could expect from Irish hospitality. Everyone who works there is friendly and happy to assist you in every way, I look forward to my next visitation to the magical village of Shanagarry.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and thank you for your kind comments , our staff appreciate the feed back

Hazel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Reading the reviews, I saw some gave 5 stars and others 3 but having stayed here they all seemed correct. The property is set in vast grounds and has a feeling of calm and peace. The hotel lacks investment so the rooms are quaint and charming but need updating. Of course, many people will like that old world feel but I would prefer a modern bathroom. Also slightly annoying no safe or TV in the room and Wifi only in the conservatory.
Staff and owners are very helpful and friendly. Breakfast is a treat with porridge, fresh strawberry muesli and fresh cream. Yum! Dinner was quite a formal event but then that is why people come here. Quality was better than good but as others have mentioned somewhat pricey. But if you don't like the price don't come here!
The surrounding beach areas are not so nice but there are some good fresh cliff walks near here. The bottom line is would I recommend Ballymaloe House and that is a yes but a stay of two nights would be about right.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Thank you for your feed back - we recommend that next time you rquest one of our newer garden rooms , we would be happy to put in a tv on request , so sorry the wi fi is not available in more areas of the house. The strawberry muesli is a favourite , especially with our kids!

Hazel
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Ft Worth. TX
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

What a marvelous place to enjoy the best of Ireland! The entire experience of being here delights every one of the senses. The grounds are indescribably beautiful and quiet . . .no sounds but the cooing of the dove and the quacking of the ducks . . . and, the flowers have to be seen to be believed.
The freshness of the food and the quality of preparation and presentation was exactly what I expected.
Of the many finely furnished public places, I enjoyed the conservatory the most . . . bright, green and white, cheerful . . .and where the free WiFi is found.
Our room was a delight, The Lily of the Valley Room . . . very large and with its own outdoor patio on the spacious back lawn and gardens.
A very tastefully done store and cafe, full of charming items for purchase.
Not inexpensive, but worth every penny. Not simply a room for the night, but a complete and memorable experience.

Room Tip: I like the rooms on the garden out back; they each have their own patio
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Thank you for your review , we are delighted your enjoyed your visit to us and lots of other places in Ireland - hopefully we will see you again soon .

Hazel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wexford, Wexford, Ireland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I recently spent two nights in Ballymaloe house, dining there on one of the nights. I was disappointed with the standard of accomodation. We stayed in a room which was part of the old house and looked out onto the gardens at the back of the house. It can only be described as shabby, the bathroom was the same. The breakfast was out of this world! Which sadly set me up for a fall. I am vegetarian and the main vegetarian dish on offer the evening we dined was St Tola goat's cheese with seasonal root vegetables. Now each bite was delicious but this hardly displays imagination or value for money for €75. There was a round of goat's cheese in the middle of the plate surrounded by carrots, string beans and beetroot. My husband's food was delicious. I feel I got a raw deal as a vegetarian.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Thank you for your review and comments , we are sorry that as a vegetarian you were dissappointed .Unfortunatly we have not worked out which room you stayed in , but note your remarks .

Hazel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballymaloe House

Address: Shanagarry, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Cork > Shanagarry
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Shanagarry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Ballymaloe House 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ballymaloe House Hotel Shanagarry
Ballymaloe Hotel

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