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“As great as I remembered!” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Chicago, IL
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“As great as I remembered!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

We have been to Ballymaloe House twice - nearly 30 years ago and again more recently with our teenage sons. The first visit was only dinner -- our cousin from Cork took us there. The dinner was great and we met Mrs. Allen, our cousin's friend. When we recently returned to Ireland, we made sure to spend two nights at Ballymaloe to soak in the ambiance and enjoy the food. Our expectations were far exceeded. We woke up to roosters crowing, had invitations to go fishing, rode bikes, went swimming, and had a spectacular time. Mrs. Allen, now advanced in years but as lovely as ever, joined guests in the parlor for an impromptu singalong after dinner. And the food was spectacular. We live in Chicago and have access to the best the city offers, but the dinner at Ballymaloe stands with the best we've had here. My favorite part of the dinner -- our teenage boys were offered seconds of everything! They thoroughly enjoyed the special attention. I was simply amazed that this was happening at an acclaimed restaurant where prices were at the high end. Ever since then, my boys have loved salmon! Great food and a real country experience -- next time I go to Ireland, it will be straight to Ballymaloe!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
thank you for your feed back , we are delighted you enjoyed our food and look forward to welcoming you back

Hazel
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262 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dublin
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

Ballymaloe is a nice country house which lives on a reputation for food. At €230 a night bed & breakfast I expected a bit more. What would have been two wardrobes or closets were converted into our bathroom and shower. There are definitely much nicer 5 star hotels in Ireland at a similar price. It also is not suitable for kids as children under 7 are not allowed in the dining room in the evening time & there is no children's menu. Dinner is a 5 course meal at €70 per person. According to wikapedia it is a fine dining restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in the period 1975-1980. The Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant the "Red M", indicating 'good food at a reasonable price', in the period 1981-1994!! Nice place for tourists to see a bit of the countryside. Can't comment on cookery school as wasn't there.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 28, 2013
Thank you for your feed back , we are sorry you did not enjoy staying in the popular Top Room ,our newer rooms have more larger bathrooms which can be impossible to fit into an early house .

Hazel
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Williamstown, Vermont
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

I'll write this review regarding our first visit in 1995, 8 or 9 trips ago. We bought Mrs. Allen's cookbook the year before and said if we ever were to visit Ireland, this would be the place to start.

It was an absolute revelation, and lived up to everything in the "storytelling-cookbook" and more.
We had a delicious tea in the Grey Room and marveled at the grounds and landscape from our second story window overlooking the courtyard. So many places to explore and get a real taste of country house Ireland, resident peacock and all. Mr. Allen, no longer with us, took us on a spontaneous and hair-raising drive over to Shanagarry see his son and daughter-in-law's " little cookery school"..
we were disappointed to hear that Sunday was a cold brunch, but were awed when we walked into side dining room to view 2-3 different types of pate', cold lamb, beef, etc. and so many dishes we could hardly choose..plus heavenly desserts.

Our last visit this April was like coming home...having spent over 24 hours to arrive there from Vermont, we were told our room wasn't quite ready, but when we explained the situation, were immediately shown another bedroom to catch up on much needed rest, and on awakening, were given tea and cookies to revive us, all with no extra charge!
Enjoyable and relaxing as always, and were able to mail all of our gifts to the States from the gift shop free of charge.
Too many memories to comment on, but highly recommend a stay at Ballymaole House

Room Tip: Grey Room, Castle Room overlooking park, Patchwork Room, all in original house, and even the Gatekee...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
hazel071, Manager at Ballymaloe House, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank for your review , we are delighted your return visit lived up to your memories - we are delighted you enjoyed our Traditional Sunday Buffet Dinner .
Hazel
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Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

We took my Mum to Ballymaloe House for her 60th birthday and stayed one night. She absolutely loved it, which made it worth the price (€650 for 3 people in 2 rooms, with dinner, wine, bed and breakfast). The house itself is lovely and very well presented, with some modern comforts while maintaining old world charm. The lounge room is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy the views or the open fire, or chat to other guests. We were given rooms in the courtyard, and while our room was large with a lounge area and separate dressing room, my Mum was in the Honeysuckle room which was gorgeous and slightly more modern bathroom. These courtyard rooms each had their own conservatory, which was a lovely spot to relax as well. We also had a sticky beak at the rooms in the main house, which are a bit smaller and not all have great views, but all looked very comfortable and had the advantage of being in the main house. No wifi except for the main house, and no tea/coffee in the rooms (although I'm sure we could have called for some). The grounds and gardens are lovely and great fun to go walking and exploring, and there is lots to see and do in the local area. The food wasn't innovative or spectacular, but the home grown organic produce was lovely and so suited simple cooking. There was certainly a plentiful supply, with a five course dinner and a delicious breakfast buffet. We would certainly return to Ballymaloe house for future special occasions!

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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 17, 2013
Thank you for your comments we are so glad your mother enjoyed her birthday - we are alwys happy to put a tea tray in our rooms on request , we will make this information more available to our guests following your suggestion

Hazel
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Ross-on-wye
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

I'll start by saying the two things that stop Ballymaloe absolutely perfect. We missed having tea/coffee facilities in the room as we both like a drink first thing in the morning, And, although the food was very good, we felt it was a little expensive.

That said we had a wonderful stay, the staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us; the service at both breakfast time (and oh how we miss those breakfasts - wonderful!) and dinner was excellent. Our room overlooked the gardens at the back and although our visit was in September we were still able to make use of the small patio on a number of occasions.

The Saturday night sing-song in the lounge coincided with a wedding party, and at first we felt a little as if we were intruding, until the bride's father got chatting to us and pointed out the bride and other members of his family to us; the following morning the bride's mother came and introduced herself - what a lovely family!

Going back to the sing-song, we couldn't believe what a wealth of talent there was in one room each time someone rose to the challenge: "Do we have a singer?" My husband and I agreed that it was one of the most entertaining evenings we'd had in a long while. We enjoyed our stay so much that we are already talking about coming back to Ballymaloe next year!

Room Tip: We stayed in a courtyard room for the first night and then moved to a garden room - both were very n...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 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 17, 2013
Many thanks , so glad to hear you are coming back - please advise request a tea making facility in your room , we wil be glad to organise that.

Hazel
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I was in ballymaloe house today for Sunday buffet lunch @ 38epp. Very disappointing ! No atmosphere at all - reception room & dining rooms should definitely have some background music . Soup served to table was very tasty but the entire buffet area is a shambles ! People que in line through a dining room where people are eating and then squash into the serving area - selection was ok but absolutely nothing to write home about ! Three people serving here were not one bit friendly - very unprofessional in my opinion . Their dress code was shocking for what is supposed to be an up market dining experience . Food was fine but I won't be going back for more . Dessert choice was very poor . The people who rave about this restaurant I worry for because I cannot imagine what they are eating at home ! The table waiting staff were very pleasant - 2 males & 1 female in our area were very nice & efficient . Very dated and needs a serious injection .

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 17, 2013
Many thanks for your comments , we are disappointed to hear you did not enjoy our Sunday Lunch Buffet , we serve a menu lunch every day except Sunday

Hazel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Spent the weekend with family at Ballymaloe. We've been there lots of times over the years and it's always wonderfully relaxing, great service and superb food.

This isn't your average 5* hotel with TV and kettles in the room and the same menu every day. And if that's what you want, then Ballymaloe might not be for you. But if you want to chill out and enjoy the grounds, eat delicious meals and walk on the nearby beaches, then you shouldn't miss it. It really is special.

There's a small golf course (with a few clubs you can borrow), a croquet lawn, an old outdoor swimming pool (but still in good shape) and a tennis court that's near the end of its life but playable.

On Saturday evenings, Rory Allen sings ballads in the front room. That's not to be missed either.

Room Tip: All the rooms are beautifully furnished and a good size; there are some rooms downstairs that open o...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 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, August 30, 2013
Thanks , for that , so glad you all enjoyed your stay - more info on tennis court welcome !

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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