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“Not cheap and not cheerful” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Jackson's Hotel

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Jackson's Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Glenfin Street, Ballybofey, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Derry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not cheap and not cheerful”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Booked a Groupon deal for half-term break - admittedly very busy time when kids off school, but nonetheless we were looking forward to a relaxing break and just a little luxury.

Arrived 40 mins early on Sunday & told our room was ready - when we found it though, it was a tiny run-down corner room (Number 329) looking over the downstairs rooftops. TV from the 1980s, smallest bathroom in Ireland, but the bed was the icing on the cake - big obvious dip in the middle of the bed/mattress - I can't believe any hotel would ask a guest to sleep in such conditions! Looked more like a room in a cheap B&B.

Asked for another room & were told that it was no problem but we would have to wait 20/30mins - no problem, we thought. 90 mins later we checked ourselves (for the 4th time) and found that room was now ready (still waiting for someone to let us know it was ready). Better room (Number 336) - family size looking out on river - no heat though (5:30pm in February) and only one hand towel between two of us. Same type of old TV with only 10 channels. Outside on the windowsill was a substantial collection of cigarette butts, which could easily have been removed by cleaning staff - looked disgusting and spoiled the view.

Went downstairs for our evening meal which was OK - very nice staff in the Bistro - apart from one dark-haired girl who must have missed the customer service training day - never smiled or tried to chat. Asked about heating at reception, also mentioned towels - were told they were on the way.

On returning to our room the heat was lovely and shortly a batch of fresh towels were delivered. Great, we thought, now we can relax and enjoy - which we basically did although limited TV programmes (as I said only 10 channels) - Wifi wouldn't connect for us on our laptop (weak signal apparently), but we decided to do without.

Then at 10pm a herd of elephants arrived into the room next door. Sounded like 2/3 young children maybe jumping on beds? Certainly they were making a lot of noise running about room - not hotels fault I suppose - parents apparently were there too (we heard adult voices). This went on for almost an hour - we were just glad we weren't in room beneath this family! Went very quiet about 11pm (maybe someone else complained??) and thankfully we had a great nights sleep - comfy clean bed, although basic enough, but we were on a deal, so fair enough. (Discovered next day that neighbouring room was part-occupied by two girls 10/12 years old)

The next morning I went into the poorly lit bathroom for a shower. Didn't attempt a bath as bottom of bath looked very grubby. Shower hose was brown with age but served its purpose. Missing knobs on shower unit but I was able to work out the heating & flow options myself. Nice shower for a few minutes, then all of a sudden it stopped and made a noise like a hoover! Started up again 10 seconds later but repeated noise and stopped every 30 seconds or so thereafter. Got a wash nevertheless, though hardly luxury. When I exited the bathroom my husband stated that he'd heard someone hoovering the corridor - I told him it was the shower!

Went down to breakfast – can honestly say that it was like eating in a train station! Staff member who showed us to the table made no eye contact, told us to enjoy breakfast but didn’t sound like he really cared. Busy, noisy room, no chance to relax or eat at leisure. Poor layout of breakfast – cups on and butter on table, coffee and marmalade beside toaster at front of room – lots of running back and forth before we could settle at table. Toaster not great – very little fresh fruit left (still an hour of breakfast service to go) and man in front of me got last two croissants . Would have been better to have small dish of marmalade and pot of coffee on table – lots of people running back and forth, probably for same reasons. Breakfast itself was Ok.

We went out for a few hours and returned early afternoon to find our room had been serviced – great. Just one towel again though in bathroom (we’d only placed two inside bathtub for replacement – others hadn’t been used?) Decided we weren’t very happy with general standard of room and facilities so we thought we’d spend a bit extra and ask for an upgrade.

At reception we were told that the hotel was fully booked and an upgrade would not be possible – we’d asked about the possibility of moving to the new part of the hotel, but everything was already booked throughout the hotel apparently.

At this point we decided we weren’t going to enjoy the remainder of the stay (No Wifi, limited TV access, noisy neighbours, no towels, etc) and decided to cut our losses and go home. There was no way we could relax and enjoy the break at this point. I went to the car while my husband checked out – the receptionist then stated to my husband that we weren’t due to leave and he told her that we were unhappy in the hotel. She then offered to check if there was another room available (same receptionist!). My husband pointed out that she had told us there was nothing left less than 10mins before this, but she again offered to check. He said that we were going home. She did admit that there had been problems with the Wifi over the weekend.

She did remove the charge we owed for two desserts and two soft drinks that we’d had extra in the restaurant the night before, which was fair enough, but hardly a great compensation.

I can appreciate that it was a family weekend, with young children about, but this was not the issue - Jacksons Hotel is not a comfortable stay – rooms need serious updating, decorating & cleaning – soundproofing along corridors and between rooms is non-existent, everything seems very cheaply done and tired looking.

We will never enter its doors again!

Room Tip: Avoid room 329..tiny corner room looking out on rooftops, ancient TV, tiny bathroom and disgraceful...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a lengthy first review on a Trip Advisor. I am extremely disappointed that you left our establishment without highlighting your issues to a member of our management team. They would have been delighted to talk with you and would have done their upmost to ensure that you had an enjoyable stay with us.
I must highlight that the Groupon deal was for one of our standard rooms, had you wished to upgrade to one of our deluxe rooms you could of done so prior to arrival. Our standard rooms are also in the process of being refurnished, some are yet to be complete but these will be finished in the coming months.
We do not have hundreds of television channels as we have never had any guest requests for them. We do however have DVD players available had you wished to watch a film.

Hopefully you will return to Jacksons Hotel again and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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949 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (295)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Derry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

Have never felt the need to use tripadvisor for a bad review so to say we were disappointed with our stay this weekend is an understatement .Stayed at jacksons in 2012 for a wedding and always said about going back. This hotel has really gone down hill. Booked a groupon deal and from the day I tried to book we were treated very badly . Receptionist sounded like an older lady didn't get her name, very unprofessional. Seemed impossible to book a weekend due to the amount of groupons bought, suggested for us to come on st Stephens day when I said that wouldn't suit she very abruptly told me to ring back when I had made my mind up but evry date I asked for was unavailable. Checked in after 4 and were pleasantly surprised with our room. Beautiful lake view. This was the only positive of our stay, we had to sleep with windows open as room was extremely hot. Food is very over priced for portion size in the bistro and not well presented.breakfast was an absolute nightmare having to squeeze through people to get to the toaster, toast has to put through at least twice. Had to go looking for staff to get tea. Felt sorry for the waitresses , under staffed. Food in restaurant below average.
I was booked for a full body massage.girls in the "spa" sat chatting and told me to have a seat. Not even greeted with a smile, very unwelcoming. My mother in law was at the spa today and mentioned my disappointment , the girl replied by saying I had arrived 30 mins too early . I arrived at 4.18 having known from experience that when having spa treatment u are expected to arrive early so as ur treatment can start on time.After being left in a cold room for 15 mins with a cd skipping and jumping I decided to leave. No products to be seen in treatment room. Except for A baby's bottle with oil in it. Blanket was covered in fake tan. No apology was given and no management available to speak to.i left my number and no one got back to me. I would definately not recommend this hotel. Will not be returning.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Dear Guest,

I am extremely disappointed that you didn't fully enjoy your stay with us. Our Groupon deal was extremely popular and weekend dates were booked out in a matter of hours. We did however extended the dates of our offer in order to cater for the demand. I am glad that you enjoyed your room with river views, they are extremely popular.
It is very disappointing to read your comments about our food, our culinary expertise is an area that we are renowned for. I have however taken all of our comments on board and we will use these to improve our services.
I do sincerely apologise for any issues you experienced in our spa. This is run independently and I have passed your feedback onto the owner.

Hopefully you do decide to return to Jacksons Hotel again and we look forward to welcoming you back then.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

My partner and I went on 15th Feb for quiet relaxed valentines weekend. Hotel on entering was lovely, clean, real fire, and friendly staff. we had arrived early and werent due to check in til four but luckily enought our room was ready and where able to Check in and make our way to our room, threw stuff into room and enjoyed the live music in the bar. Food in bistro was amazing, however the cutlery wasn't clean and had to ask for new ones, their was dust on windowsills and waited nearly ten minutes to be seated.
There was a hunt ball on this same evening in one of the function rooms so was busy and created a good atmosphere, again live music in the bar. However we returned to our room and all we could hear was the really loud music coming from the function room, i do not joke when I say I was able to make out every song that was played, although as we knew it was only midnight we thought not to complain and put the tv on, to find lines coming down the screen, it was about to give up the ghost! Come 2am and still no sleep due to loud music we rang reception to which we were told it was to come to an end soon and apologies were given, We rang down to reception a second time at 3am to complain and got no answer, The music FINALLY stopped at 3.20. This was not a pleasant stay considering we drove 2.5 hours to get there for a relaxing weekend and where kept awake due to extremely loud music. The only other things I can fault about our hotel room was the toilet seat was unsteady/broken, curtains are not blackout and due to late sleep,woke early due to daylight shining in and our room service breakfast was over half an hour late.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Stayed at Jacksons Hotel from 07-09 Feb 2014.

I don't know how this hotel has managed to be rated as 4 star. I understand that the ratings are largely based on facilities, but surely those facilities should be of a decent standart?

The room was quite basic and cleaning less than thorough, particularly in the bathroom.

On the Friday night there was a function and they obviously have gone to zero expense to soundproof the function room (it looks like a metal shed roof). Our window was directly overlooking the roof and the bank may as well have been right outside our room. When we called down to Reception at 1:20am to ask them to address the volume and find out what time the loud music would stop they didn't know, said they would find out and call straight back, didn't bother and actually I could swear they then turned the volume up. It was almost 1:45am before the music stopped. Just awful.

We ate in the Bistro on the first evening, food was OK but service apallingly slow. It took over an hour to be served. In the restaurant on the second evening the food was bland and portions tiny. Breakfast on both mornings was average at best.

The spa was grubby and tatty and the gym had a leaking roof, condensation running down the walls and borken / rusty equipment. Hardly a 4 star facility.

The only good things about the hotel were that most of the staff were pleasant and we could bring our dog.

Wouldn't go back even if it was free!

Room Tip: Don't accept a room anywhere near the function room if you want to get any sleep
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

This is an amazing hotel. It not only allows dogs but really welcomes them. As well as that, there are many other positives.
The food in the Bistro was excellent.
Room was comfortable
Entertainment at night was first class and dogs were allowed in bar, which also had a pool table.
Breakfast delicious
Lovely river walk enjoyed by my daughter, myself and of course Maggie our dog .
Only criticism is that there was a really short supply of hot water i.e. never, not even in showers in swimming pool, but we had a great weekend

  • Stayed January 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

Enjoyed a short break recently.
Friendly atmosphere with a very attentive staff.
One or two little problems with our room but these were sorted out immediately
and without fuss.
Very good value and would go again.

Room Tip: Large corner room 239
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Newry Co Down northern ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

Had a great weekend in Jacksons. stayed from 7th to 9th Feb. Very courteous staff and management. Special thanks to Sinead who was ever helpful and pleasant at front desk. Room was good, spacious with a great view of the river. The open fire as usual is cosy for a coffee or drink. Meals are well priced and the staff can't do enough to make your stay enjoyable. Some good deals also on offer .

  • Stayed February 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jackson's Hotel

Address: Glenfin Street, Ballybofey, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > County Donegal > Ballybofey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Jackson's Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 138
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the bustling village of Ballybofey, Jacksons Hotel is an award-winning Hotel on the banks of the River Finn and Drumboe Woods. Renowned for its hospitality and great food, Jacksons is the ideal base for touring Donegal and the North West of Ireland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey
Jackson's Hotel Ballybofey, Ireland - County Donegal

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