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“Terrible Experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Connemara Country Cottages

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Connemara Country Cottages
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Leam East | Oughterard, Recess, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Nashville, TN
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Terrible Experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

The area was very remote; however, we did like it and the remoteness did not bother us. One must have a car to enjoy Connemara. The road leading to the cottage was filled with potholes and the directions stopped right at a turn. We stayed in Mask Cottage and the problems were numerous. The manager neglected to show us everything and how it worked. We discovered, after she left, the following issues:
1) The downstairs shower did not have hot water. It was not fixed the entire time we were there (one week). Manager suggested we use upstairs shower/bath; however, I could not climb the stairs, and no one could stand upright in the shower because of the height of the ceiling over it. A shower in the sauna area only dribbled water, and the area was cold and musty.
2) The entire unit smelled dank and moldy. The manager turned the heat on and said it would soon fix it . . . it didn't. The peat left for the fireplace did not burn. We had to buy our own wood to get the fire going.
3) Towels, linens, etc. were old and worn. Bed linens had been torn and mended and did not match anything.
4) Beds were uncomfortable; the bunk beds were the worst and smelled up the entire room. Sheets on the beds were not adequate and very thin. They came off easily. No mattress pads were evident.
5) Washer and dryer were rusted and worn; the light in that area was burned out, as were the lights in several other places in the cottage.
6) The furniture was worn and outdated; some was covered with old bedspreads to hide the condition or the lack of cleanliness (I don't know which, maybe both).
7) The entire place needed a thorough cleaning: refrigerator was dirty, floors and carpet were dirty, cobwebs in 2nd entrance and corners, dead bugs everywhere, paint left on the window panes, dirty windows.
8) The doors were difficult to lock and open; we had to leave one door unlocked as we could not open it by ourselves.
9) Toilets were extremely difficult to flush; manager said it was because they had new insides and that it was also due to the fact the handle was on the opposite side as the U.S.
10) The manager tried to explain everything away by saying Connemara was rural and would not acknowledge the shortcomings. I arranged checkout a day early, and she did not show up or call. I ended up calling her (having to drive to the phone in the dark), and she said she couldn't make it because of family plans. So, we went back to the cottage from sightseeing early and waited up until almost 10 pm for nothing.
11) Extra charges for heat and electricity. Our heat was waived because of the terrible odor of the place; manager said she would send a bill for electricity.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Pennsylvania
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We just spent several days in the Boffin cottage and had a lovely time. This is a mountainside cottage with fantastic views of cattle and sheep roaming outside. If you are looking for top of the line luxury, then find another place to stay. If you are looking for an authentic, thatched roof Irish cottage, then this is your place. I was traveling with an extended family of 6 and we found the cottage to be clean and comfortable. Each bedroom has it's own sink and mirror which was nice. The upstairs bathroom only has a tub so there is one shower in the unit, but we had no problems sharing and there was plenty of hot water for everyone. Each bed had an electric blanket and the heating unit worked fine. We enjoyed coming home each night and sitting by the fire after a long day of sight seeing. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Just spent a week at the cottages with 5 other people. Found the cottage to be very suitable accomodations for all, the few issues were corrected immediately by Michelle, she stay on all areas that needed to be adjusted. The cottage was lovely we cooked a few times and enjoyed the fire place at the end of day. You cannot take away the views are breathtaking. The rustic look was part of the country we all wanted to experience, as far as traveling to see the large cities and castles it would have been a 3 hour ride regardless of what part of Ireland you stayed. If you enjoy your day to start with the Sheep grazing outside your window this is the place for you.

Room Tip: shop for snacks or food before you head to recess it is a very remote area
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We were assigned the 3BR 2Ba Mask Cottage and were quite disappointed. We expected rustic based on the reviews that we had read, but weren't prepared with how much. The biggest drawback was the location (remoteness). Based on the photos shown, I felt like we maybe just got the worst unit. It seems like they are in the process of updating, since the bathrooms appeared newer, but everything else was old, run down, and a bit dilapidated.

PROs: cleaner bathrooms than expected based on what we read in the reviews. Easy check-in - we arrived an hour after the cut off time of 1600-1800, but only had to call Michelle, who informed us of the key location. Appreciated the laundry room and that the washer and dryer worked.

CONs: kitchen stove burners were rusted out, had planned to do a little cooking but totally lost my desire when I saw the kitchen. Refrigerator very small, like a dorm refrig...but that isn't a problem if you don't plan to do much cooking. Preliminary information stated that there were heat'ing blankets In every room, yet only one room had a heating pad. Slept in my sweats. Fireplace burned peat...which was kind of cool, but it didn't put out much heat as it was an open fireplace. Beds were not comfortable, blankets quite thin. Upstairs master bedroom bumps up to the angled roof, so master bathroom is definitely on the angle, therefore couldn't take a shower, bath only, since can't stand up straight. Beds were not comfortable, mattresses quite hard. Pulled curtains closed for privacy and dead bugs fell to the floor. Curtains and bed coverings very dated, I can't see why this can't be made cuter....definitely not the bedroom shown in their photo. Room amenities listed a hairdryer, but never found this until the day we left (tucked away in an upper cupboard in a different bedroom). Cottage amenities also listed two TV boxes, one for local TV and the other for satellite TV. It did not have the box for satellite TV, plus the TV itself was very outdated. Also listed a DVD player, which was nonexistent. The Info binder included a DVD to review timeshare marketing stuff, but no ability to view it.
Location was too remote, long drive to anything worth seeing, plus the road off of the main road is not maintained well. No Internet capability, but they have an affiliation with the Connemara Hotel in the little town for use of their wireless connectivity in the lobby, however it was down when we went there to use it. We were able to get wireless access at a pub in town, which we used to book a hotel in Galway and left Connemara Country Cottages after the 3rd night. Salt in the wound is that they charge extra for everything....heat (gas) as well as electricity. I'm okay with the heating/gas charge, but for electricity...that's just ridiculous.

Overall, remote is okay if the scenery is beautiful, but where these cottages are situated, it really wasn't very pretty.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

We stayed here for six nights through a timeshare exchange with RCI. We were assigned the Ben Brack Cottage (unit #6). It was mostly ready for our (late) arrival on Saturday (after 6p) but there were some minor issues that the caretaker Michelle took care of the next morning. Overall the unit was clean, although there were some things that made it appear that a high attention to detail was not given to all rooms within the cottage. Nothing gross or unsanitary, just things like scraps of paper on the floor near a wastebasket and some untidiness in the living room area.

I can appreciate that others have had bad experiences and will admit that after reading them, and emailing with several of the reviewers, I too was very concerned and had alternative arrangements in place should the need arise to move elsewhere. Thankfully that was not the case for us.

The location of these timeshare cottages was perfect for us and we enjoyed having the availability of self-catering to keep our food costs down. We did cook in four of the six nights, and ate all breakfast meals in the cottage.

Things to see and do? We did a day driving trip to Cong & Kylemore Abbey. We also drove down to Galway City to pick up a motor coach tour with Galway Tour Company. We loved letting someone else do the driving to The Cliffs of Moher and The Burren. (See separate review on that experience)

The other big thing that we did during our stay here was take an overnight on Inis Mor, using the ferry out of Ros a Mhil/Rossaveal. That was a highlight of our stay in County Galway.

Room Tip: From the other reviews here, I'd say you should ask for the Ben Brack (#6) cottage!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

Please, heed warning...DON'T STAY HERE!!! We just got home from Holiday and barely made it the one night we were there! Got in at 4:30 pm and left by 9 am. Found a wonderful hotel just outside of Galway, The Westwood and spent our remaining time there, dipping way into our budget. The accomodations at the cottages were frankly, barbaric. Toilets didn't flush, NO HEAT- we could see our breath inside the house all night. I slept in my ski pants, thermal shirt and thick socks and shivered all night. My poor Mother had to sleep in front of the fire in an old rocking chair. We ran out of firewood by 3 am. The fireplace was very open and we all smelled like we'd been at a campfire. NO PHONES. It was very eerie to be so far from civilization with no way of contacting anyone in case an emergency arose. Musty/Moldy smelling. Rusted stovetop that looked like a fire hazard. To top it all off, we had to drive FIVE TIMES in COLD, WET, WINDY conditions to the "shed office" up the hill side where you dial a phone number, hang up, wait 10 seconds and then get a ring back from a "property manager" whom was off site and refused to come help us with the heat or send someone out. It was 4:30 pm!!! She said we would have to "use the open fire" and the heating balnkets for the night. That was "all she could offer". RUDE, RUDE, RUDE. All in all, ZERO star rating. Don't waste your time or money by including this in your Holiday Plans. REAL LET DOWN and very decieving photos from their website. This place left me with a strong feeling of being dirty, smelling of mold, freezing and eerieness. RCI should be ashamed to include this as an accomodation.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Portobello
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

We have just returned from a holiday in Connemara. We had booked this accommodation about 18 months previously before all the terrible reviews, so were committed to going. My wife and daughter are arachnophobic and there were spiders and webs everywhere inside the accommodation. Several different species in fact. It was dirty and smelled damp. This is despite the fact that I had phoned the site manager prior to our arrival and she had assured me that the complaints were down to unreasonable expectations from American visitors. For the record, we are British and have enjoyed many country cottage-type holidays without complaint. We knew that the accommodation would be old, basic and rustic. We also expected it to be clean and habitable. We left immediately and found a great house for rent in Roundstone. Connemara is a great location for a holiday. Beautiful countryside, lovely beaches, great pubs, excellent food and very friendly people. Just don't stay at this particular accommodation - there are plenty of great alternatives throughout the area. We have also insisted that RCI remove this accommodation from their list and I would recommend anyone who has a future booking to re-consider.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Connemara Country Cottages

Address: Leam East | Oughterard, Recess, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Recess
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Recess
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional thatched cottages in the heart of the countryside. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Connemara Country Cottages Ireland/County Galway - Recess

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