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“Disappointing. Not a castle! Very overpriced!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
4.0 of 5 Castle   |   Ballynahinch River Front, Recess, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Gosford, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Disappointing. Not a castle! Very overpriced!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

My husband and I toured Ireland for 10 days and were really looking forward to spending 2 nights at this accommodation. It was to be our most expensive on our trip and we expected the accommodation to be outstanding. However this was not the case.

The drive up was breathtaking. The grounds are superb. However, it was clearly not a castle!

We parked at the front and struggled with our bags to reception, which was just inside the door.
On first impression, the entry appeared dirty and it looked as though hadn't been cleaned for ages.
We were checked in quickly and a helpful chap assisted with our larger bags to our room-which overlooked the river.
The room had a beautiful outlook-stunning. We were looking forward to a cup of tea, but we didn't have any tea or coffee essentials and no jug! Most unusual. When we rang reception they said that we need to call and request a tray with tea.

We decided to eat in the pub, and reserved a table. The pub was tiny and we were seated near the men's toilet. Food was average. My fish dish was tasty, but my husbands' steak tough.

Back to the room. My husbands shower was cold and the paint in the bathroom flaking.
At this point we thought that we would leave in the morning and asked if we could cut our booking from 2 nights to one?? The receptionist said that if we left early we would still have to pay for 2 nights, unless someone rang up to request the room.
We checked the next morning and unfortunately there were no new bookings, so we stayed.

Things did improve. My husband had one more cold shower in the free standing shower and then opted to have his shower over the bath where he managed to consistently get hot water. The water was discoloured and didn't look too inviting to bathe in or drink! The bath had a shower curtain to contain splashes. Not the best.

We had a good sleep and the bed was very comfortable.
Wi Fi was a bit hit or miss depending on where you were in the room.
Breakfast was good and efficient on both mornings.
Dinner at the restaurant was outstanding and we totally enjoyed our meal.

Staff appeared busy and not very friendly. Looking for tips for any service.

Our room was clean, but needed some maintenance. The wallpaper and paint were lifting. The lounge was very uncomfortable and no air conditioning. All these things we would readily accept but not at rate of 310 Euros per night. Very overpriced.

My rating relates to this property misrepresenting itself as a castle. It is an old country estate, a fishing/ hunting lodge. The tariff charged does not reflect the quality of this accommodation or the services provided by staff.

Room Tip: Great view from Superior rooms.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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746 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
    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 (207)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I decided for my tour of Ireland, that I would stay in one of the many castles on offer and this one appeared on a lot of castle accommodation sites. It was also in an area of Ireland (Connemara) that I most wanted to visit. The drive was interesting down little roads marked 100km/hr but were almost impossible to do over 60 due to many interesting sites on the way, the oncoming traffic on tight roads and the occasional walker, cyclist, sheep or goat!

Upon arrival it was quite wet and misty which was beautiful to look at but not so good for partaking in the many walks they had on offer. I was led to my room and although I had requested a room with a river view, I was told there weren't any available but would be on a list if any came up. It was an extraordinary surprise to be shown the room and saw the door out to a spectacular view of the river. It felt like my own little piece of paradise for the night. The room was very vintage with separate powder room and bathroom. I was told there were only 3 rooms with doors to the river which made it feel even more special.

I also ate dinner and breakfast at the hotel which were both extraordinary. I made myself eat the dessert as it was so nice even though I was over full. It seemed like a romantic place for couples but the evening I went there were only a few couples, with families and a large group staying and dining. I imagine it would also be gorgeous over winter with all of the common sitting areas with fireplaces throughout the castle.

I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone who wanted a wonderfully unique and beautiful experience.

Room Tip: Request a river view ground floor room if they have them available. If you get one, you may also lik...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
Buckfastleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Wonderfully set in it's own grounds with river and country walks. It has the best of everything. The staff are friendly and efficient, nothing was too much trouble. Our room was well appointed and had a great view of the river. We felt relaxed as soon as we had arrived, we got down to the serious business of sitting next to the log fire and drinking coffee. Eating in was a real treat, the food is well presented and of good quality. I can't think of a better place to stay and would recommend this place to anyone. We very much look forward to returning.....(again, again and again)

  • Stayed August 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.
Ireland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

This is a special place that I have always wanted to stay in and it didn’t disappoint. We had a lovely room in the main house with views over the river. It was very simply but very tastefully decorated and extremely comfortable. From speaking with a couple later that evening I gathered that they had been very disappointed with the room assigned to them and had been changed to one in the newer wing. So there is a variation in rooms as one would expect with an old house. Anyone looking for up to date luxury will be disappointed as this place is old style and very much in the manner of the fishing lodge it was initially built to be. You can imagine that must of it is as it has been for a long time and that frequent visitors would be most upset by any changes. Dinner was superb, expensive but worth every penny. There are lovely walks along the river and through the estate and of course fishing for those who are interested in it.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 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.
Miami, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Through our wonderful travel agent in Ireland, Claire Reilly, who works for Exploring Ireland tours, Claire made the hotel arrangements for our family vacation. With six family members to please, each hotel was surpassed by the next. One of our favorites was the Ballynahich Castle.
Reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes adventure. Grounds to walk around, rivers to skim rocks, fireplaces to sit by and enjoy our cocktails, then dinner in the bar/restaurant. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, the atmosphere was lively but subtle. The hugh bed was so comfortable for my 6/4 husband. Breakfast was superb. We wish we could have stayed longer!

Room Tip: Try asking for a room that runs along the river.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Indeed beautiful setting, and very friendly helpful service.
The food was delicious too both in the pub and in the restaurant and faultless breakfast.
On the minus side we had lovely superior rooms but miles from the main hotel(not easy when you can't walk easily which I had mentioned), the wifi was mostly unobtainable from there (you had to take your ipad to the main hotel),
Like another reviewer we were plagued by midges and so couldn't really open the french windows in a particular hot spell (should have had anti-midge sprays in the room?).
The bathroom was on the whole very nice with shower and bath too though to get at the loo roll one had to be a contortionist as it was lodged far on the left side!
At the price of the room , I think a soap bigger than a small prune could be expected (even 3 of them!) and a robe as well as those very small bath towels would be nice too!
But those are, I hope , constructive criticisms as the overall feel of the stay was very positive.

Room Tip: ask for superior rooms (river view) not too far from the main hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed with friends and enjoyed every aspect of this fine hotel. The staff was without doubt amongst the most efficient and friendly we have encountered anywhere. The food was sublime and the grounds spectacular. I took an introductory fishing course with Jonathan, a gillie on the estate and within 30 minutes we were casting on the river, a wonderful experience. Where this is not an inexpensive hotel we came away feeling that we had value in every area. All in all we had a great time and will hopefully return soon.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Address: Ballynahinch River Front, Recess, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Recess
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Recess
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 star hotel located on a 450 acre estate with 40 bedrooms & suites overlooking the river, mountain or both. The Fisherman's pub serves lunch and dinner by the open log fire, dinner is also served in the award winning Owenmore Restaurant. On site, miles of scenic river & lakeside walks, bicycles to explore the area and an outdoor tennis court. Connemara National Park, Roundstone & Clifden are all a short drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Ireland/County Galway - Recess

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