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“Amazing place to stay in Connemara” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
4.0 of 5 Castle   |   Ballinafad | Connemara, Recess, Ireland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amazing place to stay in Connemara”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

We have just returned from Ireland and have a new favorite place to stay while there. We have been fortunate to travel several times in Ireland but had never visited the Connemara area. Clifden and the surrounding area is a fantastic place to spend several days. The sky road has one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. In addition to great restaurants, pubs and shops there are tons of outdoor activities here. The Ballynahinch Castle is idyllic. The setting on the river is spectacular with walking paths everywhere revealing one beautiful view after another. Although we did not fish, it was obvious this was a typical event there. The hotel is a bit worn and rustic but honestly it only adds to the charm. Our room (reported to be the maharaja's, a former owner) was huge, with a very comfortable bed and beautiful view. The tub was a bit awkward for showering but not a deal breaker. Breakfast in the dining room was delicious, served overlooking the river. We did not eat dinner in the restaurant or pub, but the food looked great and I would definitely eat there next time. I highly recommend this experience when traveling in Ireland.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a river view
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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780 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 (220)
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English first
Olathe, Kansas
Top Contributor
622 reviews 622 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 152 cities Reviews in 152 cities
210 helpful votes 210 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

Just a wonderful and restful place to visit. Lovely people, superb food and a great deal of options in the area. They look after each guest and the warm fire in the pub each evening is good fun. Patrick and the team do a great job.

Room Tip: Stay in the newly refurbished wing
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Middlebury, CT
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

Outstanding food in a charming old hotel. Comfortable rooms and delightful, cozy bar. Beautiful grounds and trout stream flowing through austere countryside. Central to great visitor sites in Connemara and to the Aran Islands.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
236 reviews 236 reviews
234 hotel reviews
Reviews in 169 cities Reviews in 169 cities
252 helpful votes 252 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

We much enjoyed a three night return visit to Ballynahinch Castle. It’s not actualy a castle but a sensitive conversion of a 19c country mansion in extensive peaceful grounds, which include its own river and lake. It’s a one hour drive from Galway and well located close to Roundstone and Clifden. A car is essential to take advantage of the location.

Ballynahinch is ideal for a huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ vacation but it’s also a pleasant home for walkers, those touring spectacular Connemara or those just seeking comfortable relaxation. The original building is nondescript from the outside but the interior is elegant in traditional style, with an open fire in the lobby and comfortable public rooms.

Room size varies. Ours was in the ‘new wing’, 200 m and 40 staircase steps from the Front Desk (all inside the building) and with no elevator - fine for us but not suitable for the unfit or handicapped. The room itself was oversized, with quasi-antique furniture, a comfortable four poster bed, excellent storage and a large fully equipped bathroom. We had a relaxing view of the peaceful river. The only downside was inadequate lighting.

The restaurant is excellent and has a great view. The breakfast is a stellar combination of a well-stocked buffet with an extensive menu of hot food cooked to order. Dinner was very good indeed, although the extensive prix fixe menu (à la carte not offered) was rather more than light eaters might look for. There are simpler alternatives in the bar area.

WiFi is uncomplicated and free and available throughout the hotel.

All of the staff we met were pleasant and efficient and the impression is of a well-managed hotel. Our one minor problem was dealt with quickly.

Ballynahinch is not cheap and would benefit from refurbishment in some places. But overall we thought it a quality experience and good value. Recommended, as both a base and a destination.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 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.
San diego
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

This was our first time in Ireland and our 3 night stay at Ballynahinch was the perfect introduction to the country. The customer service here was outstanding whether having lunch & a pint in the Pub or delighting in the dinner options in the main dining room. The staff even took the time to look up & print us detailed driving instructions to the Cliffs of Moher. Here is an excerpt from my Tumblr Blog regarding the food at Ballynahinch:

"After successfully negotiating the roads from Dublin International Airport to the lovely Ballynahinch Castle in Connemare, in a full size rental car and with a first time left side of the road driver, we were ready for a pint and some dinner. We ate in the pub that evening and had wonderful seafood chowder with the most amazing brown bread I have ever tasted accompanied by an incredibly fresh salad. The fish for the chowder had been caught directly off the coast not far from Ballynahinch and the produce for the salad was locally grown. Breakfast was wonderful with fresh pastries, bread, grains, cereals, cheese and smoked ham. You could also order eggs and other items from the kitchen. Our dinner the second night was in the main dining room at Ballynahinch and it did not disappoint. In fact, I got to taste the best Risotto of my life! I say taste as it was my husband who ordered it as his appetizer and a taste was all I was lucky enough to get. It was a Butternut Squash Risotto with Pine nuts and my husband performed a disappearing act with the Risotto that would have made the savviest magician stand in awe. Until this night, Wolfgang Puck had held the number one spot in my book for Risotto. No offense to Wolfgang but the Chef who created this dish is now crowned my “Risotto King”. I however made an outstanding choice of selecting the Goat Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus as my main course and although my husband had an outstanding Rib Eye he was jealous once he had his taste of my Tortellini. Dessert consisted of a Crème Brule Trio for my husband and a Pear Tart topped with Butterscotch and paired with vanilla ice cream for me."

We stayed in room 25, downstairs with a river view. The room had a large king size bed, sitting area and large bathroom. The rain shower head was great with plenty of hot water. The Staff had a wonderful welcome note & cookies awaiting us upon arrival. The lake and river trails were easy to walk and beautiful. If we visit again we will do so during fishing season. The common areas are filled with history and warmth.

Some reviews have rated Ballynahinch "down" for not having perfect paint or wall paper and other such cosmetic upgrades. But the rooms and other areas are very clean and stay true to the life of the estate. For us it was like visiting your family's country estate - like going home.

On a side note: be sure to take some time and drive over to Roundstone and the Connemare Smokehouse. On the drive out to the Smokehouse you will be treated to some excellent views of one of the castles belonging to the Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley - quite a figure in history. Take time to visit the pristine beaches along the coast. Just be careful of the sheep on the roads especially inn the predawn hours, as they come down at night to sleep on the roads in order to benefit from the radiant heat.

Room Tip: River view!
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  • Stayed October 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
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Morecambe, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

We went for our honeymoon and it was wonderful. Open fires in the cold weather, armchairs to sit on and read a book, beautiful smoked salmon breakfast, scenery is stunning. Its well out of the way of everything so you will need a car to drive about and see other places. But we stayed quite close to home and loved it

  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto plata
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Stunning grounds, lovely castle, delicious food combines to create a special experience.
Extensive wine list, locally sourced ingredients for meals. Fishing reputed to be excellent. Hiking trails extensive, well maintained. Gardens spectacular. Common rooms more elegant and special than guest rooms which appear to have been added. Best to have GPS to find as location bit tricky to find.

Room Tip: Luxury rooms better value and fit than suites where living room elegant but bedroom modest.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Address: Ballinafad | Connemara, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Recess
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury 4 star hotel located on a 450 acre estate with 48 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, fly fishing and clay shooting. Locally we have a boat trip from Roundstone fishing village which includes a trip to a deserted island & lobster fishing and great hiking. Connemara National Park, Connemara Golf Club and Clifden are all a short drive as is the ferry & airport to the Aran Islands. Ballynahinch Castle is the ideal base for touring Connemara and the Wild Atlantic Way. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Ireland/County Galway - Recess

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