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“Not as good as I'd hoped” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rathsallagh House

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Rathsallagh House
Dunlavin, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Dunlavin B&B and Inns
Laois, Ireland
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Not as good as I'd hoped”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Had a one night stay here recently as I had enjoyed a terrific wedding here last month and fancied coming back to stay.
There is an awful lot to like about Rathsallagh. The grounds are beautiful, the drive in from the main road is really nice. The staff are second to none in terms of friendliness and service and the food is top class. The drawing rooms are both lovely settings.
We had an evening meal and breakfast in the dining room and both were excellent.
However the room we stayed in (Apricot Cottage) was not up to scratch at all for a hotel of this reputation.
The room was very cold on what was admittedly one of the coldest nights of the year (-2 outside) and although we turned all rads up to the top setting it didn't seem to warm up sufficiently.
Neither the light in the closet or the bathroom mirror light were working but worst of all there were some huge cobwebs hanging over the bed! A tall duster wouldn't have gone amiss!
TV in the room is not something that particularly interests me but for anyone it would interest the TV is tiny. Like I say, doesn't affect my opinion of the hotel.
Overall, good value though and probably could have given a 4 rating as easily as a 3 but just edged towards the 3.
Would make a return trip because I think I may have been unlucky with the room.

Room Tip: I would imagine a room in the main house would be more desirable than one in the adjoining buildings...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
JoeWicklowIreland, Owner at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind and constructive review . I apologise sincerely for the defects you found in the room. – there was no excuse really. The heating is supposed to be on full before you arrive and the other issues were inexcusable oversights. The Apricot and Rose ( the room opposite ) are the two oldest rooms were have , built in 1985 when we opened as a B&B. The Rose is in the process of full renovation and the Apricot is next, so yes you were un lucky with room allocation as all the other rooms as you know are much larger / newer etc. But again there was no excuse for the lapse in housekeeping which again we sincerely apologise for. We are so glad that you enjoyed every other aspect of Rathsallagh and also that you have confirmed in PM to return once again. We will certainly be delighted to welcome you back and hopefully with an improved and more efficient housekeeping service. Thank you once again for a very fair review in the circumstances.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Liverpool
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Rathsallagh was the first venue we looked at and after being there nowhere else compared. It is absolutely beautiful. Having the house exclusively for the day is wonderful and a definite selling point. As each room is decorated differently it gives a homely feel unlike a hotel. We are living in the UK so most correspondence was done by email, Catherine and all the team are brilliant and were always quick to reply to any queries. As our wedding was in October we were worried about the weather but thankfully we had a fine sunny day. This was brilliant as we had photos taken in the gardens which are lovely.

We used the pavilion as we had just under 100 guests. This room is lovely as it looks out over the grounds. All the guests were full of praise for the food which was excellent, the room and the venue as a whole with all guest rooms drawing lavish praise. A great day was had by all. Breakfast the following morning was also very good.

My parents are from the neighbouring village Grangecon so having our reception in Rathsallagh made our day very special. I really cannot recommend the place highly enough, it gave us the perfect day.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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JoeWicklowIreland, Owner at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you very much for your lovely review, yours is all the more appreciated as it comes from someone with a proven track record on TA. Catherine and her team of wedding coordinators are absolutely thrilled that you gave them a mention. Wishing you both long life and happiness and thank you so much for supporting us here in Rathsallagh
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Dublin
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I am a huge fan of Blue Book destinations. I enjoy their charm, individuality and rustic ambiance. However, my stay in Rathsallagh didn't quite live up to expectations. It was an average stay and the rooms look pretty tired.

I stayed here with my scrawny friend who treated me to a night away as a gift so I have no idea how much it cost. We stayed in the Coral Room which was pretty bland but comfortable and clean. However it wasn't really the kind of room one would want to spend too much time in.

On the plus side, the grounds are pristine and there are beautiful walks through the golf course which looks fantastic in the Fall with multicoloured leaves confettied on the grass.

Also worthy of note was a great jacuzzi room. Jacuzzi's are best enjoyed with a bottle of bubbly and we enjoyed an hour of bubbles in bubbles.

Staff were friendly and food was good.

Overall, I probably wouldn't return here in a hurry but would prefer to sample other Blue Book destinations.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the Coral Room
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
JoeWicklowIreland, Owner at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
Thank you very much for your review on Rathsallagh. The Coral room is a lovely room on the ground floor looking out over those beautiful pristine grounds that you enjoyed so much. I would not normally reveal the price if I felt it was a surprise / present etc , but in this instance I feel you should know the value you were getting. Your friend booked your stay on a Megal Deal voucher and although the voucher had expired we were delighted to accept his booking for one nights B&B,( in a Standard room ) €30 dining credit and the bubbles all for €120. I know both you and he enjoyed the private Jacuzzi room and of course use of that was included as well . The Coral room is a little over 265 sq feet and, and although it is in a part of the house that is over 300 years old it could not be described as tired, but its not over modern either and matches the period of the place. If you ever do decide to visit us again and would like a room where you could spend more of the day then one of our 570 sq foot Superior rooms might be a nice option. We are delighted to be part of the Blue Book for over 20 years, and of course you must try out our Member properties, they will be as delighted to welcome you and your friend as were we.
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Galway, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Homely, authentic with warm hospitality. I’ve been to Rathsallagh several times in the last number of years and each time it delivers on what it is; a genuine Irish country house. The bar has a good natural atmosphere, no annoying background music here, and the drawing rooms are relaxing with big open turf and log fires. The staff appear to be mostly local and are professional and friendly. The bedrooms all have names which can be confusing after hours but adds to the appeal. We have stayed in rooms overlooking the court yard and walled garden and all had excellent finishes and luxurious products….and great big bathrooms as well as beds. The menu here is classical French with some modern influences, the dining room itself having timber walls and a great big fireplace, again it fits the period of the house, this is a place to relax and unwind in genuine old world luxury. Lovely walks, views and golf on site available if your thing. We will be back again.



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Room Tip: Speak to the staff at reservations and ask for a courtyard room as closest to main house, easy parki...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoeWicklowIreland, Owner at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, October 26, 2012
Thank you for your lovely review and for coming back to stay with us again. Apparently an oenophile is a lover of wine . More intriguing is a restaurant of that name in New York that had a sign in the window giving its definition of oenophile as “ an affliction of the senses characterized by intense cravings for good food and service and vintage wines served in a tasteful, comfortable setting at reasonable prices” A restaurant reviewer of the time said that Oenophile sounded like a disease one could catch, some times when replying on these pages I rather think it would actually be a cure for some far worse afflictions. Thank you again and we hope we will see you again soon. From the Rathsallagh team
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Dublin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Rathsallagh has a lovely ambience about it. The turf fires in the sitting areas are instantly relaxing. However the gas fire in the restaurant was disappointing - why gas?!
We stayed in the Lily Room which was a fine sized room with a lovely big bed, big bathroom and especially appreciated - a big bath. Overall the decor of Rathsallagh is a bit tired - especially in the dining room, and some elements could be improved. The bar area is really disappointing - boring bright lighting and no music make for a strangely silent experience, with the hum of the fridge and the dishwasher behind the bar being the only noise. We opted to have our drinks in one of the sitting rooms in front of the turf fire instead.

Dinner was also a disappointment to us - the dining room is visually dated, and the menu was similarly dated. Old fashioned faux-leather menu holders, and old-fashioned food descriptions - and when our meals arrived, they were heavy and drowning in sauces. I had cod which was overpowered by heavy sweet sauces on the plate, and my husband's duck was cut into thick slabs. There was nothing wrong with the food but it was all very heavy with too many sauces for our taste - even the potatoes were swimming in butter. My mussels starter was delicious but again, the sauce was so rich and heavy - a bit too much.

The gardens are beautiful and a lovely surprise - Rathsallagh's setting is superb and the gardens are so well tended they are a pleasure to walk through. Our room had doors into the courtyard but no mat inside the doors; walking in and out from the courtyard meant we were dragging leaves and muck in onto the carpet. We asked one of the staff for a mat and they said they'd see what they could do, but nothing appeared and it wasn't mentioned again. Similarly, in the entrance to the accommodation building from the courtyard, there was no mat and we felt we were walking dirty boots onto the floor and the large rug.

Overall a very nice night away for us, the staff were a pleasure, the turf fires were great and the grounds are fantastic. We'd hope the chef might update his menu with lighter, less fussy dishes, and the management might update the dining room itself.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoeWicklowIreland, Manager at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write your review and also for your visit to Rathsallagh on our 2011 Pigs Back deal ( €120 for B&B, Prosecco on arrival and a €30 dining credit ), I do hope you will keep on eye out as the 2012 version of this offer is due to be released soon, although the number of vouchers available is very limited .
I am sorry you were not happy with our dining room, Rathsllagh is over 400 years old so we cant unfortunately remove the oak paneling on the walls and replace them with stainless steel. ( we do replace the carpet every year however and the linen tablecloths, linen napkins and fresh flowers are replaced every day ) You asked re the gas effect fire, and you also noticed the lovely smell of turf smoke around the place, and we cant have that in the dining room obviously . The old kitchen bar is a similar story ( it has no dishwasher and you cant hear the fridge ! ) but it has an old clock on the wall ( beside the turf and log fire ) and you can hear that ticking if its really really quiet. Rathsallagh is a Country House for relaxing in, a place to give you time to listen. Your feed back on the food is appreciated, we are not sure where you managed to get your ideas on heavy sauces from however. In addition the leather covers on the menu are real, but then as we are all exposed to so many conveyor belt style operations these days sometimes we lose our ability to distinguish quality from mass production. Thanks again. From all at Rathsallagh
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

I recently visited Rathsallagh for dinner. The chef has just started his autumn menu, and let's just say the food matched the season/weather perfectly! Smokey mussels, venison vol au vent, stuffed quail, pumpkin rissotto, and the list goes on. Everything was cooked perfectly, very good clean flavours! I have eaten at many star rated restaurants, and Rathsallagh is keeping right up with the big city places, in the quite rolling hills of Co. Wicklow! Fairly priced, nice portions, friendly staff. This is definitely somewhere I would recommend trying, I know I'll be going back!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
JoeWicklowIreland, Owner at Rathsallagh House, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you for your lovely review As you have noted our style of cooking here is French classical with some modern influences resulting in a clean light style. Its heartening to know that you have appreciated our efforts in designing our menu to incorporate as much local produce as is possible. Sometime its frustrating to produce such food from scratch and then have it misrepresented by amateur restaurant critics, more used to simple fair and with no idea or understanding of classical cooking. So refreshing then that you took the time to write such an informed review. Thank you. From all at Rathsallagh
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Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

Having had a wonderful experience at a friend's wedding some years back, we decided to treat ourselves before the school hols were over. Travelled down on a Friday pm to meet the couple who's wedding I spoke about.
First thing you notice as you get out of the car is the amazing smell of the turf fires. Relaxation starts here.
Unfortunately we were extremely disappointed by the rooms.
We were staying in Rose Cottage. The smell of damp was overpowering. The cobwebs on the ceiling were enormous and the carpet didn't lend itself to being stood on in bare feet. Bathroom was very dated and the sanitary wear was stained and dirty looking.
The restaurant experience continues to be amazing. Food is stunning & service excellent but with prices to match.
Breakfast without doubt is the best I've ever experienced.
All in all a good experience but I won't return unless the standard of the rooms improves significantly

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Rathsallagh House

Address: Dunlavin, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Wicklow > Dunlavin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Dunlavin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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Also Known As:
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