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“A very pleasant stay in Belfast” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Old Inn Crawfordsburn

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The Old Inn Crawfordsburn
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   15 Main Street, Crawfordsburn BT19 1JH, Northern Ireland   |  
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A very pleasant stay in Belfast”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at The Old Inn for 2 nights as part of a family trip. The food was absolutely fantastic and the staff are an absolute credit to the hotel. The reception, waiting and bar staff could not have been more helpful during our stay, especially the waiting staff. There was no wifi due to a technical issue and no alternative in an area where mobile signal was poor, which is the only minor criticism I could have of this delightful hotel.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Dear Graham, thank you for taking the time to post a review on Tripadvisor. We are delighted to see that you enjoyed your recent stay with us and that you particularly enjoyed the food and the service afforded to you by our waiting team. We are sorry that our wifi signal was out when you stayed, unfortunately this was caused by an electrical surge. We hope that this did not detract from your stay too much. We look forward to seeing you the next time you visit Northern Ireland. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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543 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Bangor, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

My wife and I visited the old inn last Saturday night for a night away having stayed on many occasions in the past and as always as soon as you are greeted by the log fire in reception and check in you feel like you are a world away.
Having checked in we took a long walk through the country park which is accessed from a path to the side of the inn before returning for a drink before dinner.
We stayed for the first time in a new room ,Mount Stewart which was first class and very comfortable . We had a table booked in the Lewis restaurant which gave us a great view of the action in the very busy kitchen .I would highlight that all of the meals leaving the pass were personally monitored by either Danny or Paul Rice ( the owners) talk about hands on. We both had an excellent meal finished off with coffee in the lounge.
The next morning once again a busy breakfast was overseen by Paul .It is very clear that the old inn remains so special because of the hard work and attention to detail . All of the staff were very friendly and obliging as always . Looking forward to returning before too long.

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
Dear John B, Thank you for taking the time to posta review on Tripadvisor. We were delighted to see that enjoyed your recents stay with us so much. We are very lucky that we are located on the very edge of Crawfordsburn Country Park and it really does have some very stunning scenery including waterfalls. Thank you also for your kind words on our food. Although we have maintained our 2 AA rosettes for a very long time, our directors take nothing for granted and it is quite normal to see at least one of the family, during the busy service periods. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

My brother got married and rightfully chose this venue. It was charming and elegant and the staff were all excellent. The rooms that they provided for the ceremony and the meal after and in between were perfect. The food was first class and the bar service friendly. The rooms were beautiful and very comfortable and breakfast was second to none.

Stayed March 2014
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Rice1614, Manager at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 20, 2014
Dear Darren M, Thank you for taking the time to post a review on Tripadvisor. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed your brother's recent wedding with us. Thank you also for your kind words on the food for all services and we were delighted to see that you found the bar staff to be so friendly. We have a constatnt program of upgrading and development on the go at the hotel, some routine and some a bit more courageous, and we are delighted to see that you found the level of quality in these areas to be 'perfect'. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

I've been here several times now but this is my first review. The building is adorable, low slung ceilings & beams. With a raging log fire in the reception area, it's so cosy. The restaurant food is first class, I had scallops followed by rack of lamb - cooked to perfection. Staff are very friendly but when it got busy it was a bit hard to get their attention. Definitely go here!

Stayed April 2014
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Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Dear thelondonette, Thank you for taking the time to post a review on Tripadvisor. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed your recent visit with us. We were very happy to see that you particularly enjoyed the scallops and the lamb and that you appreciated the atmosphere that the real fires help to generate. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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Northern Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014 via mobile

Had dinner in the beautiful restaurant for this first time and we were very impressed! The meal itself was out of this world! Staff were very friendly and attentive, an absolute credit to the hotel!

We will be back very soon! :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear IrishLass33, Thank you for taking the time to post a review on Tripadvisor. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed so many aspects of your recent visit with us. Perhaps next time you could complete the experience by staying over in one of our fabulous, individually styled, bedrooms. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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portavogie
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

I was at the old inn in the last Sunday (Mother's Day) for my friends wedding, having stayed at the Old Inn last October I was expecting an excellent time.

First of all we were greeted in the warm friendly and professional manner which is usual of the staff at the Old Inn, with every detail of the days schedule clearly explained to us. At the beginning of the day the bar staff were also friendly and couldn't have been more helpful. The wedding service itself was excellent and everything went off without any issues. The meal was excellent, with an absolute mountain of delicious food on offer. The manager who accompanied us throughout the day was also warm, friendly, polite and discreet where needs be, a real credit to the hotel.

While the top table had no issues as far as I am aware of with the staff, a few guests mentioned that the person serving their table was quite rude to them and at one point stormed off half way through serving the main course to the guests.

After the meal we were then sent up to the lounge while the room was reset for the evening dance and buffet. Myself and the other groomsmen went into the bar for drinks, but were then turfed out as quickly as we walked in, after the barman told us of the small bar in the room opposite which was for the wedding, which we then had to wait at until a member of staff turned up around 10-15 minutes later. What exactly, was the issue in serving us at the main bar?

Obviously, with it being Mother's Day, the hotel and bar were busy, perhaps more than usual for a Sunday. From the time of booking, the Bride and Groom were aware of the fact that customers may have to be moved into the room used for the wedding party while the Waterfall Room was reset.

The bride and groom had no problems with this, but in my opinion, it is unacceptable that this was even considered. Any rooms booked for a wedding should have been kept solely for that purpose.

We had one instance where I was asked to open a window by a few wedding guests as they were too warm. A few moments later a "gentleman", not with the wedding party, strode over and slammed the window shut, followed by casting dirty looks at us all as he returned to his table and then for the duration of his wait in the room. As an additional note, a gentleman which I was later informed was one of the owners of the hotel, repeatedly went to the before mentioned gentleman's table to check if everything was OK. Yet not once did he approach any of the wedding guests tables

I know this is not the fault of The Old Inn, as you get people like that anywhere, but I think it highlights the need to keep rooms which have been booked for an event solely for that purpose, as this, although only a minor incident, caused annoyance among us. After all, The Old Inn had been paid a substantial amount of money to hold the wedding service, and I believe the wedding party should have been given some kind of priority on this special day.

As I said these were only minor incidents. It was a great day and very enjoyable overall. The Old Inn ordinarily is a great place to stay and to eat, but I believe they have took their eye off the ball slightly and need to drive to get back to up scratch with attention to detail especially with customer service, and particularly with weddings where the highest of standards are expected

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Dear william a, Thank you for taking the time to post a review on Tripadvisor. Thank you for your kind words on the food and also for your kind words on Sean Townsley who looked after you on the day. He works indefatigably to ensure that every bride and groom feels special. We were concerened to see your comments on your welcome into the main bar and we are currently carrying out our own internal investaigations into this. Just to clarify our position on the gallery lounge. We do allow the bridal party to return to the gallery for the changover, when the business allows and whilst the bridal have exclusivity on this for the wedding service and reception drinks, it is not theirs for the rest of the day. Other guests are quite entitled to use it after the bridal party has moved on to their wedding breakfast. We were glad to see that you saw these as minor issues and look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Kind regards, the team at TheOld Inn.
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

I used to go to the Crawfordsburn Inn regularly when I lived in Helen's Bay and I still do when visiting friends and family.

Sadly, I have recently found the Old Inn to be going slightly downhill. What they've done is get it right for quite some time and become so popular that they are now starting to get a little cocky and relaxed, cracks are starting to show and standards are starting to slip.

At Christmas, I had one of the rudest bar staff I have ever come across in the Catering & Hospitality, travel and tourism industries, which slightly ruined a night in there with friends - she actually said at one point that she wasn't going to serve us whiskey because she'd just poured 3 pints and couldn't be bothered to serve up whiskey because she was tired, it was on the top shelf and she had a queue of customers, I actually turned to a friend to ask him if that had really just happened - not what you expect from this type of bar.

More recently I took my wife, parents and sister for dinner here and there was a problem with my wife's and my mothers food and they returned the dishes to the kitchen only for them to be brought back out, placed back in front of them upon they were told that the kitchen staff had all had a sniff, nothing was wrong with the food and that the chef's wouldn't do anything as they were closing soon but if they wanted the staff would serve a desert instead.

This is the first time I've ever experienced this in any restaurant especially one that charges as much for a main course as they do, at the very least you wouldn't normally bring the plate back out to the customer and tell them the chefs and two waiters have smelt it and that they reckon it's fine - we had five people dining on 2 courses, with drinks - if the customer care had been a little better, it would have been 3 courses, coffee and probably a few more drinks!

To their credit, the manger apologised and amended the bill, however, there have still been one too many occurrences of bad service in there recently for me to justify going back to eat - unfortunately the food wasn't worth the price, both in quality and service and if you want to eat past 9pm, it just feels like the staff are winding down and that you're under their feet and keeping them from going home - having worked in bars, hotels and in retail change management, I understand this, but they really should be maintaining that drive right the way through and then collapsing in a heap after the doors have shut or they clock off! It's what you sign up for after-all!

The atmosphere in the bar is lovely for a few drinks so as long as they don't have the same staff as they had at Christmas working the bar, they will still get my custom - I just won't be eating there again.

I've seen this happen many times where restaurants become a victim of their own success. If they are going to drive up the high standards and justify their reputation (and prices) as a premium establishment, Crawfordsburn Inn need to attract highly motivated and trained staff and ensure they retain them by providing first rate customer care training, support and development opportunities - 'tis not the time for resting on one's laurels!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Rice1614, Owner at The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Dear Rob M, Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive review on Tripadvisor. We were, of course, very concerned with your observations which is totally contrary to the ethos of the Old Inn. If you would so kind as to pass on your contact details to wecare@theoldinn.com we would be very interested in speaking to you directly to identify how these issues arose in the first place and more importantly, how we can fix them. Thank you for bringing these to our attention. Kind regards, the team at The Old Inn.
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Additional Information about The Old Inn Crawfordsburn

Address: 15 Main Street, Crawfordsburn BT19 1JH, Northern Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Crawfordsburn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Crawfordsburn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Old Inn Crawfordsburn 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step through the doors of The Old Inn to experience nearly 400 years of history. The Old Inn is the perfect retreat for both business and leisure. The Old Inn offers extensive and charming hotel and catering facilities for wedding ceremonies and receptions, business meetings and conferences, training courses, holidays and short romantic breaks and weekends. Each bedroom is uniquely styled and the Lewis Restaurant offers fantastic local produce at reasonable prices. The hotel is four star accommodation and the food is to two AA Rosette Standard. Lewis won the Taste of Ulster 2011 best restaurant in Ulster this year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Old Inn Crawfordsburn Hotel Crawfordsburn
Old Inn Crawfordsburn
The Old Inn Crawfordsburn Northern Ireland

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