My husband and I just returned from a weekend stay at the Airlie Center, we were hoping that it would be a lovely luxury getaway weekend for us, but it was definitely a bit more miss than hit.
The Airlie Center property is beautiful with lots of meadows and wooded areas, abundant wildlife, and a garden where we were even able to pick and eat some strawberries. Sadly though, the real beauty ends there. The property has a lot of geese, some bunnies, squirrels, and swans, and a even a few fox, great for nature lovers! However, the lakes and ponds on property are overtaken by a lot of very unattractive pond scum, the swans actually came out of the mucky water looking gray and dirty. The garden grows some veggies and even has an apiary section from which they get their very remarkable and yummy honey that they sell, but many of the plants looked like they were being wasted, we just wanted to pick them to take home and make good use of them!
So, all in all, the property is a nice getaway, but sadly, the rooms and breakfast left a lot to be desired.
When we arrived on property we were unsure of where to go, it is a campus style property and with such has many different entrances and buildings, none of which clearly denote where you should go to check in, more signs would be helpful! Once we figured out to check in at the Airlie House itself, we were greeted and signed in. During the process the hotel agent was very friendly, but not very informative. There is this huge, great property, we expected to get a bit of insight into what we could find to do and where, but none was offered, we were even told the wrong location for our breakfast.
We went back to our car to drive over to the Lodge which is where our room was and entered our room. Immediately we were greeted by 4 stinkbugs! Even worse in my opinion, we had purchased a deal which included a wine and cheese presentation that was waiting for us in the room... so someone had been in there not too long before and there were 4 stinkbugs in one small room... had they just overlooked them? We also found several more dead around the room... I am not a fan of bugs or unclean places, so this was not the start I was looking for.
The King bed was actually two smaller beds pushed together with a pretty obvious gap in between and the bathroom was small and very unremarkable. For the amount of money the rooms typically go for, I was pretty shocked. I am not sure that I would even pay the half price that I did to go back again! The walls were pretty thin, we could hear our neighbor singing to himself and anyone in the hallway.
The job that the housekeeping crew did the next day while we were out was poor, just a quick pull up of the covers on the bed really, they didn't even replace our toiletries.
Breakfast was not much better, there were good choices for beverages, lots of juices, coffee, and tea, but no milk. There were some breads and pastries and a tray of slices of a smoked meat and a very hard over-smoked salmon, both of which looked like they had been sitting our too long. Then there was one waitress that could make waffles or omelettes. Thank goodness for her, or there would be nothing else to eat! She did her best, but was set up with a tiny table and pan, not making her life any easier, and again, she was the only one, so the line got long.
What made it worse was that there was another buffet area that we had to walk through to get to where our breakfast was served, so we also got to see all that we were missing by being shoveled into this hot back room.
Pretty on the outside, but expect anything special on closer inspection.