Let me start by saying I want to love Doonbeg Lodge- this was my second visit and as a location it's just beautiful, and I think best enjoyed during winter to avail of the roomy individual lodges, and the cosy fires.
The accommodation at Doonbeg is the reason I returned after our first visit. If you're looking for cosy beds, comfy couches and curling up in the front of the fire with a book, this place is just the ticket. However, I do have massive problems with the hotel itself and I'm afraid to say that this second visit reminded me of my disappointment the first time I was there.
I should add that we stupidly booked the weekend of their Christmas Market, so the place was absolutely over run- all the time- everywhere. We weren't warned in advance either on the booking confirmation email, or indeed when my husband called the hotel itself to confirm the booking and book dinners.
Whilst I could handle the market itself, what bugged me more than anything was that none of the hotel was reserved for hotel guests. The Main Bar in the Golf Club was over run with children- all the time, right up to 9/10 at night. It was like trying to have a quiet drink in McDonalds.
There was no respite to be found in the Hotel Bar either- kids & families everywhere. No room to sit down and enjoy a drink. NO areas reserved for hotel guests only. This really irked me.. Look after your paying guest and offer them a private area to relax away from the market. the main hotel lodge should be reserved for guests only.
The food in the fancy restaurant was over priced and underwhelming. I actually preferred the food in the bar because it was better value. The 15% service charge is so American.. really that would need to be looked at in a culture like ours. Irish people don't like to be forced to tip, when the service is good we tip, when it's not, we won't. The service generally was quite good and everyone super friendly but the food.. average.
I agree with a lot of people here- this is not a 5* hotel, I'm surprised it ever achieved that status given that it doesn't have any leisure facilities apart from golf. I used the spa- it's grand... the staff were nice but again, madly overpriced.
One last thing- upon check out, the man in front of us was overcharged and had to have his bill amended. The very same thing happened to us.. Look at your bill carefully because either their computer system is really wonky or they are hoping you won't notice. Just seems odd that it happened to us and the other guy in direct succession.
Doonbeg has so much going for it, it's charming and cosy- clearly no expense has been spared regarding the decor and quality of the accommodation. The location is so wild and raw that it would break your heart. It's how the West of Ireland should be, but there's so much missing at the Lodge for the prices that I will be hard pushed coming back soon. Sorry :(
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the stunning Clare Coastline, a mere 45 minutes from Shannon airport, The Lodge at Doonbeg offers guests beautiful seaside accommodation, unparalleled service, award-winning spa and inspiring links golf. This unique combination, unrivaled in Ireland, makes Doonbeg Ireland’s premier 5 star luxury destination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doonbeg Hotel Doonbeg