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“Worth a visit”
Review of The Strand Hotel

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The Strand Hotel
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Ballyliffin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 18, 2012

We have just spent 2 nights at this hotel and it was really worth the visit. On arrival the receptionist was very friendly and efficient. We had been allocated a room with a double and a single bed - very spacious. The shower in the ensuite was fantastic! Unfortunately the extractor fan was a wee bit noisy. The lamp shades on all the lamps in the room would need changing! Apart from these minor things the hotel was very comfortable and 'cosy'. The food is good home cooked food and you would not go hungry. All the staff were extremely friendly and always had time for a chat. Take time and visit - its good!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SButler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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304 - 310 of 339 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2012

We arrived on a Sunday - the downstairs lounge and bar was full of families out for Sunday lunch. The first room we were given was small but adequate and very clean- unfortunately the lock on the door froze locking us in the room for some time before we could get it open. We were promptly offered another room. This one was much bigger - at the back of the hotel just over the dining room. The window was the full breadth of the room with a wonderful view over the beach . There are a lot of maintenance issues that need dealt with in this hotel- many of them could be easily fixed- eg. broken and missing tiles on a windowsill, nearly every light fitting had one or more bulbs not working. The windows in our room were single glazed and the glass had been replaced with panes that didn't quite fit- leaving slight gaps between glass and frame. we found it chilly - definately wouldn't want to be staying in that room in the winter.The heating in our room wasn't working- it was only sorted out when we asked for the third time on the 2nd evening. For all that- the staff were all very friendly- thanks Martin for sorting out our heating. The cooked breakfasts were very good- good quality bacon - served hot and we were offered more tea/coffee and toast. We ate one evening in the bar and the food was good quality and good value. The bed was comfy-(though no mattress and pillow protectors).My partner slept well but my sleep was disturbed by noises coming from the loft above our bathroom- late into the night and early mornings. The bedlinen, towels, room and bathroom were all spotlessly clean. All in all we enjoyed our stay eeeeeeeven though it rained for most of the time we were in Donegal.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank TaraNewtownards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We bought a Grab One voucher which allowed us to sample this hotel at a fantastic price.

We drove up the eastern side of Innishowen, but travellers may want to take the western route passing through the breath-taking Mamore Gap with its wonderful views.

The hotel reception area had comfy leather chesterfields and armchairs, and one of the two screens was showing children's TV, an indication that this is a child-friendly hotel, and great for a family seaside break.

On check-in we were given a big, solid, traditional key-holder and key, unlike the little key-cards you usually get, and which you constantly have to be careful of not pulling out by accident. This traditional, secure approach somehow sums up everything about the hotel!

Our room was compact - we saw larger ones on the corridor, but it was neat, spotless and comfy. Duvets would have been nice (fresh covers each time), but as it was warm we just took the bedspread off. There was no room for a table and chairs, but with good seating downstairs and great location outside we didn't spend much time sitting upstairs.

The shower room was compact too, but the cleanliness was superb. The fantastic power shower, and complimentary Lux gel lured me into the shower cubicle three times in 20 hours!

We had the best sleep quality in anywhere we stayed locally to date - the long beach stroll, the fact that the village has little traffic, and that the bedroom was nicely away from the function/bar areas and kitchens saw to that.

Then there was the food! Do not eat for several days before you stay here! Portions are enormous. We chose to eat in the bar and found the value for money excellent. The menu was very traditional - a bit like Sunday dinner at your Granny's! I prefer to experiment a little in restaurants, but my husband, a traditionalist was in his element.

Breakfast in the dining room was equally generous - you might want to order the different items in a cooked breakfast individually to avoid overload. Everything was cooked to perfection, as was dinner, and the porridge was not the instant variety. The dining room itself has a lovely view, and the little garden outside is very pleasant.

Our only criticism is that the annexe looks a bit weary, as does the back view generally, but we were certainly not put off for next time! My husband's special birthday treat will be easily sorted!.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main part of the hotel, not the annexe.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Staycation57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

We stayed here for two nights we loved everything about it the hotel was lovely the food was great and the staff were so nice 100% won me over will be back :)

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank mario206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

My wife and I spent 2 weekend nights here on our 50th Wedding anniversary. Ballyliffin is a small coastal and generally quiet villiage set in the scenic Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal close to Malin Head. There are a number of excellent walks and other attractions such as the Famine villiage in the general area. Pollan beach is only a few minutes walk from the hotel. The extensive hotel lobby is well furnished with comfortable good quality leather chairs and sofas. The bar had 'easy listening' live music on both evenings of our stay. Our room was comfortably furnished with a double and single bed. The bathroom was satisfactory but special mention has to be made of the water pressure of the excellent shower. The room was clean but a bit dated and would benifit from re-decoration. This hotel has fairly extensive accommodation for functions and during our stay all of them seemed to be fully utilised. The bar and restaurant is clearly popular with the very friendly locals as on both days of our stay the restaurant was very busy, particularly for the Sunday lunch carvery. The dinner menu was varied and the quality of the food served was excellent and in generous portions ( we were even offered seconds). Breakfast was equally good. This is a very good and friendly hotel that stands out from other (often higher rated) hotels we have stayed in throughout the world simply because of the friendliness and attentiveness of all the staff who seemed completely focused on making sure we enjoyed our stay. Special mention must be made of the Head Waiter in the restaurant who was exceptional. We enjoyed our stay at The Strand and we hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LaMangaMacoun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

My husband and I got a Living Social voucher (similar to Groupon) for this place at a ridiculous bargain, I think it was £70-75 for 2 people, 2 nights B&B including one evening meal. So as it's a really nice place anyway, this automatically gives it an extra star. That's less than £20pppn!

The staff are lovely, if a little numerous for our Sunday & Monday night stay. It seems silly and mean to criticise people for being too helpful, but for our meal in the restaraunt we were one of 2 tables and had 3 seperate people fussing over us. Each of them great, if a little too much attention during a meal for my liking.

But the meal was lovely. It was a little disconcerting at first that, when we ordered (the menu was mainly carvery items on this day, which we both went for), it took no more than 5 mins to arrive. But you'd easily be fed off a buffet carvery in 5 mins so when you think about it, not that strange. The food was lovely, particularly the roast beef which would have 1 - melted if you sooked it hard enough and 2 - fed a family of 4!!

After the plentiful main course we opted to share a pud - lemon meringue pie, which was nice if not spectacular but again it was great value.

Breakfast was just as speedy - bear this in mind if you are planning to sit and have cereal first, by the time you've selected it, poured your coffee and come back to your seat, your cooked breakfast will be there! Decent enough again, esp for basically £20 each per night.

The hotel itself is probably a 3*, not sure what they bill themselves as, but it's a lovely big place with a decent bar, free wifi and lots of big leather couches to enjoy the products of both. It has a good looking menu for when you're not having your free meal, although we went out on the second night. But on the Sunday it was packed with locals getting food and they do all their meals as takeaways too, a nice touch that not enough places are catching on to.

The room had both a double and a single bed, huge room with en suite. Decent enough bathroom facilities if a little dated in general but very clean and comfy.

Overall I'd recommend this place wholeheartedly, particularly at this sort of price. It's a 5 min walk from the beach too, Ballyliffin is a tiny place but we were looking for peace & quiet and a few options for food and beers. Tick.

Locally you have Carndonagh, Malin Head and Moville to name but a few, I particularly enjoyed a rake in the Moville Pottery gift shop (you can go in and watch them in the studio and paint your own if you have time) and also the second hand book shop in Carndonagh, which is the result of a lifetime of book collecting & trading by a character who sadly isn't there anymore, but the shop is still going and is a sight to behold.

Anyway, if you get this place at anywhere like the "lower-than-a-hostel" rates we did, jump on it. You won't be sorry.

PS we were there as a couple but the village was coming down with families too - very friendly and capable of accommodating everyone

Room Tip: the place is so quiet, doesn't matter where you sleep
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JenRobo6983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

we attended a wedding in 2011 so knew thestrand,on the morning of the wedding i used the hotel iron on my designer dress only had it on low and used a large handerkerchief to protect the dress also ironing on the inside, turned dress right way round with h/kerchief in place just to press the pleat at front the iron had chip along side of metal and h/kerchief and dress got caught in iron and left a pull accross front of dress i did complian to staff but they were not concerned or apologised, the wedding buffet of soup and cold buffet was anice change, the wedding supper was not the best powdered chicken curry with 1cube of chicken and if you asked for more you got another cube the girl serving was'nt in the best of form.
the hotel is a bit dated and could do with bightening up.my sister-in -lbooked the bar area for an after party 6-9 and they were still letting people come and order food in there at 6:30

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank sharon b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Strand Hotel

Address: Strand Hotel Main Street, Ballyliffin, Ireland
Location: Ireland > County Donegal > Ballyliffin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Ballyliffin
Price Range: $84 - $140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Strand Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family run Hotel, near to Ballyliffin Golf Club and overlooking the beautiful Pollan beach. Ideal location for family holidays, a short break, your wedding or a conference. ... more   less 
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