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“Perfect, plus ghosts from the past”

Ballykealey Manor Hotel
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Ballykealey Manor Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballon
Kilcock, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Perfect, plus ghosts from the past”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We were booked in for a seminar, so expected a bit of a kerfuffle when everyone arrived together. However that's not what happened, we were among the earlier arrivals, so no problem then.Got talking to the owner who gave us a bit of the history of the place, over a welcome cuppa and biscuits. I have worked in old Anglo-Irish houses when I maintained telephones, and it was such a pleasure to see one in such condition. Then we were taken to our room, No.5, four poster bed and a mattress so high I felt like a young child, my legs dangled when I sat on the bed. There were two radiators so the room was warm as toast, although it was freezing outside. We went down to the bar/lounge area as the rest of the gang arrived. We had a couple of drinks, then the food came out. This wasn't expected, but the hotel decided we were in need. So lots of cocktail sausages, chicken, battered fish pieces, with a choice of three sauces, as well as sandwiches. Went to bed well sated.
Next morning breakfast was served, it's a long time since I saw egg yolks that yellow, and that tasty, the rest of it was lovely too. Lunch later was simple, yet very tasty. I was not encouraged to lick my plate, my wife can be so mean! Evening dinner was huge, tasty, and went on for four courses, my apple and berry pie being my favourite (simple tastes). Next day was as good, so I reckoned weight was gained.
Now the technicalities, there is a limited WiFi service, it works in reception area, and, strangely in our bedroom. If you are in need there is an Eircom WiFi hotspot that works right through the hotel, so free to Eircom customers, one €uro per day to the rest of us, easy to access. Also don't expect TV in the rooms, this place is for the atmosphere, not watching Eastenders or Dr. Phil.
Final point, when you walk the old stairway you will feel a chill, not a threatening one, just a coolness that says I'm here acknowledge me. To me it felt like a female presence, but as it's something new to me, I may be totally wrong. It didn't feel scary at all, just something I never felt before, take note.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank murfinsurfin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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English first
Wexford, Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My sister had her wedding here recently and it was truely amazing! The staff were all so helpful and friendly! The food was absolutely gorgeous from starter to desert it was beautiful.! Fabulously big function room with a beautiful back gardern for wedding pictures! Rooms were so gorgoues and the hotel is just full of that olden type manor finish which is very enchanting! Rooms were spottless, warm and so cosey! I loved staying here! If you were to get married it it is an amazing place to choose.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cazington08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wexford, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We just had our fabulous wedding at Ballykealey Manor. What an amazing place. The staff we so unreal Michael and Tina could not help us enough. They were brilliant from the first day we stepped into the place. Everything was handled perfectly and all our personal items from the wedding were kept safe and sound, packed to perfection and handed back to us in perfect condition the following day. The Food was to die for and there was so much food during the whole day we could not have asked for more. As for the accomodation if you want something different and to really feel like your staying somewhere special Ballykealey Manor offers the most elequent and spacious bedrooms. Wow. Just perfect. We cannot fault in in any shape or form. Our wedding was amazing. Thank ye all so much.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kateobf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilkenny, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

Myself and my husband got married in Ballykealey last month. I could not praise Ballykealey highly enough - especially Michael and Tina!! From the organising stages to the day we left, they were an absolute pleasure and nothing was too much trouble. We organised the full wedding from England, mostly over email, and they were so understanding and helpful.

We arrived at Ballykealey the night before our wedding, and it really did feel like a welcoming home from home as soon as we arrived. We had a beautiful family meal in the Oak room - despite being 2 hours late due to me injuring myself! Michael & team were totally understanding and took it in their stride.

The day of the wedding went great. Ballykealey really is a lovely hotel to wander around, and it was an added bonus that the lodges were so close. It meant that friends and family could wander around, chat and generally made for a lovely atmosphere. Also, the bridal suite was absolutely lovely to get ready in. There was plenty of room for the beautician and hairdresser to set up, and for all of the girls to get ready there :-) Not to mention, that its a gorgeous setting for the photographer to capture the 'getting ready' photographs.

After the ceremony, we arrived back to the hotel to a wonderful reception. The piper was briliant! The bellinis flowed, and the canapes were yummy (and much appreciated by all). The fires and candles were lighting in the reception rooms and it really was very cosy. We had our photos taken in the beautiful gardens at Ballykealey, which meant we missed out on hardly any of the fun with our guests!

We had over 200 guests, and the dinner was outstanding. Piping hot, served very efficiently and impeccible quality! We received so many compliments from our happy guests.

All in all we had a fabulous weekend at Ballykealey! From start to finish, we felt the staff really cared about making our wedding as perfect as it could possible be.

Thank you Michael, Tina and team :-)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lorraine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

My husband and I were married by civil ceremony in Ballykealy on the 19th of October.
It was a small wedding of just family (25 adults & 11 kids) and we had around 150 people for a party that night. From the moment we arrived till the moment we left everything was perfect.
Our meal was to die for. The majority of people opted for the steak which was cooked and served to perfection. The starters & dessert were delicious too. Huge compliments to the chef!
Michael (the manager) is extremely good at his job. Friendly and professional. He did everything we asked and nothing was too much trouble.
We really enjoyed our day & night. I couldn't find fault with anything or anyone. Thank you to all the staff for making our day so special.
A special word of thanks to Michael and Tina. Also to Mick and Bart the bar men. U all did a great job!!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ruthann77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Hi,
Myself and my wife got married in Ballykealey last week. Friday 2nd November.
We chose Ballykealey because we loved the old charm of the place, and the fact that it was exclusively for ourselves.
Everything building up to the wedding was brilliantly organised by Joe, Michael and Tina.
The evening before we got together the bridal party and family (approx 20), and had a meal and drinks in the Oak room. Michael, Joe and co., made us feel right at home, and there was no pressure on us at all.
We stayed in the lodges that night, and moved over to the house the following morning.
Breakfast was lovely and although, the nerves were at me, I managed to get halfway through it, and it was exactly what was needed.
When we arrived back after the ceremony, all our guests were enjoying cocktails and canapes, and there was a real homely atmosphere around the place, with the fire lit on the way in the door.
At our tasting, we requested a slight change to the meal only a week previous, and what resulted was unbelievable.
It was honestly the best Steak dinner I have ever eaten, and to produce that level for 150+ people was a credit to them.
There was not an empty plate in the house, and I could not count the amount of people who came up to me on the day, saying not only was it one of the best wedding meals they have had, but it was one of the best meals they have had period.
There was plenty of extra veg and potatoes going around to everybody, for those with a bigger appetite too.
The function room itself was nicely laid out, with the Annex available to us on the side for a photobooth, and a rest area for some of our guests to chill.
We set up a sweet table in the small chapel at the entrance to the function room, which was a perfect location, and it went down a treat.
Afterward the meal, the tables were cleared in double quick time, to prepare for the music, and no guests had to leave the function room to accommodate this, which was brilliant.
The Dancefloor was hoping for the night with our band, and Dj, and afterwards, at approx 4am, we headed up to the residence bar for a friendly sing song.
Joe and Michael helped everybody feel at home, and a lot of our guest remarked on how brilliant the whole experience was.
I must say, (and my wife does too), that there was not one part of the day that we would change, (we even got the weather).
Even the following day, we were able to get a lovely bowl of homemade soup and sandwiches, that went down a treat, for those of us who only rose out of bed in the afternoon.
I would like to thank all the staff at Ballykealey, for making that day, a day to truly remember.
I hope to be able to drop in again and have another helping of that filet steak.

Note: In coming up to the wedding, some friends and family dropped up to the house on occasion to see it, and were worried if we had made the right choice, as it looked deserted.
This hotel is specifically there to cater for weddings, and it is here where you will see them really shine. You may not get a good first impression if you arrive to the almost deserted building, but I can tell you. The place is worth the gamble, as it will truly be an occasion to remember.

Sincerely,
Colm Hennebry

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Advisor_of_tr1ps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carlow
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

We had a family wedding in Ballykealy Manor Hotel on the 19th of October. We were quite nervous having read some of the reviews which appeared on Trip Advisor. Well we needn't have worried. From the first moment we met Michael (the manager) until we left the following day he made sure everything went like a dream and reassured us all time. The food was cooked and served exactly as we specified. Contrary to some of the reviews, we found the staff very professional and friendly. Nothing was any trouble and every detail was taken care off. I had the soup on the day and it certainly was not from a packet nor was it from a packet the previous day when my sister and I had some and all I can say is, it was lovely and definitely home cooked. The table was beautifully set, again contrary to other reviews. By the way I have travelled quite a bit and have had the pleasure of wining and dining in many hotels all over the world. Without doubt the food and the service we received on the 19th was as good and indeed better than many I have dined and stayed in. Michael is certainly making a big effort to bring Ballykealy back to it's former glory and I for one hope he succeeds; he certainly deserves it. It is such a beautiful building with lovely grounds. It certainly is a gem. By the way I had more than the soup on the day just in case anybody thinks that's all I had!!. I had the Seabass which was cooked to perfection as was everything else on the menu. Congratulations to the chef.
I just wish Michael Tina and all the staff all the best for the future and I hope Ballykealy is a great success for them as they truly deserve it.
Thank you to each of them especially Michael (manager), Tina (receptionist), and Mick (the bar man) and all the others whose names I didn't get. By the way breakfast was excellent too. No complaints.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thefourofuscarlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballykealey Manor Hotel

Property: Ballykealey Manor Hotel
Address: Ballon, Ballon, Ireland (Formerly Ballykealey Country House Hotel)
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Carlow > Ballon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Ballykealey Country Hotel
Ballykealey Manor Hotel Ballon, Ireland - County Carlow

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