We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An excellent place to stay...”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Newcastle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 19, 2007

A group of 12 stayed here for one night in August. We all thoroughly enjoyed the facilities and buffet-style meal in the evening....Ive never eaten sooo much!! We finished off the evening in a bar just down the road in Newcastle, which had its own Irish band playing...Very accommodating and beautiful setting...

Visited the Silent Valley Resevoir the following day.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank yvonnej1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (3,012)
There are newer reviews for Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

2,938 - 2,944 of 3,012 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2007

Just returned from a break at this hotel, and have mixed views about it.

It is descibed as the 'Gleneagles' of Northern Ireland by the Hotel group which owns it. However, it should not be mentioned in the same class. The hotel have made attempts to resemble Gleneagles but these attempts are only half hearted. The rooms are fine, but lack the luxury element and touch of class Gleneagles has, though the efforts are there, flat screen tv's bedding with throws, moulton brown toileteries. The rooms are however comfortable and fine.

The staff get very poor reviews on tripadvisor, but there seemed to be a difference between the eastern European workers and the local staff. Our European friends worked mainly in the restaurant and lighthouse lounge. They were excellent, welcoming, efficient, friendly and genuinely trying to take care of you. On the contrary the reception staff at main reception and particularly the spa, just couldn't be bothered. They failed to welcome us upon arrival, providing no information about the resort, restaurants, bars and facilities, and were more interested in texting on their mobile phones than dealing with any arriving guests! The spa staff were worse again, rather than answer or speak to a guest they simply put their heads down in the hope we wouldn't bother them. I expect to feel welcome and be offered assistance rather than chase staff for answers.

The main restaurant offers Table D'hote dining for £35 per person, and after reading reviews I was concerned. However, the food and service was excellent apart from the dessert which really undermined the whole experience. After excellent starters and main courses, we were served with what can only be described as frozen 'Iceland' style dessert, obviously pre purchased and served as and when required, cheap for the hotel but extremely poor that a 4 * hotel cannot make fresh desserts, and really takes away from the quality of the rest of the meal experience in what is genuinely a beautiful restaurant.

The hotel itself is set on the beach and at one end of a lovely new promenade which you can use to walk the 10 minutes to the central promenade of Newcastle. The town is like something time forgot, a throwback to the 70's. But the hotel is actually a glimmering light in the town. The Royal County Down Golf course is at the end of the hotel car park so you really couldn't be closer.

The spa itself is a superb facility, and is one area where the hotel excels it's 4* rating. The pool, sauna, steam room and vitality pool/jacuzzi have the most amazing views over the ocean and children can use the pool. However, therein lies a problem, the pool is a mixture of people swimming lengths and children trying to play, not a great mix. Gleneagles has a separate lap pool so doesn't have this problem. Again some thought on the part of the hotel could probably help resolve this but the question is would the hotel be motivated enough to even think about it?

The lighthouse lounge is a lovely area to relax and read, whilst looking out over the ocean whilst the attentive staff genuinely try to take care of your needs.

A mixed review but the acid test is would I go back?

Yes, I had a lovely stay in a lovely place, probably my favourite hotel in NI, if they could just sort out some of the things I mentioned this hotel really could reach it's full potential and save those trips to Perthshire for real quality. The frustrating thing is that it probably wouldn't take that much to really give this hotel the 'Gleneagles' touch though the first step must be addressing staff
in making the guest feel welcome

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank bluedawggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2007

One of the most beautiful hotel buildings I have stayed in - really beautiful as can be seen in the many photographs of the property on the internet.

The rooms are good and the staff are acceptable in manner and efficiency but there is no business centre so don't stay there if you want to combine business with pleasure - they cannot even download a data file or print a fax!

The spa is up to world standards although a bit pricey if you are used to Asian spas and their pricing levels.

What lets the place down in the fact that its main restaurant is totally appalling - there is no Al La Carte Menu - you take what is on table d'hote offer and pay 35 pounds a head for it. It was probably one of the worst meals I have ever had for any money - avoid the Oak Room Restaurant at all costs.

If you try the Percy French Bar, part of the hotel and in the grounds seperate to the main building, be very careful - when we were there it was full of swearing, agressive local drunken yobbos who the staff seemed incapable of handling. My grandchildren (in the restaurant area, not the bar!) were terrified.

Best advice? Stay in the hotel, use the spa and eat and drink somewhere else!!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank Johnindee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2007

Booked two nights through Superbreak which got about 15% reduction compared to hotels website - The hotel offers what you would expect from a five star and the view of the sea and the Mourne mountains is unbeatable - Its expensive to drink there and the food is a tad pretentious but the view is worth it!!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Robertn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2007

I just love going to the Slieve Donard hotel in Newcastle. Excellent staff in all departments .
My problem with the hotel is their new central booking system. Previous to this new system being installed I was able to communicate with a member of staff with whom I was able to establish a point of contact and discuss my booking arrangements. Now when I phone I get numerous individuals who don't appear to know what I'm talking about. Bring back the personal touch.

NMCM

3  Thank nmcm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2007

THE GOOD POINTS;
Great looking 5 star hotel in a very scenic location,
the pool and spa area are well designed clean and a pleasure to relax in, the Lighthouse lounge also is worthy of the hotels 5 star status.
our family room was clean and spacious very nicely decorated and furnished, the on suite bathroom was superb in every way.
THE BAD POINTS:
some areas of the hotel are shabby and unpleasant the main hotel bar is well worn and has little or no atmosphere and the service is poor,
some members of our large party were very disappointed with their rooms which were small old and shabby ,
the food was quite good but was not restaurant quality however the prices for food and drink were extremely high, this hotel thinks it is located in London or New York judging by the VERY HIGH drinks prices,
THE WORST POINTS:
I found the majority of staff members to be surly arrogant and unfriendly they behave as if you the guest are in someway beneath them, I am a friendly outgoing person and any attempt at banter and conversation with the bar staff was met with blank looks and bad manners,
all of the eastern european staff I had dealings with were very helpful and friendly, what does this say about the native employees do they feel the job is beneath them in some way
or are they just bad mannered,
Nice hotel but I won't be back.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank Stagefright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2007

This hotel was recently voted the top hotel in Northern Ireland. If this hotel was operated by one of the big players such as Four Seasons it could compete with the likes of Glen Eagles as one of the best hotels in Britain. It is set in one of the most breath taking locations in Ireland with wonderful views of the sea and the Mourne Mountains. The hotel itself is a fantastic example of Late Victorian/Early Edwardian architecture on a truly grand scale with a fabulous restaurant, reception area, ballroom and some stunningly located bedrooms (more of which later!)
Unfortunately the hotel is presently owned by a local company with grand designs but no real clue about what it takes to operate a hotel of this potential.
A lot of money has been spent on a major refurbishment and to their credit they have kept most of the original features. However they get top marks in the blandness category. The walls and ceilings are a sea of magnolia and they have a hideous white marble reception floor finished off with a display of very sad artificial flowers gathering dust in the middle of the lobby. It couldn't have taken too much for the owners to look at the web site, say, for Inverlochy Castle, to see how a hotel of this potential might look.And what hotel worth its salt these days has artificial flowers in the lobby? A clue to the horrors to come I'm afraid....
I'll start with the bar. It's gloomy, badly lit and boringly laid out with a generally grubby feel to it. Apparently Charlie Chaplin stayed sometime in the '20's and the bar is an 'homage' to his stay. Well, there are few naff statues of him, the kind of things you would see in a second rate curio store. The staff are mind bogglingly clueless. I had to wait ten minutes to get served in an empty bar with 4 staff on duty and was finally served a drink with one lonely little pebble of an ice cube. I was met with a look of incredulity when I asked for more ice and some lemon and then charged £8. One last thought about the bar. At £8 a drink I don't want to have to watch a tv on the wall tuned to the sports channel.

Don't eat in the restaurant at all costs. Take a taxi to Dundrum, about 10 minutes away and go to The Bucks Head for a superb meal. Voted one of the top restaurants in the Uk you'll have to book a few weeks ahead. And try to get a table in the front part of the resaurant as the back part can get a wee bit noisy.

We ate in the hotel one night and enjoyed the farcical nature of it, waiting over an hour to be served, the pretention of being served canteen food presented under big silver domes and school dinner puddings. Wouldn't do it again though.

Breakfast is a rugby scrum. Be prepared to fight in the queue to lay claim to your rubberised bacon and eggs dying a death underneath the heat lamps. Then you can return to your table and enjoy your pot of instant coffee.

The rooms vary geatly. Best floor is the second. Room 208 has 6 picture windows and breathtaking views. Room 212 is very good as well. Decoration bland and ordinary but beds are a good size and very comfortable. You want these rooms for the view. Third floor is good too but fourth floor the rooms have quite low ceilings and much smaller windows.

Don't get a room at the back of the hotel unless you enjoy the smell of cooked cabbage wafting up from the kitchen or like being serenaded by the laundry department.

Room service has a service charge of £5 per person. We decided to have our predinner drink in the 'room with the view 'rather than the dingy bar, 4 of us, so had an extra £20 added on to the already exorbitant bar price. Then waited. And waited. Forty minutes later the drinks arrived
On the subject of extra charges the hotel offers internet acess in the lobby only, at £1 for ten minutes. Unbelievable.

The best thing about the hotel is the spa and lighthouse lounge were the food is reasonable. The spa is very modern airy and beautifully finished. The view, although slighly hampered by the car park, is stunning.If you're lucky enough to be staying during a full moon the sight of it rising over the ocean on a clear night and drifting towards the Mournes is truly magical. And the spa is much quieter in the evenings.

One last thing. Weddings. There is at least one wedding every day of the week except Sundays. We had two on the first night of our stay including a group of gypsies from Co. Clare who spent the latter part of the evening ripping up plants and falling over eachother at the front of the hotel or chain smoking at the entrance.

I would definitely reccommend to anyone in terms of location and character but PLEASE Mr Mandarin Oriental or Mr Four Seasons could you not buy it and make it what it should be!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank Irishflute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Newcastle
0.2 mi away
Donard Hotel
Donard Hotel
#5 of 16 in Newcastle
127 reviews
1.3 mi away
Briers Country House
Briers Country House
#7 of 16 in Newcastle
158 reviews
18.6 mi away
Canal Court Hotel & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
23.1 mi away
La Mon Hotel & Country Club
2.2 mi away
St Patrick's Stream
St Patrick's Stream
#17 of 18 in Newcastle
35 reviews
9.7 mi away
The Mourne Lodge
The Mourne Lodge
#1 of 7 in Kilkeel
85 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Slieve Donard Resort and Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Slieve Donard Resort and Spa

Address: Downs Road, Newcastle BT33 0AH, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Newcastle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Newcastle
#1 Family Hotel in Newcastle
Price Range: $156 - $435 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Slieve Donard Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 178
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, the Slieve Donard stands in six acres of private grounds, and is one of Northern Ireland's most popular hotels. The luxurious ESPA Spa commands spectacular panoramic views of the County Down coastline and Mountains of Mourne and provides a perfect oasis of tranquility rivals any spa in Europe today. This superbly maintained Victorian hotel is equally suited to a short break, residential conference or grand event. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Priceline, Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Slieve Donard Resort and Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Slieve Donard Newcastle
Donard Hotel Slieve
Donard Hotel Newcastle Slieve
Slieve Donard Hotel Newcastle
Slieve Donard Resort And Spa Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing