I booked this B&B as a highlight stop during our three week tour of Ireland. We were sorely disappointed.
When we arrived we were offered tea as promised, but due to my husband's case of food poisoning from the previous day we asked to just be shown to our room so we could rest. We were told our room was in their 'new' facility just minutes away. Strangely there was no mention of this when I booked the room in advance three weeks ago. The building we were taken to was a five-minute walk, across a road that didn't have a cross walk. We were told we would have to come back to the main building for our breakfast the following morning, slightly disappointing since you book a B&B so that you can have your meal at the same place. I didn't make a fuss because this place was touted as having the BEST breakfast in all of Cork.
Our room was fairly small, with one double bed. I had requested two singles but that was ignored. I don't know where the comments are coming from about 'large rooms with kings sized beds' but that's definitely not the welcome we received. The room was clean, but overlooked the back parking area, which was gated (gate covered in spray paint). As they told us this was a new building they had recently acquired, it was clear to us it used to be student housing, right across from the university. I didn't feel safe parking our car there as it looked quite dodgy. Had we been assigned a room in the main building as I had booked we would have been able to park out front of the building on the main road (even if we wanted to there were no spots left).
We returned to reception to ask for a twin room in the main building, and were told it was full. So much for booking in advance. We retired to our room, but were woken around 2am by other guests in the building drunkenly stumbling in. I do understand this is out of control of the owners but it added to this lackluster experience.
In the morning I was ready to give this place the benefit of the doubt and we walked over to the main building to enjoy their famous breakfast. This is the part that was the most disappointing. When the owners recently acquired two more buildings to lodge their guests, they failed to increase the dining capacity in the main building. If you have more guests than tables, why not ask guests to provide a time when they'd like to eat so you can fit everyone in accordingly (I saw it done at the many other B&Bs we stayed at during our trip). Instead, we arrived for breakfast and were told to wait in a sitting are until a table was free. Well gee, we would have just gone back to our room to wait but since it was in another building we begrudgingly took a seat in the lounge. After 15 minutes my husband went to check on the status of our table, and he happened to walk in just as the frantic hostess was seating two more guests who arrived AFTER us. My husband let them know that we were really not impressed at how disorganized the whole operation was, and we were seated promptly at another table that had yet to be cleaned up (covered in crumbs and used napkins). The waitress brought us menus and asked right away if we could order. Well, obviously not, you literally JUST handed us the menus! All of the servers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, it was clear that this place was growing faster they could keep up with.
I ordered the salmon eggs benedict and my husband had pancakes with fruit. They asked if we were in a rush, and at this point we were. Usually when people stay at B&Bs they are on the road travelling and don't want to spend all morning waiting to eat. His pancakes were brought out within five minutes, but my eggs benedict didn't come out for another ten minutes. My husband politely waited for my food to arrive before he started eating, so his meal was cold. My meal was completely disappointing. The eggs were overdone, the hollandaise sauce was hardened on the eggs, to the point that it looked like cooked egg yolk and so I asked for more hollandaise sauce on the side. When they brought it out five minutes later it was a congealed, separated mess; I'm no chef but I can certainly prepare a better hollandaise sauce than that mush. I've included a picture so that you can see I'm not exaggerating. My husband's pancakes were way too sweet, he's big on sweets too, but these were over the top. We both left hungry, angry and disappointed.
It's clear that the owner was just trying to get people in and out as quickly as possible to make as much money without welfare for her guests. There were full kitchen facilities in the building we stayed in, why not operate a second kitchen there to properly accomodate your guests? We were VERY disappointed, will not be returning or recommending this to anyone we know. I can say with all honesty that this was the worst B&B we stayed in of the 15 that we visited during our three-week tour of Ireland.
PS. I ordered the exact same breakfast at Granville Hotel in Waterford the next morning and it was FABULOUS (also, less less expensive!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy our welcoming tea with home-made scones and cakes upon check-in and our by now famous gourmet breakfast, in Cork City premier guesthouse accommodation...GARNISH HOUSE... AA & RAC rated 4-star luxury guesthouse offering superb B&B accommodation in the heart of Cork. Located on the Western Road, Garnish House's neighbors include the picturesque campus of University College Cork, the tranquil riverside walks of Fitzgerald's Park and the historic Cork Gaol -- with a city's worth of exciting dining, entertaining and shopping options only ten minutes' walk away.The ideal base for exploring Cork City's historic attractions such as the English Market, St. Finbarre's Cathedral and the Shandon area, Garnish also provides easy access to Blarney Castle, fishing and foodie heaven Kinsale and Cobh (pronounced 'cove'), home to the Titanic Experience and famously the last stop of the doomed liner. Guests of Garnish enjoy amenities such as 24-hour reception, ample parking, a wide variety of room types (including self-catering apartments and a 3 to 7-bedroom townhouses), complimentary WiFi & the very best of Irish B&B hospitality, starting with complimentary tea on arrival. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Garnish House Hotel Cork