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“A Somewhat Pretentious Disappointment”

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Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Waterford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 19, 2009

No doubt it is cool to sleep in an 800 year old castle, but the room looked like it. Paint peeling from the bathroom ceiling was hardly in keeping with the snobbish attitude and high price of the accomodations. At one point a very hard working young man was serving as bellman, bartender, and waiter--literally running from one room to the other evidently because management was unwilling to hire or retain an appropriate level of help. One hardly expects a sweat soaked bartender or waiter at a place that pretends to be so upscale. The grounds, too, needed work. Overall there was an impression of seediness. When compared to Adare Manor, Glenlo Abbey, Doonbeg, and the Hotel at Dunloe Castle where also stayed on this trip, Waterford Castle fell well short.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank optiontrader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waterfordcastle, Rooms Division Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2009

Dear Reviewer,
Many thanks for taking the time to post your views on Waterford Castle & Golf Resort.
Please rest assured that your comments have been taken on board and we will be reacting accordingly. We hope that we have the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,199 - 1,205 of 1,295 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2009

We booked at 24 hours notice without any recommendations from family or friends. From reports we thought that it might be "quaint" hoping that this adjective didn't mean "damp needing a few coats of paint"! The first 15 minutes included a charming ferry ride to the island, followed by a short trip up the driveway to a fabulous facade on the castle displaying extremely healthy virginia creeper. Very helpful concierage who brought our bags from car to room supported by a receptionist with A class customer facing skills - and a room (de luxe) that was fresh, clean, spacious with old world windows and bath. Fantastic immediate impressions that were not spoilt during our stay

We booked through one of the online booking engines - bed/breakfast but incurred an extra bill of Euro 217.50 for our evening meal, a single bottle of house wine and 2 glasses of champagne. The food was excellent but we were not offered any alternative to the set menu. If we had had our children with us, we would have been feeling quite compromised at the prices. Although the ferry runs on demand over 24 hours, you do feel a little cut off from mainstream restaurants in Waterford city.

Breakfast was presented beautifully. All custome facing staff were superb and a credit to the Castle.

As golfers, we decided to play the course. The green fees at Euro 25/each are low by Irish standards but accurately reflects the layout and quality offered.

The overall proposition is excellent - aimed at couples not families.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2009

We booked a lodge for a week this summer and really enjoyed our stay. The lodges are very well laid out and have everything you would need for a stay. 3 good size bedrooms and 3 bathrooms too. The grounds are lovely, but we were limited to where we could walk as we had a buggy. We ate in the restaurant one evening and it was excellent, expensive but excellent and great service. We also ate in the bar one evening again great but dear, but that is to be expected in a hotel such as this. Would recommend renting these houses for families or groups of friends looking for a break, there is a golf course too. Being on an island had it disadvantages thou, when you run of something you have to get the ferry to go to the shop!! One great thing is that you can bring a pet!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Limklady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2009

We arrived at the hotel and were amazed by the entrance up the drive to the "typical" norman type castle. its spectacular - The reception was amazing, less can be said about the receptionist, I think other reviews mention one of them is totally apathetic ... However the boys are all marvelous and extremely helpful and all went the extra mile with guides/maps/google reviews etc Philip in particular was a mine of useful info and always asked us how our day was/what we were doing tomorrow etc. - but I wonder when hotels will realise that grumpy receptionists and most of the staff being students may be cheap BUT its also losing them repeat customers.

The room was huge and marvelous views, ensuite with huge bathroom with the stand alone bath - very victorian luxury. The 24 in portable TV got loads of Tv programs but was a little small when watching it in bed ;-) Nicely furnished room - obviously without air-con or double glazing so lots of irritating noise from outside cars/guests/children from the golf lodges playing and a little warm, and as the rooms are all over the bar/rest loads of dinning noise until the other guests leave at around midnight. Of course if you sleep like a log or are down in the bar with them its not a problem!

The restaurant Munster room is a formal Irish cuisine dinning room, where you need to dress for dinner. The 5 course menu is around 70E without wine, and if you live in a major city excellent value for money. Its was full most nights with non-residents who had come over for dinner, it has an excellent reputation locally.

Our package included golf (we paid for it) which we never managed to get them to organize - receptionist problem again - it was either busy, raining, windy or they would leave us a message from clubhouse with a time.. Needless to say she didn't offer to refund/comp a dinner, suggest another activity or give us a promise to look into it later!!!! (this was probably about 200E lost) The same with the walking - the brochure makes a big deal of the walks/nature on the island, and looking forward to this, Miss Grumpy informed us there wasn't a formal walk just go down the road and look around - at this point we were a little bored with her, and waved the brochure pointing out they mention the walks and a guide to it - she just grumped and mentioned it must be out of print.!!! There are many beautiful trees/flowers planted by the Victorian owners it would have been nice to found out what they were. Later one of them told us a little story about the Monkey Puzzle tree in the garden but at this time Miss Grumpy had taken the shine off our stay.

Its definitely a wonderful place for a honeymoon/romantic weekend, slightly too far out of the city about 5 miles(on airport road) for a city visit without a car. We enjoyed it BUT would have LOVED it with more professional staff - it costs nothing when checking out to ask if you enjoyed your stay and to welcome you back another time. No, we were checked out in silence after being chastised for being late - it was 12.30ish !! Had they been more welcoming we would have stayed for lunch as the Munster room was excellent.

Waterford is a lovely town with huge amount of cultural activities, historical places to see, failing that, there are a couple of shopping malls.

All in all I would go back but would report lack of smiley helpfulness to the management. If you got one of the boys they would bounce over with your key (no need to ask ) and ask about your day, offer to park the car/carry your shopping bags to the room, recommend dinner in hotel and carry your drinks to the restaurant - thats the service ALL members of staff should be providing if they want repeat customers. Because there is no spa or other activities provided you spend more time hanging around the hotel so you want the staff to be a little more friendly than a large hotel (I think its about 15 rooms)

An amazing building on a Island - perfect for a romantic get away

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank LondonPandora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2009

After we checked in we left the island and went into waterford, we didn't have to wait more that 5 minutes for the ferry. In the afternoon some of my family and i walked around the grounds which were beautiful. We only stayed at the castle for one night and decided to have dinner at the restaurant there. We had just sat down to dinner when the fire alarm went off. Apparently there was a problem with the fire place and the whole castle filled up with smoke. Everyone was ushered out of the hotel. We were told that we would not be allowed back in the castle for a couple of hours. So everyone went to the club house. We were told we would not be able to have our nice dinner at the hotel, but at the club house they made sandwiches and chips and they also provided free drinks for everyone. While it wasn't the dinner we were expecting we all had a good time and kept talking about how this was going to make a great story. After about 2 and a half hours we were let back into the hotel. The whole time the staff was making sure they were taking care of the guests the best the could, and the drinks didn't hurt either. The next morning when we went to check-out we found that because of the fire the rooms had been comped. While it wasn't the stay we were expecting it was still fun and I look forward to going back sometime.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Gingertravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2009

We had the loveliest stay at this hotel. It was everything I hoped. It had all the nostalgia and romance of an old castle set in a surreal setting. Not sure what the others were talking about when they said it needed updating. It is an old castle...wouldn't exactly go with the experience if it was all contemporary and new. The linens were lovely. The hotel was clean. The room was massive and I could have done cartwheels in the bathroom...literally. We had a great dinner downstairs and then retired to the bar for an after dinner drink. The morning walk on the grounds was beautiful. We have stayed in 5 star hotels all over the world. This is still one of my favorites. The only thing I would suggest - if you are light sleeper do not stay in the suite above the bar. It can be just a tad loud but not bad and I am a light sleeper! I would go there again in a heartbeat. Loved it.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank susiebird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2009

Superb location, so peaceful to wake up to. Our 2 boys loved taking the car ferry to get to the island and were so excited about staying in a real live castle! Our rooms were of a good standard and the beds were extremely comfy. The hotel arranged for our rooms to be next to each other which was a great benefit. We had dinner in the bar as we thought that the restaurant was a bit too formal for a 13 and 10 year old. The food was good but they didn't have a great selection for kids to choose from. The whole place had a great atmosphere.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank robcanoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort

Address: The Island | Ballinakill, Waterford X91 Y722, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Waterford > Waterford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Waterford
#2 Romantic Hotel in Waterford
#2 Family Hotel in Waterford
#7 Business Hotel in Waterford
Price Range: $158 - $349 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on its own private Island on the River Suir, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort offers 4 Star Luxury Castle Accommodation nestled in the suburbs of Waterford City.Feel yourself travel through time as you make the magical journey by our complimentary Car Ferry to the 310 acre Island Resort.With an amazing history stretching back to the 6th century, wake up in Waterford Castle Hotel Ireland after a peaceful night’s sleep to the picturesque and enchanting scenes and sounds the island has to offer. Enjoy gourmet food served in our award winning Munster room restaurant and Fitzgerald Bar or simply relax by the large open fire in 16th Century surroundings.For family, group or self catering in Waterford our Island Garden Lodges are the perfect place to experience the South East.Island Activities include our 18 hole Championship Golf Course, our fantastic tennis courts, clay Pigeon Shooting or croquet on the Castle lawns.Waterford Castle also provides a stunning Irish castle wedding venue for an unforgettable Wedding Day. Imagine… A legendary Castle, on an Island Haven; exclusively yours. All in all Waterford Castle Hotel and golf resort provides a luxury destination to escape from life itself. ... more   less 
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Waterford Castle

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