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“Wonderful Time!”
Review of Cullintra House

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Cullintra House
Ranked #3 of 5 Inistioge B&B and Inns
Del Mar, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful Time!”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

My husband and I decided at the last minute to change plans and stay at a B&B in June. We wanted to relax and enjoy the countryside of Ireland. Cullintra House was just what we were looking for and Patricia was wonderful!
We stayed on the upper level of the barn and enjoyed Patricia's artwork. We got to spend the night with her cat Bella (Hey Bella!). Note: the door had a cat entrance that can be blocked; it's totally up to the guest to let the cat in. So we let Bella in and she was so cute!!!
The food was amazing, I think Patricia could stop running a B&B and be a 5 star chef.
Everything was wonderful, but the place is for people who love nature and animals. If you are a city person and love hotels this place is not for you. But if you like fresh air and nature you'll love it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ashley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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English first
Chester, Connecticut
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I like to travel and stay in quirky places; Cullintra House is a bit beyond quirky. When I was looking for places to stay, I emailed Patricia, who responded quite quickly- even though it was about 1 a.m. in Ireland (I am on the east coast of the US). She required my telephone number to call me, and further the discussion as to whether there were any rooms available for our stay. There were, so great, right? Then she tells me that dinner is part of the whole deal, at an extra 40 euro per person- but it's a five course dinner... ok. Then I tell her that I am a vegetarian- well that seemed to be a major inconvenience for her. She said to me that she CAN cook vegetarian, but she doesn't like to and would prefer not to.

I got off the phone with her, after booking this, and then I panicked a bit after seeing the TripAdvisor reviews (I don't know why I didn't look here first!!!). I was trying to convince myself the whole time that everything will be ok.... until we showed up.

I knew that Cullintra House was near the village of the Rower, so we made our way there, and then telephoned Patricia for further directions, because there are no signs pointing the way. She answered the phone, by asking me if I had a reservation (which had been made nearly a month in advance). When I told her we did, she seemed a bit confused, then gave me directions. We found our way- carefully! It was twilight and there are no lights. She greeted us at the door and proceeded to show us the rooms.... all of which were available because we were the ONLY guests that night. We were a little creeped out to discover that fact....

After seeing all the rooms, and being told that I had NOT informed her that I was a vegetarian (?!?!) we settled in the chilly drawing room. She attempted to make a fire, but it didn't work very well- she was using soft wood, and it was smoking everywhere! We were told that dinner would be at 9:30 or so- nearly 2 1/2 hours from when we arrived. That's pretty late for us, but we didn't have any plans, so whatever....

We were not offered tea, which would have been greatly appreciated seeing as it was a chilly October evening. Patricia disappeared behind closed doors, leaving us in the musty drawing room. My boyfriend wanted a beer with dinner, so he went to inquire about whether there was a liquor store nearby. She offered wine (maybe? if she has some...???). She only had white wine; we asked if it would pair well with dinner- and we were totally ignored. We were left clueless about WHAT we would be eating for dinner. So whatever, I picked out a bottle of white wine. She disappeared. Later she reappeared and told us that she would like us to meet her daughter. Well, I have two cats and I love cats, but I do not call my cats my son and daughter. I know people call their pets their furry children, but you don't usually introduce your cat or dog as your son or daughter.... whatever. In comes Bella, who is a cute little cat, but who really does have full range of the house. Patricia left us with Bella and closed the door. Bella proceeded to literally climb the curtains (velvet curtains) and claw at the velvet chairs. We were more than a little surprised.

Dinner announcement came via ringing bells. I felt terribly underdressed, and I felt that Patricia's assistant (who did not introduce herself) was quite cold to us. But I put it aside, anticipating dinner. Our first course was baked brie with cranberry chutney on a bed of greens with freshly baked bread. That was really lovely, and quite filling. Next course was a rather odd hot cucumber soup (a giant bowl). Then the main course.... My boyfriend received an ENTIRE fish, plus a side of vegetables, and another side of potatoes- literally a feast. My "vegetarian dish" was placed in front of me with no explanation. It looked like possibly a Mexican soup? It had melted cheddar cheese, stewed tomatoes and was very soupy... underneath the cheese layer, the bowl was FILLED with sliced zucchini. That was the dish. Zucchini and tomatoes covered in cheese in a broth- no seasoning. Ok. Well that zucchini was WAY GONE. It was SO BITTER and rubbery and just plain nasty. I ate one piece. I could not swallow any more. Unreal. And this was no small bowl- this was huge- it could have fed 3 or 4 people. We suffered through this enormous main course- it must have taken us well over an hour before they came to take our plates. Next course! Cheese. Which Patricia was cutting in her hands. I could barely eat any more. Next course. Dessert- our choice of banoffi pie or pavlova. I love banoffi pie, so we opted for that. It was pretty good, but after all that other food? Ugh. And mind you, at this point it's well after midnight!!! So as we start into our desserts, Patricia came out to chat. I think we were ready to face plant into our desserts at this point.

Also, the dining room is not very large, and Patricia kept all the doors closed in the house, so when the woodstove actually got cranking in the dining room, it got hot. We opened the door out into the hallway, and she came out asking if we needed to keep that door open. My boyfriend told her that we were pretty warm, so we wanted the door open. Her response was 'oh yes, it does get warm.' Then she turned around, opened the door to the woodstove and chucked in a few more pieces of wood. ??? We were dumbfounded. We just resorted to going out into the hall to try to cool off- because the rest of the house was freezing.

The room we ended up staying in was the large room on the top floor. But, the only lighting in the room is some very dim lighting over the bed and one dim light over the sink. There was one outlet in the room, which we used to plug in a space heater from one of the other bedrooms because there was no heat. We did not get to bed until after 2 a.m. because we both needed to shower after dinner, and after seeing the fox eat our dinner remnants outside. (Watching the fox was pretty cool for a little bit though). Patricia told us that breakfast was from 9-noon, and to give a knock on her door 15-20 minutes before we wanted to eat.

Well, we woke up around 11 a.m. and made our way downstairs to find some half-eaten, banged up cereal boxes in the dining room. There was also some tetra packs of orange juice from concentrate on the table (that must have sat out all night- they were room temperature). The bread and butter from dinner was still sitting out- uncovered at the table. I ate my cereal plain- as there was no milk until Patricia came out 20 minutes later. We had one warm scone each, and she actually asked us what we wanted for breakfast. I opted just for some scrambled eggs and toast. I was informed that the bread was behind me on the table. Ok. So much for toast. My boyfriend also opted for scrambled eggs and a black and a white pudding. She came back a good while later with the eggs- which some how managed to be chunky and soupy, and not smelling so good. We managed to eat those, but my boyfriend's puddings came about 15 minutes later. We made it through breakfast, and tried telling her that we were going to go out today and would probably get something to eat before we came back- so we DID NOT need dinner that night. We were TOTALLY DISREGARDED. Patricia walked away, while saying over her shoulder that this is how she does it here- dinner is part of the stay. OH. WOW.

Later I was outside, putting our daypacks in the car, when she came out to ask me if we wanted an early dinner- at 8 p.m.- or a little later at 9 p.m.!!!!! I said we would prefer to eat earlier... Oh, so 8 p.m. then! No, no... I said, more like 7 p.m.? Ohhhh, no, I can't do that early, we'll do it at 8 p.m.

What the heck is that? Aren't we the guests? One hour earlier is not possible- when you have 8 hours of notice???

We needed to leave, it was an emergency. We told Patricia that we had to go, and she was really dragging out the whole process and made it very difficult for us to leave. She charged us an extra 30 euros because we were not staying that night also. When I asked to pay by credit card, we were informed that there is an extra 3 percent charge to pay with a card. So we ended up paying 180 euros for some questionable food in a cold house. So not worth the money.

This place has potential though. We saw a tiny bit during daylight hours, and it would probably be nice during the summer, but in the fall it is not so nice. We were cold, and we had colds! The musty, chilly rooms did not help us feel better. It's time for the next generation to take over Cullintra House, I feel that if Patricia keeps managing this place it will not fare well.

VEGETARIANS BEWARE - YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.

Room Tip: The room on the top floor to the left has mold growing near the pillows. The big room upstairs is v...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Faye P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patriciacantlon, Owner at Cullintra House, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
First of all my deepest sympathy on the sudden tragic death of your partner's mother on the morning of your visit.
I gave you a choice of rooms and the one I suggested had lots of bright lights with a really warm log fire. All the logs for the fires are from the wood on the farm and split by me. However, you choose the room with dim lights. On arrival I told you I had been delayed on the farm as there was a problem to be sorted as we had a full house of guests until then and I had to see to things urgently. Dinner ended up only being 10 minutes late as it is served at 8pm or 9pm as is the custom in historic ancestral homes such as my home. Incidentally we do not have any velvet curtains anywhere in the house.
The courgettes and cucumbers are grown organically by a man on the farm. The fish was prepared by me and was from a local fish farm. I said I would do a vegetarian dish for you but I make nicer dishes with meat and fish as is the case in most places. Local cheeses are presented in their original wrapper and CUT WITH A KNIFE, not touched by hand. We gong when dinner is ready and it is usual to dress appropriately but we do not turn people away. Sorry you did not seem able to communicate with us - hence your server's reaction to you. Truth is she did not know to make of you! She could not proceed as you did not say when you were finished with each course and she needed to go home so charged me a lot more money. The same next day and you checked out at 3pm when dinner preparations were well under way. Houses like mine do not serve beer or allow it. The wine was complimentary.
I only charged for 1 night due to your tragic circumstances but I was entitled to charge for 2 nights due to the lateness of checkout. I do not do any bookings without dinner as it is a special 6 course dinner that is one of the many reasons for coming here. Thank you for telling me about the loose slate on a private room which had already been fixed, hence the damp patch. You should have worn warm clothes feeding the foxes as it is cold out there! Incidentally we do not serve hard butter.
Sorry if you were looking for a quirky place. This was the wrong place for you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Inistioge hotels

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012 via mobile

No signage thus very difficult to find
Excellent food but no choice   
Long delays and interruptions between courses by the eccentric and authoritarian owner.
We could not trust the accommodation, paid for the meal plus an imposed penalty and left to find an alternative at 11.45 pm
Definitely not worth the money or the risk

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank ChristyChimlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patriciacantlon, Owner at Cullintra House, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
House is signposted on the road and at the gate and there are directions on my website . Dinner is 6 courses which takes time. We do not have someone to carry your bags which seemed to annoy you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We stayed the first two days of our honeymoon here. It was wonderful. We stayed over the barn. It was wonderful. Yes, as with some of the people that wrote bad reviews about Cullintra House, there are a lot of spiders. However, that is Ireland! Every place we stayed, even local shops, had lots and lots of spiders EVERYWHERE! That is how it is. That is a huge reason they don't need/use pesticides! Besides, we stayed in a fancy hotel that had spiders in the shower and I found a spider in my pillow case.
I agree it is a wonderful place full of character! It's scenic, in a good location, and the hostess is wonderful, eccentric in a good way, and an amazing cook!
We had no trouble with hot water or heating. We understood that you simply "wear more clothes" when you travel in Ireland or stay in someone's house. We stayed in one place where the only heat was a fireplace. People, this is another country that does not worry themselves with amenities and things, but focuses on the quality of life. So, if you are looking for a place to stay to experience traditional Ireland at it's best, then this IS the place for you!

Room Tip: Ask for the room over the barn! It's large and private.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank FortheloveofIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

Patricia is a most wonderful cook, or should I say culinary chef.... her creations are masterful, but for a small eater like me, five courses for dinner, presents a challenge. We stayed for two evenings, two sumptuous dinners, and equally as lavish breakfasts.

Such a gorgeous location, just outside of the charming village of Inistioge, rural walks at your door. The rooms are spacious, and quirky, with interesting period furnishings, and the sort of higgledy-piggeldy you expect of a three storey, 19thC farmhouse. Old fashioned bathrooms, stocked with many fluffy towels, and plenty of hot water.

Dining is interesting by moody candlight, and on our first night, a rather cantankerous pot belly stove/fire, that literally smoked like a chimney.

I thank Patricia very much for her informed hospitality, as it was due to her recommendation that we drove the "Vee", and stayed in Cahir following our stay, which we hadn't planned beyond our stay at Cullintra House.

And I do hope that Patricia kept little Bella, and Fred?? - least I think it was Fred. Four gorgeous kittens were residing in the conservatory, close to the farmhouse - as a cat lover, it was a definite treat to be abe to cuddle and play with the kitties, given on holiday, I am so far away from my own, and Patricia keenly sought my opinion of which two of the four to keep, given that her Oswald passed away.

Yes, I too read some of the previous, rather unkind reviews, but seriously, this is a farmhouse experience, not a built just yesterday, sanitised, sterile environment, and one to be embraced.

Room Tip: The studio/art room, seperate from the house is gorgeous.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank charlotteleclerc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naas, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2011

I loved this place. Great location. Great price. Clean. Friendly and accommodating. This place has the most amazing views. We really loved the food this was possibly the most amazing food I and my Wife have ever tasted.
I would recommend this to all my friends as it's a one in a lifetime experience and this needs to be tried..
To those of you love to leave bad reviews on Trip Advisor because they don't get there way and use this a tool to destroy people business, what can i say shame on you!!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
16 Thank Alan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2011

We stayed here for a weekend and absolutely loved everything about Cullintra House, from the moment we drove up the long driveway till the morning we left after a delicious breakfast. The location is very rural and is several miles from Thomastown, one of Ireland's prettier villages. Cullintra House is a delightful piece of architecture and is similar to the size of most rectories. The interior is traditionally furnished with period pieces and some more recent additions. The setting is spectacular with mature trees and fields to the rear of the house sloping upwards.

We arrived early and a key was in the front door so we entered. A decorator was in the sitting room and he said the owner would be back shortly. It was wonderfull informal and felt like a second home. Patricia Cantlon then arrived and made us most welcome. She combines glamour with friendliness. She was most charming and also great fun. Just before dinner, she suggested a drive up the hill to see a viewing platform she has had built overlooking various counties. Clad in a long evening dress, she put heel to the steel and drove up at some speed while rabbits scarpered out of the way.

Dinner was spectacular - fresh produce including haddock, vegetables and potatoes from the locality accompanied with a side of her homebaked wheaten bread. Our fellow guests were a German professor and her husband who enjoyed their visit so much they had extended it to a week. Patricia served the meal efficiently and unobtrusively before joining us for coffee afterwards.

She brought us outside to meet her pet fox. By evening time the grounds were completely black with no lights from any neighbouring dwellings - there are none. Cullintra is an incredible experience. If you want a typical hotel, it's not for you. But if you are after an authentic Irish country home experience then this is the place to stay. It is a world away from the hustle and bustle of life. We are hoping to go back before too long.

Room Tip: Opt for a room in the main house overlooking the gardens to the front.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank Stuart_Blakley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cullintra House

Property: Cullintra House
Address: The Rower, Inistioge, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Kilkenny > Inistioge
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Inistioge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
NOT a hotel, but a working farm serving delicious dinners and offering charming country house accommodation in a family farmhouse. ... more   less 
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