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“Family Room definately not best appointed room”

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Joyce's Waterloo House B&B
Ranked #38 of 45 Clifden B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 15, 2008

I booked four rooms in the Joyce's Waterloo for my family this past July. My family arrived at the Joyce's Waterloo right from the airport at 10:30 AM. The b&b was very kind to let us have our room, called the "family room" early (as they told us no one occupied the room the night before) - first clue. We were thrilled we could carry our already-sleeping children right into a bed, but when I got into the room, I was surprised with it's overall appearance. It was smaller than I expected a family room to be, dark and musty. The bathroom was dated, with cracked tiles on the floor. I ventured on upstairs to check in on my other relatives who now occupied three rooms upstairs. Their rooms were much brighter, some with lanai-type seating areas - and the same size, if not larger than the downstairs family room. I did notice two of the upstairs rooms were unoccupied so I asked PK about switching to one of the rooms - one with two large poster beds and plenty of room for another cot to be rolled in. I even told him I'd pay for the cleaning of the room we had already occupied for a few hours. He told me it wouldn't be possible for me to switch rooms because he had a booking the next night. I asked him if we could have the room for one night and was told that I couldn't because then he'd have to "sell" our room - the family room. Anyone reading between the lines here? We also ran out of hot water both days and on the second day, had to go to my in-laws room to use the showers. I didn't find PK very accomodating and would even question his sincerity - especially after staying in other b&bs on our trip and having completely different experiences. I would never stay there again, nor would I recommend it. To those with children who do choose the Waterloo: make sure you request a room upstairs.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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8  Thank jasper567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 15 of 103 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2008

Stayed at the b&b for one night. We arrived at 6pm and were greeted by PK.

We had a upstairs kingsized bedroom booked for myself and my husband. Loved the dormer type window with access onto the balcony. Nice to sit there watching the world go by!

Room very clean and liked the fact the bathroom has a walk in shower. Lots of information in the room about what connemara has to offer. DVD player available in room to use.The bed was very comfy.

We checked out the hot tub but didn't use! Didn't get up in time for breakfast so can't comment on that.
The only downside is that it is a fair walk into town. But with a car it only takes minutes.
We would stay here again, oh and i loved the flags outside of the room!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Scorpionfiona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2008

Joyce's Waterloo House is a very nice B&B, located along (but back away from) the main road from Galway into Clifden. It is easy and convenient to get to/from town, but a little to far to walk. This is a beautiful property, with pleasant views across the road and into the distant hills. Our room also was quite nice, with a glass-enclosed sitting area, and access to a private balcony. The television is well-sized and there is free internet. Breakfasts were very good, with a nice variety.
Now for the quirks. I have never been in a B&B that had so many "thou shalt not.." signs. I'm not sure whether the owners have had bad experiences with guests taking things, but it seemed like every time we turned around we were being warned of the dire consequences of (a) taking towels, (b) taking magazines and pamphlets, (c) taking fruit that you aren't going to eat in the breakfast room, etc. That seemed a little creepy, but it didn't really affect us, so no big deal.
I would strongly recommend front-facing rooms, and the upstairs king-size bedrooms in particular. At 104 euro per night, we thought our room was well worth it. On the other hand, be forewarned that rear-facing rooms look out upon a giant retainer wall -- pretty ugly in my estimation.
For dinner, I recommend E.J. King's. We had a very nice meal, reasonably priced, in the upstairs pub.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ColumbiaTrekkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2008

We planned to stay 4 nights and ended up staying 6 nights - we felt like we had arrived at an amazing, friendly and comfortable home of a favorite aunt.. Waterloo house is an older but charming and comfortable guesthouse. PK and Patricia greet you like old friends and you get the sense they truly want your stay to be great.

We left outselves in the capable hands of PK about suggested places to visit and more importantly the best to way to get there. I know we got to see and experience much more with his help than we would have otherwise. Waterloo house was a welcoming place to come back to each day - large comfortable room and lounge filled with eclectic furnishings and lots of books. The place is spotless maintained.

Breakfast was delcious and plentiful - lots to choose from the cold buffet and menu of hot dishes. Loved the pancakes and brown bread. Patricia even gave me the recipe.

Since the property is a few minutes walk from town (10-15 minutes) its in a quiet area - off the main road. They had outdoor tables and chairs overlooking the garden for their guests to use - so relaxing.

Taking the time to chat with PK and Trish and their lovely daughters was wonderful - gives you a real feel for life in Ireland. That's why you stay in a B&B or guesthouse rather than a impersonal hotel.

Loved the Connemara area and plant to return to Waterloo House.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SMLBARB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2008

After staying in several so-so B&B's and cookie cutter hotels, Joyce's Waterloo House was a breath of fresh air! Anyone not enjoying their stay here just needs to stay at home. In spite of their busy lives as host, hostess, greeter, receptionist, lawn and house maintenance, housekeeper, cook, and parents, PK and Patricia were delightful! Their daughters a special added treat.
The rooms were big and comfy, bathrooms equipped with everything you need. The common room is wonderful! The Joyce family has it stocked with many books about the area and also abroad. There are board games and a great TV for those lazy or rainy days when you would just rather hang around and lounge. The food...let me tell ya...MMmmmm. Patricia is a fantastic cook and it is always presented beautifully. We even had the honor of being treated to the youngest daughter, Aileen, homemade dessert! She is a chef in the making! The dining room is spacious and no matter which table you get, you are in for a feast. I didn't get a chance to make use of the outdoor hot tub, but I did take a look and plan on spending time in it my next visit. The grounds are well maintained and manicured. The flowers are beautiful. There is nothing to complain about with Joyce's Waterloo House except that your vacation is over and you have to leave. Thank you PK, Patricia, Aoife, Aileen, Mikado, and Tiger for making my stay the best!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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8  Thank iamworthit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2008

We didn't find this place nearly as great as most other reviewers, but then we don't go expecting to make friends with the innkeepers.

Negatives were:

Very small room
Tiny bath (stamp-sized shower opens directly onto toilet)
Narrow, creaky hall
Overly hot at night
Very mediocre breakfast

It is odd as another reviewer mentioned that kisses and hugs are mandatory upon arrival. Kind of creepy.

Also, the nickel and dime charges for things like robes for the hot tub (which has gross soaked carpet surrounding it) were troublesome.

Very kitchy decor, lounge stuffed with furniture and featuring a blaring TV.

The only positive I can mention is that it is not very expensive, but you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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12  Thank Travels_Mucho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pkpj, Owner at Joyce's Waterloo House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2008

While we are very disappointed that reviewers plans did not work out as they wished, there is no doubt that a lot of the fault most certainly does not lie with Joyces Waterloo House in this case.

We make every effort from our Website to our Booking site requesting guests to tell us of special needs or any other problems they might have that we can clear before arrival and so was the case with this American family, that in not informing us of their needs that a lot of their issues arose.

Firstly, this American family made a request on original booking that their daughter must be directly across from parents bedroom which left us with only one option with the room arrangements. However, the greatest problem here was the family could have and should have informed us as to how big they all were.
Guesthouses are not Hotels, they are generally ordinary family homes with 7 or more bedrooms as is our case. However, when guests do inform us of any size, health issues etc, that they have, then we can allocate certain rooms that will suit their needs perfectly. And so it was in this case. If they had only informed us of how big they were then the issues as pointed out by this family would not have happened, its as simple as that.

Even if the family had happened to come an hour earlier than they did, we still would have had time to re-arrange the rooms and give them a far more spacious bedroom with larger bathroom that would have suited their size perfectly. It would have meant their daughter would not be directly across from them as requested, but we think that this would not have been an issue in our home, as she was about 16 years of age and all our bedrooms have locks as well as telephones.

There is a salutory lesson here for all guests to please, please, please inform any of the smaller lodging accommodation providers of any size or health issues they have when making their bookings, so issues such as this have no need to arise. We are only as good as the information we get from guests prior to arrival.

To points that reviewers have made:

01. It was I (Patricia) that met and greeted family upon arrival and hugged and kissed them.
Once again, all I can say is that if reviewers find such country hospitality so grotesque why didn`t they say before arrival that they did not wish to be greeted in such a European manner and their hugs and kisses problem would not have been an issue. We have to stress that until of late and in 11 years of business, we have never had such a complaint on our meeting and greeting.

As reviewer is an obvious Tripadvisor contributor and reviewer, then reviewer must have read other Tripadvisor reviews on us stating that this is how we greet guests on arrival. Surely then on reading all these reviews as to how we meet and greet guests, why did reviewer not inform us before arrival by e.mail that they did not wish to be greeted in such a manner.

02. There is no doubt to our mind that all the other issues the reviewer finds fault with, were based primarily on a room that admittedly was not designed to suit their size. Their request for their daugher and not informing us of their size is wholly behind that.

We state everywhere on our website that the house is 19th century and yes, because half of the older side of the house is timber there are creaks in the hallway, but this and other issues of complaint really stem from the fact about the size of the bedroom that really did not suit their size.

On the heating side of things, we always inform foreign guests as to how they can regulate the heat and always warn them that we are great believers in having the heat on and if they do not like heat, we show them how to turn the heat off. Room 5 also has a 5 x 3 foot window, (as well as 2 other smaller windows), that is designed to act like a door leading onto the outdoor balcony. Not only do we inform guests of this but it is also clearly written in the Guest Information folder on the bed. So we are baffled about the cheap swipe about being too hot.

As regards the quality of our breakfasts and dinners, we will let other reviewers on Tripadvisor speak honestly as to quality and quantity of our fare.

The decor of our home, a lot of bedrooms, our spacious sitting room, dining room etc, have all been correctly represented by many photographs as contributed by other reviewers as well as our own website. So reviewers reference to "kitch" etc etc, we find very mean spirited, as they would have found our home exactly as represented on all those sites. By looking at the photograph of our Sitting Room, you can see that it is far from stuffed with furniture but perhaps this is a personal opinion of reviewer that we can only answer with, "well look at the honest, clear and consise photographs" as taken by other independent reviewers.

It would have been nice if the reviewer had clarified how much they paid and what they got for their money. But as they havent, it is only fair that we are allowed to tell what this family got.

The reviewer booked in on a 2 B&B + 1 Dinner special offer at rate of Eur119.00 p.p.s. ....... When we remove all Government taxes etc,
they would have paid us Eur85.00 in total.
For this, the parents got one of the upper King bedrooms with balcony, bay window, sofa, bathroom with power shower, 21" tv, dvd/cd player, tea tray etc.
If we remove the price of their Dinner Special (Eur27.00p.p.) and subtract this from the Eur85.00 p.p....... then they paid us Eur53.00 for 2 nights B&B per person. In short, they paid Eur26.00 per person for bed and breakfast PER NIGHT!!. Yes indeed, the reviewer can take a cheap snipe at how much they liked the rates!!

For Eur27.00 per person, the review got for their Dinner: .......an Entree (5 choices) a Main Course (6 choices) , Dessert (6 choices) , Tea or Coffee, AND an Irish Coffee or Brandy to finish off the Dinner and ALSO included in his Eur27.00 bill was a half bottle of wine!!!! And no, they left no tip for staff!!

What annoys us most about this review is, a lot of "below the belt" swipes reviewer has taken at us were due to them absolutely not informing us of their size issues. If they did, they would have been happy and we would have been happy.

The Outdoor hot tub is exactly that, OUTDOOR!! . Once again, pictures/images on Tripadvisor and on our website clearly shows that it is OUTSIDE and has no roof, so clearly when it rains, then of course all around it is going to be wet. We make no apologies for the carpet that surrounds it, we had Timber Decking laid and it was so treacherous in wet weather that after some near misses, we removed it. We make no apology for carpetting which is a hell of a lot safer and to date nobody has slipped. We might also inform other readers that you don`t sit on the carpet to enjoy the Hot Tub, you sit IN the Hot Tub, a point that the reviewer has missed completely.

As pointed out by other reviewers who have used the Hot Tub, it is a fantastic relaxing experience and while the reviewer did indeed use the Hot Tub we can take it that his lack of criticising the actual Tub means they must have got SOME enjoyment out of it. The snipe at the Eur2.00 charge for the robes could have been more honestly reviewed, with the reality being that the Eur2.00 is a one off charge and they had robes for the duration of their stay with us for Eur2.00 only. The Eur2.00 simply covers laundry costs, nothing else and reviewer could have admitted honestly that the Information Folder in bedroom states quite clearly that...... "you do NOT have to take bathrobes and can use Hot Tub without same". Was it too much for reviewer to write this bit at least?

It would have been so nice if the reviewer had pointed out what they got for nothing!!!......... FREE dvd/cd player in bedroom, FREE vhs recorder and FREE access to dvd/vhs library, FREE WiFi that he used continuously and indeed FREE use of our PC which was used by one of his children more than once.

There is always 2 sides to every saga and all we can do with this saga is give our version. The reviewers have to take total blame for the room issues and all we can say is when booking any small premises just tell them of your size and we guarantee you won`t have problems. Either they can fit you in based on the information that you give them or they cant and you look elsewhere. There is no doubt to us that the room problem is behind all the other swipes at us and all we can do is point out how grossly unfair they are to us and our home.
Thankfully, we have lots of other more fairly balanced reviews that do describe our home with more honest opinions along with photographs as to verify lots of issues.

We have been a long time in not writing to address this review because we did not think that it was really worth our while, but so many people have told us we must because it is so unjust and hence all we can do is give our version of events.

P.S. The reviewers stayed in Room 5 with a 6`Kingsize bed and the photographs for this bedroom can be found on the 2nd series of photos on Tripadvisor under "Images". Room 5 is the bedroom with the brown throw on the sofa with TV on the right hand side. It is also on the 3rd series of photographs with the top 3 photos there being of Room 5 and its bathroom. We believe these give a fair reflection of the size of Room 5 and its bathroom.

Once again, all we can say is that a message under "Special Needs" box on the booking form would have saved us all a hell of a lot of grief.

We personally are not here to make friends either in the sense that the reviewer implies. What we do and have always done is go half-way with any guests and if they are prepared to go the other half, then we all have a fantastic time as people can read on other reviews. In this reviewers case, there was no way we could bridge that gap, but as we state above, they must take responsibility for that.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

A gang of us have travalled and participated in the Connemara Marathon since its inception over 6 years ago and can thoroughly recommend this unique run.

For the first 4 years we never returned to same hotel/b&b twice due to over pricing,low standards among a few moans but with Joyces Waterloo it was unanimous that we had found our 'Connemara home' for the run and so it is that this was our second year with Patricia and family.

Great care and attention from the moment you arrive until you hit back for home .Never mean with the heating ,food or attention to detail.Lashings of hot water,great entertainment and can never do enough for you.Early breakfast for the run -7am- and the best porridge this side of the Pecos! They even had spaghetti on the menu because some cyclists had told them how good it was for endurance athletes!!

After the run ,to sit in the hottub was just the tonic and then back into a warm toasty house a little rest and then downstairs to have the craic in the front room with all the other runners.For us there is no better place to park yourself if coming to Connemara for any reason, so if you do , be comforted in knowing you will get your moneys worth!

All the Gang - Ger ,Miah,Pa and D. and if we don't see you soon we will see you next year.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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8  Thank s7murphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Joyce's Waterloo House B&B

Address: Galway Road, Clifden, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Clifden
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 45 B&Bs / Inns in Clifden
Price Range: $38 - $92 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Romantic 19th Century Lodge with: King & Queen Beds, most rooms with 21" t.v., vcrs, tea/coffee, power showers. Large dining room with breakfast & dinner menus. Large guest lounge with open fire, small library, card & board games. Bike hire & superb 6 seater outdoor Hot Tub in elevated site. Free use of walking/hiking & touring guides of Connemara. Free private parking. Clifden Town 1km. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Joyce`s Waterloo House Bed And Breakfast
Joyce`s Waterloo House Hotel Clifden

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