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“An excellent tea”

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Gregans Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ballyvaughan
Certificate of Excellence
Farmington, Michigan
Level Contributor
65 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“An excellent tea”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Having family in the area eliminates the need for staying at a local establishment. However, no trip to the Burren would be complete without tea at Gregan's Castle. I told my cousin Mary that should I ever become an heiress I would sit in a chair and look out at the sea and drink tea in Gregan's Castle every day for a month, one month ever year.

Room Tip: I would love to stay here and have seen the facilities but am only able to comment on the tea.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jean P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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437 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
114 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We selected Gregan's for the end of our trip because of past positive experiences as well as our love for Clare County and the relative proximity to Shannon Airport for our return home. The food quality and presentation was AMAZING for dinner and the service in all fronts was impecable. The only negative was that our 1st floor suite was subject to noise from the suite above us on the 2nd floor such that when someone was walking around we could hear it clearly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jumbo F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

The hotel itself, decor, room comfort, overall feeling was super. Really looked forward to dinner and it was a real disappointment. The 'caramelized' duck breast was far from caramelized and only half a duck breast, the fat, which in my mind should always be rendered down during cooking was still solid and I had to remove it before I could eat the tough meat, leaving me with a minuscule main course. My chickenliver parfait was slimy, though the flavour was good. Overall the dinner was extremely over priced and very disappointing. I enjoyed breakfast. My other gripe is that we did not see or interact with any owner or senior management over our 2 night stay, there were very pleasant staff, one bar, one reception but no personal interaction which was also disappointing.

Room Tip: If you are used to sleeping in a big bed make sure you ask for a room with a big one, ours was 4 pos...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My wife and I ventured back to the Burren during a rainy Irish April. The highlight was a stay at Gregans, which we had not visited for twenty years. Friendliest staff, comfortable room. Dinner was among the top five meals in twenty visits to Ireland. Should have planned better to stay longer.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Berkeleyite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I arrived late one night with two friends. We had been driving around Ireland for a few days and were making lodging plans as we went. I had called earlier in the day to ask if a triple was available, but I hadn't booked it as I wasn't sure we'd be making it up the coast from Dingle. Then around dinner time, we decided we'd make it to the Burren that night, so I booked the triple on their website. We arrived around closing time at 11pm, and unfortunately, the electronic booking hadn't yet come through... And they had just sold their last triple. We stood around looking forlorn for awhile, but then the gentleman at the desk was incredibly gracious and was able to offer us two rooms for only a small up charge. He also then took all three of our 25kg bags up to our rooms and was even good enough to serve us some drinks in the lovely little bar (even though I'm sure he'd rather we hadn't shown up at all)! This type of service is what sets this place apart.

This is a truly lovely house in an amazing setting. I wish we had arrived earlier and were able to spend more time exploring the area. After we arrived, we took a little stroll around in the dark, and the stars were amazing. I've rarely seen a sky so full of stars. Inside, the rooms were spotless, each uniquely furnished, with warm and comfortable beds. I loved that each room had a name and that they identified your table at breakfast by your room name. Breakfast was very nice, with a cold buffet of fruit, cereal, breads, and cold meats. They even identified the local artisans who had provided the meats. You also had different cooked options. We all had the Irish breakfast, but someone across the room got some really fluffy pancakes that made me jealous.

I loved that Tolkien spent time here, and it's easy to see once you're here how he would have been inspired by the Burren and all its varying landscape. As I walked among the stony hills, I could have sworn I was in the Emyn Muil. I was geeking out pretty hard.

A huge thanks to the staff, and especially to the gentleman who helped us upon arrival. (My friend swears he was a mighty hobbit from the way he handled our giant bags so easily. I don't think she really understands what hobbits are, but I think she meant to say that he was magically strong.) It was a memorable stay, and I hope to be back again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank heinous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin, ireland
Level Contributor
64 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Perhaps my expectations were too high after studying the website but there was just that little something that stopped my weekend here moving from good to great. The Burren is beautiful and you can't beat the coastal scenery so the location is superb.
Staff were very friendly and great at making you feel relaxed & at home.
Our room was huge but lacking any interesting view - it was of a small courtyard area - but I loved the old furnishings & found the bed very comfortable. The room was kept spotless and our bed turned down on the first evening while we were at dinner.
We experienced the 8 course tasting menu which was good but I wonder how flexible it is for people with dietary requirements - I'm sure they would accommodate. Some courses I loved, some were so-so and the fish course I could hardly eat as the black sole was rubbery whereas my husband's was fine. There are lots of fabulous flavours & little flourishes to make it all look interesting but personally I'm over the whole "foam" cuisine and would have loved a more simple, small, well executed menu. I would not be tempted to do a tasting menu two nights in a row and feel that a small a la carte menu or a bar menu would have suited us on the second night but as it's not offered we ate elsewhere.
Breakfast was fine but nothing outstanding. The hot dishes were only ok, not as good as I would have expected.
We enjoyed some quiet drinks in the bar each night. I wouldn't say it was good value for money, I did find it on the expensive side compared to similar style properties we have stayed at. A pleasant weekend and glad we tried it but not sure I would go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank banbh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed at Gregans twice in 2012 and expect to stay there on our next trip to Ireland. It is a very comfortable, relaxed, small hotel in an 18th century manor house. Its magnificent setting in the Burren makes the coast of Clare a convenient drive away. The restaurant is world class and we met several people staying there to have a memorable dinner at the restaurant. The upstairs suite feels like home, as you wish it were.
As Gregans is in the west Ireland countryside, I would avoid driving direct from the Dublin airport as the last several miles are narrow roads. It is a beautiful for passengers but a little stressful for a driver just off the plane. I speak from experience.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kentgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gregans Castle Hotel

Property: Gregans Castle Hotel
Address: on the N67, Gragan East, Ballyvaughan 01, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Ballyvaughan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ballyvaughan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gregans Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With breathtaking views across Galway Bay and idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape, this is the ultimate luxury and gourmet hideaway. Simon and Frederieke together with their staff manage this oasis of comfort and offer genuine Irish hospitality, award winning innovative cooking and elegant bedrooms free from the intrusion of televisions. Antiques, an eclectic art collection, open fires, candles, jugs of flowers and Shelley the cat add to the indulgently relaxing atmosphere. The hotel while strictly not a "castle" in the usual sense of the word has been named "Gregans Castle" since it was built in 1750 as a more comfortable residence for the O'Loughlen and Martyn families from the nearby 16th century towerhouse. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Burren Food Trail. The ideal location from which to enjoy the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Walking, Cycling, the Aran Islands, Horse Riding, Surfing, Sea Angling, Golf. Members of The Burren Ecotourism Network. Awards include: Georgina Campbell’s Hotel of the Year 2016, RAI Best Hotel Restaurant 2016, Gold Medal Awards Ireland’s Chef of the Year 2015, Supreme Winner & Best Country House 2014; Food & Wine Magazine Best Restaurant & Best Chef Munster 2014; AA 3 Rosettes for Culinary Excellence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gregans Castle Ballyvaughan
Hotel Gregans Castle
Gregans Castle Hotel Ballyvaughan, Ireland - The Burren

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