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“a haven of peace and tranquility” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gregans Castle Hotel

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Gregans Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ballyvaughan
Certificate of Excellence
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“a haven of peace and tranquility”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

My boyfriend and I cannot stop talking about our stay at the Gregans Castle. For now on, it is our reference for future comparison! The hotel is located outside of Ballyvaughan (4 km) just before one of burren's mountains. The view is spectacular: in the foreground the typical Irish landscape with green meadows and lambs while the background is dramatic with the grey and imposing burren mountains. The service is excellent and the staff very friendly. We had some problems with our room and the staff came quickly with a very satisfying solution.
Breakfast is an experience in itself. While you can pick up your favourite breakfast dishes from the menu, the little buffet offers quality products. I am a French person living abroad and their 'pain au chocolat' made me think of my home town's bakery (and believe me, it is not an easy task).
Otherwise, you still have the late-beer-or-tea-in-front-of-the-fireplace option. It was so cosy we didn't want to leave!
ps: may I also say to the travellers who do not know which side of the burren is best to be based, please keep north, closer to ballyvaughan. In addition to have a beautiful sea coast, it is also greener and cuter (if you can say that about a landscape). Not to offend anyone, the south (close to the cliffs of moher) looks like deserted seaside resorts or very touristy villages.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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411 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    299
    62
    25
    16
    9
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
52 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014

We just stayed here for one night after driving from Galway. The location and house we absolutely stunning. Our favorite part was wondering around the groups, looking at the animals and all the little 'sitting spots' hidden in the trees. We sadly did not spend too much time in the surrounding area, but I am SURE there are some lovely hikes. Our room was large, very clean, and very comfortable. We enjoyed sitting in the room and looking out at the beautiful country side. There is a beautiful bar room, with comfy seating and a fire place, as well as a stunning sitting room with a gorgeous bay window. The staff was nice and helpful when asked, but not overly involved (helpful). We mostly kept to ourselves here. If you are looking for a lively place with that boisterous Irish charm, this is not the place. If you are looking for relaxation, quiet, and a beautiful scenery, this place is great.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank meg043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2014

Gregans castle mid week offer is a must if you can afford it or somebody has given you a voucher.It is a long drive from Dublin but worth it on a fine day . We broke the journey at the Hodson Bay in Athlone which is a very good idea and I may return to that again. Get to Ballyvaughan and take the less then exciting road towards Lisdoonvarna turn into the Hotel drive way park your car walk towards the hotel and turn around at the door and be amazed at the panoramic view trhough the Burren to Galway Bay. Then go in to experience the warm and professional welcome and service and ask for a room with the view. Relax and prepare for the Wednesday gastronomic delight.

Room Tip: Superior room with a view
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank iaclo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin Ireland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2014

We booked Gregan's Castle through the Bluebook Ireland and honestly did not expect the weekend we had. No refection on Gregan's Castle, it just didn't come across our radar and I'm very glad it has now and in fairness I hadn't researched the place much before we arrived due to work. Our room was very comfortable, quiet and no TV, thankfully!
The biggest surprise for us was the standard of the food. We did expect that the food would be 'good' but what we got was 'exceptional'. Every course that came was unexpected. The quality of the cooking is superb and the staff were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.
We booked a walking tour of the Burren and thankfully the weather was with us. We had an amazing three hour walk up Blackhead, finding orchids, primula, yew and and all sorts of other unexpected plants. We encountered an ancient fort and took in the amazing views of Connemara.
Overall an incredible weekend and we will be back. Thank you.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MartinByrne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014

A hotel with a great deal of character. Old style rooms with, for example, wardrobes instead of fitted furniture. Very pleasant grounds and a good centre for exploring this part of the coast. Food and service were excellent. The absence of TV in rooms is well advertised and makes for a quiet refreshing change. TV is available in one lounge. Views from the front are excellent with gardens at the rear.

Room Tip: Rear rooms overlook gardens. Front rooms have a wonderful wide vista over rolling countryside.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ColinR1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013 via mobile

I stumbled across Gregans while researching different unique stops for our anniversary, which was right in the middle of our visit to Ireland. There could not have been a more perfect location. Our room was stunning, large, and comfortable. For those that have a hard time disconnecting from the world, do note that there are not televisions in the rooms, only in a common area as part of maintaining the feel of a being a retreat from the world. The staff was friendly, helpful, and took extra steps that put the cherry on top our experience.
Upon arriving, we were informed they had set up a courtesy reservation for is in their "pub". We took full advantage and were offered complimentary champagne at the beginning of dinner followed by the best service I have ever had at a restaurant and delicious food. The breakfast the following morning was just as wonderful, including a little description of exactly what farm or person provided the food.
The setting cannot be understated and yet there is no way that I will be able to do it justice. The Burren is an incredible landscape, different from much of what we saw in other parts of Ireland, and the beautiful Gregans gardens are stunning as well. Being an avid Lord of the Rings fan, I was surprised and delighted I hear that Gregans is somewhere Tolkien stayed and was inspired to write part of the book - and I can completely see why.
This type of hotel, level of service, and incredible location are going to cost a bit more than other possibilities in Ireland, but it is worth every penny, much more so than some of the other "castle" hotels that we at least drove by. I would gladly return and hopefully spend much more time at this wonderful hidden gem.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank panda1812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

You cannot imagine a more beautiful scene than overlooking the Burren from Gregan's. The property is serene and exceptionally beautiful, where you can just hang around or go exploring. The service is even better--get a drink and take it outside, hang out in the bar/lounge, or have a 9 course tasting menu from the famed restaurant. The rooms were also spectacular (we had a suite), but the first floor rooms were a little musty--however, we traveled during an unseasonably/unexpected heat wave, so that is to somewhat be expected when you're in Ireland.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Heather S
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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