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“Perfect in Every Way”

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Perfect in Every Way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2008

The location, the room, the meals - all perfect. A stay at the Ballinalacken Castle Country House is a must when flying into Shannon and driving the western coast of Ireland.

If your family is noisy and has little tyrants who like to run about, please do not stay here. You will ruin it for the other guests who are enjoying the peaceful setting and views of the Atlantic.

I can't say enough great things about Ballinalacken. It was perfect for our honeymoon!

  • Liked — The location, the staff and meals!
  • Disliked — Can't think of a thing!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MekongTrader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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515 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    404
    70
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    11
    5
See reviews for
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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2007

I just love this place. I paid my third visit to Ballinalacken early Oct for two nights with a buddy of mine. His wife and my girlfriend gave us their blessings months ago for a guys’ getaway. Since he’d never been to Ireland, I made the itinerary which, as with my previous Ireland trips, commenced at Ballinalacken Castle. I find its proximity to Shannon (about an hour) gives one great flexibility for that first impressionable and no doubt very tiring arrival day.

For me Ballinalacken is batting 1.000. We got not only a twin room as requested but a front one with a very fine view (#9, I believe). The weather was particularly good for so late in the season so we looked into ferrying out to... we couldn’t decide. Cecilia got us info on ferries to Cliffs of Moher and to Aran Islands, departure times, tix prices, etc. We went for Inismore, largest of the Aran – and got a discount (10-15%?). Was a side trip worth making, by the way.

One thing we enjoyed especially was hanging out in the hotel’s cozy pub where owner Denis O’Callaghan holds court (check out photos). After our day on the island, we awaited our taxi into town that evening and fell in with a roomful of local Irish businessmen and Denis behind the bar. We remarked on how our boat’s captain looked like an Aussie in his leather cowboy-style hat. They all guffawed – and one man bought me a whiskey. Turns out he owns the boat. “You just made my night.”

  • Liked — Location, atmosphere
  • Disliked — Dinner
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kristy77a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta GA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2007

We found the country House via the internet and confirmed that information via various travel books. We weren't dissappointed! Having come from an old English manor house in Sligo that was not only old, but very musty, dark and damp (The Temple House) - the Ballinalachen Country House was like the Ritz! We were lucky enough to stay in a beatuful room with a view of the sea and mountains. The staff was very helpful including the chef who was willingly pressed into service to help carry our luggage!
The food was some fo the best we had in our 2 weeks in Ireland. Overall, service, the accomodations and the food came together for a wonderful 3 night stay.

  • Liked — The room and restruant
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2342T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2007

Ballinalacken is a beautiful property, hosted by a gracious staff. The views of the sea are gorgeous and the food was excellent, evening and morning. When we arrived for our dinner reservation Cecelia showed us into the parlour, rather than the dining room, which had lots of space. Drinks and an appetizer were served in the parlour to give us a chance to enjoy the sunset prior to sitting for dinner. This must have been how the Lord of the Manor was treated. The staff took time from their work to show us through the castle ruins adjacent to the House. Ballinalacken is a perfect home base from which to explore the Doolin music pubs, the Cliffs of Moher or The Burren. We'll be back! LK

  • Liked — Antique character, well preserved
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank i10q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2007

We recently stayed here and I thought it was just ok. It is definitely an interesting place and the views are stunning. I also thought the decor was beautiful with large draperies and antique furniture.

However, the shower had very low water pressure and the water did not get hotter than lukewarm. It also took quite a while to drain.

The room had an air freshener plugged into the outlet that was very, very strong. My husband is asthmatic and it can be triggered by strong perfume smells, so I immediately unplugged it.

My only other complaint was that the bed wasn't very comfortable. We were in the old part of the hotel though, so maybe the shower and beds are better in the newer part.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janda124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
87 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2007

A wonderful place. Our family arrived jet lagged and stressed out and spent 2 relaxing nights at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel. Cecelia made us feel right at home. We booked 2 hotel rooms which were both really nice. If you can, get 'room 16' which has a glass enclosed gazebo overlooking the Atlantic, and the Aran Islands. The food at the restaurant was great, too.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank woodzey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2007

My wife and I loved the 3 nights we spent at the Ballinalacken. From the moment we drove up to the estate and stepped inside, we immediately felt at home. The service was personal, friendly and impeccable. The food was so delicious that we chose to eat dinner there each night, and so appreciated the atmosphere and the beautiful music.

From our room we had an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean, a large forest of trees to our left, and rolling hillsides all around. The first evening, as we were settling in, the rain got heavier and heavier. Before long there were gale-like winds raging all around us, visibility near zero, and the sound was quite ferocious. An hour or so later, after dinner, it began clearing and we could see the ocean appear with streams of light hitting the water. As it cleared more, the Aran Islands seemed to rise out of the waters, and then to our far left the striking Cliffs of Moher appeared. Truly an unforgettable experience to witness!

  • Liked — The views and service
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank LaR727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballinalacken Castle Country House

Property: Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Address: Coast Road R-477, Doolin R477, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Doolin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballinalacken Castle Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel Doolin is one of the leading Castle Hotels Ireland with views of Cliffs of Moher. This Clare Hotel has an award winning restaurant and is the best place to eat in Doolin. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful place on the West Coast of Ireland in which to wake up. The Ballinalacken has been described in the press as one of the finest located houses in Europe. Our guest rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay. A 15th Century Castle ruin of the O'Brien Clan stands imposingly beside the Ballinalacken Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel Doolin
Ballinalacken Castle Country Hotel
Ballinalacken Castle Country Doolin

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