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“Beautiful spot”

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis
2 reviews
“Beautiful spot”
Reviewed June 9, 2008

The Ballinalacken treated us very nicely for our 4-day stay with 3-year-old daughter. Cecilia is warm and friendly and very helpful. It's convenient to Doolin (which is fun, but not really charming) and the Burren, yet tucked away. The prairie surrounding the house is beautiful.

Very clean room, in the new part which might not have as much charm as the old. Still, nice view and amenities. There was a computer available to check email.

Great breakfasts and outstanding dinner--although they do push it, as another reviewer wrote. The apple tart and ice cream were unbelievable, especially for such a simple dessert.

For whatever the reason, a number of the staff are French, and they were a bit stiff.

  • Liked — Hostess Cecilia and her daughter April, relaxing surroundings
  • Disliked — Long trek back to room, brusque French
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Neumms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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544 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
New York, New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2008

Ballinalacken Castle is located up on a hill with a nice view in a central location for exploring the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, about a 5-10 minute drive from Doolin. You need a car to access the area and to drive to any of the local shops, restaurants and pubs. The Ballinalacken's interior is attractive with wooden furniture, high ceilings and large windows.

The rooms were nicely appointed with a flat screen television, bottled water, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker and updated bathroom. However, we were not entirely satisfied. The room was freezing (they said the heat was on, but it was very cold in our room). Additionally, in our room they had hung the black cable wire from one side of the room to the other by draping it over the window curtains – very unappealing to look at.

Breakfast (served until 10am) was excellent with hot options as well as a buffet with juice, cheese/meat, scones, brown bread, fruit salad, yogurt, and cereal.

While they were pushy about reserving a dinner table for us at their restaurant (via email prior to our arrival, and then again in person once we arrived) the food was very good.

We had a nice stay, but given the current dollar to euro exchange rate, the costs to stay at Ballinalacken is too high, and on my next trip I would book elsewhere.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank OneTravelersView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, NM
1 review
Reviewed May 24, 2008

What a wonderful place the O'Callaghans have created in Ballinalacken Castle Hotel! Not only did they help us with tour services and schedules, the room we had was sumptuous -- every morning out our window we could see the Cliffs of Moher in the distance! The food was excellent and an extensive variety of choices was available. One of the highlights was being allowed to climb the ancient tower of the O'Briens and see for miles. It was a perfect ending to our stay in that area. Staying at the Ballinalacken just convinced us we need a return visit because this is definitely our favorite spot and place to stay through 30 years of travel.

  • Liked — Location and beautiful outdoor scenes
  • Disliked — We didn't have a car so there was some loss of freedom, but the drivers we used were wonderful.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank UrbanRoadrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2008

This hotel was the highpoint of our one week driving tour of Ireland. It's proximity to the Cliffs of Moher was very convenient. The dinner in their beautiful restaurant was superb and was followed by a nightcap in their quaint bar/pub. (Very nice not having to worry about driving home after a few drinks!) Our room was clean, large, and comfortable....we slept like logs. The service was outstanding!! It was definitely a delightful splurge and we hope to go back one day.

  • Liked — Dinner and the private cozy bar
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank tiaanita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2008

We stayed at this guest house for a one night bed & breakfast and dinner special.

The guest house is located just below an old castle. The accommodation itself is of very high quality, for example the ceilings are very high up and all of the furniture is such high quality. We would recommend a four-poster bed room.

The staff are warm, welcoming and very friendly.

The food is quite simply outstanding.

  • Liked — The room decoration and food.
  • Disliked — Television needs to be updated to a nice big flat panel.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MunsterCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
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.
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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 #1 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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