We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Santa magic!”
Review of Jackson's Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Jackson's Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Antrim, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Santa magic!”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Just returned with our daughter from the Santa experience, and we had a ball. The hotel itself is lovely and well done up for the season, but the real beauty of this hotel is the staff. I note another reviewer states "limited interest from some of the staff", we couldn't disagree more. The staff from reception, bistro, bar and the "elves" couldn't have been more welcoming and friendly, we were left in no doubt they had our comfort and enjoyment as a priority.

The Santa experience was lovely, my daughter loved meeting a real reindeer and the elves were excellent with the kids.

We ate in the bistro and the food was good, breakfast was extensive and delicious.

Our room was warm, welcoming and spotlessly clean.

We can't think of any negaives as it is a great hotel with real customer service, we recommend the Santa experience to families, and if you don't have kids borrow some and go anyway!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eshie57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Sales and Marketing Executive at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, December 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for reviewing your stay with us at Jackson’s Hotel. We appreciate the lovely comments you have said and it is always nice to hear that guests have enjoyed their stay. Our employees in all areas within the hotel are always spoken highly of and ensure the main priority is guest satisfaction. I was delighted to hear that your daughter enjoyed the Santa Experience, the reindeer is beautiful and many of the children love meeting it, both during the tour and also for its morning feed after breakfast. I am glad you felt the elves were helpful as they are extremely good with children and supervise them at all times. Also I would like to thank you for your positive feedback regarding our Ballybuffet Bistro and the Breakfast, which is prepared using fresh local ingredients.

Again thank you for taking the time to offer us your kind feedback. It was lovely meeting you all and I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you back to the hotel in the future.

Kind regards,

Moya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,479 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    428
    316
    246
    229
    260
See reviews for
438
626
22
58
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (450)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

Went to stay with family for santa. night was alright. kids enjoyed it. rooms very cold. swimming pool unbelievably cold... No excuse for this as it was weekend.
Used to go when child was young and had many a great stay.. very very let down... won't be back.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank hughie29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Sales and Marketing Executive at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Dear Hughie,

Thank you for your recent stay at Jackson’s Hotel and for taking the time out to review your experience with us. I would like to apologise for the heating of the pool, the day in question there had been an unexpected issue with the pool, which our leisure staff were directed to inform all guests. I am sorry to hear you will not return, however I can ensure that this occurred only on one occasion and is not the normal high standards we set out in our leisure facilities.

Kind Regards,

Moya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Ballybofey hotels

Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

A young couple in early 20s away for a 2 night stay! Clean, ish..basic hotel. I really don't think it deserves it's 4stars! Overall stay just ok, pool very disappointing, and VERY COLD, defo bring flip flops to walk about in and possibly a wet suit to keep warm. Steaks on the sat night were yummy, but waited 1 hour 10mins to get our food and then another 15mins for my side order. When booking this hotel book a room in the new part of the hotel and prepare for the long cold walk from reception! Beds were comfy!! :)

Room Tip: A room in the new part of the hotel is a must, more noise but worth it!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RM2012_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Sales and Marketing Executive at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay at Jackson’s Hotel and for taking the time out to review your experience with us. I would like to apologise for the temperature of the pool, although this is not the high standard which our leisure facilities are set, and from investigating this issue further there was a problem with the pool on the day of your stay as advised by our leisure staff. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the food; our garden restaurant and bistro prepare the food to the highest of standard using fresh local ingredients. I am sorry for the delay regarding your meal, am sure you were advised by the dining room staff about the waiting time given that it was a very busy weekend. Thank you again for your feedback, and I hope to welcome you both back to the hotel very soon.

Kind regards,

Moya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Went to Jacksons Hotel 24th November for santa hotel, it was awful.

As we arrived at the hotel we couldnt check in until 4pm and there was no elf to bring our bags to room as said. I realised that everything was quite loud as we arrived to our room e.g. floor boards, people walking by, air vent outside room.

We decided to go for a walk as the show didnt start for another hour or so, when we walked outside there was another event going on at the hotel, one which wasnt child friendly, it was a car rally. We had to make a dash to get across the road to get to the main street, the noise was unbeliveable. If I had known that this 'event' was on I wouldnt have booked for the same nite.

We went back to room in disgust of not being able to get a seat at the bar due to the crowds attending the rally. The show started at 6 we left our room at 5.40pm as we needed to be down at joes bar 10 mins before hand, we waited on the lift for 15 mins and ended up having to use the stairs, would have been ok but we were on the 4th floor with a pram. When arriving at the bar there was no sign of any other people from the santa show I asked at the bar were everyone was and was redirected to another room at the end of the bar where we couldnt get inside cause of the amount of people. I told my wee boy to go and get his hot chocolate and and marshmallows and he came back with cold milkshake. We followed the crowd outside as there was a treasure hunt, which didnt seem to happen. The elves were fantasic as they kept the kids excited though saying that for the price I was expecting abit more magic. We were then told that we were going to see the reindeers. We were all brought to a function room which had a set of stairs to get into, not so easy if you have a pram. Inside the bar was sectioned off into bits which had a sweet shop (mix ups only) toys and a santa letters. We were brought down another few stairs were there was a seats and and blanket and the ground for the kids to sit. Here a play started which was laughable from start to finish, santas arrival was a joke, he was suppose to come down a chimney, yeah rite! he fell through a curtain which my son commented on. I was expecting santa to look abit like santa, I mean for 169euro they could have hired someone with a beard, again my boy whispered to me I dont think hes real mummy his beard is falling off. I was really disappointed as my son didnt think it was real, this was suppose to be a magical experience for him.

I thought that we were suppose to go and watch the elves cook and we were going to santas shop were we could buy nice things, this was not the case. From the terrible play we were told were to go. First we went to see the '2' reindeers - not 2 though just 1 and 1 very small and which looked very frightened wee reindeer. We then had time on the bouncy castle which was way to overcrowed at one time there was 15 kids climbing on top of one another trying to get to the top the go down the slide. We then went to write santas letter but the time we went to post it the elf was gone so I told the kids that I would post their letter later. We went to see santa, everything went well presents looked good and photo looked beautiful, big suprise though that you couldnt get a photo unless you paid for it, the cheapest being 10euro, thought that this was a disagrace. We ended up leaving the main room and going out to the bar to get a seat by the fire like it said while are kids would be took away to watch a film, but unfortunately the bar was crowed still with rally drivers. At that stage we gave up and went up to our room. T

he room was really hot, we opened our window but had to close after a minute by the loud noise from an airvent (i think) outside our room. The kids were exhaused travelling all day and having the so called santa experience. The both fell asleep around 9 they tried their best to wait up as santa was suppose to call. We turned off our tv around 10, santa still hadnt called! I think our door knocked but wasnt getting up to answer it cause even if it was santa the kids were asleep and there was no point. Within a half hour of this the kids were awake due to the room above us, not the other guests fault but every single movement we heard it, it was awful. We kept jumping up through the nite thinking that someone was trying to get into our room. This has to be the worst nite sleep I have ever had and the kids were exhaused the next morning too.

Down for breakfast the next morning the room was still decorated from the nite before balloons up and banners. No table for 4 was cleaned would have excused this if it was busy but it wasnt it was 8am in the morning. Ended up having to sit at a table of 10. The breakgfast on the other hand was nice and the staff was lovely.

Checking out was no problem, no crowds. The girl on reception asked how my stay was and I really couldnt reply, I just said it was too much and for some reason I dont think that she was expecting my answer to be that, the look of shock on her face was priceless.

Overall experience - well there was none. The whole santa magical expericence wasnt there. If you want to pay 169euro to see a bad santa, which you have to pay extra for your photo and not sleep through the nite then this is the place for you but i wont be back. On the other hand the staff was lovely.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank angela m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Sales and Marketing Executive at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Angela,

I am disappointed to hear your recent review regarding our Santa’s Hotel. I would like to apologise to you and your family for the negative experience which you had, Jackson’s Hotel is a family run hotel and our mission is to cater for families in a fun filled environment.

As discussed prior to your arrival, check-in is always at 4pm, this enables our house-keeping staff adequate time to ensure all the rooms are cleaned. The car rally is a prestige event that is held by the hotel each year, and it is unfortunate that your booking conflicted with this. This was held in a separate area of the hotel, away from where the Santa experience was taken place.

There was hot chocolate and marshmallows given to all children, and I do not understand how this was not given to your child. If our elves were informed, they would have brought your son a hot chocolate as promised. In regards to bringing the pram up the stairs, there are other entrances into this room; however the Santa experience route has three small steps into it, which would not be difficult to climb with a pram, as am sure our elves would have been happy to help.

The function room, in which the Santa experience was taken place, has many areas for children, including the bouncy castle, play area, sweet shop, post office and Mrs Clause’s kitchen. Many of the children really enjoyed this before Santa’s arrival which parents have positively recommended. Regarding the seating area, the blanket was for the smaller children so that they could have a closer look at Santa in his grotto, along with his elves and sleigh.

As promised, there was Santa’s workshop, where the children could view some of Santa’s toys, and also Santa’s Sweet store where the children could purchase a variety of sweets. The elves could be seen mixing their ingredients for their Christmas cake in a large pot, which the children could contribute to. I apologise you that your son did not witness this. However, I was delighted to hear that you appreciated the presents. The photograph as mentioned is presented in a beautiful snow globe, which would be difficult for the hotel to provide free of charge.

In regards to your room, the hotel will normally increase the temperature inside the hotel when the weather is colder which was the case was during your stay.
I am disappointed Santa did not arrive at your room before the children went to sleep, although other children were awake as it was the weekend.

I am very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your sleep; unfortunately this may have been due to the rally and should have been brought to the attention of the night porter immediately.

Regarding breakfast, as it was 8am in the morning, set up staff will usually begin their shift around this time, however as there was a clean table I do not understand why this would affect your breakfast.

Again, if we were told of these issues when you were checking out, this matter would have been resolved quicker. ‘Too much’ can have both a negative and positive association, so our reception staff may not have understood you fully.

The Santa experience is a wonderful experience for children and it is unfortunate that you had a bad experience. Our staff is trained to a very high standard, and I am glad you were given the service that we encourage all our staff to provide.

Kind regards,

Moya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed here last weekend, my husband and I and we found the hotel ok. Our only problem was the noise in the room. I have never experienced squeeky floorboards like it, not alone in our room but all throughout the corridor, as people were passing by you could hear every footstep and conversation. Every step we took in the bedroom the floor creaked. I know we were in the old section of the hotel but unless you are a very heavy sleeper ie. in a coma, its going to be a problem. We could also hear the people next door.....very clearly.
On a plus side, it was one of the friendliest places we have been, the staff were very nice and friendly.

Room Tip: look for a room in the new section
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katmartyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We went to Jacksons specifically for the santa experience. The kids (5years and 2years) really enjoyed it all and I could see why. The elves were particularly friendly and helpful. My son loved santa coming down the chimney and seeing rudolf. My daughter loved the bouncy castle and the sweets santa had left on the bed for them. They were also delighted when santa knocked the door and came into the room to say goodnight. It was a great experience for us all. The hotel itself had a certain charm about it. The room was clean and warm, although did not have the wow factor that some other 4 star hotels have in Ireland.

Overall it was a great stay. The staff were friendly and it was very reasonably priced. Just 135 pounds for the night for the four or us with the santa experience and breakfast.

Another criticism was that the service in the restaurant was slow to begin with and then our plates were taken away just as we put our forks down! but it wouldnt put us off going back.

Room Tip: I asked for a room in the new part of the hotel, although I am not sure if it really was a new room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoMoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Tried to book a room at this hotel on 2 occasions and was informed reservations would call us back within 10 mins. I am still waiting a week later, if this is how they treat potential guests i would under no circumstances stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 28123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Marketing and Sales Executive at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

First of all, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to you on the delay in responding to your call. All reception staff are encouraged to ensure that crucial matters such as guest enquiries are managed correctly and followed through which has always been endorsed within the hotel. Although due staff error, on this occasion our acceptable standard has clearly not been met and therefore I apologise

We hope that by welcoming you back to the hotel, we will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the excellent service that Jackson’s Hotel are recognised for.

If you would like to pass on your contact details to enquiry@jacksons-hotel.ie, with your approval I will personally call you to apologise and ensure that your enquiry is met!

Kind Regards,

Moya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ballybofey
0.1 mi away
Villa Rose Hotel
Villa Rose Hotel
#1 of 2 in Ballybofey
1,130 reviews
0.7 mi away
Kee's Hotel, Leisure & Wellness Centre
10.5 mi away
Clanree Hotel
Clanree Hotel
#4 of 12 in Letterkenny
1,124 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
10.4 mi away
Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny
13.7 mi away
Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
10.8 mi away
Mount Errigal Hotel
Mount Errigal Hotel
#6 of 12 in Letterkenny
2,254 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Jackson's Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Jackson's Hotel

Property: Jackson's Hotel
Address: Main Street, Ballybofey, CO Donegal, Ballybofey, Ireland
Location: Ireland > County Donegal > Ballybofey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Jackson's Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 138
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the bustling town of Ballybofey, Jacksons Hotel is an award-winning Hotel on the banks of the River Finn and Drumboe Woods. Renowned for its hospitality and great food, Jacksons is the ideal base for touring Donegal and the North West of Ireland. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, HostelWorld, Priceline, Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire and HotelQuickly so you can book your Jackson's Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey
Jackson's Hotel Ballybofey, Ireland - County Donegal

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing