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“Below par”
Review of Jackson's Hotel

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Jackson's Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Attended a wedding reception here recently. Arrived at the hotel @ 4pm and checked in. Went to the appointed room which was not ready! Why appoint a room that's not ready? The housekeeper told us we could leave our bags which I wasn't entirely happy about but we needed to go. Room decor was dated, but the bed was comfortable. Lovely view of the river. Bathroom really jaded with lime scale stains on the bath, poorly stocked, no shower cap, not that I actually needed it because there was NO HOT WATER!!!! Totally unacceptable, don't care how busy the hotel was - that seemed to be the excuse for everything. My parents also stayed and had to ring for towels and tea and coffee supplies, although the cups were actually dirty, hadnt been cleared after the previous occupants. At the reception the lack of attention was unbelievable. Dessert spoons instead of soup spoons, wrong glasses used for the wine, no coffee because the waitress ran out and then didn't bother to come back. My husband having to ask for his soup because the waitress didn't bother to come back on that occasion either. Just really really poor service. Half the waiters just didn't seem to have a clue or care! No idea how it got a 4 star rating. Completely disappointed and won't be going back or recommending.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
5  Thank FoxyDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Marketing Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent review of Jackson’s Hotel, I appreciate that you took the time to write the review, as all feedback is vital in improving our business. I am very pleased that you felt the bed was comfortable. The hotel has 138 rooms in total, and in regards to décor, we are currently in the process of redecorating some of the rooms in the traditional part of our hotel, and hope to see this completed in the coming weeks. I am delighted you enjoyed the view of the River Finn which many of our rooms have, along with the Drumboe woods.

Regarding the cutlery, this is the first complaint of its kind that the hotel has received; the cutlery is of very high standard and quality, all sourced from the Newbridge range. The hotel provides each guest with 2 wine glasses, which are the commonly used glasses for all banquets. I would like to apologise regarding the service, we do have great staff here at the hotel, and many of the waitresses on the weekend in question were working between two functions. This is not the common standard at Jackson’s Hotel, and we do try our best to ensure every guest gets our utmost attention.

I would be delighted to speak to you in person, and discuss the matters above further, as this was not brought to my, or the management’s attention during your stay. Perhaps we can amend your thoughts about our family run hotel, and welcome your good selves back to Jackson’s Hotel in the future.

Kind regards

Moya

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965 - 971 of 1,506 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2013

Returned yesterday from a very regrettable weekend at Jacksons. From start to finish our experience was not only disappointing but eye opening as to what actually can go on in some hotels. I have worked in hotel management in 3, 4 and 5 Star hotels in Belfast for over 7 years and understand that problems do arise but as long as they are delt with in a professional manner by competent and trained staff things can run a lot smoother.
We paid 303 Euro for the Special Easter weekend. This included Bed and Breakfast on both nights along with one evening dinner and a room upgrade. There was also a kids club on for the children - which left much to be desired. The room upgrade was located in the new part of the hotel on the 5th Floor with a view of the back yard - what did we actually upgrade to??. The room was dated, with old and battered furniture, black marks all over the carpet and cobwebs all over the ceiling. I also noticed blood stains on the lamp shade. The bathroom was obviously a disabled room. With a seat in the shower, a sink that did not work (which left it very hard to wash bottles for my 4 month old so i could sterilize them with my sterilizer i had brought) It was room 509. We had specified that we needed a double bed along with 2 single beds and 1 cot. When we arrived to the room the door was lying wide open with only one double bed inside. We contacted reception, getting a response that Housekeeping had been very busy that day and that the extra bed and cot were on their way. An hour later 2 housekeepers came to the room with 1 double bed and a cot. They continued to set each of them up. And while one housekeeper was on her mobile phone the other cursed and fumbled with the bed. This angered me quite a bit and when they left then returned with the pillowcases i said to her i would put them on myself. Not wanting that sort of behavior or bad language around my 9 & 10 year old girls.
We then decided to go for dinner. Myself and my partner had the battered cod while the 2 girls had kids meals. When my partner received his 'Fish' we remarked to the waitress that the batter was missing the Fish. The girl returned with a fresh one but that was even smaller than the batter he has previously received. This was not my only complaint with the restaurant. On the Sunday morning at breakfast my partner received his fried breakfast to find that the sausages were cremated and uneatable and when he mentioned this to the lady behind the hot plate she became very defensive and reluctantly changed them. For the prices and service that is given this hotel should be ashamed of itself. It is not value for money, the staff have not a clue what they are doing (at one point i seen a girl circle the restaurant twice with our food in her hand not knowing the table number to bring it to - think she was new - which is still no excuse) and on the Saturday night we waited 45 minutes before our order was taken. I tallied up our complete spend in the restaurant the entire weekend and we spend close to 250 Euro. Big mistake! Anyone wanting a half decent meal - stay clear!
The kids club was very badly run. At one point my 9 year old came up crying to the room after their swimming session saying that one of the supervisors in the kids club had told her to 'shut up and get into the pool'. I seriously don't know what type of organisation this hotel are running but their staff are a big let down.
On Sunday morning at 8 O Clock i was awoke by the fire alarm going off. It continued for at least half an hour. This sort of thing is unpredictable and can happen anywhere. But there was no apology for waking up my 9&!0 year old along with my 4 month old baby. Even a courtesy call to the room would have been acceptable. Once again this falls on the staff who need immediate training in customer service. After checkout my daughters were hungry as they had been swimming that morning. We decided to try the bistro. Realising there was a carvery on we asked if it would be possible if we could have 2 Ham and Cheese sandwiches. This was no problem to the waitress we placed the order with. After 55 minutes of waiting for 2 sandwiches that never appeared we had had enough and left. Keeping in mind there was around 6 waitresses who continued to walk past us looking at our empty table and even after i mentioned to 3 of them we were still left waiting.
What is unbelievable this hotel was recommended by a few family members at being very family oriented, with exceptional staff and great service. Needless to say our experience was disgusting to put it bluntly.
I don't know if this hotel is not used to the high influx of guests they had over the weekend or that their staff just cannot be bothered. Either way i will most definitely not be back.
Word of mouth for hotels can be very beneficial but also very detrimental. Need i say more...

Room Tip: Don't book!
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank Sarabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moya C, Marketing Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for your recent comments regarding your visit to our family run hotel. We are shocked that you felt the hotel did not meet your expectations and as you outlined, we were very busy, although to the contrary we have had many great comments from guests who enjoyed there Easter break during the same period. We have reviewed your response and investigated the matters further; and we do completely do not understand that a member of our staff either housekeeping or the kids club, would speak in such a manner in your company.

For this reason, we would like to speak to you in person, and discuss this and the other issues further. I apologise profusely for the problems you encountered, I hope we can remediate the situation by phone call. If you could perhaps email me your number, I would be able to give you call directly. Our email is marketing@jacksons-hotel.ie and our contact number is 0749131021.

Hope to speak with you soon.

Kind regards,

Moya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

my husband myself and my two chdren arrived at the hotel Saturday march 31st at approx 5.oo pm. Greeted by lovely girl at reception. She gave us directions to our rooms on the 6th floor in the new building, The suites were beautiful and clean although we did remark that they were very cold,( never mind heating will soon come on). After about an hour in the room heating still had not come on so I checked that the radiators were to the on position. We went down to the restaurant to have a meal and I said to receptionist that the heating had not come on in our rooms, she said she would get it checked out. The hotel was quite busy so it was 10.30pm before we returned to our rooms after our meal. heating still not on so i rang down to reception they said somebody would be up to check it out. Half an hour later and a gentleman arrived with 1 small blow heater for 2 rooms!!!. I went to our other room and put it on for half hour then brought it to other room and put it on for half hour , not something you would expect in a suite in a 4* hotel.We specifically went for room only because after working 14 days at 6.20 am wake up we went to Jacksons to relax and have a lie in even though clocks were going forward 1 hour. At 7.40 am the fire alarm went off in our port of the building, again rang reception swithched offf after approx 15 mins, nobody from the hotel told us why or if we needed to vacate the rooms.Eventually got back to sleep. My husband got up at 11 30 and when he went to wash hish teeth , he put on the tap and was greeted by a DEAD INSECT FROM THE RUNNING WATER
I awoke again at 9 45 am the room freezing, put on blow heater for 15 mins then brought it to the other room .Rang down to reception, they said they would have it checked,My husband got up at 11 30 and when he went to wash hish teeth , he put on the tap and was greeted by a DEAD INSECT FROM THE RUNNING WATER My husband filled the sink and there was alot of particles in the water
I went down to reception at 12 noon the receptionist i spoke to said she was unaware of any problem with the heating in our rooms, I TOLD HER ABOUT THE FOREIGN BODY IN THE RUNNING WATER again said would get it checked. We had a beautiful view from our bedrooms overlooking a flat roof with felt on flat roof loose!!!!. I rang down to reception at 1 30 because i wanted to go to the leisure centre with my husband and kids ,i was informed by receptionist that somebody would be up straight away so at 2 45pm I headed down to reception ,this is when my reason for this reviw is.
I asked to speak to the manager on duty, an elderly lady in her mid to late sixties appeared i asked could i speak to her in private as i didnt want other people to hear, as the reception area was full of families with lots of enquiries very chaotic. I explained to the lady about the heating problem as detailed in my review, her first question was how much i had paid for my suites so I said it should not matter as there should be heating on anyway. She scribbled down our room numbers on an advertising sheet of paper but i noticed the she had put down the wrong numbers for our rooms and pointed it out to her Thats when the drama started with her She asked had i not got a heater which i said i did she then said so what is your problem so i said i did not expect this from a 4 * hotel she then said i should have asked for more blankets if i was still cold when i told her about the water problem she got so dramatic it was a joke she said she would prefer if we left her hotel , that was when i realised she was the owner, She then informed me that we should have paid on arrival which i never heard tell of before as we were paying by credit card the receptionist should have asked us on arrival even though they had all our credit card details!! She is the most dramatic woman i have ever met . When I showed her the glass that the dead insect was in she grabbed the glass out of my hand and got quite angry with me and very abusive with me I asked her not to speak to me in that manner when my 14 year old child was ther and her reply was Thats not a child .I am contacting the hotel federation of Ireland about this lady, so that is my experience 6th floor no heating dead insect in running water but worst of all the lady owner attitude.
She is too sweet (at front of house) to be wholesome!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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10  Thank jack2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from a 2 night stay in Jacksons at Easter with my wife and 3 children. We had booked the Easter family special of 2 nights bed and breakfast and one evening dinner. As always I checked Tripadvisor to see what the reviews were like and was a little shocked at the amount of negative reports the hotel received. I then asked friends who had stayed in Jacksons before and was advised to get a room in the 'new part' as the old section of the hotel was in bad need of repair. I phoned the hotel back and explained my concerns to the receptionist, requesting a room in the new part. I was told there were no rooms left in the new part but she would give me a family suite in the old section to which I accepted. My wife said that we would make the most of it anyway and not to worry, we set off for Ballybofey. We arrived at Jacksons around 4pm and joined a small queue at check-in. There was only one receptionist on and seemed to be checking guests in, answering phones and directing the cleaning staff all at once. She was seeing to everything though and not long after, we were on our way to the room. With all the corridors and steps it took us a while to find the room. Opening the door I couldn't help but think of all the bad reports the hotel got. Very pleasantly surprised, the room was large with two double beds and a single that staff were bringing as we entered. There was a massage chair and a large flat screen tv three sofas and a large bathroom and walk in wardrobe. We all were very impressed with the room indeed. After a lap of the town we returned to get ready for the evening. First let down was the water pressure and no hot water from the shower. Friends were staying two down and had the same problems with their water but we didn't let it get us down and had cool showers. Entertainment was quite good in the bar Sat night and the bar staff very efficient. Retired for the evening and slept well on good beds. Breakfast the next morning was just ok. The queue for the toaster was very slow and there were no side plates for the toast beside the toaster. (They came later) also I have mushrooms and potato bread in every hotel I stay in but strangely couldn't here. Took the kids to the pool on Sat and having lost our way a little, asked a member of staff directions to the pool to which she replied 'sorry I don't know'???? The pool was very cold but the kids loved it and had a good 2 hours entertainment there. My older son and nephew made good use of the well equiped gym. That evening again the shower wouldn't work so we showered down at the pool showers, a little inconvenience but did the job. Dinner in the hotel that night was fantastic. Food excellent, service great.(best meal we had in a while). In the bar that night a man sang on his own a good variety of tunes and again we had a very enjoyable night. Good atmosphere in the bar. Next morning breakfast was similar to the day before. Just ok. Back then to the pool for a while with the kids and then checked out quite efficiently. All in all we had a very enjoyable time. There were bouncy castles in the hotel Easter Sun and all the children received an egg from the Easter Bunny, these very much impressed us. Staff were polite and very helpful but seemed a little overwhelmed at times. The hotel in general needs a little up dating in places which in general lots of hotels do, but I can honestly say we will return. My wife was impressed overall and generally the good points vastly outweighed the bad. We got value for money. I dont think its a 4* hotel Although this is from an independant board and not the officiai Irish tourist board that i always go by as their standards are a lot higher, more 3*. I hope to return in Sep.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank ciarany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I have just returned from a 2 night stay at jacksons hotel we had a thoroughly fantastic time and the staff were exceptional from Marina on reception to Angela in the bistro they couldn't do enough for us. I also was thrilled as they had an Easter camp on for kids so my 7 year old son had a fantastic time on both days and it allowed a bit of retail therapy thank you to Eliza and the guys, would recommend anyone to visit my elderly and disabled mum and her sister had a fantastic time too x

Room Tip: I would recommend to book in the new part of the hotel and if possible get a river view
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Julie Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Re-visited since we had a good experience the last time. We were in a room with an air conditioning system,(or extractor) outside, quite close to the window, therefore you could hear it turning on and off 24 - 7. The window view was the inner yard of the hotel, this was supposed to be a luxury room. The TV was a real antique that had the picture size on the wrong ratio and the remote had no facility to change it. There was no toilet roll holder in the bathroom. Breakfast was at best average. Quite a few of the lockers in the changing room were unlockable although I did enjoy the swimming pool. Standards had slipped since the last time. The staff were OK , but only just.

Room Tip: Ask for one that has an outside view. Bring ear-plugs.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dylan1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

i stayed at this hotel twice in the last year and found the hotel really nice the atmosphere was warm and welcoming i stayed with my family and i son loved the swimming pool.I also stayed on a girls night out were i went to a concert in the balor . we enjoyed a beautiful meal in the hotel and enjoy a great night 'craic' in the bar afterwards the staff were very friendly and even remember we were up for the concert . I will be back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $69 - $148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey
Jackson's Hotel Ballybofey, Ireland - County Donegal

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