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“Not Impressed”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Jackson's Hotel

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Jackson's Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Stockport
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

We spent four nights (July 29th – Aug 1st 2013) at the Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey in Room 141 (in the older part of the hotel) and we were not entirely satisfied with our stay. It was part of the Shearing’s Northern Explorer Tour. There are quite a few things that we liked about the hotel – the foyer with its open fire with the pleasant smell of wood smoke permeating the air, the large clean bedroom, the comfortable bed, the excellent porridge, the excellent sweets including strawberry cheesecake, Banoffee cheesecake, apple crumble and chocolate fudge cake. We found the staff helpful and friendly. The location of the hotel close to the Drumboe Woods with its excellent walks and closeness to the shops make it an ideal place to stay.
However there are a number of things which resulted in our overall dissatisfaction with the hotel. We got a bad first impression of the hotel when the luggage handling on arrival was slow and one of the cases was sent to the wrong room.
The service in the restaurant for the evening meal was unacceptably slow to serve three courses and coffee July 29th 1 hour 15 min, July 30th 1 hour 52 min, July 31st 1 hour 49 min, Aug 1st 1 hour 20 min. I expect to be in the restaurant for no more than an hour and that this is not an unrealistic expectation was borne out by the fact that the receptionist in the hotel who was inviting us to a function in the hotel expected us to be only an hour having our evening meal. The quality of the food in the main part of the meal was not up to the standard I expect from a four star hotel, the chicken was fine, the pork was fatty, the Tagliatelle was sloppy with tough asparagus, the garlic bread was soggy and hardly tasted of garlic, the baked plaice contained more skin than fish about one table spoonful of fish in total, the carrots were fine but the broccoli, cauliflower and green beans were not cooked enough.
Only one electrical socket for TV, kettle, hair dryer phone charger, battery charger etc. (This is in fact a non compliance for a 4 star hotel Failte Ireland regulation 10.4G). There were a number of other things about the room which although not worthy of a complaint create an impression, the dated décor, the 2” gap on the bathroom door which had no proper fastener, the inordinate length of time it took for the water to run hot in the bathroom, the poor water pressure in the shower, the view of leaking gutters from the window, coming back at 3pm in the afternoon and finding the room hadn’t been cleaned, the impression it gives is this is not a four star hotel. From numerous other similar comments on Trip advisor I am not alone in getting this impression. Comments from management like ‘if you were not happy with the room we could have moved you to another room’ and the assurance that ‘we are a four star establishment, approved and accredited by Failte’ do not dispel the impression.
I read 50 reviews of the hotel on Trip advisor for July / Aug 2012 and the last 50 reviews for this year 2013 and there does not seem to be any significant improvement although now most complaints get a reply. It is obvious that the people who rate the hotel excellent are staying in the newer part of the hotel and those who rate it terrible are mostly staying in the older part. One criticism of the newer part of the hotel is the noise from wedding functions (regulation 4.12 B for a 4 star hotel requires that there is adequate insulation to ensure that the noise transmitted does not interfere with the comfort of other guests within the hotel.)
The slow service in the dining room for the evening meal could be rectified by the right kind of staff training and better organisation. Having some element of self service such as a carvery is often favoured in a lot of hotels with a considerable improvement in the speed of service.
Although we had no complaints about the service at breakfast I can see potential problems in the method of toast production and the fact that the cooked breakfast is not self service this is borne out by some of the other reviews.
I was not impressed with the small comment card with its ratings of Excellent, Good and Fair, it almost smacks of just being compliant by checking customer satisfaction without being passionate about doing anything to improve it. A card with ratings from 1 – 9 with plenty of room for comments would have impressed me more.
In conclusion the Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey is in fact two hotels if you stay in the newer part you will have a better experience than if you stay in the older part but you will have to pay more for the privilege.

Room Tip: Stay in the newer part of the hotel in a room with modern décor over looking the river.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank drjohn030151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am delighted you enjoyed our lobby with open fire, delicious range of homemade desserts and that you found our staff friendly and helpful. It is also wonderful to read that you found our traditional room (141) large, clean and comfortable.

I do apologise for any delay in getting luggage to your room, we have taken this on board and will have additional staff on to help distribute the luggage of large groups quicker. We aim to create a relaxed and pleasant dining experience for all of our guests. Our banqueting team do not rush guests or clear plates until everyone is finished. It is disappointing that you didn’t find our food up to standard. We use only the finest locally sourced Irish ingredients, that is expertly prepared.

Regulation 10.4 is exempted in accordance with Regulation 21. Our banqueting suites fall under regulation 4.11 which we adhere to fully.

Thank you for providing us with your valued feedback, which we have certainly taken your feedback on board and will be used to improve our standards and service.
We hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back to Jacksons Hotel.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
County Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

When booking this hotel on line it was its four star rating and amazing kids club that it offered that made me choose it. We stayed for three nights. 4 o clock check in is a joke. Room was fine but dated. First nite our daughter went to the movie in kids club.the running times that ye advertise on the website is not what ye do so why the misleading info. It also says drink and popcorn for the movie which also not true cause when my daughter asked for a drink she was told to get water in the toilet. This is totally unacceptable. Hence my daughter left the movie. It gets better we arrived in the bar at 8o clock and asked for food, we were told that they were not doing food as the restaurant was busy. Half hour later a couple near us were served food. My husband went to the bistro and asked for a pizza as we had seen another guest get one and were also refused. We had travelled five hours to be refused food twice and ended up with tayto s. I did report this to the manager. I asked that he get back to me with his findings but only left vouchers in our room. We had a meal with our deal and I asked where would we be eating weather it was the restaurant or bistro and was told the restaurant was only for tourists.WHAT WAS I? . Sour milk for breakfast. What's with a 4slice toaster for such a big hotel. In the bistro asked for cheesy garlic bread. What I got was a pizza base with nothing on it. Sent it back and eventually got what I asked for. Overall a rubbish experience. Your website of the kids club is very misleading to families the running times are not what ye advertise so please update. Holiday ruined.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ollymcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Our movie night was moved by 1 hour (7pm – 9pm) due to requests from other families, we had notices up about this around the hotel, in the lifts and leisure centre. We apologise if you had missed this. Our entertainment manager who looks after our kids club has assured me that juice and popcorn is provided each night and that no staff member would suggest for a child to get a drink of water from the toilet.
I am also concerned as to you being refused food, we serve food until 10pm and even outside those hours we always try to cater for guests as best we can.
It is a pity that you left our establishment without highlighting any of the issues you outlined on Trip Advisor to a member of our management team.

We do hope you return to Jacksons Hotel in the future.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Ballybofey hotels

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

Can only say i have absolutely nothing negative to say about this hotels , rooms fantastic spacious modern , breakfast was lovely and staff went over and beyond what was expected, cleaning staff were bang on time, the leisure centre there is fantastic there and very well run, bar there was a bit dead but you can expect that in most hotels, however was nice and relaxing, the restaurant food menu is just right and we decided to eat there each night with my partner there,will be back again for the christmas period for sure the kids santa program looks perfect for a family get away, i do travel throughout ireland to various hotels although never normally rate on this site however on this occasion i felt compelled and i can honestly say the atmosphere and customer service there is next to none , congrats to a very well run hotel from Paul and Elena

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PolMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a pleasure to read about your recent stay at Jacksons Hotel and I am delighted that you shared your experience with other travellers on Trip Advisor.

I am delighted you are returning to us over Christmas for our Santa’s Hotel and we look forward to welcoming you again then.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

Booked for one night in Jacksons hotel, cheap, clean and cheerful....cant complain. Ate in the bistro and food was to a good standard.

Although the hotel was in Donegal which is beautiful location there was little to do and see within a close range.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ev1610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for reviewing Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. I am delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us.

Based in the small town of Ballybofey with the main street just a few feet from our front door, located just 20mins drive from both Letterkenny and Donegal Town with ample amenities and visitor attractions located in the area.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Jacksons Hotel in the future.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

Booked through axa breaks which i have done before and had great experiences, unfortunately this hotel was an extreme dissapointment. We checked in and headed to our room and what we found was a bedroom which was extremely basic, bare and no character whatsoever definatrly not 4 star. Also most importantly the cot i had requested at time of booking was missing. I rang down to get one brought up. We waited an hour, still no cot so decided to head for dinner on my way down stopped by front desk to ask again! After dinner we arrived back to the room and was surprised to find after 4 hours no cot had been been brought up. 3rd time lucky i rang again and eventually we got one.

The room itself was poor quality, my 1 year old found a dirty jelly tot on the floor, there were hairs on the bathroom sink, one of the bathroom doors didnt close properly or lock which proved challenging to try and keep our 1 year old out of. We couldnt even use the wardrobe because the handle was so old and sharp and it was more dangerous than anything. The matresses dipped in the middle which provided a very uncomfortable sleep, and the skylight didnt even have a blind which proved challenging to get 2 children under 5 to sleep in such bright evenings!

We had dinner in the bistro the first night, i ordered a homemade chilli burger which was dry and falling apart because it was reheated and definately not fresh. The bistro had no atmosphere and just felt more like a ymca dining hall, than a restaurant.

The breakfast was just ok, the woman serving the hot food seemed to lack interest and kept putting things on my plate that i hadnt asked for, when i asked her to take them off she seemed surprised. The staff were very unprofessional, they had there shirts tucked out and dirty uniform.

On check out, we were not asked did we enjoy our stay or if everything was ok for us, the girl at the desk was so disinterested she didnt even say thanks to us for staying.

Thankfully we will never stay there again nor would we reccomend it!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank emmahg12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

It is with great disappointment to read your review of Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. It is further disappointing that you left our establishment feeling unhappy and failed to highlight your issues with a member of our management team. Our standard rooms are extremely popular with families as they are spacious and located near the leisure centre and main reception. Should you have wished to upgrade to one of our Deluxe rooms we would have been happy to assist.

I do apologise about the delay in delivering your cot, when booking through a third party guest requests can sometimes get misplaced during communication. It is unfortunate that you didn’t let us know of your dissatisfaction with your room during your stay, we would have been happy to provide you with an alternative.

Our bistro is designed by Barry Britton and is themed in the style of a country tavern. Can’t quite see your YMCA connection, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I feel if you had brought your issues to our attention during your stay with us you wouldn’t have felt the need to write about the ‘worst family break we’ve ever experienced’

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to Jacksons Hotel in the future.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

I stayed with a friend and on arrival due to the way I booked I didn't order a twin room, the receptionist was lovely and tried to get us a room in the new section but alas there were was no twin beds in new section so we settled for old section. to our surprise the room was spacious, clean, and had perfect tv, shower, etc ( room view wasn't good, but I don't stay in an hotel to look out the window, I am well able to walk and find a good view :-) ) after reading the reviews I was dreading staying and encountering staff.......... however we found ALL the staff to be so friendly but under a lot or pressure and were so short staffed which were not their fault - something needs to be looked at from management level. we ate in the bisto bar both nites, both nites staff were very polite and informed us there would be a 45 minute wait, which indeed they did keep to and came to look for us after the time, however each nite it still meant there was a wait of over an hour before we got food after that which was a wait of one hour and 45 minutes at least. however we can not and will not fault the staff about this as they were working hard and it was clear they under pressure and the food was VERY slow coming out of the kitchen, but on the plus side, food was FANTASTIC on both nights and we could only take the opionon that the kitchen was short staffed as well. we went down to breakfast on the first day and were directed to another room, I felt so sorry for the staff, they were so nice but couldn't cope with the amount of people and a toaster had broke so took away a member of staff to make the toast ( I don't mind self service in breakfast, we get what we pay for, and this is what we got, but the poor staff had to keep running off to get stuff that the buffet was let unattended, not their fault as if a customer asks you for something, you have to get it) we decided to order breakfast in the room the next morning to avoid this and it did.. SO overall, we found the hotel really nice, old and quaint, food was beautiful and STAFF were great and so friendly BUT so so overworked in the bistro, kitchen and morning service, so to management PLEASE KEEP YOUR EXCISTING STAFF but please hire some more for the busy season, :-) if you do this we would be back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Katrina05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. I am delighted you found our standard rooms spacious and clean. It is an absolute pleasure to read your comments about our staff members. They do work extremely hard to ensure guests needs are catered to and have gone above and beyond during our busiest season. We have taken your feedback on board and will definitely use it to improve our service.

Looking forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Armagh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

Stayed with friends for weekend and can honestly say hotel and rooms were immaculate. All staff very friendly and welcoming. Had a meal in restaurant which was great and reasonably priced. Don't understand some of the negative comments as I could not find any fault with the hotel over the weekend. Very centrally located and close to golf course. Views from bedroom overlooking river were fantastic. No hesitation in recommending hotel to anyone. Well done Jacksons.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steve b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am thrilled that you enjoyed the recent wedding that you attended at Jacksons Hotel. It was an absolute pleasure to read your review and thank you for the positive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey
Jackson's Hotel Ballybofey, Ireland - County Donegal

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