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“Great location, traditional comfort, excellent restaurant”

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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Recess
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We much enjoyed a three night return visit to Ballynahinch Castle. It’s not actualy a castle but a sensitive conversion of a 19c country mansion in extensive peaceful grounds, which include its own river and lake. It’s a one hour drive from Galway and well located close to Roundstone and Clifden. A car is essential to take advantage of the location.

Ballynahinch is ideal for a huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ vacation but it’s also a pleasant home for walkers, those touring spectacular Connemara or those just seeking comfortable relaxation. The original building is nondescript from the outside but the interior is elegant in traditional style, with an open fire in the lobby and comfortable public rooms.

Room size varies. Ours was in the ‘new wing’, 200 m and 40 staircase steps from the Front Desk (all inside the building) and with no elevator - fine for us but not suitable for the unfit or handicapped. The room itself was oversized, with quasi-antique furniture, a comfortable four poster bed, excellent storage and a large fully equipped bathroom. We had a relaxing view of the peaceful river. The only downside was inadequate lighting.

The restaurant is excellent and has a great view. The breakfast is a stellar combination of a well-stocked buffet with an extensive menu of hot food cooked to order. Dinner was very good indeed, although the extensive prix fixe menu (à la carte not offered) was rather more than light eaters might look for. There are simpler alternatives in the bar area.

WiFi is uncomplicated and free and available throughout the hotel.

All of the staff we met were pleasant and efficient and the impression is of a well-managed hotel. Our one minor problem was dealt with quickly.

Ballynahinch is not cheap and would benefit from refurbishment in some places. But overall we thought it a quality experience and good value. Recommended, as both a base and a destination.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank globaltraveller200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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731 - 737 of 1,368 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

This was our first time in Ireland and our 3 night stay at Ballynahinch was the perfect introduction to the country. The customer service here was outstanding whether having lunch & a pint in the Pub or delighting in the dinner options in the main dining room. The staff even took the time to look up & print us detailed driving instructions to the Cliffs of Moher. Here is an excerpt from my Tumblr Blog regarding the food at Ballynahinch:

"After successfully negotiating the roads from Dublin International Airport to the lovely Ballynahinch Castle in Connemare, in a full size rental car and with a first time left side of the road driver, we were ready for a pint and some dinner. We ate in the pub that evening and had wonderful seafood chowder with the most amazing brown bread I have ever tasted accompanied by an incredibly fresh salad. The fish for the chowder had been caught directly off the coast not far from Ballynahinch and the produce for the salad was locally grown. Breakfast was wonderful with fresh pastries, bread, grains, cereals, cheese and smoked ham. You could also order eggs and other items from the kitchen. Our dinner the second night was in the main dining room at Ballynahinch and it did not disappoint. In fact, I got to taste the best Risotto of my life! I say taste as it was my husband who ordered it as his appetizer and a taste was all I was lucky enough to get. It was a Butternut Squash Risotto with Pine nuts and my husband performed a disappearing act with the Risotto that would have made the savviest magician stand in awe. Until this night, Wolfgang Puck had held the number one spot in my book for Risotto. No offense to Wolfgang but the Chef who created this dish is now crowned my “Risotto King”. I however made an outstanding choice of selecting the Goat Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus as my main course and although my husband had an outstanding Rib Eye he was jealous once he had his taste of my Tortellini. Dessert consisted of a Crème Brule Trio for my husband and a Pear Tart topped with Butterscotch and paired with vanilla ice cream for me."

We stayed in room 25, downstairs with a river view. The room had a large king size bed, sitting area and large bathroom. The rain shower head was great with plenty of hot water. The Staff had a wonderful welcome note & cookies awaiting us upon arrival. The lake and river trails were easy to walk and beautiful. If we visit again we will do so during fishing season. The common areas are filled with history and warmth.

Some reviews have rated Ballynahinch "down" for not having perfect paint or wall paper and other such cosmetic upgrades. But the rooms and other areas are very clean and stay true to the life of the estate. For us it was like visiting your family's country estate - like going home.

On a side note: be sure to take some time and drive over to Roundstone and the Connemare Smokehouse. On the drive out to the Smokehouse you will be treated to some excellent views of one of the castles belonging to the Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley - quite a figure in history. Take time to visit the pristine beaches along the coast. Just be careful of the sheep on the roads especially inn the predawn hours, as they come down at night to sleep on the roads in order to benefit from the radiant heat.

Room Tip: River view!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SandiegoBethany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We went for our honeymoon and it was wonderful. Open fires in the cold weather, armchairs to sit on and read a book, beautiful smoked salmon breakfast, scenery is stunning. Its well out of the way of everything so you will need a car to drive about and see other places. But we stayed quite close to home and loved it

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank andrewcaseuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Stunning grounds, lovely castle, delicious food combines to create a special experience.
Extensive wine list, locally sourced ingredients for meals. Fishing reputed to be excellent. Hiking trails extensive, well maintained. Gardens spectacular. Common rooms more elegant and special than guest rooms which appear to have been added. Best to have GPS to find as location bit tricky to find.

Room Tip: Luxury rooms better value and fit than suites where living room elegant but bedroom modest.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Margaret P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

we spent 4 nights in Ballinahinch castle with friends and would not have minded staying longer.
lovely house, very homely with burning stoves and comfy lounges.
our rooms were also comfortable,as were the bathrooms, if somewhat dated.
lots of hot water though, which is all you need after a long walk.
staff at reception and restaurnat, as well as the concierge later in the evening were lovely,friendly and very helpfull.
we enjoyed the cuisine,which was inventive and refined.especially the desserts were very good !!
we were amazed that the restaurant is not listed in the Michelinguide.....
allthough ballinahinch castle is definately not cheap, we thought we had good value for ou money and would absolutely come again when in Connmara.

Room Tip: ask for a room with a view of the river in the more modern part of the house
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank miekevenlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

This is a very nice property, but you're bound to be disappointed if you're expecting Downton Abbey. The castle is a real castle surrounded by hundreds of acres of beautiful grounds in a spectacular part of the country. However, there are probably too many hotel rooms for the staff to make it an incredibly personalized experience. THe staff is friendly and accommodating, but the 40 rooms are probably a bit much for the staff and the 2 public rooms (besides the entry, dining room, and pub).

The rooms in the main house are nice, but not spectacular. You don't get the sense that you're in a castle when you're in your room. The dining room is pretty, but the food is not so wonderful. The default is a 5 course dinner, but you can order a la carte.

The grounds are wonderful. Several marked routes for walking, and the adjacent stream for fishing.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nyctravelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My daughter and I were on a two week tour of Ireland, and we booked this through Exploring Ireland. I wanted to stay at a castle and since Dromoland wasn't available, I chose this one. I can't say it was an error, because it wasn't. The room was lovely, the grounds were wonderful for exploring (even on a rainy day) and it ws very nice, but it was a hunting lodge, not a castle. We ate in the pub which was more reasonable than the dining room and the food was great. The service was very good. It just wasn't a castle. Sorry Ballynahinch. I'd have adored it if I were a fisherman or a hunter. The scenery was spectacular.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank theloneexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Address: Ballinafad | Connemara, Recess, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Recess
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Recess
Price Range: $226 - $438 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury 4 star hotel located on a 700 acre estate with 48 bedrooms & suites overlooking the river, mountain or both. The Fisherman's pub serves lunch and dinner by the open log fire, dinner is also served in the award winning Owenmore Restaurant. On site, miles of scenic river & lakeside walks, bicycles to explore the area, fly fishing and clay shooting. Locally we have a boat trip from Roundstone fishing village which includes a trip to a deserted island & lobster fishing and great hiking. Connemara National Park, Connemara Golf Club and Clifden are all a short drive as is the ferry & airport to the Aran Islands. Ballynahinch Castle is the ideal base for touring Connemara and the Wild Atlantic Way. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Ireland/County Galway - Recess

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