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“Back again at beautiful Ballynahinch.”

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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Recess
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Due to pressure of work for my husband, holidays of more than a week or 10 days have had to take rather a back seat over the last year. So when our plans for a long haul trip were shelved recently, we compromised on a couple of long weekends and so we made our second visit to Ballynahinch this year. We were just looking to be able to relax in comfort and enjoy some good food and drink. Ballynahinch ticks all those boxes with style!
We had a suite, in fact the same room as on our last visit No 41, (Derryvickrune!)
The room is lovely (detailed description in my review earlier this year.) The only disappointment was that the wi-fi (free) only seemed to work in the bedroom and not in the sitting room.
We were extremely lucky to have dry weather and were able to get out and visit our old haunts.
Our 4 night stay included dinner in the restaurant on 3 evenings. (We ate in the "pub" on the other evening.) We always forget just how good the food is in the restaurant! The Saturday night was perhaps one of the busiest nights we've experienced there, and unsurprisingly the service was a little slow. I was keen to have the local lobster featured on the menu, but unfortunately, although it was listed each evening, it wasn't available.
Breakfasts were, as always, fantastic.
All in all a lovely relaxing stay, the perfect place to recharge the batteries!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mrs Picky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 - 715 of 1,368 reviews

Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is a beautiful old castle/hotel in western Ireland. The staff is very courteous and attentive. While rustic, it represents the best in Irish hospitality. The property itself lends itself to strolling and beauty. It is ideally located in Connemara with its beautiful scenery and authenticity.
The food was wonderful and the dining areas are both beautiful and well-staffed.
AND, if you are into fly fishing, this is the place for you. Visitors come from near and far just to "wet a line".
We would return in a minute.

Room Tip: Ask for a room (any room) that faces to the stream. Then leave the windows open.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Edward H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Stayed for a wedding. What a location . Beautiful countryside, fabulous river walks and heaven for salmon and trout fishing. Open log fires when we were there, food and service very good in the restaurant and pub (its very own) so almost perfect. We had a recently refurbished and spacious room so despite no phone working, a leaking tap and no hot showers it amazingly didn't detract. If I had been paying the price asked of some of the other guests (€900 for one room for one night !!) this review might have been different. Definitely a place to come back to.

Room Tip: Overlooking the river.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Claughton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

Nestled on a river surrounded by lakes is a 16th century castle turned hotel. Lovely. Ask for a river view. Our room 8 was nice but you could hear the bathroom of the suite next door. Ask for something quite. Food was fantastic. Great trails and fun places to explore near by. So come on try it and enjoy a nice read by any one of a number of fire places

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Xionn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Arriving on a fine clear November afternoon, we got a friendly welcome from Jane and launched our "spoil yourselves" weekend with a relaxing "Tea & Scones" beside the fire in the lobby. This being a "repeat" trip to Ballynahinch, our expectations were high, and we were encouraged when we were allocated a familiar top-floor room in the newer wing.

We had booked a fairly early dinner, but couldn't resist an earlier visit to the Bar, where we were well looked after by the ever-courteous Peadar and that history & literature genius, Des.On to the Dining-Room to savour the delights of a Menu we regarded as much-improved in terms of both content and delivery. The venison carpaccio & duck foie gras Starters seemed to have spent a little too long in a fridge, but the pheasant wellington and 4 fish Special Mains were excellent (in between we sampled quite harmless caesar salads - the dressing seemed to come from an over-generous hand). Desserts (pear tart tattin + lemon cheescake) seemed quite good too - we accompanied all this with a fairly O.K. bottle of Pouilly Fume, and retired to the fireside for after-dinner teas. Surely a great start to our weekend !

Breakfast the following (and subsequent) morning was also very good. We renewed acquaintance with the personable and fascinating Brid - cainteoir o dhucas, lan sasta comhra a dheanamh as Gaeilge - and as with our other meals, service from the (mainly French?) waiters couldn't be faulted (young Matthieu particularly impressed us). One of our favourite items was the range of Breads on offer - the wholemeal and walnut varieties came tops in our view.

With the weather still favourable, our consciences dictated we should get some fresh air - a brisk walk around the perimeter of the estate made us feel much better - and as darkness descended early, we spent a few hours just reading and relaxing. We repeated our "routine" of pre-dinner drinks, a further enjoyable meal (the cashel blue terrine was pronounced "excellent" by M, my "Better Half") and the bottle of Californian Sauvignon Blanc was, to my taste, superb - even if our totally professional French waiter Regis was not exactly ecstatic at our selection of a New World wine !

Great food & drink, friendly and effective staff, impressive surroundings - what more could we ask ? Well, to be totally frank, we had one major problem throughout our stay : HEAT (or rather, the lack of it), apart from in the immediate vicinity of the extremely impressive Log Fires. For us this was an uncomfortably serious issue : for example, corridors were distinctly cool, the Dining-Room was VERY chilly (of course the place is draughty anyway), and the most extreme (Artic) temperatures were to be experienced in the Mens' Loo - Brass Monkeys would surely have scurried past this area at the rear of the characterful Bar! Worse, the shower in our room several times resisted our best efforts to extract warm (never mind HOT) water. Not good! Surely a "warm welcome" must include a bit of real HEAT?

Enough said about our pleasant but chilly return to Ballynahinch Castle. Before we left, we learned that the long-established American owners (who did so much to preserve and develop this entire location) have, at an advanced age, just recently retired from the business. The new owner is one of Ireland's must successful and highly-regarded international entrepreneurs, and we hope he will build on the major achievements of his predecessors, the Mason family. We are wishing no ill on the management or staff of Ballynahinch when we say we especially hope he "turns up the heat"!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gooner10_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was a great setting to start off our trip to Ireland. The staff was extremely helpful in getting our tolls situated and breakfast and dinner here were great. The rooms were well appointed with large bathrooms and comfy beds. I would recommend!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Craig M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This hotel really feels like stepping back one hundered years. Our bedroon was huge, over looking the lake, and the food spectacular. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere in the caslte, staff were very friendly and you were made to feel very welcome. The best part was going for a walk around the lake, it is exceptionally beautiful . I have to say that staying here was one of the highlights of the trip.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul L
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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