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“Wonderful getaway”

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Castle Leslie Estate
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Glaslough
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 9, 2006

Enjoyed our stay here in September when the weather was beautiful. We were allocated Desmond,s room which at first was a little dissapointing, but after settling in we found it airy with a lovely view over the lake and very quirky wet room with murals and coloured spotlights. The quirkiness followed into the bedroom where there is a bath in the room screened off with a luminous painted screen and the bed side lights are hillarious!
The whole castle is full of character and has very few electric lights so if you like plently of candle light as I do you will not be disappointed! The staff are so friendly and very approachable and dinner was awsome!
All of our courses were delicious and absolute works of art on the plates! Breakfast was so very relaxed and a wonderful choice to help yourself to as well as traditional cooked breakfast, a choice of porridges, pancakes etc
Would I stay here again............ absolutley!

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Thank Thelittleredcar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,550 - 1,556 of 1,582 reviews

Reviewed September 5, 2006

My girlfriend and I travel together internationally for equestrian riding vacations. It's important for us to have healthy, safe horses that are kept in a clean environment as well as interesting trails and riding options. Our second priority is a pleasant accomodation for ourselves! Our last trip to Seville Spain was pretty bad - room wise - so we did a LOT of research on the hotel choices for this trip. Neither of us insists on 5 star accomodations but clean, comfortable rooms are a must! I read the reviews on many castles and hotels in Ireland & Scotland on this TripAdvisor webpage. Through that feedback and other additional research, I axed several options and decided Castle Leslie sounded perfect!
Upon check in I was a bit put off since when someone did finally answer our buzz of the intercom we were simply let in and told which rooms we'd be in and were left alone to lug our 2 suitcases (each) up to the 3rd floor rooms. This after our 14+ hour trip to get there. Admittedly, after several minutes and during my second trip from my car, someone did meet my friend to carry up her 2nd suitcase. I was already on my way up to my room with my second piece of luggage. I had booked (and had paper confirmation) the Governess room and the Green room. My friend was in the Governess, as expected, but I was given Papa Jacks room. This was the ONLY room in the Castle that I KNEW I didn't want. (I'd visited their room choices multiple times via their web page) I sort of sulked for a few minutes but then decided I'd spent a lot of money on this trip and decided to approach them on options. They agreed to upgrade me to the Blue Room if I could sleep in Papa Jacks for two nights - since someone was currently in the Blue Room. I accepted that with delight since the Blue room is pretty awesome. The view is fabulous from that room.
In addition to the little room mix up - I have to say I was a bit leary about the Castle upon first impression. It's very dark and the antiques are in poor shape. Canvas paintings torn, tile in entrace dull and warn, carpets tatered, broken light fixtures, etc. I thought I had made quite a mistake in booking the castle. And the sleeping rooms I saw are equally worn. Antiques are nice, but I prefer antiques that are in good shape! Even the antique chairs in the stairways are torn! I can't believe they dont either recover them or hide them! The one ceiling light fixture in the Papa Jack bathroon was broke. The bulb was working but the entire glass fixture was missing! And one of the bedside lights in the blue room were not working either.
All that said........... after I relaxed a little with the knowledge that the beds were comfortable, the sheets and towels clean and the food good ......I felt better about our decision.
Another bit of disappointment was the cross country riding course. We were told prior to our booking that the Hunting Lodge and stables were under construction. However, they did not tell us that the course itself and most of the jumps were also being redone. This really cut down on the areas we could visit on horseback and the variety of jumps we could try. AFter having been to the castle, I now believe that the proximity between the castle and the stables makes for a lack of communication between the two groups so I can understand why the reservation person didnt know the jumps were under construction, too.
Ok - so that is a gripe list of dissappointments but I would list this trip to Ireland and Castle Leslie as one of the most enjoyable trips I've had. And, I do travel quite a lot. Their staff is great, the food is great, the atmosphere encourages meeting other guests over afternoon tea, the Leslie family is very eccentric and a blast to talk with. Ya HAVE to meet Jack! The riding team at the stable were very experienced and made testing our riding skills fun and safe! The horses were in great shape and they employeed horses that could handle all riding skill levels. There were a variety of jumps available even with the course construction. Plus, staying in a castle said to be haunted makes for interesting conversation over coffee in the morning! I slept with my bathroom light on every night! haha! And you will NEVER get tired of looking out your window at the beautiful Glaslough lake and the gardens!
On our last evening there, Sammie Leslie hosted a large (200 + people) dinner party to promote tourism in county Monaghan. It was amazing and romantic and wonderful. We were thrilled we got to take part in this event. I do believe we were the only guests booked that night. The following two nights were entirely closed to the public as Sammie was celebrating her 40th Bday and had all rooms booked for her personal friends. Anyways, it was on that last evening that the family gave tours of their newly renovated rooms in the basement. We never even knew there were rooms down there. These new rooms are as eccentric as the family themselves! They're new but strange!! :-) And even though they are in the basement many have great ground level views of the lake! Earlier in the day we were also lucky enough to get a tour of their new cooking school. That's not for me but I can tell you it is a state of the art set up! I'm sure it will provide a very nice experience for the gourmet!
And on a final note - you have to realize you are staying in someones home - these are their own antiques, their family history, there's no receptionist to greet you, no phones or TV, no check out area (do that well in advance of wanting to walk out the door!!), sometimes it takes a few minutes to happen acrossed someone working! So, dont be in a hurry if you have a question or need something!
So my final review is GO!!! Just dont be over zealous with expectations of a totally renovated castle. You'll have a lovely time!

Stayed: August 2006
9  Thank Milano333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2006

Had a very open mind when visiting Leslie..friends and media and tripadvisor reviews were all very positive and I wasn't expecting or had particularly wanted the 'Country House & Spa' luxury treatment . Unfortunately Castle Leslie is priced up there if even higher than the best. I accept that it was August bank holiday weekend when we visited and was prepared to pay high rates and put up with overworked staff and busy kitchens etc. I was looking forward to splashing out for 'something eccentirc and very different from the usual country house retreat' which i was lead to believe Castle Leslie was according to reviews and their own literature .
However I was not prepared for the following:
(1)Pressing an intercom on arrival and being greeted with 'Hello Castle Leslie' by a very friendly but inexperienced spotty teenager who didn't even know when the house( which is not that old) was built!
(2)It's guests (that weekend anyway) were mostly young people from Northern Ireland (I suppose sterling exchange makes it seem less of a rip off) dressed in Topman and Ben Sherman outfits..lots of Grant Mitchell lookalikes. ( I got a little nervous as i pulled into the carpark in front of the house which was cluttered with blingy SUVs and BMW's with tinted windows.) I thought that I was arriving at one of those new 'G Hotel' places.
(3) I would have loved a GnT before dinner but all they had was 'Beer or Wine' as I was told by a delightful wee teenage girl with orthodontic braces.!! Some guests were drinking Budweiser from bottles in the main reception room!
(4)We opted for the surprise menu (upgrade from 52 euro to 60 euro at you peril) and also the surprise wine menu(24 euro). I am shocked at the reviews about Leslie's fabulous food . My companion was brought 'Pistachio (sic) of Venision' ...We forgave the waiter (strong local accent) this one for it was the poor spotty teenager who greeted us so specially at the front door who was later doubling up as one of our many waiters. Why do chefs still serve venision in Summer? My scallops were lovely but the wine chosen for me arrived with my scallops now gone cold and it was a big red Bordeaux (with scallops) hmm..??? very eccentric indeed Leslie.
Nice little amuse bouches and what- have - you's to follow but then arrived a stinking plate of 'gone off unseasonal venison' as my main course! I love my game 'high' but this was awful ..it was tough so not hung properly ,smelled like Tesco's reduced Value chicken just as its turning. At this stage I was't even going to complain as I was tired and disappointed. I have to admire the middle aged lady who immediately spotted my sadness (perhaps it was the stink of rotten defrosted deer meat) and immediately removed my plate and asked me what would I like ..She was so nice that I felt compelled to continue with the 'surprise menu' ...the food and wine ,port sand coffee that followed was fine if unremarkable. The dining room is beautiful and has a lovely atmosphere but let down by inconsistent food and untrained staff on this occasion..what a pity..(The sort of food Mr Fearnley Whittingstall cooks up would be amazing in such a setting..)
(4) Off to bed then..very comfy with unpretentious blankets but would have expected higher quality non repro antiques (again to match the price charged). Lovely having no TV and phone and very quiet too..HOWEVER what is inexcusable was the dirty toilet...I love Shabby Chic but this was altogether downright laziness and unhygienic..dried brown splashes around the rim !!! And it doesn't take much to use a little carpet shampoo as the room had been recently decorated. ( Note no lockable doors either or had they just forgot to give us a key..it didn't bother us but some may find this strange esp. with all the SUV.blacked out window BMW's outside.)
(5) I still was willing to forgive Leslie all this until breakfast...Pancakes tasted of greenmould..juices possibly from ASDA and my cooked breakfast was a 'poached' egg that was basically just a dry overcooked mess something a student would attempt after a night on the town..Again I couldn't complain to anyone as the only person on wait was another smily teenager who couldn't be expected to take responsibility for such an awful fare.. ( Subsequently the same girl ,Irish and local accent,informed me that it would take 3 hours to get to Maherfelt from Leslie..it took 45 mins!!!)


Again all this 'quirkiness' (I am trying to be nice here) would be welcome change ,funny and perfectly acceptable for 100 euro a night (at a push) but we had little change of 500 euro for 1 night at Leslie...AND NOBODY EVEN SAID GOODBYE TO US..HAVE THEY NO MANNERS IN MONAGHAN.?
..No wonder Jack can afford to be off in Italy (laughing at his silly guests) for 6 weeks ....I suggest he put some of these high rates back into training his very young staff and keeping the place reasonably clean... Please don't get me wrong.. I love muck and wellies and dust and shabiness as long as its all in the name of authenticity and heritage but Leslie is just a very expensive ,dirty hotel you might come accross on a Victorian sea front in Torquay in the 1970's.!!!!
What a pity. Won't be back.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank conradok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2006

We stayed at Castle Leslie for 2 nights over the Easter bank holiday weekend. The setting is magnificent and there is a lot to do whether just strolling around the estate, going for a gruelling 2 hour cross country ride or relaxing fishing on a famous trout lake. There are no TVs and phones in the rooms and it does feel like you've left the real world. The food is amazing and a good wine list to compliment it. The extra touches are what make this place; we were left an Easter egg on Easter Sunday, you can have a tour of the castle by the owner, the bath is in the bedroom and there are amazing toiletries. Would definitely recommend this place - just make sure you take a good book!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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4  Thank ConfusedLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2006

We recently got back from a week long trip in Ireland and Castle Leslie was by far the best hotel we stayed at during out journey. It really makes you feel as if you have gone back in time. The rooms are all furnished so uniquely and much of the furniture is original to the family. The food was fantastic and the staff was so very accommodating.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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1  Thank ADRANAS3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2006

Stayed at the Castle for one night last June with my wife and both loved it. Picture of castle attached
Managed to time our stay with what was probably the best weather of the year and so grounds were in full splendour and ideal to take one of the boats for a row around the lake.

As stated by other reviewers the Castle itself is an eccentric mix of styles and contents. However very enjoyable to poke around in the drawers and bookcases as never quite sure what you will come across.

Food was great - afternoon tea each day out in the garden was a feast and the evening meal was delicious.

Stayed in Shane's Room - good size and the free standing bath is main feature. Great views out to grounds and the lake (see picture attached)

Few niggly things that took away from overall experience. For the price I would have expected the room to have some complimentary tolietries - certainly for a room with a bath as main feature some complimentary bath salts/foam wouldn't have been out of place. When I asked staff for some was told that there was none available.

Also owners of the castle are undertaking work on the estate to build holiday homes and other facilities and hence sight of construction work and fenced off areas took awaty abit from appeal of the grounds.

Overall though it was ideal for a short break and would go back again

  • Stayed: June 2005
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6  Thank Relyod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2006

Looking for style, panache, luxury and the chic? You've come to the wrong place. However, taken in the right spirit, Castle Leslie can provide to those with a keen sense of humour, a love of the past, an aesthetic spirit or merely delusions of grandeur an experience without equal in the British Isles if not Europe but it must be approached with care. If you're idea of the perfect break is to be pampered in a state-of-the-art spa before sauntering into a cool and sophisticated lobby for cocktails and retiring to a cutting edge designer suite then you will be in for something of a surprise.

At the outset it must be stressed that the Castle is not a "hotel" in the traditional sense. There is no glitzy reception with an ever so helpful concierge. The public areas (open only to residents) are an eclectic mix of superlative fine art and shabby tat. To stay at Castle Leslie is to step into someone's private home complete with eccentric relatives and same very bad taste in decor. Beside a glorious Della Robbia altarpiece can be found a host of tattered Persian rugs, sofas which like the children's character Bagpuss are a little loose around the seams and dusty modern prints all of which are often viewed soft focus under their shroud of dust. Having said that, this is as close as one can get to actually having the run of an Anglo-Irish estate. The Castle is a perfect repository of 300 years of one family's occupation and to stay therein is to be transported back to a stylish hunt party of the 1930's given by the local Irish squire whose family have seen somewhat better times but still manage to keep up the party spirit. Taken in the right spirit, snuggling up by the blazing fire in the drawing room after a superlative dinner served with old fashioned style in the splendid Dining Room and waited upon by the friendliest and most helpful staff I have ever come across is as close to heavenly as one could hope.

Every bedroom in Castle Leslie is unique, but this seemingly charming quirk can be a double edged sword depending on which room you choose. As a general rule, the rooms and suites on the first floor (with the exception of the Print Room which I find rather poky and uninviting) have the best proportions and many have perfectly stunning views across the "Green Lough" which gives the neighbouring village its name. The famous Red Room is by far the most splendid looking room and is an absolute must if you wish to stand proudly amid the jealous glances and admiring exclamations of your fellow guests as they parade in on one of Sir John Leslie's tours (be warned: the tour enters the Red and Mauve bedrooms on the first floor after breakfast which can rather embarrassing to those who have not tidied!). With its enormous Seventeenth Century four poster and spectacular bow window overlooking the lake, it looks every bit the fairytale castle bedroom. However in the cold light of day one might be forgiven for feeling that it is rather tatty around the edges. Furthermore, whilst the famous Victorian "Throne" in the bathroom, resplendent in red velvet and dark mahogany, looks nothing short of spectacular, the Victorian plumbing can give rise to some rather unsavoury odours especially in the summer. I find the Mauve room rather easier to digest.

The Green Room again has the superb looks of the perfect Victorian bedroom and is one of my personal favourites but the lack of en suite facilities (the bathroom being rather unhappily squeezed in under the main staircase across the hall) may prove beyond some. Many of the second floor rooms are accommodated under the roof of the Castle and thus have sloping walls and sometimes intrusive beams. I find Norman's Room (another pit stop on the morning tour) rather grim as befits its haunted status and it lacks the wonderful roll top baths found in most Castle rooms. I would also tend to avoid Anita's Room as the bedroom is again quite small and the bathroom (when one has recovered one's sight from the shock of the totally zany florescent orange paintwork) is a dreadful 1970's horror. The newly created Eagle's Nest Room is probably the most popular on this level and has a wonderful copper bath and its own lake-view balcony.

The new basement rooms continue the eccentric decor of upstairs though a couple (especially Sir Jack's Room) are quite conservative by comparison. The Room of Calm has a wonderful two-person hot tub underneath a colourful celestial light display but the room itself has no view whatsoever and is comparatively very small.

Overall, Castle Leslie if approached in the right spirit is one of the most magical places to stay in the British Isles and is utterly charming. The food (under the care of a former White House Chef) is absolutely superb and the staff are without doubt the friendliest and most efficient team I have ever come across and I cannot praise them highly enough. No request is too great or too strange and they are ever at hand without being at all intrusive or smothering. At Castle Leslie once one has become accustomed to the surroundings and has shed the sneaking irksome suspicion that Ms Leslie is laughing up her sleeve as she jets off to some exotic location, the stay becomes one of the most sublime experiences that could be hoped for.


  • Stayed: January 2006
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23  Thank kleyden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Leslie Estate

Address: Glaslough Village, Glaslough H18 RX05, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > County Monaghan > Glaslough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Glaslough
Price Range: $176 - $247 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Castle Leslie Estate 5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castle Leslie Estate, nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. Castle Estate is waiting to be discovered. Located in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, the Estate is only 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast. The Castle (20 individual guestroom), at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Lodge (29 guestrooms) is the social hub of the Estate and brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. The two bedroom Old Stable Mews and four and five bedroom Village Cottages are the perfect spot for families and groups that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private luxury home rental. Whether your idea of a holiday is a romantic retreat, a relaxing break or an action-packed adventure, there is something for everyone at Castle Leslie Estate. A host of activities are on offer including pike fishing for the nature enthusiast, a private cinema for movie buffs, exceptional walking trails for those who want to breathe in fresh country air, kayaking and clay pigeon shooting for the more adventurous, hot air balloon rides for those looking for exhilaration, falconry for those to experience nature up close, a fabulous spa for rejuvenation and of course the famous world-class equestrian centre which offers memorable horse riding holiday experiences for riding enthusiasts of all levels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Leslie Estate Hotel Glaslough
Castle Leslie Estate Ireland/Glaslough, County Monaghan

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