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“Not 5 Star...”
Review of Fota Island Resort

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Fota Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fota Island
Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not 5 Star...”
Reviewed January 30, 2014

It's almost a year since my visit to this hotel and it has been playing on my mind since.
My fiance and I took a weekend break here as a mid year treat. I was told the hotel had to be experienced, so I booked it.
We had a nice welcome at reception and our room was average,but clean.
We had dinner in the restaurant that evening,which left us unimpressed. The piano playing was most irritating after awhile as the key never changed.The menu had a poor selection and was way over priced!The water that was poured for us was completely cloudy in which I had to call the waitress, she apologised and changed it for us. The starter my partner had was fine,but both our main courses were so disappointing..Bland. I didn't opt for a dessert,my partner had the black forest gateaux,which was dissected into something not resembling a black forest gateaux. We expressed our disappointment to the waitress upon leaving.
In the hope of bettering our experience we went into the bar for a few cocktails. For a Saturday night there was no atmosphere in the place. Eventually a band started up so we looked for the bill. To our shock the cocktails had cost €11each..we had 6 between us! When I queried the barman he told me that the price changed at the weekends..that was the icing on the cake for me.
I skipped breakfast, but from what I hear it really was lovely.
Upon check out we did expressed our disappointment in the meal,just to hear a sorry about that. Also as I was paying for the bill,there was a charity donation on the bottom in which I hadn't been consulted about. I have no problem in donating to charity, of course I did,but the fact of the matter is that it was assumed and never even mentioned to me.
We have stayed in several 5 star hotels in Ireland and abroad and this really doesn't live up to it in our opinion. We even couldn't see the 5 stars wrote up anywhere which made us doubt it even more.
Unfortunately an overall disappointing and expensive trip for us.I doubt we'll ever go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathleen425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns.

I am delighted to hear that you had a good experience at reception, but I apologise in regards to the rest of your visit. Our restaurant and bar often receive rave reviews, so I am disappointed that your experience did not live up to your expectations on that occasion. I hasten to add though that we have undergone huge changes in the year since you stayed. Our new owners are investing in all areas of the hotel and resort and have many exciting plans for the island, one of which came to fruition recently with the announcement of the Irish Open returning to Fota for the first time since 2002.

We hope that you will visit us again, and give us a opportunity to improve the impression you were left with. Again, thank you for your feedback.

Warmest regards,
John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by a very friendly porter who directed us to reception. They are very unusual reception booths! Very nice. The lady who checked us in was very pleasant and helpful and made dinner & afternoon tea reservations for us, noting was a problem.
The room itself was pretty basic, big bed, tea and coffee making facilities but not a sign of a biscuit! Mini bar was empty. No wow factor. The bathroom was the best part with lovely waterfall taps and large walk in shower. I was very surprised and disappointed that the corridor was so squeeky and noisey.Thankfully our stay was midweek so hotel wasn't so busy but I'd imagine that at a busier time it would be very disruptive of a good nights sleep.
We tried out the pool and thermal suite.We were kindly shown around where all the facilities were and then left to try them out. There were swimming lessons in a sectioned off part of the pool and in the open section were little kids splashing and diving with nobody policing it and the parents just sat at the side watching. We couldn't swim for the fear of getting knocked out by a pool bombing rogue child. Thankfully we did have thermal suite passes where it was a lot more relaxing, great variety of facilities.
We went for afternoon tea and the only thing I could fault was the fact that the tea was not real leaves.The staff were very helpful and couldn't do more for us. The food was delivered and explained,the selection was fabulously fresh,tasty and impressive. great job!
We went for dinner that evening in the golf club,service was faultless. We had full 3 courses for 2ppl inc a bottle of wine and coffee's and the bill came to approx 100E. You have to get in there early as they stop serving food at 6pm. The venison starter was AMAZING!
We had drinks in the hotel before bed and the small pub bottle of white wine was €7.45 which I think is on the pricey side, if you plan on having a few it would prob be best to buy a large bottle.
The breakfast was fantastic, Great selection. The staff were so helpful and offered to make fresh squeezed juice. The fruits we so fresh and delicious homemade muesli pots were also available. The cooked breakfast, even though it was on a buffet it was certainly not left to dry out. Scrambled egg was yum!
Overall our stay was great from start to finish, a couple of little things as pointed out above but overall we were very satisfied, we'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LadyElma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
We are truly appreciative of your warm comments and feedback.

I am always delighted to learn of our guests enjoying our services and facilities. I am glad you enjoyed your greeting at reception as well as your time in the Clubhouse, and that you had the chance to avail of our spectacular spa facilities. I am disappointed however that you were unable to enjoy your time in the pool. I apologise for the inconvenience, but I am happy you were able to benefit from our magnificent thermal suite. I have forwarded your concerns on to the appropriate staff members.

Thank you again for taking the time to submit your comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Warm regards,
John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balla
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I was attending a wedding at the resort and stayed overnight, my only mistake was I didn't stay longer. The staff were welcoming and attentive without being intrusive. The food was excellent and the room was comfortable with a lovely bathroom. Hope to avail of the spa on my next visit.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FaelaMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. I am delighted to hear that you had an excellent stay.

I hope you will visit us again soon and that you’ll have the time for our magnificent spa facilities.

Kind regards,
John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Just returned after our first overnight stay in Fota, a big disappointment, receptionist was very warm and welcoming on a miserably cold and wet day and the gas fire in the lobby was lovely but after that nothing great! Rooms are very poor, more like a typical 3 star hotel. The sheet on the bed had black marks on itThe hospitality tray was mediocre, no biscuits or snack of any sort. The bathroom is large and the walk-in shower lovely. Washbasin drain was partly blocked and should have been noticed by housekeeping as it started to fill immediately water was run and then gurgled when it did eventually drain. The creaking of the floors both in the room and all along the corridors was ridiculous in such an expensive hotel, not too many people walked along after 10.00 at night but if hotel was busy it would have been a very disturbed sleep.
Food choices were very poor, an expensive dinner in the restaurant or a packed bar area that was very noisy. Ended up getting to the golf club just in time for a 6.00 cut-off to place order. Food mediocre and service hopeless, we appreciate it may have been a busy Sunday but this is where the Irish Open is to be held later in the year!!! Breakfast had a great buffet with everything we have been offered in other 5 star accommodation. The only problem was we had a 'full Irish' and the sausages,bacon and soda farls were obviously being kept warm for a very long time! The scrambled eggs were delicious. The service was excellent and all the staff were friendly and looked after us well.
The swimming pool was ok, couldn't find the thermal pool and no staff around to show us so gave up and went back to our room. The thermal suite is signposted but could only find the loungers, tepidarium and steam room.
If we had been using a Living Social voucher we would have had a much better deal than just bed and breakfast and the hotel would have had less than half the money they were paid for our voucher which I find very disappointing.
Go to Castlemartyr, Muckross Park or Ashford Castle instead, would personally recommend any of these other hotels, they are 5 star!

Room Tip: No idea if there are any, maybe one of the suites might be 5 star.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bevsept
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
I am very appreciative that you took the time to submit your comments and concerns. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your time in reception; however I am disappointed that the rest of your stay did not meet your expectations.

I apologise that your room was not properly cleaned and maintained. I have forwarded on your comments to housekeeping and maintenance. I also apologise that you did not enjoy your time at the restaurant and bar, but I am happy to hear that your breakfast service was more enjoyable.

I hope that you visit us again to give us a chance to change your expectations of our service and facilities. I have forwarded along all of your concerns and feedback to the appropriate staff members, as we are always striving to improve upon our guests’ experiences.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Kind regards,
John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

We recently stayed here for one night. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by a very nice receptionist. It went downhill from there.
Our room on the first floor was ok, certainly not a 5*. There was damage to the skirting boards around the bathroom and it looked a little shabby, no mini bar etc. There were some complicated controls to turn on and off the tap in the bathroom which one would need a degree in physics to operate. Everytime we turned on the tap, we and the floor were soaked!!

We ordered our evening meal, lamb rogan josh, from room service and waited over an hour. What arrived were two plates of grizzle with some lamb attached. An awful dish, practically inedible. I could only eat a small amount and went to bed hungry.
Informed the receptionist the next morning about the tap. No apology.

We paid 99 euro on pigsback for the stay and I feel that because of this we were given the worst of everything.

The only saving grace was the staff tending the reception and room service. A very disappointing stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Shocath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

I am glad to hear that the reception and room service staff were helpful and friendly during your stay. We are always delighted to hear these comments, and I will pass on your compliments to our reception staff. However, I am disappointed to hear that your room and your meal were not up to your expectations. I apologise for this, and have passed on your concerns to the appropriate staff members.

Thank you again for your feedback and your comments which have been taken into consideration. I hope you will visit us again so that we can have the opportunity to exceed your expectations.

Kindest regards,

John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2014

We are a young couple and stayed in Fota Island Resort for a weekend getaway. We really enjoyed it, and recharged batteries for working weeks ahead. I especially valued the spa/pool (hammam design is great, as well as the huge and multifunctional hydro-massage pool).

More good points - bathroom is enormous, beds are also huge and comfortable, surrounding well landscaped with some cute little hikes around the golf course, breakfast amazing - especially the possibility of fish (kipper!) for breakfast, as well as the afternoon tea in the Amber Lounge. Also room service was very prompt and thorough.

Just one or two minor things to improve - ie. service in the Fota Restaurant for dinner was very slow (it was a busy day and they didn't seem completely prepared). Also, the ravioli spinach dish was disappointing. Our view was average - towards parking, but we didn't really spend much time in the room anyway.

All in all, really enjoyed this hotel and would prob. come back even more often if they were closer to Dublin :) Will still consider it the first choice for spa/relaxation retreats within Ireland.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank romano011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
I am delighted to hear that you had an enjoyable weekend stay. We take pride in our extensive spa services and luxury rooms available. I am glad you enjoyed the grounds of the resort as well as the food and beverage service you indulged in during your stay.

I will certainly pass on your concerns to the restaurant staff regarding your dinner service.

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel, and we hope you will visit us again for your future relaxation retreats.

Kindest regards,

John O’Flynn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limerick, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2014

This was the second trip to Fota for my daughter and myself. On our first day we went to relax in the Thermal Suite. On our return to our room there was a message to phone my husband urgently! Seemingly my granddaughter had locked herself out of the house 65 miles away and the only other key was with us. The Spa had been rung but omitted to check for us in the Thermal Suite or pool. (We were in the Thermal suite for 2 hours). If we had been told in time, we could have given the key to my husband who was getting the bus back home from Cork that evening. Because of this, my son in law had to do a return journey of 130 miles to get the key from us. I explained what happened to both main Reception and Spa Reception the next day. Both apologised and said they would find out what happened. Nobody got back to me and I again spoke to Reception on checkout. Eventually the Spa manager came to talk to me. She was very nice and apologetic for what she agreed was a terrible inconvenience and has e mailed me to say that she spoke with the member of staff involved and that he admitted that they only checked treatment rooms and not the Thermal Suite. I had signed in when we arrived so he only had to look at book to see I was there!
My point is that someone should have got back to me during my stay to explain what happened and why!
On another point... The shower seemed to block when I used it and water spread all over the floor. I slipped on it, though did not fall! Jolted my neck though (which I had just had massaged) someone with limited English came to mop it up and fix blockage but did not seem to understand what had happened to me. I had explained what happened to Reception when I phoned down but I felt they were a little dismissive also.
Other negatives for us were the unavailability of food in the bar after 7pm. We had had afternoon tea and were not up to eating a big meal. Would have loved something light, like soup or a sandwich but we would have had to eat in our bedroom if we wanted a snack at 8 pm. I feel a 5 star hotel should offer their guests this facility. We settled for nuts with our drinks in the end!!
Bar staff were lovely and friendly.
We enjoyed the Spa and our treatments and our meal the first night.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yob1553
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fotaisland01, Manager at Fota Island Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your stay at the resort.

I am delighted to hear that you chose us for a second visit, but I am disappointed to hear that your stay was not up to your expectations.

I apologise for the confusion within our Spa reception. I will make sure that the Spa staff have resolved the miscommunication issues and I have also passed on the rest of your concerns to the appropriate staff members. We appreciate your reviews and comments, as these help us improve for future guests.

I hope you will find the opportunity to visit us again. Thank you for your feedback.

Kindest regards,

John O’Flynn
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 Fota Island Resort

Property: Fota Island Resort
Address: Fota Island, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Cork > Fota Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fota Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fota Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fota Island Hotel & Spa is one of Ireland’s finest five star resort properties. Just 15 minutes from Cork City Centre, 20 minutes from Cork International Airport and 2 hours from Dublin, it offers 131 bedrooms and suites overlooking the surrounding 800 acres of woodland and championship-standard golf courses. Tennis, running trails and a world class spa - with 18 treatment rooms, swimming pool, hydrotherapy suite and 24-hour fitness room - are just some of the many leisure facilities available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fota Island Hotel Fota Island
Sheraton Fota Island Hotel
Sheraton Cork
Fota Island Sheraton
Sheraton Hotel Cork

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