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Review of Fota Island Resort

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Fota Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fota Island
Reviewed August 14, 2007

We reserved our rooms in November 2006 for a wedding in August 2007 by telephone from England and received emails confirming our requirements. When we checked in we were told that we had booked a double room and a twin with an extra bed, not two twins with an extra bed, and that we must have been mistaken. We were sure the mistake was not ours, however we did not make a fuss at the time as we did not have proof of our two twin room booking and the receptionist seemed to have trouble understanding us. The receptionist also said that the hotel was fully booked so nothing else could be done.

We had requested that the rooms be close together, but we had been allocated rooms on different floors, and were told that no other rooms were available. These rooms were almost as far away from each other as possible!

When we went to the room with the additional bed we found that it was just a camp bed, not suitable for a 14 year old to sleep on, (or what one would expect in a five star hotel!) , so he slept on the floor with just the mattress. Other guests with extra beds for children seemed to be better catered for.

As this was our nephew's wedding we did not want to make a fuss at the time, but we did leave comments on the express checking out form, and sent an email on our return home. We expected a prompt reply but have only received the copy of the bill and credit card slip in the post. Our email seems to have been overlooked.

We made our reservation nine months in advance thinking it would guarantee our family's needs were met, but the staff seemed to be operating on a "first come first served basis" - we arrived on Friday evening after many other guests and got the only rooms that were left! What is the point of having a reservation service?

Although the wedding reception itself was wonderful, and could not be faulted, we are disappointed that we did not get the accommodation we were expecting, and this did detract from what would otherwise have been a perfect weekend.


Our niece's family had to wait from 9:00am until 6:00pm with 3 children under 5 years old until suitable rooms could be found they had also booked some months before arriving.

In short, lovely setting, clean rooms, beautiful pool, individual staff very helpful (especially to my elderly mother) but an apparent lack of management in the reservation department.

Stayed: August 2007
Thank EssexGirlNorthernlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,150 - 2,156 of 2,237 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2007

my husband and i didn't stay in this hotel but got a present of a meal voucher for two for the cove restaurant. we were there this evening and if the managers of the sheraton fota island are reading this we just want to thank you for the excellent food, service, ambiance, and whatever else. we had a most enjoyable time. our sincere compliments to the staff in the restaurant they were so attentive and informative without being over bearing. thank you especially to the waitress who advised me to try the chocolate fondue dessert - it was to die for..... thank you for everything.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank aoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2007

Myself and partner stayed at the Fota Island Sheraton for 3 nights in July and had a wonderful time. We got a fantastic rate of 49 euro per person per night on the hotel website which was excellent value, especially as parking was free (and there are loads of spaces). The hotel is set in a well looked after private ground which gives it a feel of exclusivity and whilst we thought the hotel looked ok from the outside, it was the inside that was truly stunning.

The check-in area was very posh, with separate sit down check-in desks which was a nice touch. Our room was large, well designed and modern and the bed was absolutely massive and so comfortable. The bathroom was to die for, especially the huge walk-in waterfall shower which was great. Overall the room was fantastic and it was somewhere you enjoyed relaxing in, especially on a wet Irish day!

We didn't eat in the hotel, preferring to head to Cobh and Kinsale for food which worked out well since we had a car. We did however order breakfast to the room one morning and whilst it was expensive (at 22 euro each), it was a fantastic treat and we had more food than we could possibly get through (though we did try!).

All in all it was a fantastic stay. It would seem that the problems people are facing with the restaurant thankfully do not extend to the rest of the hotel.The staff we dealt with were all professional and courteous and we had no problems. I would definitely stay here again next time I visit Cork.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brad H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2007

Stayed here twice this year - in June for one night and July for 2 nights, both at the weekend. The welcome at reception was excellent on both occasions, the rooms were lovely, pool and spa were excellent and atmosphere was good. The location of the hotel is beautiful and being a car drive away from any other restaurant means that I would prefer to eat there. Unfortunately, this is where the hotel fails miserably. I can understand a busy breakfast time can be a bit chaotic but our lunch and dinner experiences were not far short of farcical in terms of service.

Some specifics:

1.Service in Fota Restaurant: On check-in, we were advised to book for dinner as the restaurant was busy. We booked a table for 8.30 via reception and confirmed this directly with the restaurant later in the afternoon. At the restaurant at 8.30, we were quite abruptly told that we were early, that our table wasn’t ready and that our booking was for 8.45. We waited 20 minutes in the bar before enquiring again about our table and were then shown to the table. The restaurant was certainly busy but all tables were prebooked so it should not have been the chaos it was. For example, after being seated about 10 minutes, three different people came to our table to take our order, each one stayed about 10 seconds before running off to do something else. Most aggravating. At the point where we were considering just leaving, one eventually came back and took the order. The staff "buzzed" around all evening but getting their attention was impossible. What exactly they were doing was hard to tell as service was appalling - wine and water bottles were taken away from the table and I observed other guests, including ourselves, who had to go and fetch their own bottles for refills, for example.

2. While the bar staff seemed very nice, the level of service was quite shoddy and inconsistent. We also had lunch there and again service was a let down - small but annoying things like asking the waiter for water twice before finally going to bar to get it myself.

3. Lack of senior staff: Both in the bar and the restaurant, there seems to be a lack of senior F&B staff who ensure the overall system runs smoothly. Service is haphazard as a result. Of a total of 6 visits to the bar/restaurant, only once did I see a manager keeping an eye on the bigger picture. In that case, he did a fantastic job of ensuring a very busy breakfast time went smoothly. I do think this lack of senior staff is the key reason for service being so consistently shoddy.

4. My expectation was that the hotel would be more relaxing than it was. Breakfast was noisy chaos each morning but more importantly is the lack of "quiet" zones to even read a newspaper - the foyer seating area is between the bar and reception so its quite busy and the bar area always seemed busy with kids or wedding guests (it seems to be a popular wedding venue but this didn't otherwise disturb our visit). The terrace is uncovered but would otherwise be an ideal area to relax and enjoy the surrounding countryside.

In summary, a fine place to stay but eating for either breakfast, lunch or dinner proved a taxing experience. I should point out that we didn't try the more expensive Cove restaurant but I do think the Fota restaurant and bar food prices justify an expectation of some level of service.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank SachmoIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2007

Had this hotel booked for a while, as a Starwood member Cork was not really on my radar until I saw a Sheraton hotel there (more points!) Once in a lifetiime trip to Ireland.....was a bit nervous reading some of the tripadvisor reviews, but kept the faith.

This hotel is simply amazing. Leave aside the exterior (Think Publix!) - it only helps to augment the experience once you enter the front door. What you will find is just pure luxury. Check in was sheer luxury - sit down desks with comfortable chairs!! Somehow we had booked a Smoking room, but James managed to fix this - every step of the way, he was there offering suggestions, fixing this, fixing that......an absolute credit!

Everything is first class - the room, the staff, the feel of the foyer - cant fault it. Anyone staying here - avoid staying on Sunday or Monday, as you will miss the Cove Restaurant. Having lived in New York for 40 years, I have dined in many outstanding restaurants, but I have never tasted food like this before, worth the journey itself.

Clearly people have experienced issues with this property in the past, but I was amazed to hear it was only a year old - give it time people!

I rarely travel outside the US - hotels like this make me wonder why!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jprsn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2007

Stayed here for a sat night in May with friends. Arrived after a lovely evening shopping in Midelton and found check-in easy and stress free. I stayed in a double room and loved it. It was comfortable and modern with everything you would expect in a 5 star hotel. My room was in the back which was lovely and quiet with mature tress surrounding a developing garden.
Dinner was in the fine dining Cove resturant and we had a wonderful time. Food, wine, service and ambience were perfect.
Didn't do breakfast but relaxed in the room until 12 and had a lovely chicken ceasar salad for lunch in the Amber Lounge for less than €10. At check-out there are 3 desks with seating so this speeds up the process and again there were no problems. I left feeling chilled out and I will be returning with my husband in the near future.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RominCork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2007

Oh dear where to start:
We reserved a package back in May that included 2 nights B&B, some Starwood points and access for two to the Hydrotherapy Suite. A week before we arrived, my wife called the hotel to confirm the reservation and she was informed that it just included the rack rate as we booked over the internet. So, after several phone calls later - the hotel got back to us and told us that breakfast was included.
The hotel looks impressive, although it was a very empty carpark, and we were greeted by the staff. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.
We were shown around and then brought to our room, luggage arrived promptly. The Rooms and bathrooms are fantastic.
Dinner was booked for the Fota Restaurant - it was very quiet. We ordered wine and the meal was only OK. After the waiter filled up our glasses - they brought the bottle away but forgot to come back with the bottle - we had to ask for them to top our glasses up, that's just not good enough.
We went down for breakfast (10ish) and a table needed to be made up for us. No one explained that it was self service - where to get coffee, toast and so on. They had ran out of OJ and eggs and had to ask for them. Also, had no napkins at the table.
I queried our booking at reception again and they knew nothing about the points or Hydotherapy - I had to bring my laptop down and show the package that we had booked! - I got the passes.
My wife did have a slight accident during our stay and the staff were very helpful.
We thought it prudent to eat in Cork on the 2nd day as it's only a short journey by car.
I would also recommed ordering breakfast in the room as you have more options - only adds 3 euro to the bill.
The room was missing face cloths and slippers (they would be useful to walkk down to the spa). The Hydrotherapy Suite was very nice experience but 25 euro each would be a little expensive. During our stay, the owners were flying in by helicopters - I can't help but think if they spent that money on the more staff and on better training - it would be well spent.
On leaving the hotel - we thought it was a pity that the hotel seemed so quiet as it is obvious that so much money was spent on it. The management and staff were very friendly and it just needs a few tweaks to make it a world class hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Colmfarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $135 - $308 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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