Close friends were getting married at St. Patrick's Church in Mohill in July 2008. Given the tourist season in July, I contacted Marion Maloney of the Glebe House eleven (11) months in advance to secure booking for a large party of eleven (11) adults and one child.
My wife and I have traveled to Ireland on numerous occasions, only staying in B&Bs. In all, we have stayed in over fifteen (15) B&Bs throughout Ireland from 2006-2008.
I can honestly say that the Glebe House was the most unfriendly B&B I have ever stayed in. I was caught off guard after only positive, friendly and welcoming experiences in B&Bs in the past.
Given I had secured these accommodations so far in advance, I was not expecting any problems. However, upon arrival, Marion advised my party that the house was short one double ensuite room which forced my wife and I to stay in a room with no shower and two twin beds despite our advance booking for a double ensuite room.
My wife and I were on holiday and wanted to enjoy ourselves and simply accepted the room with the promise from Marion that we would be able to move the following evening.
From a customer service perspective, I expected Marion to take more responsibility for the individuals in her establishment. My party was providing Marion almost EUR 1,000 within a 48 hour span. At one point, I believe she went as far as saying "What can I do?" I expected a more conciliatory effort from our hostess but was not afforded that luxury.
Upon my personal checkout, I inquired if there was a price difference per person between a double ensuite room and a two (2) twin bed with no shower facilities for our first evening in which we were pushed to a room that was not the room we had booked. She said that there was not, which I was disappointed in but accepted as I did not want to cause any problems. At this point in time, my experience at the Glebe House was "sufficient." I was happy to continue our travels and be on my way.
However, Marion was not pleased with my inquiry and chose to continue our conversation further. She said "There is no price difference but I made ALLOWANCES for the phone calls you made." With such a large party, we did need to make various local phone calls to local taxis (less than 7 in total) to coordinate travel to the church and reception.
Once again, from a customer service perspective, with the amount of money that we were providing to Marion for our stay, I did not expect in the least such a curt response. In my opinion, it was a complete lack of respect and I was insulted. I laughed the comment off, signed my receipt and headed for the door.
Marion must have sensed my complete disapproval and caught me at the door, giving me EUR 20 to, as she put it, "buy yourself a coffee."
In addition to the above hassles, the house ran out of warm water one morning during our stay and two (2) guests had to shower in ice cold water. Throughout the entire weekend, during our face-to-face encounters with Marion, she was quite short and unfriendly. It was such a stark contrast to our previous, overly friendly hosts in other B&Bs around the country.
I was thoroughly disappointed with my stay. So much so, I was embarrassed for coordinating this stay with the other members of my party, which included my parents, friends and friends' parents. I was especially embarrassed as this was the one and only Ireland B&B experience for some members of our party.
Upon departure, we all agreed that while the Lough Rynn Estate would have cost us more than double per person per night, it may have been worth it to be treated in a friendly, courteous manner and not be demeaned for inquiries.
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