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“The Great Escape”

Ballykealey Manor Hotel
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Ballykealey Manor Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballon
Reviewed 10 May 2012

When deciding on a day out last Sunday my wife spotted a post regarding the Pointer Setter Dog Show at Ballykealey Manor Hotel and being canine enthusiasts we decided to go along. We had never been to the Hotel before and were not sure what to expect. Not only did we enjoy the Dog show despite the odd damp shower but when we went inside the Hotel for our lunch we were pleasently surprised and enthralled. At first we thought it all looked a bit grand for us but no sooner had we stepped into reception but we could feel totally relaxed and at home. The staff in the dining area were friendly and helpful and the food was excellent. My favourite was the dessert which was Bread & Butter Pudding. I could not resist as I had not tasted this since my own poor mother many moons ago had made it for me. It was even better than I expected and I applaud Ballykealey for their wonderful menu and friendly and efficient customer service. After lunch we took a nice relaxing walk around the grouds and felt as they we were transported into another world. When we returned home we both felt relaxed happy and refreshed for the week ahead and can assure you we will be making many more trips to Ballykealey in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Foodlover186643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (71)
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57 - 63 of 71 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2012

Ballykealey country house looks so inviting, the setting so lovely in the midst of beautiful trees and wide expanses of grassland. The building itself is very attractive and the dining room has a relaxing even enchanting atmosphere. A number of us visited there for Sunday lunch recently as we understood that it had recently re-opened for business. On this note, we were willing to be impressed with their renewed efforts in a time of trading when all the stops need to be pulled out, especially when a business is running in the countryside. This was not to be! The service was haphazard and un-coordinated, portions of food minimal. As a party of six, we received 2 small dishes of tasteless vegetables, plus 2 soupbowls (!!) of very mediocre mashed potato. Our veg arrived when we were almost halfway through eating our main courses. There was a very long delay between courses. In general, the food was of a poor standard and presentation. My own dish (pan fried cod with lemon butter, I had asked for the butter to be served separately) arrived swimming in a pool of the butter was seasoned so heavily with salt it made my eyes water! it was a pity because it was probably the best dish served that day with a very nice salsa served underneath the fish. Another of our party received a cremated chicken breast (crumbed!!) with a half roast potato which was also cremated to point of blackness. Salmon terrine (as a starter) was unlike any I have ever eaten before, and do not wish to again.. Mushroom soup served with a pastry cap received a good response from some of the other guests.The bread served in a basket without a napkin to line it, spread its crumbs over the entire table. A simple cup of tea proved to be a new experience, indescribable to all who tasted it but it did look and taste very like green tea.. As I was an invited guest, I made no complaint. However, I really hope that the general standard there improves, Ballykealey has so much potential..

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Pukkatea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballykealey, General Manager at Ballykealey Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2012

I acknowledge your recent Experience at Ballykealey Manor Hotel and thank you for taking the time and trouble to give us your feedback on Tripadvisor.com.

It is very important to me that our guests have a good experience throughout the entire hotel and I cannot offer any excuses to you if we failed, in any way, at what I believe we do best. The least you should expect from a hotel such as ours is to be served in a professional and efficient manner at all times and I am sorry that this was not the case. May I take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience we may have caused you and I assure you that it is certainly not the norm here. I have spoken in length with my Team and although, it may be of little comfort to you now, I am certain that no future guest will have to experience such a poor standard of service.

I hope to welcome you back to our Hotel in the near future and look forward to meeting you personally once again so that I can extend you every courtesy.

Assuring you of my personal service at all times,
Ian Farrell
General Manager
Ballykealey Manor Hotel
Ballon
Co. Carlow
Ireland

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

this so called hotel was the worst experience i have ever had in a so called hotel. i was attending a funeral meal at this hotel and the first thing i noticed was the delay in serving the people ,then we as a party of four had to go search for a table and chairs,
the food was prepared the day before and reheated and cremated in a mircowave oven,
any time we asked the staff for assistance we were greeted with unapproving looks and one female staff who was pregnant really needs a few lessons in good manners.
the draft beer was undrinkable and the barman proceded to shut down the bar at 7.o clock pm. when some people enquired about rooms they were told that the bedrooms were unavailible even though the hotel was empty. the hotel is now only open at weekends SURPRISE SURPRISE

Room Tip: dont bother
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank martin k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2010

After recently staying in what could only be described as a dream venue I felt impelled to share my experience! Living 5 mins away from Ballykealey and eating there most Sundays I hadn't actually taken the time or had the occasion to stay in the hotel prior to my friends wedding there. From start to finish our experience was one I wasn't expecting, every guest was made to feel welcome by the extremely friendly and attentive staff. Food and drink was abundant from the moment we arrived from the ceremony! The reception staff were so warm and helpful! It was a rather large wedding 250+ and everything went off without the slightest hitch. The only complaint anyone could have would be that we were so full! Our room was cosy and so tastefully in keeping with the period of the house! I felt like a princess for the night and I wasn't even the Bride!!! I couldn't recommend the place enough and have to say I am shocked at some of the reviews about this hotel, for one thing anyone who couldn't appreciate how hard it would be to heat and maintain a house that is over 200 years old has no appreciation for historical buildings and I also have to say the owner was the most down to earth man I have met in a long time and he had time and a word for everybody there. It was so refreshing!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank TravelTemptress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2009

Stayed one night recently for a wedding. Room was freezing. Two radiators on all night but you could not heat this old house. Mold on the walls. Shower just a dribble. Food poor. Avoid if you can.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Westkerry1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2009

Firstly has anyone noticed the hotel name is actually spelt incorrectly on this site? Its Ballykealey Manor Hotel...anyway! What an amazing hotel-we attended a friends wedding there in December- The staff were fantastic at looking after all the guests-during the meal they were continually topping up our food and drink! The hotel was lovely and cozy with fires blazing and fairy lights lit all over the hotel. Our room was cozy with a great four poster bed! Next morning they looked after everyone with breakfast-even though who arrived an hour late!! Definitely recommend this hotel-loved it!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Smairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2008

I attended a family wedding in Ballykealy recently. I actually live about 10 km away from this hotel. . I booked a room for the night of the wedding as we didn't want to worry about taxies and we also wanted to be with family for the next morning.

My husband has an ongoing illness, and unfortunatly, he became unwell early in the evening, and he NEEDED to go home.
I went to reception to cancel the room, and the owner was there.
He was the rudest, most unhelpfull person i have ever met in any hotel in any county. He insisted that i couldn't cancel the room without paying the full price of 150 euro , he suggested that I stay tthere on my own , while my husband went home anyway.

His reason was that he could'nt afford to lose the 150 euro, even though he was getting a five figure sum fir the wedding and all the other rooms were booked by wedding party. The prices he was charging for drinks at the bar would soon make up the 150 euro. He told that if I went home and did'nt pay forn the room , he would charge the bride and groom for the room.

After pleading with him for 10 to 15 mins, he conceeded and said I could cancell the room.

This hotel has (had) a brillent reputation for weddings , while under different management, and you have to travel far to get a better venue for a wedding. The grounds are fantastic and its a great pity that the ower dos'nt get another great manager and leave it to him to run. The meal was adaquate, desert was a disgrace, and it he dos'nt do something soon , the hotel will start to loose bookings. I could carry on writing more negitives about the hotel , but I have spoken to other local people who use the hotel and they are saying the same negitive things as myself.

I would not reccomend this hotel for a wedding.

Stayed: July 2008
5  Thank duckettf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballykealey Manor Hotel

Address: Ballon, Ballon, Ireland (Formerly Ballykealey Country House Hotel)
Region: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Carlow > Ballon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballon
Price Range: £77 - £137 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Ballykealey Country Hotel
Ballykealey Manor Hotel Ballon, Ireland - County Carlow

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