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“charming service great food”

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Ardtara Country House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Upperlands
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh Scotland
Level Contributor
79 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“charming service great food”
Reviewed 7 May 2013

Arrived on a Saturday afternoon to a charming welcome at this late Victorian mill owner's mansion for a one night stay. We had been warned on booking that the only room left ( 6) was a tad on the small size but not overly so, the marble lined bathroom (with window) was spacious enough and the mainly Victorian style furnishings were appropriate. It also faced to the rear, the better ones are to the front and main side. Generally throughout the hotel the soft furnishings are showing their age slightly - this is from the late 80's school of Country House Hotel furnishing. We had a drink before dinner in the bar / sitting room which could do with a few more comfy armchairs.
The restaurant is a paneled room to the rear with a large roof light. The menu was interesting with 5/6 choices a course and the food excellent. We started with an amuse geule of Leek & Truffle oil risotto and this set the par for the remainder of the courses and at £35 a head to include fillet steak - good value. The wine list has some interesting bottles and some are still fairly priced we enjoyed a good 2007 Barolo. We had a comfy night's sleep and a fine breakfast - the food and service are what makes this guest house / hotel worth a trip. The manager Valerie Fearnon is a real sweetie and she always remembered our names and all the staff were charming, it is rare that I really feel the necessity to leave a tip at a hotel but this was one that I did.

Room Tip: Keep to the rooms on the two front facades
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mmedin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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English first
Bangor County Down
Level Contributor
59 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2013

We had not stayed at Ardtara for perhaps eighteen years! Our memories of an excellent place to stay were confirmed fully. Beautiful setting and decor, attentive friendly staff and outstanding food. Both dinner and breakfast were memorable. Interesting quality wine selection.
Room well equipped and bed exceptionally comfortable.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tangotangocharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland, Indiana
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013 via mobile

2 night stay. Room on small side.. Furnishings cheap in bedroom with smell of cooking from kitchen below on both morning and evening of stay.. On plus side dinner was faultless from start to finish. Breakfast menu not extensive with no home baking or croissants which I would expect in a country house hotel!
Staff friendly..we enjoyed our stay. Would not go again unless I could be assured of better bedroom.

Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Crowsfoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holywood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

Booked the hotel at short notice, the drive up to the hotel is very pleasant with lots of rabbits in the grounds. We were greeted and the door and the check in was smooth and personal. The rooms are like a walk back in time reminiscent of a period drama. Our room had a canopy over the beed and fireplace, it was huge. The bathroom was well equipped. We booked the 5 course dinner package. The menu is not very extensive, about 4 or five different choices for starters and main course. The wine list was extensive. The restaurant is in an old billiards room with hunt scene on the walls. Service was excellent and we retired to the bar for coffee. Breakfast was ulster fry with a choice of cereal and fruit. A very relaxing stay and a great place to get away from it all in the country.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sombochris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walferdange
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2013

Ardtara is a nice place and the staff were friendly but I did not find that this place was of a standard that merits a bluebook status when one considers the high standards set by other such hotels throughout Ireland. The location is nice but nothing special. There is a housing estate a short walk outside the front of the hotel, whose grounds were small and you would have to drive if you wanted to stretch your legs in a pleasant setting so it isn't a place where you can simply leave the car for the weekend and enjoy the surroundings.
The house is nice. It maintains a vintage feel and has all the usual comforts blended in nicely but I couldn't help but feel that there was very little privacy and it couldn't be described as cosy. The dining room was very poor. The windows had no view giving the room a somewhat stuffy feel. It might be nice as a winter setting but I was very disappointed with this part of the hotel. The food was good, but nothing special.
The room was very dark and had a slightly ominous feel but it was very spacious. Again the view was to the back of the hotel, like the dining room, giving it that dark feeling.
This place may well appeal to others but having taken a risk on going somewhere new we thought it was a safe bet as it is listed in the bluebook which we have always found to have outstanding hotels listed. I was very disappointed and would not return, however I would like to say that the staff were very good. It just wasn't for us.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BillyTheFish77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2013

Love Ardtara for a beautiful dining experience. Service, ambience and food all great. It's always a pleasure to eat. Have already booked again for this month. If you are in the area try it. Rooms look great but regrettably have never stayed.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mise17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2013

We had a lovely one night stay at Ardtara. We had a garden view room which was bright and comfortable. Dinner was among some of the best food we have ate. Enjoyed a good nights sleep and had a lovely breakfast. Overall our experience was good and we will be back.

Helpful?
Thank chrissieme13
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Additional Information about Ardtara Country House

Property: Ardtara Country House
Address: 8 Gorteade Road, Upperlands BT46 5SA, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Londonderry > Upperlands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Upperlands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ardtara Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
“Most Romantic Country House Of The Year” (AA Award). Ardtara is an elegantly restored 19th-century manor house, situated between Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Coast. Once home to the Clark family, world-famous linen makers, Ardtara is now widely regarded as one of the finest country house hotels in Northern Ireland. The nine bedrooms are spacious with high ceilings, modern en-suite bathrooms, deluxe king-size beds, charming antiques and original grand (working) fireplaces. All set in the privacy and tranquility of eight wooded acres. Ardtara has also been selected as a “Fodor’s Choice” hotel, has Four Stars from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and is a member of the Ireland’s prestigious Blue Book hotel guide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ardtara Country House Hotel Upperlands
Ardtara Hotel Derry
Ardtara Country House Upperlands, Northern Ireland

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