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“Overpriced Bed and Breakfast.”

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Ardtara Country House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Upperlands
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I see the other reviews on the website and to be honest only for the pictures of the house I thought I had stayed in a different house! Not sure when these pictures were taken but they no longer reflect the nature of this house. Four of us decided to stay at Ardtara house knowing it was a bit expensive. The rooms we got are dark, jaded and faded and needed to be completely striped and everything replaced. They could also get rid of the very large cobweb running from one curtain to another and send the cleaner to Spec savers. We just dumped the bags and off for the rest of the day. We had dinner that evening and yes the food is fine and what you expect. The shower's and TV's in both rooms did not work and when we were leaving the next day the Manager?? said that we should have told a member of staff about the Tv. When we explained it was at 12.20 am when we discovered it she just continued to say we should have contacted the staff. She did not comment on the shower's not working. The whole package is an overpriced Bed and Breakfast and to be fair I don't mean to insult the Bed & Breakfast industry. If I had may way this house would be stripped of any awards it has got in recent years. They most have got the awards from the pictures on the Web site. In this day and age if you are prepared to pay the high price you expect the high service and luxury. Keep away.

Room Tip: Look at other Country houses.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 - 145 of 295 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014

The snow was on the ground and we nearly postponed, but husband reckoned we could make it, so,off we set to Ardtara for the 1st time. Having parked the car we entered the warm and welcoming hall (complete with grand piano) where the friendly receptionist explained that because of the bad weather there had been a few cancellations and therefore between that and it being midweek we were the only guests-they don't know what they missed!! She then accompanied us to our room and when the door opened we were immediately impressed with the décor and furnishings (very much in keeping with the age of the house) the lovely fireplace and best of all the lovely welcoming fire (which was really nice when we looked out on the lawn covered in snow). The bed had spotless white bed linen and the bathroom (complete with slipper bath and separate shower cubicle) had lots of fluffy towels. Also good plumbing - really hot water! We had booked dinner for 7pm and were treated to a table laid in the small cosy room which is normally used as the bar instead of the cavernous dining room. As to our meal - where to start? A menu any 5star restaurant would be very proud of - 3 types of freshly baked bread and homemade flavoured oils were produced while we chose our meal -all starters main courses and desserts were unusual and delicious - can honestly say the best meal we have ever had the pleasure of eating!! After a great nights sleep in the very comfortable bed we made it down to our 'private' dining room to have breakfast. Bowls of cereal, jugs of fresh juice and yoghurt awaited us to choose from and another wonderful menu of breakfast choices to peruse! Theo (the very friendly, knowledgeable chef) was a mine of information and although husband is a toast and tea only breakfast man I can be persuaded to have something cooked! It wasn't easy but I finally decided on a scotch pancake (the size of a dinner plate but light as a feather) with fresh berry compote and Chantilly cream - I know what you're thinking - gorgous!!! Finally, we can only recommend Ardtara House as a wonderful experience from beginning to end - very friendly staff - thanks Valerie, Theo et al - warm, clean, comfortable with helpful, friendly staff. - What are you waiting for- get booking!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathleen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Better late than never we meet friends for dinner pre Christmas the meal was fantastic our waitress was FAB will be back soon.
The only downside was the pre dinner drinks Sorry no draft beer available for my friend who had the benefit of me as the non drinking driver in the party.
Three courses of the best food I had eaten in a while whilst writing this review I have decided to book for Easter as a treat and we will take a room this time save the drive home to larne

Stayed: December 2013
2  Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Just spent our first night at Ardtara. A fantastic experience. Just one night to relax, unwind and recharge.

We had a fantastic welcome from Nicola who showed us up to room 2. Garden view; 4 Windows; canopied bed; chaise longue; occasional chairs; great bathroom and living flame gas fire that Nicola lit for us. Spotlessly clean. Complimentary toiletries excellent and abundant

Evening meal was superb and breakfast one of the best we have enjoyed. Go for the food if nothing else. Fabulous.

Valerie very welcoming and her staff could not have done more to ensure our stay was just what we needed. To leave stresses behind and to just have a great night away. We so did!

Would recommend you try it.

Thank you Ardtara. Revitalised!

Room Tip: Garden view room.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JRogers55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014

My wife and I entertained a friend and her husband in the Ardtara's restaurant just before Christmas 2013. We were accompanied by our daughter who has autism with SLD. The welcome was a genuine Ulster one and the staff were quietly brilliant throughout the evening. The meal seemed to arrive just at the right intervals which allowed our party plenty of time to converse easily and naturally. Our daughter was really at ease all evening and our friends are looking forward to a future visit to this gem of a restaurant.
Thank you Ardtara.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We stayed here in December.

Here are the positives:

The location of the property is lovely, set in vast grounds.
The service is excellent, Valerie did her very best to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
Lovely romantic atmosphere.
Food is good (but see note below)
Good wine selection
Good selection at Breakfast

The negatives

Overall, this hotel is tired and really does need some TLC.
Poor WIFI reception and mobile phone reception from rooms.
We read that the hotel has had excellent ratings in the past and it certainly has the potential of being a fantastic venue. But the rawards that have been given date from the 1990's and it appears that little has been done to maintain the property since then.
Whilst the food was good, it wasn't excellent and didnt quite step up to the mark of "fine dining". It was also a quite expensive meal and not great value for money. My partner has been here a few times before for dinner and the standards of the food seem to deteriorate slightly each time which is a great shame.

Overall, we would stay here again as the location is lovely and the welcome is warm, but there is room for improvement. We would love to see this venue brought back to the standards that it once held.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Weered75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

We visited Ardtara on Saturday for Christmas lunch and were really impressed both with the food and with the surroundings. Lunch was excellent value for money and there was a good variety of food on the menu. The highlight was definitely the amazing service though; the staff were friendly and very knowledgeable about the history of the hotel. We would highly recommend it and intend to return in the future.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Helen195648
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £125 - £237 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ardtara Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AA "Best Guest Accommodation Northern Ireland 2016/2017"; 4 Gold Star & 2 Rosettes 2016; Best Hotel Restaurant 2015. Ardtara Country House Hotel is nestled in ten wooded acres in the heart of Northern Ireland where guests can lose themselves in the serenity of our 19th century rural Victorian estate. For the ultimate escape from reality, guests can relax in one of Ardtara’s uniquely decorated bedrooms after enjoying exquisite fine dining in the hunting themed Clark Restaurant. Renowned for our intimate service, we welcome guests to our conservatory for private dining, Sunday lunch and afternoon tea, which can also be enjoyed in the drawing room. Whether you are a shopper, country sports enthusiast, golfer or countryside explorer, Ardtara is within 15 to 60 minutes drivetime of key visitor attractions including Giant’s Causeway and the picturesque north coast, Titanic Belfast, Dark Hedges, made famous by Game of Thrones, Seamus Heaney’s HomePlace and Lough Neagh. ... 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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