We considered other family-run B&Bs in Ballycastle, but booked at the Crockatinney because of the location and the "private balcony with the view." The Crockatinney's e-mails specified that check-in was between 5 and 6 pm. When a B&B is that specific, you reasonably expect someone to be there during that hour. When we arrived, no one was there; just a note and our keys. The rooms (we were traveling with my sister and her husband) were clean but bare bones. Our private balcony was barely big enough for the two dirty plastic lawn chairs on it, and the ocean view was far to the right--our view was basically of a pasture.
After over an hour, no one showed up except a neighbor and his dog to move the water sprinklers. With the lack of infrastructure in the area, it would have been nice to have some advice where to have dinner. After rummaging around the lobby, I found the loaner hair dryer, but no lists of local restaurants. We ended up driving into Ballycastle and asking people on the street for recommendations (try the Central Bar--quite good). When we returned a couple of hours later, the water sprinkler was still on but no one was home.
The next morning, our brother-in-law said that their toilet tank would not fill and they only made it flush that night by filling the tank using the shower head, which soaked both the bathroom and his clothes. They didn't change rooms that night because he said he couldn't find anyone.
In fairness, the hosts (who did show up by breakfast!) offered to change their room, however we decided to change accommodations after breakfast. The breakfast was again bare bones and when we asked for coffee, the server wordlessly pointed to packets of instant coffee and a pitcher of not-so-hot water. Sixty pounds a night and they can't brew real coffee?
From reading negative reviews of this B&B, the hosts typically say in their defense that they are a family-run guest house. That may be so, but even a family-run operation should offer a minimum of service and value. Indeed, during our holiday, we stayed in over a dozen family-run B&Bs or guest houses asking comparable room rates, and the Crockatinney offered far inferior service and value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Stonechat" and "Cuckoo's Nest" are set in idyllic surroundings, which include a 19th-century famine graveyard, a fishing lake, children's play area and private car parking. They are also home to resident rustic alarm clock -- Rusty the Rooster! This is just the place to get away from it all and experience local northern Irish nature and history. Prices include utilities and fuel for an authentic Irish turf fire! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crockatinney Self-Catering Cottages Ballycastle, Northern Ireland