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“I found a little slice of Heaven in that place.”
Review of Tory Bush Cottages

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Tory Bush Cottages
Reviewed 2 September 2011

I visited Tory Bush in May, 2011. Since I'd never been to Northern Ireland at all, I was happy to rely upon my friend to find and secure accomodations. There wasn't any real risk in that because at any point if I/we weren't happy we could simply choose to move to another spot as I'd be there for 10-14 days.

Because I'd flown overnight and spent the day in transit, by the time we arrived at Tory Bush I was fast asleep in the car. I remember a gentleman walking up to greet us and I seem to recall an offer of "if you need anything...." as I fairly stumbled into the house and within moments fell back asleep. The next morning I awoke to a view of the sun on the mountain through my patio door and was so very amazed by its beauty I sort of drifted straight outside, barefoot in my pajammas to take it in. After going in for coffee and to dress, I wandered back outside and met (whom I later found out was) the owner of the property, his beautiful dog, his "friend who runs this place" and even a gorgeous cat who actually gave me permission to come into her space! (as a cat lover, I can tell you that doesn't always happen) After apologizing for my complete lack of manners upon arrival and offering assurances I was exhausted and not drunk as a fish, I was welcomed, offered any assistance I might need, and engaged in a lovely but short little introduction to the place. I thought it wonderfully thoughtful that he welcomed me, invited me to find him around the property, then sort of backed off to allow me privacy.

My original plan was to stay at the cottage for maybe 7 or 8 days then spend a few days in Dublin. I found the cottage, the surroundings, the entire place and everything about it so very enchanting we chose to extend our stay to an entire two weeks.

Quick point of explanation: I'm a Grandmom from Philadelphia. My youngest grand child started pre-school last fall and now that the Grands are in school and I took early retirement, I have the opportunity to travel quite a bit and see places and friends I've dreamed of for so long. I so enjoyed my time at Tory Bush I'll be returning in mid-September for another stay. As I'm getting to see different places now, I usually opt for different venues when I return to a city (ie: I've never stayed at the same hotel twice in Las Vegas though I've been there 4 times or taken more than one cruise on each cruise ship) but I never even considered staying anywhere other than Tory Bush for this trip, with the exception of booking one night (before my return flight) in Dublin.

I'm absolutely looking forward to my return to the area, and most of all the chance to spend more time with a great friend in such an awesome little cottage surrounded by such beauty.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank MsTrice1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 27 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2011

We had one of the properties booked for a week in August. The owner made a massive deal about visitors which we felt was a little bit overboard.

We telephoned him to arrange payment and raised this issue with him. He was rude and cheeky during the call. Wonderful customer service! Which resulted in him having a cancelled booking!

His attitude certainly did not bode well for a relaxing time.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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8  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ToryBushCottages, Owner at Tory Bush Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2011

I am sorry if I came across in a rude manner to these people, I certainly did not mean too.

I had agreed a heavily discounted price for a week’s accommodation for this couple, based on two persons, with a supplementary charge for additional guests if there were to be any.

The couple had accepted this at one point, by text, and had agreed to book on these terms and conditions. They never provided their details for payment despite reminders, but two weeks or so before the arrival date phoned to say they were only prepared to pay the discounted price but not the extra for additional guests. I said, 'Let’s cancel the booking and that I am sure you can find cheaper accommodation somewhere else.’ the phone went dead at that point, which may have been accidental as I was on a mobile in a poor reception area.

For full details, including copies of text messages and the agreed booking form please visit my blog by clicking through from the Tory Bush website and check out the newsfromtorybush blog for the 24th August 2011.

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Reviewed 8 March 2011

My wife and I stayed at Tory's Bush last year for a walking holiday. We can't fault the location or accommodation as they are both outstanding, but the hotel owner is the most obnoxious, ill-mannered, rude and ignorant person I have ever met.

On our trip my in-laws came to visit us for a picnic down by the sea. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest so we decided to invite them to our apartment where we had a lovely decking area which we thought would've been perfect for the occasion. When my wife's parents arrived, the owner literally ran to their car and preceded to grill them as to why they had dared set foot on the premises. My father-in-law, thinking this was a joke, gave the owner the story about the picnic, the weather etc, whereby the owner refused them access and said they weren't welcome on the premises, that the insurance wouldn't cover them and that they would have to leave.

I confronted the owner of Tory Bush on his behaviour, demeanor and general ignorance in dealing with people, but he was totally oblivious and stood by his approach and drew my attention to the T's & C's for the premises. We had already read them, but naturally assumed that "no visitors" meant extra guests staying over, which was never going to be the case with us anyway.

Needless to say this left a very poor taste in our mouth. Prior to this incident we had spoken with friends and family on the phone and internet singing the praises of the accommodation, the location etc, but once this happened we readily back tracked and made everyone aware of how ill-mannered the owner was, and how we would never recommend the premises. To put things simply, this man should not be dealing with the public. He needs to take a professional course in customer service. He emailed me the next day and offered a refund on the rest of the week, but he never approached me personally, or offered an apology, even though our apartment was directly above the office. Until this unfotunate, but totally avoidable, event, Tory Bush would, not only, have had repeat business from us, but also many friends and family. Needless to say that won't be the case. I just hope people read this review and think twice about going.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Gmay2701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ToryBushCottages, Owner at Tory Bush Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2013

This review has been very harmful not just to my business but to me personally, it has taken me the best part of two years to come to terms with it and feel able to write this reply. I operate what many regard as a very good business and should be entitled to run it in a manner that is best for the comfort and safety of guests on site. We take the issue of Child Safety very seriously even to the point of removing potentially dangerous weeds such as Foxglove from within the grounds of the cottages. With the high profile cases of Madeleine McCann, April Jones, and the increase of retrospective reporting of Child abuse, such as in the Savile and other cases we feel we have an extreme duty of care to young children on our site especially during the summer months when there can be as many as 30 children staying here. A teacher of a primary school class of 30 children would not let a stranger arrive in the school playground unchallenged, indeed our insurers, NFU Mutual ask every time upon renewal that our policy on visitors is still in operation.

I concede that I did ask the visitors to this guest what was the purpose of their visit and explain our policy but I did not turn them away and my demeanour was quite professional, I think anyone that knows me or has stayed at Tory Bush would agree that I am not at all confrontational, indeed quite the opposite. For a fuller reply to this review please check out the Tory Bush website blog for December 2013.

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Reviewed 5 July 2010

I stayed here as part of NI Bootcamp, a weight loss/fitness/outdoor activity week. They provided a link to the cottages on their website and the photos looked spectacular. I wasn't disappointed when I arrived, the cottage we used was really attractive, had a lovely open fire to warm us after a day out and was perfectly peaceful at night. I slept better here than I ever do at home, maybe due to the activities we were doing in the day though! Views are incredible, worthy of going for alone. They really are in the hills too so would be ideal for anyone who likes to get in the outdoors. They were definitely perfect for the bootcamp.

Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
1  Thank MountainGoatIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2010

Excellent accomodation and location. We had already been to the cottages twice before with our extended families and were known to appreciate the accomodation and always left it as found. This time we were celebrating a 50th birthday and were delighted when my daughter managed to join us for one night, Our ages now ranges from 28 to 82!! Unfortunately this made 8 people staying in a 7 people cottage,(She brought her own bedding) This caused consternation with the proprietor and infact we were accused of having even more people staying. We were then told that we were not even allowed to have visitors when we were staying at the cottages. We were then asked if we were planning to have a party!
We had already booked a restaurant in Newcastle but were planning on having a few drinks before we went - was this unreasonable!! In the end the propiretor did give us a folding bed - but charged us for it, However the whole incident put a damper on our celebrations.
We do understand his position as far as insurance etc is concerned. The extra person was a last minute surprise, and we did not think that for one night it would be a problem.
As said the cottages are excellent and we would hope to use them again but would have to ensure that no one would come to visit and all celebrations were kept very low key

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Motorist2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ToryBushCottages, Owner at Tory Bush Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2012

Tripadvisor itself advises that the best way to deal with less than favourable responses is not to ignore them, as I was tending to do, but to put forward our business's side of the case so I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to read the background to this review by visiting the Tory Bush Blog for the 13th of March 2012, click through from the Tory Bush website, sorry but under Tripadvisor rules I can't put direct links in this response.

Just realised that it is exactly two years to the day since the incident which gave rise to this review, talk about burying your head in the sand!

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Reviewed 11 May 2008

Just returned from a week in Tory Bush Cottages, Bryansford, near Newcastle, County Down. Had a thoroughly relaxing and peaceful holiday. Comfortable and modern self-catering cottages. We stayed in the Eco-loft. Fully equipped,and roomy accommodation. Bathroom - bath and separate shower, washing machine, iron and ironing board, microwave, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, radio hi-fi, TV and video, woodburning stove. Lovely gardens with fantastic and uninterrupted views of the Mourne mountains. 15 minutes drive from Newcastle and Castlewellen, an hour from Belfast. Proprietor relaxed and friendly. Homely place to stay with good quality fittings and useful kitchen utensils. Things were provided such as a cafetière, collander, washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets. The cottages are in grounds full of plants and trees. The gardens (with picnic tables) are still quite immature and are being added to all the time. We were within easy reach of the Mournes and minutes away from Tollymore Forest Park. Quiet and peaceful location, we will definitely be staying at Tory Bush Cottages again.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Islandmagee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tory Bush Cottages

Address: 79 Tullyrea Road | Bryansford, Newcastle BT34 5DL, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Newcastle
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Newcastle
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
Tory Bush Cottages Newcastle, Northern Ireland

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