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“Overhyped, overpriced and understaffed...” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa

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Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Kilkenny
Certificate of Excellence
london, uk and killarney, ireland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Overhyped, overpriced and understaffed...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

We stayed here in for a week at the end of June as my partner was attending a conference here.

We had been looking forward to the stay (especially me, as I didn't have to attend the conference and was going to be free to enjoy all the facilities)

We were somewhat surprised when we phoned to book the room, that the specially negotiated conference rate was €40 per night more expensive than the non-conference rate for exactly the same room! We double checked this as it seemed so unbelieveable!
We checked in on a Monday evening at around 5pm and while check-in was simple, the male receptionist forgot to give us our room-card-key and we assumed that the chap bringing our cases to our room had it! That was only a very minor hiccup though.

An hour or two later, we decided we would dine in the bar as we just wanted something light and quick to eat. We were eventually offered menus and promptly ignored after that, and it took 20 minutes more before someone actually took our food order even after telling the waitress that we were ready to order!
We both chose fish and chips (at €18.50 each!) and this comes wrapped in what seems like a piece of A4 size photocopied paper of what appears to be newspaper articles about Lyrath. So well hidden are the chips in this piece of paper that I didn't see them when our plates arrived and I actually remarked "well, at least the chips are to come yet", only to discover that the tiny presentation on our plates included not just the miniscule fish portion but also a handful (literally) of chips very well concealed in the paper!

The following night, we dined at Yindees restaurant upstairs as we were meeting friends for drinks in the bar afterwards. Yindees is not cheap fare but both Sylvia and especially Charles were extremely attentive and friendly waiting staff in complete contrast to our previous night's experience in the bar.

We joined our 6 friends in the bar and ordered a bottle of white wine. The waiter had managed to change this to a bottle of red wine by the time it reached our table!
It turned out that we were all drinking the same wine at our table and when we tried to order another bottle, we were told that while they had more of this wine, it was not available chilled and we would need to choose something else. I would expect that any competent bar tender ought to be able to keep track of what wines are low in the refrigerator and restock them in advance; I would also have expected that a hotel claiming to be 5 star ought to have a rapid chiller in their bar so that its customers are not disappointed.

Breakfast is available as a buffet and offers the usual fare of cereals, fried food, fruit and cold meats. Our first morning, when we arrived to the breakfast area, it was unstaffed for about 15 minutes.
We found a waitress named Sylvia to be very efficient and friendly. While breakfast was pleasant when we were there at around 8am, on one morning I arrived down at around 9.30am and found that the buffet was looking rather bare.

My partner had conference lunches provided at the La Perla restaurant and based on her experieces there, we felt no need to try there for dinner.

I attempted to check out the spa on the Tuesday morning and while it appeared to be open, I could find no member of staff just after 9am, either upstairs at reception or downstairs in the treatments area. I gave up waiting after about 10minutes.

The gym at the time was open only from 8am-12.30pm and reopened at 4pm (til 8pm). When I had read the hotel brochure, it appeared that these were the Winter/Spring opening times rather than the times available for the Summer season. Despite the poor weather, I had assumed that the last week of June was more likely to be Summer rather than Winter/Spring!
The gym itself is basic and the changing rooms are compact. The pool, whirlpool and steam room are adequate, with towels and swimming caps provided.
I should point out that I arrived at the gym that first day at perhaps 12.25pm not realising that it was due to close very soon and the chap who was on duty didn't point this out to me and waited for me to finish my workout and swim without any fuss at all. It showed a level of service that was very much lacking in other areas of the hotel. I didn't get his name but he definitely deserves praise for being friendly and helpful.
It does seem odd that the gym of a supposedly 5 star hotel closes for the afternoon, and not at all what I expect from such hotels.

The hotel room overlooked the pond-garden area at the back of the hotel. It also offered a view of the conference area and the spa infinity pool as well as a clear view into dozens of other hotel rooms. We could clearly see other guests in their rooms and felt we had to close our curtains to have any privacy.
The room comes equiped with a decent sized safe (which could accomodate my full size laptop) as well as trouser-press/ironing board and iron and tea/coffee making facilities. We didn't use the minibar.
The bathroom had a full size bathtub with a separate walk-in/wet-room style shower. The toilet is a separate cubicle off the bathroom. Only a single container of shampoo, shower gel and body lotion were provided and these were only replaced when completely empty. While the toiletries themselves were nice, the frugal restocking policy didn't feel very 5 star.
We also needed to phone reception to have lightbulbs changed in the bathroom and to provide a hairdryer which was absent. Even then, only one of the two bulbs blown was replaced.
We used the teapot provided to make some tea one evening and this was not cleaned the next day when the room was being serviced.
I would expect that blown bulbs, stale tea in glass teapots, missing hairdryers and the random sock under the bed from a previous occupant should have been noticed without us having to bring any of this to anyone's attention.

As for Wi-Fi access in the rooms! It was completely unavailable in our room. There is a "hotspot" area near reception but I found there was no Wi-Fi signal available here either. Reception provided a cable so that I could plug in my laptop but even with that, it failed to connect at least 50% of the time. There is a business centre available at certain times.

There are extensive grounds but the gardens directly adjacent the hotel were disappointing and uninspired, and seemed rather unfinished.

The hotel is poorly signed for first time visitors travelling from the south and when there finally is a sign, it's literally just before the hotel entrance.
The hotel is located further from Kilkenny city centre than the impression given by the hotel website and one definitely will need a taxi if one intends venturing into Kilkenny with the intention of having a drink.

There was a wedding reception at the hotel on the Friday and there appeared to be an increased number of staff on duty, including the much hyped top-hatted doorman.
Some of these guests managed to wake us up in the middle of the night as they ran up and down the corridor banging on doors and yelling at each other and at around 5am, they set off the fire alarm.
While I appreciate that the hotel may not be directly responsible for this behaviour, I think that perhaps if the residents bar is going to stay open through half the night, then perhaps some common sense about serving obviously intoxicated people should prevail. I also feel that some member of nightstaff should have been on duty to make sure these guests didn't disrupt the sleep of others.
I also noticed that less than half of the male toilet facilities were working that Friday night.

The valet parking advertised on the hotel website suddenly appeared on Saturday morning.
Check-out on the Saturday morning was busy and at no point did anyone ask us if we had enjoyed out stay, nor could we find any form of satisfaction questionaire.

I suspect that those staying here at the weekend have a different experience to ours, as it really did seem like the place was transformed on the Friday and Saturday, with extra staff to be seen everywhere as opposed to the ghostlike absence of staff during the week.

Based on our experiences here, I think this hotel does not deserve to advertise itself as anything more than 4 stars (at a stretch) and really needs to rethink its pricing and staffing policies. It definitely did not offer us value for money. (Did I mention the extra delivery charge for room service?!)

My sister stayed here a month later for a midweek break and had a very similar experience to ours.

All in all, an overpriced disappointment and we will not be back.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank alaskabob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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TIPPERARY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

Travelled with family for a break before they went back to school.Check in time is very late considering the price you are paying for a day rate.First night we ate in Yindees food was lovely but did not cater for children and full price had to paid for their meals which was ridicolous.Second night we ate in La Perla,they had a kids menu which was good and well priced however our own meal was not so good,we recieved both our starter and main course on cold plates and the portions were small.The price of drink was mad 7 euro for a measured glass of wine and 5.20 for a pint of guinness,but i have to say what got me the most was the smell in Tuppers Bar very strong smell of fat quiet sickening,when i said this to the head barmen/manager on the night while he was burning scented candles he was quiet arrogant to my comment,however the two barmen on the night were smashing,staff overall were very plasent and helpfull fab hotel kids loved it but food and drink way overpriced.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MAMMYSWAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

just back from a 5 day stay in Lyrath and i can honestly say not only does it deserve its 5 star's it deserves more. The rooms are beautiful and spacious , the reception area and grounds are amazing. The resturant is quite possiably the best in the country never mind the county and their breakfast's make getting up early worth it . but the best thing about Lyrath is the staff and the service , they are wonderfull , friendly and amazingly helpfull. Nothing is too much trouble . We visted the spa , which is perfection and had two hour long treatments which werent long enough if you know what i mean ! I cant wait to go back and would wholehartedly recommend Lyrath to anyone who loves their style with comfort . This place is Heaven.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luisebones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin Town
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2009

Just had our first stay at Lyrath, will definately be going back asap, room exellent, service brilliant, bar entertainment exellent, food exellent, not cheap by any means but worth it none the less.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DublinerDublinTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2009

When we arrived at the Lyrath we were upgraded to a larger room so we were very happy with this. The room was lovely and modern. We went to yindees restaurant one night and it was terrible. It is slightly overpriced but you wouldn't mind too much if the food was nice. The next day we had bar food and it wasn't great either. My boyfriend and I had some spa treatments. They were excellent and we really enjoyed the heated pool. The second night of our stay we weren't given any clean towels, We had to ring the reception twice to get some dropped up. That same evening at 10.15 we wanted to get a snack to eat. We tried La Perla restaurant and it was closed. We tried the two bars and there was nothing we could get and as it isn't near any other restaurants or pubs there was no where we could go. The staff in the hotel were nice and friendly.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielle25Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Expensive Dublin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2009

I recently stayed at the Lyrath and wasn't blown away. We paid for a package which included two treatments each and this was the saving grace of our stay. Our 'guaranteed check -in' time of 4pm didnt materialise and we eventually got our room with an upgrade at 4.45pm. The receptionist was apologetic and seemed genuinely flustered as there was a wedding party arriving that day. The major problem i had with the Lyrath was the price/quality and availability of food.

Firstly the food is ridiculously overpriced, i got a average sized and average tasting hamburger and chips for €18. My girlfriend got one spring roll and some salad for €11 - the guts of €30 for this average bar food. Yindees is equally overpriced and the quality is fairly average. I didn't try la Perla for evening meals so i have no opinion here (Breakfast was served in La Perla and was very good however). Lastly on the food issue, there is absolutley no food available after the restaurants close,so when i tried to get a light snack at 10.30pm, i was told there was nothing available!I dont know whether this hotel is advertised as a five star but any hotel charging these prices should have some options after the restaurants close - after all I was only looking for something small. Given the location, i would have had to drive into Kilkenny City for a small bite to eat - hardly realistic if you are having a few drinks.

On the other hand, the spa was spotlessly clean and there was ample room,towels and refreshments for all users. All staff i encountered were very friendly (as in the main hotel) and it was a really enjoyable experience. Overall, the staff, appearance and layout of the hotel are the main strengths here but the price and quality of the food is letting this hotel down badly.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank orange_organic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2009

Had a two night break in the Lyrath recently. We had a wedding to attend in the hotel so we decided to stay the night before as well. We ate in Yindees Thai restaurant which was fantastic. There was a bit of a queue for breakfast in the mornings but it was worth it. Plenty of everything. Very good choice and fresh as well. Seems to cater very well for children. Grounds are beautiful and peaceful for nice walks. The dogs are just adorable! Rooms where nicely decorated maybe a little on the small side our room only had a double bed would have preferred a king. Bathrooms are lovely really nice showers. Staff very friendly especially the door man, porter and room service staff. Reception staff were a bit on the unfriendly side. A thing to watch out for would be the price of drink in the bar. €7.50 for a measured glass of wine. The wedding I attended in the hotel was one of the best. Brilliant atmosphere and the food was fantastic!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Edel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa

Property: Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa
Address: Paulstown Road | Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Kilkenny > Kilkenny
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kilkenny
#3 Business Hotel in Kilkenny
#3 Spa Hotel in Kilkenny
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kilkenny
#5 Luxury Hotel in Kilkenny
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on 170 acres of parkland, Lyrath Estate Hotel is only 5 minutes from Kilkenny City. It offers luxurious air-conditioned rooms, an award winning spa, an outdoor infinity pool, and a selection of bars and restaurants. Guests can enjoy a peaceful night's sleep at Lyrath Estate Hotel as rooms are soundproofed with each having beautiful views overlooking the estate with not a car in sight. Each guest bedroom includes complimentary Wi-Fi and a 43 inch flat screen television. The Oasis Health Club boasts a gym, steam room, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. The Oasis Spa offers a thermal suite, sauna and steam room with a range of indulgent treatments, with advance booking recommended. Contemporary Irish cuisine is on the menu at La Perla restaurant using the finest local ingredients. Tupper's is a traditional Irish bar located at the heart of the hotel where you can enjoy a quiet drink & delicious bar food. Yindee's serves authentic oriental food whilst there is a range of beverages available at the sophisticated X Bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lyrath Estate Hotel, Spa And Convention Centre
Lyrath Estate Hotel, Spa & Convention Centre Hotel Kilkenny
Lyrath Hotel Kilkenny
Lyrath Estate Kilkenny
Lyrath Estate Hotel Convention Centre

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