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“Very disappointed :(”

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Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Waterford
Certificate of Excellence
Mount Gambier, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very disappointed :(”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

My friend and I booked in one night to stay at the castle. When we booked, only lodging was available, which was fine so that's what we booked. Upon arrival, my friend and I went to check in (it was 2.30 in the afternoon) and were told that our ac mood agin wouldn't be ready for at least another hour. Keep in mind that we had travelled from Australia, and were tired and wanted to freshen up a bit. When we finally were able to go to our accommodations, they were absolutely beautiful, and clean but, with the castle being on the island, and no assess to a car we went to reception asking about what we could do for dinner. We were told that the golf club was closed for a private function and the dinning room was full. We asked about having a drink in the bar, and were told that the bar was booked out too. Since when is a bar booked out? We then asked what we were ment to do for dinner, and were told we could walk 10 min into town and there was a pub there. It took well over 20min to walk there, and the pub stopped serving food on a Sunday at 4 so we didn't eat at all that night because we had no access to anything and were refused from the dinning room. We paid $400 Australian dollars to stay one night in a castle, our one night of luxury, and we couldn't even use the castle facilities which I find very poor.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Hannah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 31 August 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for posting your review. I had the same sentiment of disappointment after reading your comments. We do try to accommodate an early check in where possible but at the same time we do advise guests with written confirmation that check in is 4pm in the lodges.
I am delighted to read of your findings with our self catering lodges and we appreciate the compliments.
I am sorry that we were not able to accommodate you for dinner that evening and indeed provide you with a drink. We would aim to provide for all wishes where we can and I am sorry to hear of the whole inconvenience you had in regards to dinner that evening.
I do hope that you will consider a return to Waterford Castle as we would very much like to regain your confidence and provide a most memorable experience on that occasion.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,214 reviews from our community

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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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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

Let me begin by saying that this hotel is in a beautiful setting. The building itself is stunning, and the island is lovely. But this potential isn't lived up to by the service at all.

We stayed in a family lodge for three nights at a cost of €465 (including the extra amount you pay for electricity and gas). That's a rate of €155 per night which is, relative to other lodges around hotels that I have stayed in, quite expensive. We do this quite a lot, as we find the blend of self-catering within the grounds of a hotel whose facilities you can avail of to be an enjoyable family holiday. This is the most we have ever paid for a three night stay.

I was left waiting to check in with two small children while they settled the bill for a wedding with the bride and groom, which obviously was going to take some time. I was given one key for our house - two would have been more practical.

The house itself was, i'm sure, very nice when first built, but is now in a state of some disrepair. Walls in desperate need of painting, old leaks on the ceilings never repaired, leaving cracks and brown stains. Filthy curtains. The dishwasher racks were held together by a hair bobbin. I'll just say that again - €465 for three nights, and the diswasher is held together by a hair bobbin! The television didn't have RTE. No DVD player, no radio, no clocks, no cushions, no rugs. Hard surfaces everywhere. Cold and clinical. Everything looks tired, like an old showhouse.The one thing I would say is that the beds were very comfortable.

We had two full days during our stay, and for the first one we weren't allowed near the castle as it was closed for a wedding. I find this incredible. A discount should be provided in this case. We paid to have the facilities of the castle and (after booking) were told for half of our stay, we couldn't have them.

We ate in the bar one night and paid €75 for a main course for ourselves and our two very small children, and a drink each. I've never paid so much for a bar food menu (I might add that we live in Dublin and are used to paying through the nose for things). I wouldn't mind, but the food wasn't good. I had fish and chips that I could have done a better job of myself, and the kids meal didn't taste of anything at all. I note below that the manager is quick to point out that wine ranges from €7.50 to €8.50. I would suggest that that is quite expensive, and this hotel would benefit from benchmarking itself against similar establishments.

Another night we ate in the clubhouse and the food was worse. The starter and dessert were borderline unpleasant.

I booked my five year old into the kids club (as we do often in hotels, he loves them) - after five minutes I brought him back out again. The room they were in had a paltry collection of playdough, old crayons and board games missing their pieces. There was a young girl on her own looking after 15 children ranging in age from 3 to 10. She was planning on bringing them for a 'nature walk' around the castle (necessitating a walk on the road) by herself. I asked how she was going to manage so many of them, and she said one day she had 22 by herself. I asked what she did if the three year old needed the bathroom and she said she would either bring all of them to the bathroom, or ask the clubhouse barmaid to keep an eye on them. There are regulations around childcare for a reason, and this set-up frankly, shocked me. There was no way I was leaving my child there - and he didn't want to stay any more than I wanted him to.

I specifically asked whether our lodge was near those of the wedding guests and was told they were nowhere near me - there were three in our cul-de-sac. Reception clearly just tell people what they want to hear.

Finally, armed with all this feedback, I expected to be asked upon check-out how my stay was - but no. They took my card and said goodbye. No interest in how we got on at all. If they had asked, I might have skipped writing this review.

I work for well-known company and travel a lot for work - I have stayed in most places around the country and have a good idea of what is reasonable. I don't expect anywhere to be perfect. But I know what standards are like across the board. And if this place wants to charge the prices it is currently charging, it needs to do something about the standards. Very disappointing.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Moniker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 31 August 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for providing such detailed and honest feedback. I was very disappointed to read of your experience while staying with us and I must offer my sincere apologies for letting you down. I will be taking all of your comments to the table and I assure you they will be given the utmost attention that they deserve immediately.
In respect of our pricing across the board we will review this to ensure that we are correctly benchmarking ourselves against similar establishments while as you well pointed out offering the highest of standards to match.
Our Food & Beverage team will take your comments in relation to food and react accordingly.
We are currently in the process of upgrading all areas of the island and this will include our lodges.
I am sorry to hear of the dissatisfaction with the kid's club. We do ask that kids be accompanied by an adult and it is offered as a complimentary service with the best intentions. We are very much aware of the regulations around childcare hence why we ask for a parent to accompany.
Finally we did not take the opportunity to ascertain your feedback but I can candidly say we are very much interested in our guests.
Thank you again for highlighting these issues to me and for allowing me to address them.
I do hope that you will consider returning to Waterford Castle as I would like to show improvements made.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013 via mobile

I attended a Wedding here at the start of August. The wedding itself was perfect.

There were a few issues with the Castle though..

Staff chatting about getting redundancy in the dining room

No straws, lemons, ice or Heineken on tap (when we queried this with the bar staff we were told that they didn't know if the barrel would be replenished)

We were aware that there was a stock take taking place the following morning by the new owners (seriously we shouldn't have known anything about this)

We were peckish prior to going to bed & asked the night porter if we could get a quick snack & we were informed that he didn't have time as he had to tidy up.
Seriously at €250 a room??
There were no tea/coffee facilities in our room either.

I accompanied the bride to collect the cake the day after the wedding & it was in a complete state. Having been a bride myself 3 years ago I know how special the cake is (as I'm sure everyone does). The woman who was on reception went to the kitchen to get the cake & returned with a ??waiter who was carrying the cake.
The cake was damaged. We queried with the woman on reception what happened to the cake & she said she didn't know that something must have spilled on it? This really was the straw that broke the camels back for me.

I couldn't recommend this place to anyone.

It's an absolutely beautiful Castle with so much potential. It's just a pity that they let themselves down so much & on a very special day aswell.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank truthfulreviewer84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 10 September 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to share your views. I was very disappointed along with extremely concerned after reading your review.
I do recall a review of the exact same content not so long ago but I appreciate you also giving the feedback. I am quite surprised to read of the staff whisperings and frankly you should not have been exposed to this.
I have already from the previous review looked at all the areas mentioned and have acted accordingly. Thank you for highlighting your concerns which I assure you we will address. I will give my immediate attention to the reply you mentioned from the night porter for which I find completely out of character for our night porters.
I have already addressed the cake with a previous review without sounding dismissive of yours.
I do hope that we will some day have the opportunity to regain your confidence in Waterford Castle.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louth, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013

We chose Waterford castle for our wedding on the last day of May 2013. We accidentally came across this online when on our venue search. I am from the west of Ireland and my now husband is from the east. While on holiday in Waterford we decided to check out the castle. I can honestly say from the moment we got on the ferry we had an idea that this was going to be the place for us, when we got off the ferry and experienced the drive up to the castle, that just confirmed to us how much we wanted to get married here. The island was so bright with colours and full of character it stole our hearts straight away, I was so excited. Then, on entering the castle, it all just exceeded our expectations. The reception room is my favourite room in the castle, the stonework so unique it was captivating. This was the room we held our ceremony and I was delighted. From our first meeting with our wedding co-ordinator to the day we left the island the staff were fantastic and could not do enough for us. Our family and friends could not understand why we chose a venue so far away from our home but on coming onto the island the confusion quickly ended. Everybody who came could not compliment the setting, hotel, food and accommodation, both in the hotel and self catering. Everything was fantastic and to such a high standard. The food for the entire weekend was amazing (and the cocktails also, big shout out to the bar man for those amazing mojitos and pink martinis, gorgeous) and not just on the wedding day. We had bar food, room service and a BBQ supplied to us at the self catering lodges the day after the wedding. All fantastic, and everyone experienced a Waterford blaa!! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff for all their help during the entire wedding process and on the day itself (unfortunately due to nerves during the speeches you were unfairly unmentioned!!) I can safely say that we will be back and I know a few others who have also been charmed into returning again. Keep up the great work and look forward to returning, hopefully for our first anniversary!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TMartin6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for finding the time to post your review. I was delighted to read your of your experience and we greatly appreciate the abundant compliments. I am looking forward to sharing your comments with all of my colleagues at Waterford Castle. We feel privileged that you chose to hold your wedding reception with us and our best wishes to you and your husband for your future together.
Thank you for your recommendation along with your seal of approval.
We look forward to welcoming you back for your first anniversary if not sooner.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

This is a very unique location on an island with a gorgeous castle hotel. My wife and I received a generous 40th birthday gift of a voucher for €300 for the "Waterford Castle and Golf Resort". We decided to bring the children for our one night stay cation. On arrival in Waterford City I phoned ahead at 12.30pm to be told that check in is not before 4pm! This is despite a check out time of 11am. A 5-hour room / lodge turn-around is absurd for anyone planning a one night stay. These type of guests should be given a priority check-in time and extra effort should be made to facilitate them.
We decided to go to elsewhere for golf and a meal instead of hanging around on the off chance that a lodge would become available sooner. We therefore checked in at 9.30pm and the kids looked forward to watching the Celebrity Masterchef final on RTE. Next disappointment was no digital terrestrial TV available in the lodges! There is freesat available but RTE etc widely available on Saorview at a cost €150 or less to install was conspicuous by its absence. Obviously the Irish guests are not a priority here. This was again highlighted by the tattered and faded Irish Tricolour hoisted over the castle. This contrasted with the pristine American flag.
We called to the golf club to book a tee time to be told that our voucher was not valid towards green fees (Waterford Castle and Golf Resort clearly typed on the voucher!!). We questioned this at reception and after some pleading and to-ing and fro-ing between receptionist and manager were told that it would be honoured towards the green fee. We felt cheap for asking.
This would probably be great for overseas guests staying a while but I would definitely not return to these lodges again on a short stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrPaulobrien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to express your views. I was saddened to read of your dissatisfaction following your recent stay at Waterford Castle. We aim to accommodate an early check in where possible but with a lodge departure at 11am it is impossible for us to have this ready for 12.30 check in considering we are servicing a 3 bedroom house essentially. I am terribly sorry to have disappointed with the TV channel selection available and we have taken note of this. I would like to assure that all of our guests are priority, in particular the Irish guests. Our Irish Tricolour was not in pristine condition that day but has been replaced to reflect a perfect impression. I must apologise for the unprofessional handling of the voucher and the upset this caused.
I do hope you will reconsider your stance on returning as I we would like to have the chance to regain your confidence.
Kind Regards
Derek
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bray, Co. Wicklow
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

We stayed in one of the lodges. It had every tv channel under the sun except the local ones. When I asked I was told to scroll down and I would find them which I did and found them scrambled.
When I asked again I was told that if I wanted to view these channels I would have to go to the Club House.
it appears they use a "Free to Air" system. There is not even a radio in the lodge. There is no phone in the lodge to contact reception.
The island is lovely and we found the lodge comfortable. Dining in the hotel is expensive.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Louis O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derek C, General Manager at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. I was disappointed to read of your annoyance with our TV channel selection in the lodges. This has been given immediate attention and I can say that we have work on this at the present time. I have taken note of your other comments and will give them due consideration. I am delighted to read of your findings with the island and indeed that the lodges were comfortable. In regards to dining options we offer both the castle and the clubhouse where our menus range from €40 in the castle to €22 for an early bird 3 course in the clubhouse.
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and I do hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakton, Virginia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

Arriving late, there was no one to greet us. When we finally found someone, they were not aware of our arrival and had to find information on room. Family was put in "lodge", not castle (whole reason for booking) that took about 15 minutes to find in the dark. Lodge was large - just like a ski-type lodging (stale and linoleum). Kids were fine with it until we noticed the spiders. Hundreds of them. In every room. All of us stayed in one king bed where we killed all the spiders in that room. (No one in castle answered phone to change room). After telling staff of the spiders, their response was "oh my" - nothing else, no apologies, no refund.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Stacey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort

Property: Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort
Address: The Island | Ballinakill, Waterford X91 Y722, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Waterford > Waterford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Waterford
#2 Romantic Hotel in Waterford
#2 Family Hotel in Waterford
#7 Business Hotel in Waterford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on its own private Island on the River Suir, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort offers 4 Star Luxury Castle Accommodation nestled in the suburbs of Waterford City.Feel yourself travel through time as you make the magical journey by our complimentary Car Ferry to the 310 acre Island Resort.With an amazing history stretching back to the 6th century, wake up in Waterford Castle Hotel Ireland after a peaceful night’s sleep to the picturesque and enchanting scenes and sounds the island has to offer. Enjoy gourmet food served in our award winning Munster room restaurant and Fitzgerald Bar or simply relax by the large open fire in 16th Century surroundings.For family, group or self catering in Waterford our Island Garden Lodges are the perfect place to experience the South East.Island Activities include our 18 hole Championship Golf Course, our fantastic tennis courts, clay Pigeon Shooting or croquet on the Castle lawns.Waterford Castle also provides a stunning Irish castle wedding venue for an unforgettable Wedding Day. Imagine… A legendary Castle, on an Island Haven; exclusively yours. All in all Waterford Castle Hotel and golf resort provides a luxury destination to escape from life itself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waterford Castle

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