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“Best ever hotel experience”

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Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Waterford
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best ever hotel experience”
Reviewed 3 January 2014

I preface and apologise in advance for this lengthy review. I have never commented upon my experiences about hotels on Trip Advisor, as normally we comment/feedback directly to the hotel/hotel employee (and it is normally about what can be improved). The only complaint I have to make about Waterford Castle is that we stayed only one night!

My husband and I stayed in Waterford Castle over the Christmas period. To say that we totally enjoyed our stay is an understatement. We travel quite a lot, and have stayed in hundreds of hotels in Ireland and throughout Europe, so in being able to say that we experienced the most wonderful night in a hotel ever - in Waterford Castle is testimony to the quality and excellent service of Waterford Castle and its staff.

The ferry journey was lovely, and was a unique start to our holiday. The building itself, and the driveway up to it (while looking at the deer and the hares) - was magical. The main reception room is fantastic and everything about it is huge - the Christmas tree, fireplace, sofas, tapestries, etc. We were greeted very warmly by the reception staff and escorted to our room - the Browne Room. A beautiful room, very warm, cosy and atmospheric, large comfortable bed, big leaded window - with a view out the back of the Castle, beautiful bathroom fittings - old fashioned toilet and big bath.

We went for a walk around the Castle grounds - which were really well maintained and lovely, given the time of year. We booked in for dinner in the Restaurant at around 6:30pm and relaxed with a few drinks at the roaring fire, with very attentive bar staff. We were not rushed in any way by any member of staff and made our way to the wonderful Restaurant - what a fantastic dining room - dark wood panels, comfortable chairs and tables that were well spaced out from each other. Despite the restaurant being full (only 2 tables were vacant), the staff were extremely attentive. I find there is a very fine balance between attentive and interfering service, however the Restaurant staff struck the perfect balance. They also seemed to care about the customer and their enjoyment of the meal. I had a query about one of my courses and a member of staff dealt with it promptly and efficiently. My meal was the set menu - all of which was delicious - quail pie, salmon and perfectly cooked vegetables and finished off with a light and cooling berry mille feuille dessert. My husband preferred the a la carte option - again each course was delicious and so full of flavour. His venison was particularly commented upon and complimented, my only thoughts were for the lovely deer that we saw in the Castle grounds earlier! A lovely touch was the pianist, who played a selection of classical and contemporary music perfectly. He never stopped during our 2.5 hours at the meal, and it was very enjoyable to hear a pianist who was so at ease at playing, and obviously enjoying it too.
Our meal was excellent, both in terms of quality, quantity, service and ambience, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We asked for our tea to be delivered to our bedroom for 9pm, as we wanted to retire early. We returned to the room to find our bed turned down and the bath emptied and cleaned. On the dot of nine, a friendly member of staff brought the tea and petits four and checked that we were happy with everything - which we were!

I slept very well, however my husband - who is a light sleeper - was woken in the early morning by the sounds of the heating coming on in the Castle. However, he is a light sleeper. That is a very small price to pay, as all the rooms we were in the Castle were perfectly heated.

We had a lovely breakfast, served in a little room beside the dining room - the Conservatory. Lovely fresh orange juice, and a selection of hams laid out, cheeses, pastries and homemade marmalade and delicious raspberry jam. We opted for the full Irish - which was lovely and just enough in terms of quantity. On checking out, my husband dealt with a very professional staff member, who enquired about our stay. My husband gave some feedback - needless to say, these were very very minor and fixable issues, but this staff member was sincerely grateful for this information.

Our only New Year's resolution is to return to Waterford Castle. We are planing to return for a few nights - and with family members in tow. To the many family and friends who have enquired about how we enjoyed our Christmas break - we say that the stay in the Castle was truly the highlight of our holiday. Thank you to the Castle and its employees in welcoming us and making our visit and stay there so enjoyable.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fimurfi
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, 4 January 2014
Dear Reviewer
Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful feedback. After reading your caption my retort can only be "best ever review". We sincerely appreciate the detail you have put into compiling your review and to receive such compliments is most rewarding for all of us.
It will be my utmost pleasure to publicise your review with all at Waterford Castle as I can candidly say it will make the most proud and indeed put a smile on their face.
Thank you very much for choosing to stay with us and we very much look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
Kind Regards
Derek
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
Western Ireland, Ireland
Level Contributor
132 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We had a lovely break at Waterford Castle over the Christmas Holidays. Having easily found the Ferry to get across to the Island the magic began. Its a beautiful building, the huge fireplace in the reception area sets the scene. As did the huge Christmas tree. You could just sit near the fire and enjoy the atmosphere all day. Staff were welcoming and helpful. Get a copy of the history of the Castle from Reception, very interesting.

Our room was spacious with a very comfortable large bed. The most wonderful leaded Window you can imagine with a lovely view of the water. The bathroom had everything you could want, along with a huge roll top bath. Loved the Bath. They provide lovely towelling Robes and slippers.

Afternoon tea was being served in the bar area. After our long drive to the Castle we enjoyed tea and coffee sandwiches etc.

Dinner was the Highlight. The Room itself is wonderful. Dark Wood Panels along each wall, with a Piano in the corner. The Room was nice and warm. Staff were very helpful. They do a set menu for €40 which we tried. I had the Salmon starter which was good but my husband had the Quail Pie which was out of this world, served with White and Brown freshly baked Bread, really good Breads. We tried the Pork belly and the Steak for mains, served with lovely potato and roast veg. We also tried a few chips, which I think were the twice cooked home made chips. They were really good. My steak had lovely jus and a light puree which worked well. We also found room for the Chocolate Brownie to die for. They did Mint tea for me and this was made with fresh Mint. The little touches were appreciated. All in all one of the nicest meals I had all year. A lovely atmosphere was created with the Piano music and the low lights and the wonderful windows and panels. Just to say the restaurant was full. Wine was priced from €28upwards.

After a great nights sleep we had a lovely Breakfast, served in the Conservatory. The room is a little on the cold side so dress warm. We started with Lovely Fresh Orange Juice. There is the usual choice of cereals, yogurts, fresh fruit and the lovely brown breads and homemade Marmalade. The full Irish comes warm to the table which is lovely. There is a great choice of cooked foods available, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Fish etc.

We did some lovely walks around the Castle, bring good shoes. Waterford City is near by if you can drag yourself away. The Castle was Magical at Christmas. Just to mention the Windows they are so beautiful as are the Fireplaces. A Very Special Place. Would love to go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Globezila
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, 4 January 2014
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Waterford Castle. We greatly appreciate the detail and time that you have put into your feedback. Your review was indeed a delight for us to read and I will look forward to sharing your views with all of my colleagues. We thank you very much for the abundant compliments and recognition bestowed on the staff.
What a delight to read that the castle was magical at Christmas. To hear mention of a very special place is most rewarding for us and like you we would love for you to come back.
Wishing you very happy and successful New Year.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

The room was very large and very comfortable and the bed was soft.
The bathroom is also large and was adequately stocked.
The front desk was very nice.
For dinner we ordered off the preset menu. The salmon was very good and so was the pork belly. However my tomato appetizer was absolutely flavorless and my steak was less than average. The girl who poured my glass of wine was the cheapest pour I've ever seen an expensive restaurant. I ordered a decaf coffee and couldn't drink it. We were hopeful for breakfast but no it wasn't any good at all it was the worst breakfast we had in Ireland since we got here.

Room Tip: The ormonde room was nice.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank christhepickyeater
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, 21 December 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for finding the time to share your feedback. I was most pleased to read of your satisfaction and complimentary remarks regarding the rooms and front desk. It was quiet surprising to learn of your disappointment with our food as we are most proud of our culinary exploits at Waterford Castle. I have taken note of the issues you have raised and will be discussing them with our Kitchen Brigade.Your closing line in relation to breakfast has astounded us as we receive abundant compliments for our breakfast in that everything is cooked to order for all hot dishes.
I certainly hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back some day in the future
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

We went to dinner this week in the castle as a girly treat before Christmas .This was my idea, as I had gone previously with other friends and had a fantastic experience. No so this time though . When booking we had asked about menu etc, and was told we could have a set menu for €45 , however when we went to order , we were told that that offer stopped at 7 pm, news to us, as we were not told that went making reservation. The food was excellent , beautifully presented by very nice staff, but Lordy is it expensive !! This is not fine dining , so starters averaging €12-€14 is ludacrous , I had duck as my main meal , €33 I think , and it consisted of 2 very small pieces of duck .
Also the place was freezing ,. I appreciate it's a castle, open spaces , high ceilings big rooms, but it was so cold it was uncomfortable, heating was on, but just, radiators felt warm ish, fire was lighting , but again , just about . The round table beside us had 4 people in their jackets eating, so it was certainly not just us! I did mention it to the waitress , a lovely girl who closed a few doors to see if things would improve , but they were reopened again by other staff.
I feel when your paying those style prices then at least it should be a pleasant experience.
The castle itself looked beautiful , Santa s sleigh outside , Christmas tree winkling in the lobby area, but I couldn't recommend it again to anyone .

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chelley B
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, 21 December 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. I must say that your review was met with disappointment and my sincere apologies for letting you down.
I am sorry to hear that you were not made aware of the times on the Table D'Hote Menu but at the same time I was pleased to read that the food was excellent and beautifully presented. I am somewhat lost for words when you say that it is not fine dining and that it is expensive given the previous compliments. We have benchmarked our prices on similar establishments and we feel that our pricing is indeed on a par.
To learn that the castle was cold on that evening is indeed not good enough and unacceptable and I am sorry that you had to endure this experience. It is our full intention to look after our guests comfort and a warm atmosphere is top of the agenda.
I do hope that you will reconsider your stance on recommending Waterford Castle as we would very much like to regain your confidence in the future.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2013

Recently went to stay at Waterford Castle to celebrate a significant anniversary. Great choice! The journey onto this magnificent island was an experience in itself. The ferryman was a gent with a lovely manner. The hotel staff from duty manager and receptionist to restaurant staff were a real pleasure in their welcome and service.
This was a great and memorable experience with first class accommodation and excellent food. The bedroom was all one would expect in classy castle and the surrounding parkland and golf course a pleasure to ramble and explore.
Cant wait to return!

Room Tip: A suite if available.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LiamHowe
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, 17 December 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Waterford Castle Your review was a pleasure to read and we greatly appreciate your abundant compliments. To hear the mention of great choice and memorable experience is of the highest reward. I look forward to sharing your views with all my colleagues.
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to having you back.
Kind Regards
Derek
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
111 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2013

We arrived at the castle to be told that because we were celebrating a double birthday treat we had been upgraded to the majestic ormonde suite. Mary was very impressed with the location and the grandeur of the castle. They have lovely staff. Everything is understated and informal despite the fact that it is an upmarket location. A minor grumble. Some of the fixtures and fittings could do with a little sprucing up. However if you want everything up to date, then go to one of the many steel, concrete and glass hotels that are dotted around the country. If you are looking for a very special experience then this is the spot for you. Fabulous food in an oak panelled dining room. Antonio is a font of information on the wine list. A g&t after dinner in the main hall in front of a roaring open fire. Country walks throughout the island the castle stands on. Peace and quiet, a great golf course. This is a great location. We happily paid the bill and thought it good value for the experience we had. Are already planning a return visit.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SeanIrish22
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, 5 December 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for sharing such fantastic feedback with us. Your 6 star rating is indeed the highest reward and we sincerely appreciate your compliments. I am delighted to read that you had a very special experience at Waterford Castle and that good value for money was found to be on show. Thank you for the staff recognition and we are most pleased to hear that you are planning a return visit already.
We are most grateful for your kind comments and seal of approval.
Kind Regards
Derek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendswood, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2013

It starts with a ferry ride over to it's own island... and gets more romantic from there. WONDERFUL dinner in the Munster room. Beautiful fireside wine in the bar. The room isn't the most luxurious, but definitely romantic.

The people made the place... super friendly and very attentive.
Our mistake was that we paid for the ferry online... the ferry is FREE. Be sure to go for a walk, the nearby scenery is awesome!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travis C
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, 5 December 2013
Dear Reviewer
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I was delighted to read such great comments and I look forward very much to sharing them with my colleagues.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Waterford Castle and we look forward to your return.
Kind Regards
Derek
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Family Hotel in Waterford
#2 Romantic 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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