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“Great location - dinner a disappointment”

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Castlemartyr Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Castlemartyr
Certificate of Excellence
New Ross, Ireland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great location - dinner a disappointment”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

We stayed here in May 2014 for two nights as a couple. The welcome from the concierge was friendly and was a great first impression. He gave us a quick overview of the hotel. Meanwhile the room wasn't quite ready so we were encouraged to wander into the Knights' Bar to wait. It was bustling with people having a chat and a quick drink and some were having afternoon tea. I had read other reviews and agree that having afternoon tea in the bar detracts from the experience. It's not the place!
We hadn't long to wait. We were shown to our room by the same concierge who greeted us at the front door. The room did not disappoint. Lovely spacious sleeping area with panel to operate the blinds, lights, do not disturb and please make up the room. There was a proper Nespresso coffee maker and the bathroom was the best I've seen in a hotel.
The bathroom had a separate toilet room, shower room with a large area for the bath and washhand basins.
The whole experience in the room was restful and relaxing.
We had the included dinner on the first night in the Bell Tower Restaurant. This menu comes in at a costly €55. Starters were pleasant but not eventful or spectacular. I had turbot, a white fish for main course and it was fresh but it tasted like it had been left on the hot plate for way too long. Dessert was the best course - I had creme brulee. Overall, both of us were disappointed. I thought perhaps head chef was off duty. I thought the menu was trying too hard to be different and posh and it lost the essentials of a tasty meal. There was too much going on on every plate we got. Sometimes less is more.
Breakfast was a great experience, helped by the very pleasant and smiling waitress we had on both mornings. When we couldn't decide on what to have from the kitchen she even offered to bring us a sample of another choice. Well done! I had Eggs Benedict and wouldn't have finished it in a month of Sundays. Bread with home cooked (but salty) ham with two poached eggs covered in Hollandaise sauce. Way too much, but tasty.
Second morning we both had French bread and it left me wanting more - which is far preferable.
The grounds were lovely with walks available.
The Leisure Centre was brilliant with a great gym and a lovely clean pool and huge dressing area. The sauna and steam room and Jacuzzi were exactly as they should be. I loved it and again it helped the relaxing experience.
On our last day we had a spa treatment for a couple. This entailed a full body massage and an express facial each with full use of the water lounge beforehand. The girls were great and it was a very thorough and deep massage. The facial was 'express' alright but pleasant nonetheless. I have one comment about the 'harmony room' where we had the treatments - when I was looking up, there was a skylight window where I could see my reflection - it looked like I was in a coffin (not very relaxing).
Checkout was painless and correct.

Room Tip: Our room was Deluxe room - and it was fab. No noise from outside and I loved it!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stibars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Dear Stibars,
Thank you for your great review. We are delighted that we ticked so many boxes in terms of service and the offering we aim to provide. I have discussed your experience in the Bell Tower with the Chef, I will do everything in my power to ensure that the items outlined in your review are investigated and followed through. Please contact me directly when you are planning on revisiting Castlemartyr. Thanks again for your review, it certainly does help us to better plan our offering and exceed guests expectations.
Warm Regards
Cathal and the Team.
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Rating summary
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arthurstown
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

This is our third time staying here over 3 years and I would highly recommend it for a 2/3 night break ... Our room was superb large and luxurious. Ate in bell tower first night and Italian second both were excellent... One of the main reasons I am in awe of castlemateyr is I drink the odd Hendricks and was I amazed when they served it in a china teapot and cup!! We will be back

Room Tip: Ask for upgrade
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank glendinehouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Dear glendinehouse,
Thanks for your wonderful review, its fantastic to see that we gave you a magical moment with the Hendricks teapot! We hope to see you back on the terrace sipping Hendricks soon! Please contact me directly the next time you are planning a trip down to us. I would love to look after your reservation personally.
Warm Regards
Cathal and the Team
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dublin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 May 2014

This was our 4th visit to the resort and yet again it exceeded our expectations. With each visit it just gets better.
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our easter weekend here from the fantastic suite to the great food to the superb facilities.
We had friends that visited with us this time as we had raved so much about the place and they absolutely loved it too.
High praise is due to all staff members who were always very courteous, friendly, warm and welcoming. We especially have great time for Avril (in Franchinis) who remembered us from our previous visits and welcomed us with a friendly smile and chat.Cathal, the GM is always very attentive and welcoming to the guests.
The resort is so kiddie friendly and thats what keeps us coming back. Upon leaving our daughter asked us if she could stay longer!
We are already looking forward to our next visit back .

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank louisemc14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Dear Louisemc14,
Wow, thanks for the wonderful review. We are delighted that Castlemartyr is your favourite hotel! The people at Castlemartyr are the ones responsible for its success, we are very proud of them. Please contact me directly for your next visit to us. It would be my pleaseure to welcome you back once again.
Warmest Regards
Cathal and the Team
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Dublin, Ireland
1 review
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Our recent stay in Castlemartyr was prompted by a glowing recommendation from friends who had just returned from a mid week break. From the moment we entered this beautiful hotel we were treated as if we were special guests by all the welcoming and friendly staff. Our room was terrific, spotlessly clean, very comfortable and with a splendid view over the grounds.
The breakfast was a special experience and we can honestly say that the Egg’s Benedict and French Toast were just exquisite. We enjoyed dinner on two occasions in the Bell Tower Restaurant and everything was absolutely top class. If you are ever passing through Castlemartyr and would like a drink or a snack, just swing into this super place and enjoy the wonderful food (try the bowl of prawns!) in the Knights Bar whilst marvelling at the decor of what was previously a chapel.
We would recommend the Castlemartyr Hotel to everybody who likes to be pampered by top class staff in a top class Hotel. We are already planning a return trip.

Room Tip: We had a suite to the front of the hotel which we would highly recommend. Very quiet and comfortable...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank seandotkelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Dear Seandotkelly,
Thanks so much for your wonderful review. It looks like you enjoyed your stay so much with us. We are delighted to read your review and have passed on your lovely feedback to all concerned here in Castlemartyr. I hope to see you here personally over the summer months.
Warm Regards
Cathal and the team at Castlemartyr
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Dublin
Level Contributor
295 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

Being upfront there are 5 star hotels in Ireland with better service but with young kids I would revisit Castlemartyr.

The physical surroundings are very nice, grounds, rooms, bar, pool, restaurant etc. rooms are large and very well presented, good beds and great showers with robes etc.


The bar is amazing room and you can lounge as long as you want without pressure, great selection of whiskey, cocktails and food. Staff are friendly but service can be a little slow at times. No uncomfortable feeling from staff with kids in the bar. I wouldn't feel as comfortable with small kids in other 5 star hotels.

The Italian restaurant food is good, had tempura prawns and squid and veal for main, all very nice. Wine list is limited here and service was a very very slow, 2.5 hours for dinner.
We had to abandon but they did serve our desert in the bar. Kids had lots of options and good quality. Not 5 star I am afraid however.

The Bell Tower is much better, pitched as fine dining and both of our visits were excellent. Beef, venison, risotto, scallops and more, all superb. Again wine list needs some work but picked a good Ripasso at €59. Had to be said the staff are very friendly and eager to help but not trained to the level of a fine dining restaurant. You don't feel a routine and calm confidence which should be there to service, it's not practiced or rehearsed. Well priced however at €160 for two with wine and kids welcome.

We dined while the kids attended high tea, dinner and a movie for them. Good quality kids food with desert and drinks and they really enjoyed it, very close to the Bell Tower restaurant which works well.
Kids did visit during the day as well for an hour but when we picked them up they were both upset, one crying due to behavior of other kids which went unnoticed and unchecked. I pointed this out later to the duty manager and he clearly did discuss with the staff. One sure way to ruin a visit is to feel the kids are not being probably monitored but they reacted quickly.

Breakfast in the same restaurant is good, lots of options of cooked to order and cold buffet. All good quality and here the same staff help endlessly which is great with small children. There is an under current of lack of control however and no routine to service.

Other mentionables, two lovely house dogs you cal walk, acres of amazing walks, golf, games room, bikes and horse drawn carriage, bar staff are definitely the best asset. Pool area is good.

So all in all a great destination that does not have the service polish of other 5 star destinations but when traveling with small kids I didn't really mind so much. We had a few minor special requests along the way and always the answer was "Of course", it just took a little bit longer than it should.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank ArcfireSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 2 May 2014
Dear ArcfireSG,

Thank you very much for your recent review. Your extensive feedback certainly goes a long way.
I look forward to your next visit to Castlemartyr.
Warmest Regards
Cathal Lynch
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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

I won a trip to Castlemartyr resort which included bed and breakfast for two, champagne afternoon tea and dinner in Franchini's. The drive up to the hotel gives fantastic views of the grounds and the ample golf course. They have a lake and lovely little touches like a man made waterfall to add to the scenery. We went to check in, the lady behind reception wasn't very welcoming and there was no one to help with the bags so we lugged three big bags to our room which was about a mile from reception and I am not exaggerating. Our room exceeded expectations. That was until we realised a mother and daughter had been given a double bed to share instead of two separate beds. We called reception, she said since we hadn't 'specified' that is what we were given. She did say she would change rooms however. This gave us another long twenty minute wait in the room with the bags while we waited for a porter to come and show us to the other room which happened to be only four rooms down.
After all that was over we decided to go to the gym, and use the pool facilities. We were booked in for treatments at half one. I was sent on a wild goose chase to the gym, so I gave up and went for a Jacuzzi instead. I was here to relax after all! I had a pedicure, while my mum had a massage. One issue with the relaxation rooms is that there were only six beds and nine of us in there. We weren't told there was another EMPTY relaxation room across the hall. There was a serious lack of staff over the Easter.
Treatments were fab, we also had Shellac and eyebrows done the following day. Well done to therapists Angela and Tanya and Adele who did great jobs.
Champagne Afternoon Tea was booked for half three, it ended up being twenty past four before we received it and it was a bit of a let down, the room it was served in was quite cold and didn't have much athmosphere.
Dinner in Franchini's was delicious and very filling.
There was no craic in the hotel bar, we were told Pat Shortts would be better. We had been there for a drink earlier, and were too full after our late meal so went up to bed at midnight.
Breakfast was served in a lovely sunny room overlooking the gardens and we had so much choice. I ordered Eggs Benedict and my mum had the vegetarian hot breakfast . There was also a charcuterie, cereals, breads, cheeses and fruit salad. Breakfast was delicious and one of the high points.
We at last got a bit of help with our bags upon check out and despite a small issue with overcharging on the bill we checked out successfully. All in all highs and lows and I would expect far far superior service of a five star resort.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 2 May 2014
Dear Katie W,

Thanks for your recent review, you really were so lucky to win your stay here with us. I am sorry that some elements of your stay were not up to our normal high standars, I would love the opportunity to discuss these with you further.
I am glad you found our new concept breakfast room and buffet to be such a great addition, I look forward to you visiting Castlemartyr Resort soon.
Keep entering those competitions! you would never know...
Warm Regards
Cathal Lynch
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Ireland
Level Contributor
78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014 via mobile

My first visit to Castlemartyr but it won't be my last. The hotel has a wow factor, the venue is beautiful and the staff are really great. We ate in The Bell Tower and really enjoyed our meal. And, we ate in the bar which was very good too. The spa is a lovely experience, treatments were good and the lovely touch of a smoothly and fruit after in the relaxation room continued the spa experience. Our room was truly amazing, we were lucky to get a room in the manor house side of the hotel. From start to finish it was a real break away for our whole family. We will definitely be back.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank tomail33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMCastlemartyr, General Manager at Castlemartyr Resort, responded to this review, 2 May 2014
Dear tomail33,

To be honest I smiled with pride when I read your review! Its fantastic to read such glowing comments, I will certainly pass them on to all of the team. Please be sure to contact me directly when you are planning to come to East Cork again.

Warm regards
Cathal and all the team.
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Additional Information about Castlemartyr Resort

Property: Castlemartyr Resort
Address: Ladysbridge Rd, Castlemartyr, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Cork > Castlemartyr
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Castlemartyr
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Castlemartyr Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 109
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castlemartyr Resort is a grand seventeenth century countrymanor house that sits adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle. Constructed by the first Earl of Cork and lovingly restored to its original grandeur, the Manor House opened in 2007 to serve as the centrepiece of Castlemartyr Resort. Nestled amid the picturesque woodlands of East Cork this breathtaking destination resort is steeped in history and tradition, while also offering luxurious first-class service tailored to each guest’s unique tastes and the finest in accommodations, dining and recreational activities. Its 103 guestrooms and suites offer contemporary design seamlessly blended with old world elegance. Attractions include The Spa at Castlemartyr, a renowned inland links-style golf course, a state of the art gym including a yoga and pilates studio, a private lake with swans and miles of unspoiled walking tracks, all graced by the mystery and power of the ancient ruins nearby. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castlemartyr Hotel Castlemartyr

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