Let me first start off by saying that the Ballymac is a favouite of mine and always has been. The grounds and the hotel are beautiful. I cannot comment on the leisure facilities or the golf course as I have used neither however I have noticed a marked downward trend in the food and level of service.
I would go to the Ballymac for dinner (both dining room and bar lunch) perhaps once a month and have been to many weddings in it. However on recent visits (past year or so) I have found the food to be slipping, I suspect a move towards 'pre-prepared' vegtables and potatoes is to blame.
I had reason to complain on a recent visit (the first time I have ever had to in the Ballymac) and the Manager who was very polite did nt charge for the entire lunch for myself and partner which was a gesture you would expect in such circumstances. The hotel was extremely busy on the day in question but it took 25 minutes just to get someone’s attention, something which I found really frustrating and off-putting.
On another visit I had to wait 15 minutes (albeit during a busy Sunday) to have my table cleared of the previous guest’s plates and glasses, no apology for the delay was made. I have also noticed that the gents toilets are not clean (dirty toilets, mirrors, chipped tiles etc) something which you would expect from a 4 star hotel at the very least. The decor in the bar (sofas etc) are in dire need of a replacement. I feel sorry for the staff who are always friendly and polite but are under serious pressure and this I feel is at the crux of the problem, extra staff are needed to clear tables, serve and get your bill faster and ensure the place is kept clean. I won’t return to the Ballymac for the foreseeable future. I have recently stayed and eaten in Fota Island Hotel (5 Star) in Cork and the Shelbourne (5 star) in Dublin which in terms of food are comparable in terms of price but the difference in quality, service and the general standard of the hotels is stark. The Ballymac will always be a favourite of mine but won’t be recommending to someone until these issues are addressed. (On a side note I am aware of the implications of poor Tripadvisor reviews for hotels/restaurants and the potential impact for jobs etc however I feel it important to flag these issues, and feel that with more attention to detail and the customer that the Ballymac is somewhere I will be returning to again).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ballymascanlon House is set on 130 acres of beautiful parkland, this impressive Victorian House forms the heart of this Hotel. It is one of the most remarkable historical estates in Ireland dating back to 833 A.D. Steeped in history, Ballymascanlon estate is located in Ireland’s North East on the Cooley Peninsula in close proximity to the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains. Less than 1 hour from Dublin and Belfast, and 20 minutes from the medieval town of Carlingford. Owned and run with pride and dedication by the Quinn Family, we are delighted to welcome you to our beautiful luxurious venue, ideal for both Business and Leisure ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ballymascanlon Hotel Dundalk