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“Lovely setting, gardens gorgeous, great food, but spendy”

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Gregans Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ballyvaughan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 July 2013

The best part about this place is by far the beauty that surrounds the hotel. The gardens are well kept, will short little paths that weave in and out of the trees. I agree with other reviews that the smell in the house/hotel is pretty strong. It's a very damp/musty smell and it just felt like the entire place just needed to be aired out really well. Our room was beautiful, clean and had everything we needed. When we arrived, it was one of the hottest days Ireland has had and no one bothered to open the windows before we arrived or even think of putting a fan in there to cool it off. We even left the windows open the next day to make sure there was some fresh air when we came back and ALL the windows were shut! It was hot and stuffy and the smells made it worse, so as to why they thought closing the windows would be the best thing for their guests is beyond me.

The breakfasts were excellent!! By far, the best eggs Benedict I've ever had! Dinner was good, but definitely on the pricey side. Was nice to be able to grab a drink at the bar and stroll around the property in the evenings.

Overall, the stay was completely enjoyable, besides the smell and the warm rooms. Just keep in mind if you come in the summer and it's warm, most places do not have A/C nor ceiling fans to keep you cool.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nicki F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 July 2013

My husband and I decided to make Gregans Castle the last stop on our tandem cycling holiday.
First of all, the staff were very accommodating. We dropped in our luggage a few days prior to our arrival as we wanted to enjoy our stay without bicycle shorts. We kept the tandem in the stables and were shown to our very spacious room with a beautiful view of the garden.
We arrived on Sunday so dinner was served at the bar which we very much preferred for a relaxed atmosphere. The food was impeccable! There was no choice (more like a tasting or surprise menu) - brilliant idea by the way. I had the most beautiful dessert wine that night. Our host was very charming and very knowledgeable.
We retired to a couch in front of the fireplace after dinner very happy.
We were running late for breakfast the following morning. As we rushed down the stairs we met a staff who was on her way to get us. As dinner the night before was so amazing my husband was adamant he was not going to miss his brekkie. Our orders for the hot breakfast was taken very swiftly and realized how lucky we were when a couple (arrived 10 later) was turned away for this.
I'd love to get a jar of their own preserves the next time we pay a visit by car. That is my only regret.

Room Tip: They are all good.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MayBurns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

When I was at Gregans the gardens were gorgeous and the view down to Galway Bay took my breath away. I love that they are environmentally conscious and that the food is mostly local and often organic. But best of all is what the chef does with that food. The only thing better than it's exquisite presentation was the taste. Fabulous! The staff were extremely gracious and accommodating. I loved every minute.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Meg D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

This was one of the best hotel stays I have ever experienced. Beautiful setting and room, excellent service and some of the best food ever. We stayed 3 nights and each meal was better than the last. Breakfast is nearly overwhelming in diversity and quantity. Awesome pancakes with apple syrup, excellent eggs benedict and a side table of fruit, cheese, fish and on and on. A la carte dinner offered a chicken breast with mushroom sauce so good I asked for a bowl of the sauce and a spoon. Black current souffle with buttermilk creme is to die for.

One night we indulged in the 8 course tasting menu and each course was better than the last. I can't say enough good things about Gregans.

Room Tip: We took an upgrade to the Martyn Suite. That room was originally the kitchen in years past. I don...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Traveler_N0t_T0urist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2013

Overall this is a good hotel. The rooms are well decorated and the food is excellent. The service provided in the dining room however was below an acceptable standard. My wife and I had two unacceptable incidences. We booked for 8:00 pm for dinner but arrived early. We were not informed that the set 8 course dinner was only served at 8:00 pm. We were very hungry, ad been in a car all day and arrived at 7:40 pm. We told by the Restaurant Manager we would not be served until 8:00 pm as there were a number of groups being fed in an adjacent room. That was not ideal but we had arrived early. We were shown to our table in the restaurant and provided with bread, water and menus. We were left in this confinement until 8:05 pm without even being offered a drink or a nut. Worse was to come - the set menu (superbly executed delicious food) provided that if you wished you could have a cheese course at a supplement of €5 in lieu of the main desert course. The cheese board appeared at other tables as other diners opted for cheese. The Manager went through the various cheeses with them and It looked fantastic, a wonderful display of local and other Irish cheeses. My wife began to salivate. Sadly she was not offered the cheese option and the chocolate desert was presented to her. She told the Manager that she wished to have the cheese option. He told her she would had to eat the chocolate desert plate and then have an additional cheese plate (at €15) My wife responded that she had never been given the option of the cheese plate in the first instance and that she didn't like chocolate deserts. Grumpily he relented and a waitress returned with the cheese plate. She apologised even though it had not been her mistake. She went through the cheeses and expertly explained their type and provenance. No apology was forthcoming from the Manager.
Next morning guess who was on duty for breakfast? This time my wife asked him for some english mustard to accompany her sausages. His response was that there was dijon mustard on the breakfast buffet table. He didn't move to bring her the mustard. She said she wanted english mustard at which stage he went in search of some in the kitchen but returned empty handed. It is extraordinary that such a good restaurant would not use english mustard or at least stock it for use by its guests.
The Restaurant Manager and his behaviour marred otherwise very pleasant dining experiences. I expected better given the standard of premises and the not inconsiderable room rates.
One other small quibble. At 7:35 pm the maid knocked on our door when we were dressing for dinner. She offered us fresh towels but did not return to effect the turn down of the room.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank templeDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

Stayed at Gregans for one night 6/15/13. It is a perfect place to stop after arriving Shannon since it is only 40 minutes from the airport. This is my second visit and will certainly not be my last. Everything is excellent from the lovely comfortable rooms to the exquisite dining. The staff are superb in every way and really are so nice. The food is to die for. I tried to book dinner for the following week prior to leaving Ireland but they were booked up. It is a 5 star dining experience and not to be missed. One of my most favorite hotels in Ireland.

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Maureen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

My friend and I had a wonderful dinner on 7 June. We had the tasting menu. The service was utterly charming from the really friendly and professional Frech waiter to the fledgling Irish one. The manager was also lovely. Nothing was pretentious and we were surprised and delighted by a treat! . Cannot wait to go again

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Ilana049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gregans Castle Hotel

Address: On the N67, Gragan East, Ballyvaughan H91 CF60, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Ballyvaughan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ballyvaughan
Price Range: £202 - £405 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Gregans Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With breathtaking views across Galway Bay and idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape, this is the ultimate luxury and gourmet hideaway. Simon and Frederieke together with their staff manage this oasis of comfort and offer genuine Irish hospitality, award winning innovative cooking and elegant bedrooms free from the intrusion of televisions. Antiques, an eclectic art collection, open fires, candles, jugs of flowers and Shelley the cat add to the indulgently relaxing atmosphere. The hotel while strictly not a "castle" in the usual sense of the word has been named "Gregans Castle" since it was built in 1750 as a more comfortable residence for the O'Loughlen and Martyn families from the nearby 16th century towerhouse. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Burren Food Trail. The ideal location from which to enjoy the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Walking, Cycling, the Aran Islands, Horse Riding, Surfing, Sea Angling, Golf. Members of The Burren Ecotourism Network. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gregans Castle Ballyvaughan
Hotel Gregans Castle
Gregans Castle Hotel Ballyvaughan, Ireland - The Burren

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