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“Not Great”

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Castle Gardens Holiday Homes
Des Plaines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not Great”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2011

I would rate this place between poor and average. If there were a "Not Great" option, that's what I would choose.
Value was good. You get what you pay for.
Cleanliness-just OK. There were cobwebs everywhere. Maybe we were the first there for the season?
Location-Bunratty has a castle and two pubs. Not a whole lot to do there. Our window faced a closed down and clearly broken into hotel. WIndows broken, weeds, etc.
Rooms- Hanging out with a group of 6 would be tough as the living room/dining room combo is probably 8x15. The kitchen didn't have a coffee maker or paper towels/napkins. When they say this place is self-catered, they mean it. If they expect people from other countries to come, I thought that they ought to provide a phone, coffee maker and perhaps a hairdryer? When the description said vacation home, I thought they would have at least what a hotel would.
Sleep Quality: AWFUL. Springs popped whenever I moved. Sore back after trip.
Service: When we arrived no one was at the reception desk. The manager seemed rushed and we didn't feel "welcome" after a long 24 hour journey. We were handed the keys and given some brochures. That's it. Our manager did come to the door an hour later to see if we had any questions.

Bottom Line: It's all about expectations. If you want a cheap place to stay with no frills and at least a 90 minute drive to everything, stay here. I would recommend staying at B&Bs during your travels. Next time.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank keclm28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    10
    14
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    3
    1
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18
5
Solo
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Somersworth, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2011

We stayed at the Bunratty castle gardens townhouses with 12 friends, we found the staff (Joan) very courteous and the townhouses were clean, very reasonably priced and we all enjoyed the area.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Henbone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2010

Our first trip to Ireland began in a sweet townhouse in Bunratty Village Castle Gardens, close to Shannon Airport and home base during our week-long automobile tour of western Ireland. Our townhouse, which slept six, was clean, with comfortable beds, soft sheets, and warm comforters, and a kitchen fully equipped with new appliances, including dishwasher, small refrigerator, and washer/dryer – a necessary perk because we pack little and wash lots. In Bunratty, we mingled and sang with the locals over a Guinness at Durty Nelly’s Pub after a terrific salmon dinner, had dessert and great Irish coffees there another night, and did most of our shopping across the way at the well-stocked Blarney Woollen Mills – for ourselves and for all those people back home we wanted to remember with tokens from our trip. One of the best parts of the Bunratty stay was the lovely and responsive proprietress, Joan, whose cheery and helpful demeanor couldn’t have been more delightful and who managed the village – and our stay -- with efficiency and charm. The same day we arrived, we visited the Cliffs of Moher and the village of Ennistymon. Each day after, we headed south to visit “K” towns – Kinsale, Killarney, Kenmare – staying overnight in Dingle to explore the entire peninsula, and made a day trip north to Galway. The trip was short, but our memories of the thousand miles of countryside we traveled are long. Thank you, Joan, for making our trip such a success. And thanks, Dooley Vacations, for the travel package we booked through www.travelzoo.com. We’d do it again.

Jakki Savan and Jeff Young
Denver, Colorado
October, 2010

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jpyslc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2010

I stayed here in August with my family and we throughly enjoyed our stay.
The location was excellent just 5 minutes walk to Bunratty Castle.
We stayed in 1 of the 3 bedroom houses which was very clean, all mod cons. The living area was a little small for the 6 of us but bedrooms were big with 3 bathrooms, so everybody was happy. The staff were very nice on check-in & the housekeepers called to our house the following day to see if all was ok. We wil definitely be returning next year, the rate was great.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ducksCork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kilkenny, Ireland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2010

My sister and I, and 5 children stayed from 10 - 17 July in a three-bed house. The location of these houses behind the dilapidated and now disused Shannon Shamrock Hotel is unfortunate. As far as the general exterior of the development is concerned, the grounds are poorly maintained, pavement edging in timber is rotting and breaking up; there is no playground for children which was surprising, although the lack of moving traffic around the houses is good, so children can play outside.

The houses are reasonably new - maybe 4/5 years old, but our house was poorly maintained. There was evidence of leaks, and an actual leak, which had to be fixed (in a very roughshod way) during our stay. The washing machine had been attached to the water system, but for a few days we had to deal with unbelievable noise and jumping around the kitchen of this machine, until we pulled it out eventually, and discovered the transit screws had not been removed by the installer. Luckily there was no damage done to the machine, but we couldn't believe this had happened.

On the evening we arrived, the house was not especially clean. Clearly no supervisor had checked the kitchen, as there were absolutely no pots and pans, and there was a rotten potato in one of the cupboards. At 5.30 I called the manager, but she finishes at 5, and had told us to contact the staff at the Leisure Centre if we had any problems. We did this on Sunday morning, and also asked for a clothes horse, which should have been provided but was not. The staff there told us there was nothing they could do for us, and we would have to wait till Monday. We had to buy pots and pans, but were reimbursed at the end of the holiday. We were surprised that the manager had not sought to repay us immediately, which she most certainly should have done.

We have stayed in lots of self-catering accommodation over the years, but never in quite such a slipshod place. There seems to be no inventory of equipment that the staff can refer to when preparing the houses for guests. We had 12 eggcups, and no wine-glasses (this is 2010, not 1950). There were lots of very small cups, but no mugs; dozens of knives, forks and spoons, but no eggflip, slotted spoon or corkscrew, and no small sharp knives. Underneath the washing machine and fridge were absolutely filthy.

The leisure centre is not particularly clean, and the staff seem to be left to make up rules on their own, not alone about whether they co-operate with the management of the accommodation, but also whether they allow underage children to swim unsupervised or not. We had 2 (very competent) 13-year-old swimmers who were sometimes allowed by the staff to swim alone, and sometimes not, depending on who was working at the time.

Incidentally, we left a message at 5.30pm on Saturday regarding the lack of pots and pans. A member of staff called to the house on Monday morning (not first thing I might add), but was at pains to tell us that she only worked during the week (for this read: it's not my fault). When we spoke to the manager, the first thing she did was to query why we did not contact the leisure centre (which we had). Someone should have trained this person in customer service, not to ever lay the blame for faults in the hospitality sector on the client.

This place was not unpleasant as a place to stay, but let down badly by poor management. We had a fantastic holiday, as Co. Clare has so much to offer the tourist. We had never been to Clare before, but will definitely be back. We could have stayed another week, and still not run out of things to do with the children.

My lasting impression of this accommodation is that as a development thrown up in a hurry and poorly finished and maintained, it will be as derelict as its neighbouring hotel in a few years time. As it was, at the height of the season, it appeared to be seriously under-occupied.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank czerwony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, MO
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2009

My husband and I traveled with another couple this past February and had an excellent stay. The townhomes were quaint and cute. They were clean and featured three bedrooms and bathrooms. It was great to have some common spaces(living room and kitchen) to share as we were traveling as two couples as well as the separate bathrooms. Also, with the kitchen we were able to pick up some supplies at the local grocery store and have breakfast at the townhome before heading out each morning.

We did spend two nights in dfferent cities as they were too far to travel there and back in a day without being too rushed (Dublin and Killarney via Adare on the way there and Dingle Peninsula on the way back).

All in all it was an excellent value for the money.

P.S. Don't let the Shamrock Hotel scare you off. The hotel does seem to be in a bit of disrepair, but the townhomes are great and there's really no need to visit the hotel besides checking in and out.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hulagirl99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodbridge, VA
Level Contributor
67 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2009

Returned on 3/26/2009
The Townhomes are clean, simple places to stay while in Ireland. At first, they seem smalish, but you get used to that quickly. There is a nice living room area with an electric fireplace (really puts out some heat!) and 26" TV and a dining area with a nice big table that could seat 6. Kitchen has washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, microwave. No clothes dryer. The best part is the location. It is walking distance to 3 pubs, Blarney Woolen Mills and, of course, Bunratty Castle and Folk park. It is also within 10-15 minutes drive of major shopping areas. A Tesco grocery store in the direction of Limrick and SkyCort shopping mall toward Shannon.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank imerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castle Gardens Holiday Homes

Property: Castle Gardens Holiday Homes
Address: Bunratty Shannon Shamrock Hotel | Limerick-Ennis Road, Bunratty, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > Bunratty
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Bunratty
Hotel Class:3 star — Castle Gardens Holiday Homes 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Also Known As:
Castle Gardens Holiday Homes Hotel Bunratty

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