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“Small and quaint, with lots of character.”

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 October 2012

Stayed at the Ballinalacken Castle Country House during the October Bank Holiday weekend - really enjoyed it. Big, clean room, with a huge, comfortable bed. The room also had two armchairs and a table, with an old-school TV. Large bathroom, very clean, and a decent shower too. The staff were all very pleasant and welcoming.

We had dinner in the hotel on one of the evenings - very tasty, and quite reasonable too. The hotel also has a small bar - I had one of the best pints of Guinness I've had in a long time there.

Hotel might be tricky to find in the night time, there's no sign directly at the entrance to the hotel (some old white gates) it's across the road, and it's black, which made it difficult to spot, but if you go past Doolin Cave (on your right hand side), and get to the top of that road, Ballinalacken Castle House is straight in front of you, through the gates.

Lots to see and do nearby:
Doolin Cave
Lahinch
Cliffs of Moher
Fr. Ted's House
The Burren

In summary, the hotel is small and quaint, with lots of character. On a clear day, the views are fantastic; it's definitely worth a stay, if you're in the area.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sidel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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316 - 322 of 569 reviews

Reviewed 25 October 2012

We spent 2 nights at Ballinalacken. My husband got sick and we had to stay an extra day. Cecelia was so accommodating and helpful. The rooms are comfortable and the views are incredible from the hotel. I think the views were my favorite in Ireland.

Cecelia arranged a driver for us to tour the Cliffs of Moher as our driver (my husband) was ill. The breakfasts were wonderful and the dinner we had was great, too. Be sure to visit their small pub and have a Guiness!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank sufeit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2012

My wife and I were guests for two nights at this lovely property. This was our first visit and will certainly will not be our last. The hosts (Declan and Cecilia) were fantastic in all respects. They seem to go the extra mile to please. We inquired about the particulars relative to travel to the Aran Islands and Cecelia promptly called the ferry company and handed us the phone. What great service! The staff was also extremely competent and genuinely nice. We were fortunate enough to stay in Room 16, which has panoramic views of the sea. The room was appointed to a very high standard. Breakfast and dinner were simply delicious. The serving sizes were perfect as well. The menu is quite diverse and sophisticated.

The history and ambience of the property is noteworthy. The location of the property is ideal for travel to the Aran Islands and viewing the Cliffs of Moher. Additionally, arguably two of the best pubs in Ireland (O'Connor's and McGann's) are located in Doolin. Both offer fine traditional Irish music.

If in County Clare, I would highly recommend this lovely Victorian style hotel. We are returning to Ireland in May 2013 and definitely plan on staying at least two nights with Declan and Ceceila.

Visited October 2012

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank James1117428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012

My wife and I were guests for two nights at this lovely property. This was our first visit and will certainly will not be our last. The hosts (Declan and Cecilia) were fantastic in all respects. They seem to go the extra mile to please. We inquired about the particulars relative to travel to the Aran Islands and Cecelia promptly called the ferry company and handed us the phone. What great service! The staff was also extremely competent and genuinely nice. We were fortunate enough to stay in Room 16, which has panoramic views of the sea. The room was appointed to a very high standard. Breakfast and dinner were simply delicious. The serving sizes were perfect as well. The menu is quite diverse and sophisticated.

The history and ambience of the property is noteworthy. The location of the property is ideal for travel to the Aran Islands and viewing the Cliffs of Moher. Additionally, arguably two of the best pubs in Ireland (O'Connor's and McGann's) are located in Doolin. Both offer fine traditional Irish music.

If in County Clare, I would highly recommend this lovely Victorian style hotel. We are returning to Ireland in May 2013 and definitely plan on staying at least two nights with Declan and Ceceila.

    • Value
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1  Thank James1117428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

stayed here for one night, 9-20-12. arrived on a misty grey Irish day. The inn is very pretty with stunning views of the ocean and the cliffs of Moher. Ceclia was wonderful (as was everyone we encountered, helping us with our luggage etc) My room was nice with a shiny clean bathroom and a garden view. my 2 travel companions each rec'd upgrades ( I booked in Jan and Ceclia was kind enough to upgrade us) one had a room with a four poster bed and a stunning ocean view , and the other rec"d a huge suite. Beds were comfy and breakfast in the lovely dinning room were great. also got a tour of the castle ruins , that made our day.
I would recommend this charming country house.
Jill

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank evelynsgirl1007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2012

This small hotel is located a couple of miles from the nearest pub (I am still not sure where Doolin really starts but their are pubs before you get to what I think was the town and certainly long before you get to the pier.) and another mile or so from the pier where the boats leave for the islands. While you are not close to the ocean the views out to the ocean and the islands are impressive. The owners were very nice and responded quickly to our request for a portable heater. They also provided directions for walks in the area though the portion of the burren way located less than 50 yards from the entrance to the property proved to be a small road not a path - in fact most of the burren way turned out to involve walking along little used roads.

While I founds the owners to be helpful the room, other than the view it offered, was a bit disappointing. It was large enough but a bit worn around the edges and the mattress was a bit lumpy. The common areas were a better but putting a computer in the bar, which was quite dark, rather than the lounge made using it more difficult than it should have been. This is a nice enough place to stay if you are in the area but I expected a bit more for the price paid.

Breakfast was good and the dinner was better than any of the meals I had in the doolin area.

Room Tip: Request a room with a view.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank jsthouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

My husband and I stayed at Ballinalacken for a second time for a few nights' peace and quiet before a big family trip to Ireland. We had stayed at Ballinalacken for a few nights on our honeymoon and were thrilled to find it even more welcoming, if possible. We mentioned it was almost our anniversary and we had stayed there for our honeymoon; we were pleasantly surprised by a knock on the door the night of our arrival with a champagne toast and a note from the staff wishing us a happy anniversary! We ate at the restaurant again, which has not disappointed us, and the food was to die for. We were able to watch the sun set over the Aran Islands while we ate our candlelit dinner; you couldn't ask for a nicer dining experience.

Incredibly impressed by the thoughtfulness of the staff this time, even more than the first trip - not only did we get a little toast, but our phone rang one evening asking if we'd like to tour the castle, since the owner was taking another couple up. So thrilled we got to explore the castle a second time, and it was so nice of Declan and Cecelia to think to include us!

This is such an exceptional little guest house - the castle, the food, the views, the staff. It's got everything. Ballinalacken is one of my favorite places in the whole world and holds a special place in my memories. Please don't pass it by!

Room Tip: I don't think I saw a room with poor view - ask for a sea view if you want to be sure.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank NurseJamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballinalacken Castle Country House

Address: Coast Road R-477, Doolin R477, Ireland
Phone Number:
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Doolin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Price Range: £124 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballinalacken Castle Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel Doolin is one of the leading Castle Hotels Ireland with views of Cliffs of Moher. This Clare Hotel has an award winning restaurant and is the best place to eat in Doolin. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful place on the West Coast of Ireland in which to wake up. The Ballinalacken has been described in the press as one of the finest located houses in Europe. Our guest rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay. A 15th Century Castle ruin of the O'Brien Clan stands imposingly beside the Ballinalacken Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel Doolin
Ballinalacken Castle Country Hotel
Ballinalacken Castle Country Doolin

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