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“Lovely.”

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Lovely.”
Reviewed 16 May 2013

My partner and l recently returned to Clare and spent the night at BallinalackenCastle. We have stayed here previously and have always had a lovely pleasant experience. We arrived on a wet miserable April evening. But the misery outside soon evaporated once we entered.We were met at the desk by Cecelia, she was very friendly and welcomed us back. We were shown to our lovely cosy room, overlooking the rolling hills of North Clare. The heating was on and the room was extremely warm. We dined in the restaurant that evening and could not fault it. The food ambiance and friendly service is second to none. This coupled with the romantic setting and decor makes this one of the nicest establishments l have ever been too. The couple at the next table were pondering over what wine to drink with the meal and Declan was on hand to go through the wine list and advise them. They were highly impressed.After the dinner we had a night-cap in the hotel bar. The bar was quiet and so relaxing. lt was very cosy and warm. l would highly recommed Ballinalacken Castle. l am looking forward to next year please god and make a return trip.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wanday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2013 via mobile

We stayed two nights at Ballinalacken Castle Country House. After being shown two rooms, we decided on a room in the older part of the hotel as it had far more charm then the room in the newer part of the hotel. It was a corner room with one window facing the cliffs and the other a meadow. The four poster queen size bed was comfortable and there was a small table with two comfy chairs by the window. The bathroom was small but adequate. One criticism is that the towels are thin and rough and definitely should be upgraded. I agree with other comments that the heating system is cranky and not up to par. However this concern was immediately addressed by Cecilia and Declan Doolin, the proprietors, who immediately brought up a portable heater which solved the heating problem immediately. What makes the experience at Ballinalacken memorable is the service. Cecilia, Declan and Anita are responsive to every need and request. When unexpectedly a boat was leaving for the islands, they made a call to the quay to hold the boat a few minutes to enable us to get to the dock. When we were having problems with the Internet in our room, Declan came up with his computer to help and when we could not locate our adapter, Declan was there immediately with a whole box of plugs to choose from. Some rooms have better internet service then others so if Internet is important, I would advise Cecilia when booking. Both in the bar and in the sitting area (where a cheery fire was burning) there was no problem accessing the Internet. A highlight is the private tour that Declan gives of the castle which is adjacent to the house. The breakfast is a typical Irish breakfast and served in a lovely dining area. The property is a bit out of town and you do need a car. I would stay here again.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BigintrepidTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belmont, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2013

We stayed here for two nights recently and dined here on one of those nights. The grounds are lovely but the entry gate and driveway are a bit tricky. The house itself is very pleasant with many interesting period touches. Our room was comfy but not luxurious. The bedding could use feather pillows and duvets rather than foam pillows and wool blankets. Something one expects at these prices. The restaurant food was very good and the breakfasts were well made. One unexpected pleasure was a personal tour of the original castle adjacent to the hotel. A wonderful historical experience.

Room Tip: ask for a tour of the old castle
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blarney
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2013

After searching for a nice quaint hotel for my wife and I to stay in our first visit to Co.Clare. I have to say I was disappointed. The radiator in our room had a mind of its own after spending a day at the cliffs we returned to a cold room and no way to turn on the heating. In the middle of the night the heating came on and made the room very warm uncomfortably warm at that.Reading about the hotel it said that wifi was free throughout the hotel but unfortunately this was untrue, as it was only available from the bar.
The red haired girl that welcomed us was very pleasant could not fault her a really lovely person. The food was nice but over priced. I have to again compliment the red haired girl did not get her name but she made you feel really welcome and always on hand in the dining room. Overall a one night stay including a meal for 2 adults and our little girl who is 2 years old came to almost €220 which I have to say is a lot for this hotel. I would expect a lot more for the price. Please sort the heating and the Wifi for a start this would go along way.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Pallipon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2013

We stayed here for one night (thankfully!) on our trip around Ireland and I had high expectations for a quaint castle dwelling, which unfortunately were not met. Arriving on a drizzly and grey day with strong winds, all I hoped for was to have a warm and cozy room to seek refuge in. Unfortunately, the radiator in the room was not working (or if it did, it was really not ready for the 21st century), despite the staff's reassurance that they managed to find the "kink" in the system. To their credit, the friendly staff brought in portable heaters, and an extension cord for it (since there was only ONE accessible power point in the room), but it didn't help. The heating was pretty much localised and the room was not even big to begin with.

The bathroom was spartan to say the least, reminding me of the toilets we get in school, and completely unbefitting that of a "castle" hotel.

The corridors were lined with radiators but either the owners did not switch them on or they were faulty. In short, there was not a single warm spot in the whole establishment. I thought I was the only one affected by the cold, but another guest whom I spoke to over breakfast also complained about her cold room. One of the staff made an oblique reference about the "quirks of country living" when I mentioned about the cold. But this is not a cheap hotel and expecting some creature comforts is not unreasonable for the price we paid.

Room Tip: None. They are all cold unless you can find one with a real fireplace.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Audera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Verona, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2013

My sister and I shared a clean and nicely appointed twin room for a one-night stay here. We arrived at dinner hour and were immediately seated in the dining room. The food was excellent both at dinner and at breakfast the next morning (I ordered the fruit pancakes which turned out to be light crepes with a fruit filling - excellent). I could not access WiFi from the room and needed to use a common area, so I sat in the bar for awhile... it was quiet the night we were there and a comfy spot to sit. There is also a pleasant parlor with a fire going in the fireplace.
The castle ruins on the site are marked as "no trespassing," so we got close enough just to take a photo. I see in an earlier post that someone else got a tour of the ruins from the property owner - I wish we had thought to ask for that.

Room Tip: The owner told us Booking.com visitors usually get assigned a rear room, but because the place was s...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jerseyrn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2013 via mobile

We had a lovely stay here. The rooms were big and although our view of the castle wasn't great we had a few cats walk by which made our son's day each time. The breakfast was wonderful and enjoyed the view while eating. The front desk gave very good directions for the next leg of our trip and appreciated their opinion. An excellent stay altogether. Would definitely come back.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dodgerfan12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CeciliaDoolin, Public Relations Manager at Ballinalacken Castle Country House, responded to this review, 6 May 2013
Hello Dodgefan
Many thanks for review and kind words.We are very glad your family enjoyed the stay and the wonderfull views and food.We hope the next leg of your journey was just as good.
We hope to welcome you back in the future
Regards declan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballinalacken Castle Country House

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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