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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
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Reviews (571)
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All reviewsfour poster bedprivate tourthe owneraran islandspersonal tourfavorite hotelcounty clarehoneymoon suiteocean viewfabulous foodbreakfast and dinnersitting areashort drivehighly recommend staying hereirish hospitalitylarge roomwest coast of ireland
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269 - 274 of 571 reviews
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We recently spent a night in Ballinalacken while touring the Burren. It has a spectacular location high on a hillside overlooking Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and nearby Doolin. A long winding driveway leads up to the hotel and the adjacent castle, which is not part of the hotel.
The old house and a slightly more modern extension is single storey and sits comfortably in the landscape. The welcome and service is genuine, not management-course slick.
Our bedroom was spacious with a 4poster bed and a bay window which had great views over the Aran Islands; very comfortable, with a clean bathroom, shower, good towels and toiletries. There are comfortable chairs in the lobby and in a drawing room off it.
The bar seemed to us to be not very attractive. The dining room was very busy, with many locals - always a good sign. The food was the real surprise; to be honest we were expecting middle of the road hotel fare but we got a dinner which bears comparison with any we have had in many more vaunted establishments.There was a good choice and the cooking was amazing; compliments to the chef. Portions were large- a starter of scallops was the size of many main courses. Ingredients all seemed to be local, with an emphasis on fish.
We would go back, particularly for the food.

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

Stayed just night while traveling around West of Ireland. Location is about 5k from Doolin, so slightly too far to walk if you plan to enjoy the music and craic at O' Connors. Both rooms were large and spacious with sea views with nicely appointed bathrooms and comfy beds. Dinner was superb, we all had the recommended local Connemara lamb. Rarely, have I enjoyed such tender and well cooked meat. After dinner, the owner treated us to a tour of the castle and a brief history of the area. I have read the previous review regarding the alleged assault and would like to point that the castle is on private land and not open to the public. From reading the review, it seems the writer was not staying at the hotel and therefore trespassing. After dinner, we headed into Doolin and enjoyed some music, Guinness and craic at O' Connors. Breakfast was hearty affair with freshly baked scones and homemade jam.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank GaryinSeoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We stayed here as part of a honeymoon around the west of Ireland and it was by far the best place we stayed. The country house and castle are located about 5 mins drive from Doolin and about 10 mins drive from the stunning coastal area of Fanore. Our room was modern and comfortable with views out over Glaway Bay towards the Aran Islands. Unlike many castles in the west, Ballinalacken Castle is not owned by the Office of Public Works and is therefore not strictly speaking a tourist attraction but the owners are more than happy to show guests around the ruin. The owners also play a big part in the everyday running of the hotel; we we received a very warm welcome from Cecilia on arrival and both her and her husband Declan served us at dinner. Dinner was amazing and on a par with any fine foodie places there are available in the west; the level of service and quality of food were outstanding. Afterwards we retired to the cosy little bar adjoining the restaurant area. The day we departed my wife realised she had left her earrings behind and again, Cecilia was so helpful in getting them to us by mail. It is so rare to see proprietors play such a massive part in personal service at a hotel and it was obvious that for them it is a labour of love. I would highly recommend a visit to Ballinalacken if you find yourself in this beautiful part of the world.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Zodalmighty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

I last visited here three years ago; at the time I was very impressed and vowed to return, but didn't get a chance until now.
Nothing has changed. There is still a great welcome here in this ultra-peaceful place overlooking the Atlantic and the Aran Islands. Last time we had a lovely four-poster bed, but this time we had a comfortable and spotlessly clean room with a huge comfy bed and the same great views.
We had dinner, it was superb as usual, with delicious local seafood prominent on the menu. Breakfast was as I remembered, plentiful, delicious and relaxed. Fresh scones that were clearly made that morning in the kitchen and not bought from some factory were a breakfast highlight.
This is a place to go to recharge your batteries, to be well looked after and treated to the best of food. It's not cheap, but it is good value for money and will leave you wanting to return.

Room Tip: As far as I know, all rooms have a sea view, but check when booking. Waking up to that view is great.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rockyroad2dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

This was by far our favorite accommodation during our 10 day trip. The location is quiet and beautiful. We will treasure our memory of sipping wine and relaxing on a bench overlooking spectacular ocean and hillside views. Incredible! The manor itself is beautiful- charming and lovely and very inviting. We were fortunate to be upgraded to a suite and both the living room and bedroom were spacious and beautifully decorated. We heard that Declan would be doing a castle tour provided the rain held off, and fortunately, it did. We were thrilled to participate in the tour with just one other couple and Declan's personal knowledge and insights made it so interesting. The bed was incredibly comfortable and everything about the room was perfect. Breakfast was delicious and again, the views in the dining room were breathtaking. We are only sorry we didn't have dinner at Ballinalacken, but we certainly will next time we come.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank kdoyle196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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