My husband and I stayed at Ballinalacken Castle Country House for 2 nights as the last leg of our 2-week visit to Ireland in July 2007. It was a fantastic way to end our trip!
The host, Declan, is the nicest guy. He is so helpful, offering suggestions of things to do and see in the area. He runs the restaurant, the front desk and is always available (except upon our arrival in mid-afternoon the first day, which meant we had to carry our own luggage all the way back to our room, which is the farthest. But thankfully, there are vey few steps so you can roll most of the way). Declan clearly loves where he lives and it shows. His wife, Cecelia, is lovely and checked us out the morning we left. They are both very responsive to email before and after the trip.
The hotel (which is more of a lovely intimate inn) is a family run business. Declan grew up there. His father owns the hotel, and was our bartender the night we had a drink at the little pub before a fanastic dinner in the restaurant (which is open to non-guests but is small enough to not feel crowded). His father was lively and we had such a good time chatting with him over a pint of Guinness. Declan's son is also around - a very young boy - and his nephew (his brother's son) who proudly displayed the plaque he was awarded for football.
We booked Room 16, which is referred to as a half suite. It was wonderful. A very large room with amazing views of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. There is a glass enclosed gazebo that juts out of the room with unbelievable views.
The common rooms are very pretty with lots of large comfy chairs placed in front of windows with more to-die for views. The location of the inn is great - it is a 5 minute drive from the little strip of a village called Doolin, up on a hill. It is very quiet and located next to the ruins of the castle tower of Lord O'Brien. Declan provides private tours of the castle ruins for guests which is a real treat. The views from the top of the castle tower are heavenly. But it is not for the faint of heart - steep, winding stairs to get to the top. Declan's brother' has a Connemara pony that lives up near the castle ruins, and she seems to really like visitors. But do not go up without Declan - it is not always the safest inside the ruins and he knows just where to step...
All in all, we loved our stay at the Ballinalacken and already miss the views and sunsets (great sunsets over the Aran Islands). Treat yourself. You will not be disappointed.
- 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