We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fabulous food & setting”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Fabulous food & setting”
Reviewed 13 August 2007

We stayed 2 nights at this hotel and loved it. Yes, some of the furnishings are a bit tired in the old part of the building, but this is not a characterless chain hotel. Our room had a fantastic four poster bed and antique style furniture, plus a sitting area, amazing views from the huge bay window and an en-suite. The cream carpet was immaculate as was most of the room (apart from a cobweb behind the tv!) although it did smell a little musty - well, it is a Victorian building! The towels were white, fluffy and big enough to wrap round yourself.

The service was great - friendly, but not pushy and the food was the best we have had in Ireland (maybe even the world and we've stayed at some of the world's best! My hubby also works in food quality.) The breakfast was to die for - melt in the mouth scones and perfect scrambled eggs. Plenty of choice too.

We arrived late (due to my hubby's map reading) and Declan was happy to put our dinner reservation back 45 minutes to give us a chance to freshen up. Our order was taken over a drink in the lounge and we were brought some delicious canapes. Even the breads brought to accompany the meal were gorgeous. My husband said his chicken starter was the best he had ever had and his seafood platter contained a prawn that was more the size of a langoustine!

My only small complaint would be that the bed was quite uncomfortable and creaked loudly! And my only regret is that we didn't get a chance to enjoy a drink in the bar as we were too tired. I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone and it was the best value place we stayed in Ireland.

  • Liked — Four poster bed, food and rooms
  • Disliked — Uncomfortable mattress
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carolinecag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

523 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    412
    70
    25
    11
    5
See reviews for
129
277
8
6
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2007

This hotel is in a beautiful setting with great views of the West Coast of Ireland. The hotel lobby is well-decorated. However, our room had old furnishings, felt damp, and smelled like mildew. For the price of the hotel I would expect higher quality in the rooms.
The service was fine and the breakfast was excellent.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank WHMU7877
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
charlotte
Level Contributor
113 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2007

The service, facility and food were exceptional here for our one night stay. I had contacted the Ballinalacken Castle Country House by email several months ahead to inquire about availabiity. A family room was suggested for us with a double and 2 twins with an ocean view. All the email enquiries were answered quickly and kindly. They even contacted us one week prior to our stay and asked if we would like reservations in their wonderful restaurant. We asked for 8 pm reservations for dinner. Then, my family of four that included a 19 and 17 year old were traveling for the second day in Ireland. We anticipated getting to the hotel much earlier, but ended up catching a ferry to the Aran Islands from Rossaveal, near where we had spent the previous night. The trip to the Island was unforgettable, but longer than I expected, so it put us driving to our hotel late. I called them about 7pm and asked them what we should do. We still wanted to stop off in the Burren area, but that might put us getting to the hotel about 9 pm. They asked the chef if he could serve us at 9 pm, and he told us, no worry, arrive around 9 pm and dinner will be no problem. So we enjoyed the rest of the scenery and arrived about 8:55 pm. We were shown to our gorgeous room down oriental carpeted quiet halls. The room was beautifully decorated in gold brocade and very comfortable. There was even a table and 2 round stting chairs. It was a very large room with a window overlooking an ocean view in the distance. The bathroom was larger than most, clean, and bright. We hated to go into the nice dining room in our traveling jeans, but went on to dinner. They had told us casual dress, but the elegance of the dining room, made many people dress up, and the dining room was full when we arrived. They had saved us the last table. The meal was served with fine service and fabulous food. Our food came out perfectly timed as if we were the only patrons, instead of a full restaurant. This was the finest meal we had on our stay in Ireland. We had everything from the soup to dessert. The only hangup was we waited for our check, but we need not have as it is automatically put on your room tab. We needed to get an early start the next am, so they told us to come to the buffet about 15 min early , at 8 am, and all would be ready. The buffet was laid out of cereals, wonderful fruit, etc... and then we ordered a hot breakfast as well. Everything, especially the pancakes were exceptional! All was delicious and served in such a quiet and elegant setting overlooking the castle ruiin and ocean view. Check out was easy and we were on our way early. Once we arrived home, Ballinalacken Castle had an email waiting for us hoping we had had safe travels and a good visit. We had originally chosen this hotel for it's close proximity to Doolin to hear the music in the pubs, but we were too tired to take advantage of that. Doolin was just down the road a few minutes away. I would recommend it for anyone for a fine place to stay and fine food, in an area that could keep you busy for days.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Didn't have enough time here.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank guidebooktraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mt gretna, pa
1 review
Reviewed 30 July 2007

Planning our trip to Ireland we selected the Ballinalacken Castle because of its close proximity to the Cliffs of Mohr and other magnificant sights of Ireland's West Coast. We opted to upgrade to a suite...great choice! Ballinalacken Castle exceeded our expectations with accomodations, gourmet cuisine, beautiful decor (including outstanding antiques) and above all else, genuine Irish hospitality. If you are fortunate to travel to Doolin, Ballinalacken Castle is a must. Our fondest memories of Ireland are those at the castle!!

  • Liked — the friendly owners
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jrswiney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davis, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2007

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.

  • Liked — The hosts
  • Disliked — No one to help with luggage upon check in but probably depends what time check in
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LisaMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2007

We enjoyed our stay at the Ballinalacken Castle Country House. It was truly a unique experience!! The grounds were beautiful, and the view of the surrounding area spectacular! We dined at the restaurant at the hotel because we arrived later than we'd expected and didn't have time to venture out to find food in one of the nearby towns. But it worked out well -- the food was great! After dinner, the proprietor took us on a guided tour of the castle ruins which was fascinating. He was very hospitable and seemed to truly enjoy hosting guests at his property. The room was charming and quaint, and the bathrooms had been recently re-done and were well-equipped. We stayed in the room nearest the guest lounge at the front of the hotel, and my only complaint is that the noise from the lounge and hallway travelled easily to our room. The good news is that we only were bothered by it a couple of times. Overall--great stay!! Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank travelpal79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
39 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2007

On a ten day trek through Ireland, we made it to Doolin and stayed in this castle. You don't stay in the "castle" exactly...instead it is a hotel built next to the remains of a castle. Maybe we were tired or maybe we were beaten down by the lumpy B & B beds we had been sleeping on, but we found this hotel to be an absolute dream! The room had a four poster bed with a great view of the Atlantic just over a lush green hillside. It was the view you see on postcards from Ireland! The service was good, but we were told the pub at the hotel remained open until 1, but was closed when we returned from the town at 11. No big deal though...we got a great night sleep and had a delicious breakfast (included in your rate) the next morning. It's more than your average B & B or hotel, but you will not regret spending a few extra dollars (or euros) to stay at this hotel.

  • Liked — The view of the countryside and ocean (with the Arans in the distance) is second to none
  • Disliked — We could nto go into the castle b/c it was raining and too slippery
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KJR0711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Doolin
1.7 mi away
Aran View Country House
2.9 mi away
Hotel Doolin
Hotel Doolin
#2 of 4 in Doolin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 556 reviews
6.7 mi away
Gregans Castle Hotel
Gregans Castle Hotel
#1 of 2 in Ballyvaughan
4.5 of 5 bubbles 438 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.4 mi away
Sheedy's Country House Hotel
Sheedy's Country House Hotel
#1 of 7 in Lisdoonvarna
5.0 of 5 bubbles 299 reviews
0.0 mi away
Doolin House
Doolin House
#4 of 4 in Doolin
4.0 of 5 bubbles 73 reviews
7.7 mi away
Cliffs of Moher Hotel
Cliffs of Moher Hotel
#1 of 1 in Liscannor
4.5 of 5 bubbles 64 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ballinalacken Castle Country House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Ballinalacken Castle Country House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel Doolin
Ballinalacken Castle Country Hotel
Ballinalacken Castle Country Doolin

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing