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“Don't judge a book by its cover”
Review of Shearwater Hotel

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Shearwater Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ballinasloe
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Don't judge a book by its cover”
Reviewed 12 April 2014 via mobile

When we approached the hotel I thought it was a carcass of the Celtic tiger era, surrounded by unfinished development and never opened retail outlets. Once you're inside though, it is a beautiful, well appointed friendly hotel that's terrific value for money. The rooms are spacious and clean (albeit with the worst tv system ever). The lobby, bar and restaurant are comfortable. There was a large wedding on our second night, but that didn't impact on the terrific service. The food was amazing even If the menu was somewhat limited for my taste. On the down side, I was disappointed that the good selection of speciality beers weren't refrigerated. I would definitaly recommend for a couples getaway or stop off point as part of a larger holiday.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank strange_john
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Belv
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Really an enjoyable stay, room was spacious and clean although the view wasn't very good we didn't spend much time in the room.breakfast was really good with a good variety of food, staff were helpful, except for the manageress, all she seemed to want to do was wrap the knifes and forks up for the dinner time, and this was every morning we were there, over the four days, not even a hello from her, unlike the rest of the staff.
However this didn't ruin our stay, wasn't impressed we had to buy swimming hats to use the swimming pool, I would have expected this to be included in the price of your stay especially a four star hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view as this would help
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We ate in the main ‘fancy’ restaurant on the Friday night and had a delicious meal. We had 3 courses each with a bottle of house wine and coffee & it cost a brilliant 64euro in total. Again the staff were great and added to the experience. Re: booking we were able to book a table @ 8:30 on arrival after being told how busy the restaurant would be.

Genuinely can’t understand lighting complaints as I thought it was fine and added a bit of ambiance. I’ve drank and eaten in places a lot darker.

On the second evening we ate at the bar and had a lovely ‘pub grub’ meal which were great portions and very tasty. We did have to wait for over an hour to be seated but we were told earlier in the afternoon we should book a table in bar (which we declined). In fairness we didn’t mind waiting at all and the bar manager did a great job in keeping us informed. The poor guy seemed rushed of his feet and couldn’t keep everyone happy as people were sitting at tables when they weren’t ‘on the list’ and people who had finished eating didn’t want to ‘move on’. But again I would commend him on the job he done…he was straight to the point and took no nonsense which was exactly what was needed.

A busy bar was to be expected with football and rugby on so I find it hard for anyone to complain. I feel it also appropriated to mention a waitress who served us the night before noticed us waiting and offer to ‘squeeze’ us into the ‘fancy’ restaurant as a table had just cancelled but we declined as were more in the pub grub mood.

Whilst on food…the breakfast was outstanding. Initially I was skeptical as I thought this would be a cheap ‘treat ticket’ add on but when we got there we were led to our table and served coffee or tea and clearly told it was a buffet system and to enjoy. (which we did). There was a great selection and the hot food was more than your ‘standard’ hotel breakfast.

The Spa again was a pleasant surprise, my wife and I spent an over an hour relaxing in the Jacuzzi, Steam room and Sauna. Again with memberships in local gyms the standard was very high. On entry we were given a towel and told to use the pool a swimming cap was needed ( as we were told at reception).

As with all weekends not everything was perfect and on the Saturday night the guest next to use (room 108) we going crazy shouting / screaming etc but I called to reception to let them know my problem and the receptionist apoligised and told it would be sorted in minutes. It was and I thought this was excellent service.

We stayed close to the hotel so can’t really comment on Ballinasloe but it looked like a nice enough town.

Before I finish I must try to address complaints about Spa and Restaurant bookings. When I booked 6weeks before stay I was told it was very busy and to book Spa treatments and restaurant in advance, when I asked for a Spa treatment list I was told it was very busy and to book Spa treatments and restaurant in advance, when the lady form Carlton called me on the Monday evening before my stay to confirm all ok (which was excellent service) I was told it was very busy and to book Spa treatments and restaurant in advance (see a pattern forming) and when we arrived we were told there were limited Spa and restaurant slots available. I really can’t see what people are complaining about.

Overall great hotel and would defiantly recommend it for a relaxing weekend.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank joe f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carrickmacross, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014 via mobile

Me and my partner went away for two nights for some rest and relaxation. We booked online but On arrival the reception did not have our booking in the system. It's took the unpleasant receptionist 15 minutes to get us sorted. We ate in the marine lounge that night and the restaurant was nice. The food was good and I must comment on our young waitress Niamh who was very pleasant and attentive.

There is a lack of attention to detail with this hotel. The rooms are comfortable and clean but there is NO information in the room, our fridge was removed and not enough towels or bath products for both of us for two nights. The WIFI situation was very unclear. You have to go down to reception register (however it is free of charge) for 24 hr pass.

Breakfast the next day was typical buffet which was nice but the service was awful - nobody greeted me nobody seated me and nobody came to check on me - I had to ask for tea and cutlery.

I was very disappointed that the spa could not accommodate us on either days for a massage even though I had rang to book an appointment in advance. Also when I asked if they could put me on a list and give me a call if there was an opening the girl replied with "we don't do waiting lists, it's first come first serve" - awful attitude

The bar was very busy for dinner that night - we we're put on an hour long waiting list but the staff were not very attentive. Some poor older manager was trying desperately to sort out the situation with little or no help from his staff. Granted they were busy but we got sorted and the food was great.

All in all I would say that the hotel is indeed a beautiful hotel with great facilities but the staff leave much to be desired and a little attention to detail and a smile or two would make a huge difference.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lisamcma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarltonACHGM, General Manager at Shearwater Hotel, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback and it is very concerning that one of the main let downs throughout your experience was various interactions with our team.

We generally provide a genuinely warm and professional level of guest care, but very evidently this was not the case throughout your visit.

I will be addressing the details of your feedback with each department ensuring we do not fall to such levels again.

Yours sincerely,
Garrett McGuinness
gmcguinness@carlton.ie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Stayed here for a romantic couples weekend with friends. While our first impressions were good , there was a number of disappointing factors.

Firstly we were told when checking in at reception that our rooms were beside each other. Unfortunately this was not the case. You can imagine our surprise to find the rooms were on completely different sides of the complex. Not a disaster but there was more.

Second we found the restaurant to be far too dark. I understand the need for setting a scene but it appeared that the restaurant was dark simply because nobody had bothered to replace the broken spotlights in the ceiling. We each struggled to see the food on our plates.
The food itself was decidedly average given the price we paid and the steaks - both ordered medium rare, took an age to arrive and were well done. Not a bit of pink - though I wasn't too sure as it was too dark to tell! This was offset slightly when we were offered complimentary dessert and coffee when we raised our concerns about the steak.


Next, our room. The toilet in our room was broken. It wouldn't flush when required and there was a constant trickle of water from the cistern to the bowl which kept both of us awake at night.
There was also a few hints that the room hadn't been fully serviced; bins weren't emptied, receipts from previous night on the dresser.

Access to the pool - one of the selling points of the hotel for us - was restricted on Sunday for kids swimming lessons. We were limited to approximately half the length of one lane.
Furthermore the sauna was barely above room temperature.

Lastly on checkout, we were made to feel as though we were causing an inconvenience to the concierge by paying the balance remaining on our bill.

Overall what could have been a pleasant weekend was soured by a series of small yet avoidable issues that would have been prevented with just a small bit of attention to detail.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NiamhStephens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarltonACHGM, General Manager at Shearwater Hotel, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your very insightful feedback and is disappointing that we were failed to deliver consistently high standards across all aspects of your stay.

Both the management team and I have reviewed in detail the areas where we fell down and we are reviewing all processes and procedures to ensure we correct all areas which fell well below standard.

Thanking you again for your comments and if returning in the future, please ask for me directly when booking.

Yours sincerely,
Garrett McGuinness
gmcguinness@carlton.ie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014

The hotel is nice. The room wasn't available when we arrived - we had to wait 30 minutes - even at 3pm. The staff were friendly. The leisure center was nice but the steam room was poor. We had dinner in the main dinning room. It is very poorly lit and impossible to see in - I had to use phone torch to see the menu. I kid you not! The staff are lovely but service is a bit slow. The food was nice - not cheap. Music in the bar was a nice touch. It was busy which is a good sign. Breakfast was good - again not cheap. We had a voucher for accommodation but it still cost about 150 for dinner and breakfast for two adults and a child.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IrishA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarltonACHGM, General Manager at Shearwater Hotel, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for both your positive and constructive feedback all of which has being used to further improve the property.

I note your comments relating to the poor level of steam in our steam room and have now addressed this with our Leisure centre manager.

Disappointing that we did provide the required level of efficient restaurant service, but again this has been reviewed with both our food and beverage manager and the relevant team members at our weekly restaurant meeting.

The lighting in the restaurant has become a source of constructive feedback on two occasions now, and I will be ensuring that we correct this.

Thanking you again for your very valuable feedback and I hope to see you back with us at the Carlton Shearwater hotel in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
Garrett McGuinness
gmcguinness@carlton.ie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

Stayed here on the way to the West and found a lovely fresh bright addition to the Carlton Hotel Group.The rooms were up to standard and had all the amenities for the weary traveler.Food was was well served and there was music in the bar .Overall a pleasant surprise in the horse famous town Ballinsloe.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ballycane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarltonACHGM, General Manager at Shearwater Hotel, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Delighted you enjoyed both our high standards of food offering and warm welcome from all the team.

The property is perfectly located to stop off and take a break from long journeys while travelling on the M6 and is the first port of call when entering "The Gateway to the West."

I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you back time and again.

Best regards,
Garrett McGuinness
General Manager
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 Shearwater Hotel

Property: Shearwater Hotel
Address: Marina Point, Ballinasloe, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Ballinasloe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ballinasloe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Shearwater Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 104
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Also Known As:
Carlton Shearwater Ballinasloe
Hotel Carlton Shearwater
Shearwater Hotel Ballinasloe, Ireland - County Galway

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