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“Very Rough Around the Edges...But the Reception and Bar Staff are Great” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Jackson's Hotel

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Jackson's Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
250 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“Very Rough Around the Edges...But the Reception and Bar Staff are Great”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

Stayed at this hotel recently as part of a very good deal we got on booking.com for room only for us and friends to go and stay, and check out the Ballybofey Bars and Hospitality. We always wanted to stay in this hotel as it has a very good reputation within Derry and Donegal but I am disappointed to say that it fell way short of my expectations.

The lounge and bar areas were stunning in their décor and the smell of the open fire filled the lower building which was lovely and inviting. The receptionist was also very attentive to our needs and very efficient during check in and check out and I am disappointed that I did not pick up on their names to give them credit for their excellent service. The bar man on Sunday night was also very swift and friendly in his service.

The rooms were of a very low standard and in one room the bed even appeared broke as we entered the room as it was leaning towards the wall. The headboard was not attached to the bed or wall and was merely leaning against the wall. When the light was turned on we could see that on the desk there was dusting completed around the tea/coffee tray and around the desk light very crudely leaving a heavy layer of dust that blackened my finger. The curtain pole was also hanging off leaving a very crude screw hanging out of the wall.

The most annoying thing of all was the fact that every time somebody on the upper floor turned in their bed you would have thought the ceiling was going to fall in. It was very noisy indeed and in the middle of the night and early morning even someone getting out of bed or walking at all sounded like a stampede. We could hear absolutely everything and the slamming of doors topped it all off at 9am.

I really wanted to like this hotel but the quality of the rooms really let it down and the sleep quality of guests is really important to a satisfying stay in any hotel. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to my friends and family.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Niall D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thanks you for taking the time to review Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. We use all of our guests feedback to constantly improve upon our services.
Jacksons Hotel does have an esteemed reputation in Derry and Donegal and I am extremely disappointed that we didn't fully meet your expectations.
Our staff members will be absolutely thrilled with your comments, they work extremely hard to provide all guests with excellent service and it is fantastic for them to be commended for this.
Some of our standard rooms are yet to be refurbished, this should be fully complete in the coming months. Unfortunately the deal on booking.com was for our standard rooms however, you could of chosen one of our deluxe rooms by booking direct with us. I am sure you would have greatly enjoyed our deluxe rooms and I would be more than happy to offer you a complimentary upgrade to one of these for your next stay with us.

Hopefully we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Jacksons Hotel again.

Kindest Regards

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (443)
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English first
Enniskillen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

My wife and i stayed there for 2 nights 24 to 26th Feb, Yes it may not have been the Hilton, but everything about it was great, Staff, Room was nice and big and clean, food was great. Will be back again. Having first read reviews on Tripadviser, i was starting to wonder what i was letting myself in for. I must have been reading about another Hotel called Jackson's. I would just like to say a big thank you to all the staff, for making our stay a pleasant one, hope to see you again soon.

Room Tip: Going by our room that was 305, great could not fault it in any way
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ian4044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear Guest,

I am delighted that previous reviews on Trip Advisor didn't deter you from staying at Jacksons Hotel and that you had an enjoyable stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Jacksons again very soon.

Kindest Regards,

Jenni
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

We spent two nights in Jackson's in late Feb, hotel was in general very good, but a few points they should take note, the rooms were very comfortable and clean , however maybe in an attempt to reduce global warming heating was at a premium, the heating did not come on until quite large in the evening, and the room was always cold, our first meal in the restaurant was very poor, advertised as roast beef was any thing but, lots of grissel, waitress asked did we want chips or mash we said mash and got one portion between us ( went to bed cold and hungry) The next meal I the bristo was very good and good value, I would recommend the early bird menu here. The leisure facilities were brilliant. The staff were very friendly and courteous and all times only criticism was service was a little slow, and breakfast seems to be famous for delays, overall a good choice but Jackons need to address some of the point above.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DAVIDMCKEOWN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for providing us with your feedback of Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. We use all of our guests comments to improve our service. I am delighted that you did enjoy your stay with us especially our early bird menu, leisure centre facilities and friendly staff members. The other issues that you encountered are currently being rectified and I am sure you will notice a vast improvement during your next stay with us.

Looking forward to welcoming you back again very soon,

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antrim
Level Contributor
222 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014 via mobile

Decent post Christmas break , groupon offer , a bargain. 2 nites b&b and an eve meal .
Room in the old wing no upgrades available as the hotel was full . Older tired room but large and clean .
Meal was good, steak was lush, service slow but the hotel was full and Damian did address the shortcomings through the bill which was good .
Bar was very busy , too full . I guess I picked the busiest wkend possible .
Breakfast was fine although served at a wee low table in the function room which was strange .
A good base to explore from, room itself had no view which w as a shame.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank bigmacAntrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Jacksons Hotel on Trip Advisor. We did have an exceptionally busy January, being fully booked on numerous occasions. I am delighted that you enjoyed your steak and that Damian looked after you. We are based in an ideal location to explore all the beauty that Donegal has to offer, and we are extremely popular for our prime location.

During your next visit please request a room with a river view as I am certain you will enjoy it.

Looking forward to welcoming you back again,

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

Do not even waste your money booking this hotel... I booked this as a groupon offer. First of all it took 3 attempts with reception before our key actually worked in the door. Had to ask 3 times in the space of 2 hours for towels as our room had none at all!! Some of the reception staff even struggled to smile at guests. I got a spa voucher with the booking and upon arrival the receptionist told me the treatment had to be booked a week in advance, I was never made aware of this when making my reservation. The pillows were awful, and the bed was ridiculously hard. The hot water took about 5 minutes to come on. The decor in the room was so out of date, it needs serious modernising. The noise from a function happening in the hotel was horrendous, music was blasting till around 2am, the hotel should make you aware that music can be heard as it kept us up until it actually went off. There were a group of people upstairs who sounded like they were a heard of elephants running around the room, the floorboards from above were that squeaky it woke us at around 5.30am, upon contacting reception, the man came up and informed us he had told them to be quieter, however this was to no avail, the sound was just as loud and equally frustrating, he then said we weren't the only ones to complain about the floorboards - you would imagine the hotel would've invested some money into getting them replaced. Our check out time wasn't until 12 however we ended up leaving the hotel at 7.30am as we couldn't take it anymore. The only good thing about this hotel is the fact you are allowed pets, as we brought our dog down, and also the food was good which we got delivered to the room. All in all a pretty rubbish stay! WILL NOT BE BACK!!!

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Guest,

While we do appreciate all of our guests feedback, I feel your review of Jacksons Hotel is unfair and misleading for other guests using Trip Advisor.
The offer you booked on Groupon was for a standard room with spa vouchers. It did state clearly in the terms & conditions of the offer that all spa treatments must be booked prior to arrival. I apologise if you missed this.
We did have an internal issue that caused a slight delay with clean towels on the morning of your arrival. This was rectified immediately and we sincerely apologised to all guests for this short delay.
I do apologise for any noise disturbance you experienced during your stay. We do expect all guests to respect their noise levels during their stay with us. Our night porter spoke directly to these guests and no noise was coming from their room 10minutes following this.

I do hope that you decide to return to Jacksons Hotel again in the future and we look forward to welcoming you back then.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ballybofey hotels

Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

Stayed here with my kids for a weekend, nice enough hotel, staff very friendly and very helpful, dogs are able to stay at this hotel which is good for dog lovers but not people who dont like the smell of pets... The new part of the hotel is lovely big rooms, but downside is when there is a wedding on or the night club is on you have no chance of sleeping till 3pm so you have been warned !!!.... i complained at 1pm, 2pm and all i got was they will let reception know in the morning, when i went down in the morning nobody had told them, i said they should let people know that if you are staying in the new part that they wont get sleep till around 3pm.
The old part is basically old fashioned and small tv's the beds are a bit rough too,,, The food is average not great and its pricey. Its an ok hotel but wont rush to go back. Also the swimming pool was freezing some one had forgot to put the heat on.

Room Tip: Choose old end if you want an average sleep. Or new part for to be up all night unless you can sleep...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tracy1504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay at Jacksons Hotel for your recent weekend break. I am delighted that you enjoyed our deluxe rooms and found our staff members to be friendly.
It seems that you were allocated your room incorrectly and I do sincerely apologise for that. Guests that aren't attending a wedding are allocated rooms away from the function room so that they aren't disturbed by any noise from the event.
Our pool is heated with an automatic timer, unfortunately this had been changed to manual by mistake which led to the pool not being at its normal temperature.

I do hope you decide to return to Jacksons Hotel again in the future and it would be great if you could contact me directly, marketing@jacksons-hotel.ie so I can ensure you have a successful stay with us.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

Booked a Groupon deal for half-term break - admittedly very busy time when kids off school, but nonetheless we were looking forward to a relaxing break and just a little luxury.

Arrived 40 mins early on Sunday & told our room was ready - when we found it though, it was a tiny run-down corner room (Number 329) looking over the downstairs rooftops. TV from the 1980s, smallest bathroom in Ireland, but the bed was the icing on the cake - big obvious dip in the middle of the bed/mattress - I can't believe any hotel would ask a guest to sleep in such conditions! Looked more like a room in a cheap B&B.

Asked for another room & were told that it was no problem but we would have to wait 20/30mins - no problem, we thought. 90 mins later we checked ourselves (for the 4th time) and found that room was now ready (still waiting for someone to let us know it was ready). Better room (Number 336) - family size looking out on river - no heat though (5:30pm in February) and only one hand towel between two of us. Same type of old TV with only 10 channels. Outside on the windowsill was a substantial collection of cigarette butts, which could easily have been removed by cleaning staff - looked disgusting and spoiled the view.

Went downstairs for our evening meal which was OK - very nice staff in the Bistro - apart from one dark-haired girl who must have missed the customer service training day - never smiled or tried to chat. Asked about heating at reception, also mentioned towels - were told they were on the way.

On returning to our room the heat was lovely and shortly a batch of fresh towels were delivered. Great, we thought, now we can relax and enjoy - which we basically did although limited TV programmes (as I said only 10 channels) - Wifi wouldn't connect for us on our laptop (weak signal apparently), but we decided to do without.

Then at 10pm a herd of elephants arrived into the room next door. Sounded like 2/3 young children maybe jumping on beds? Certainly they were making a lot of noise running about room - not hotels fault I suppose - parents apparently were there too (we heard adult voices). This went on for almost an hour - we were just glad we weren't in room beneath this family! Went very quiet about 11pm (maybe someone else complained??) and thankfully we had a great nights sleep - comfy clean bed, although basic enough, but we were on a deal, so fair enough. (Discovered next day that neighbouring room was part-occupied by two girls 10/12 years old)

The next morning I went into the poorly lit bathroom for a shower. Didn't attempt a bath as bottom of bath looked very grubby. Shower hose was brown with age but served its purpose. Missing knobs on shower unit but I was able to work out the heating & flow options myself. Nice shower for a few minutes, then all of a sudden it stopped and made a noise like a hoover! Started up again 10 seconds later but repeated noise and stopped every 30 seconds or so thereafter. Got a wash nevertheless, though hardly luxury. When I exited the bathroom my husband stated that he'd heard someone hoovering the corridor - I told him it was the shower!

Went down to breakfast – can honestly say that it was like eating in a train station! Staff member who showed us to the table made no eye contact, told us to enjoy breakfast but didn’t sound like he really cared. Busy, noisy room, no chance to relax or eat at leisure. Poor layout of breakfast – cups on and butter on table, coffee and marmalade beside toaster at front of room – lots of running back and forth before we could settle at table. Toaster not great – very little fresh fruit left (still an hour of breakfast service to go) and man in front of me got last two croissants . Would have been better to have small dish of marmalade and pot of coffee on table – lots of people running back and forth, probably for same reasons. Breakfast itself was Ok.

We went out for a few hours and returned early afternoon to find our room had been serviced – great. Just one towel again though in bathroom (we’d only placed two inside bathtub for replacement – others hadn’t been used?) Decided we weren’t very happy with general standard of room and facilities so we thought we’d spend a bit extra and ask for an upgrade.

At reception we were told that the hotel was fully booked and an upgrade would not be possible – we’d asked about the possibility of moving to the new part of the hotel, but everything was already booked throughout the hotel apparently.

At this point we decided we weren’t going to enjoy the remainder of the stay (No Wifi, limited TV access, noisy neighbours, no towels, etc) and decided to cut our losses and go home. There was no way we could relax and enjoy the break at this point. I went to the car while my husband checked out – the receptionist then stated to my husband that we weren’t due to leave and he told her that we were unhappy in the hotel. She then offered to check if there was another room available (same receptionist!). My husband pointed out that she had told us there was nothing left less than 10mins before this, but she again offered to check. He said that we were going home. She did admit that there had been problems with the Wifi over the weekend.

She did remove the charge we owed for two desserts and two soft drinks that we’d had extra in the restaurant the night before, which was fair enough, but hardly a great compensation.

I can appreciate that it was a family weekend, with young children about, but this was not the issue - Jacksons Hotel is not a comfortable stay – rooms need serious updating, decorating & cleaning – soundproofing along corridors and between rooms is non-existent, everything seems very cheaply done and tired looking.

We will never enter its doors again!

Room Tip: Avoid room 329..tiny corner room looking out on rooftops, ancient TV, tiny bathroom and disgraceful...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wendy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksons H, Manager at Jackson's Hotel, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a lengthy first review on a Trip Advisor. I am extremely disappointed that you left our establishment without highlighting your issues to a member of our management team. They would have been delighted to talk with you and would have done their upmost to ensure that you had an enjoyable stay with us.
I must highlight that the Groupon deal was for one of our standard rooms, had you wished to upgrade to one of our deluxe rooms you could of done so prior to arrival. Our standard rooms are also in the process of being refurnished, some are yet to be complete but these will be finished in the coming months.
We do not have hundreds of television channels as we have never had any guest requests for them. We do however have DVD players available had you wished to watch a film.

Hopefully you will return to Jacksons Hotel again and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kindest Regards,

Jennie
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 Jackson's Hotel

Property: Jackson's Hotel
Address: Main Street, Ballybofey, CO Donegal, Ballybofey, Ireland
Region: Ireland > County Donegal > Ballybofey
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ballybofey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Jackson's Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 138
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the bustling village of Ballybofey, Jacksons Hotel is an award-winning Hotel on the banks of the River Finn and Drumboe Woods. Renowned for its hospitality and great food, Jacksons is the ideal base for touring Donegal and the North West of Ireland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey
Jackson's Hotel Ballybofey, County Donegal

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