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“Absolutely Fabulous”

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Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dunkineely
Certificate of Excellence
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
897 reviews
142 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 650 helpful votes
“Absolutely Fabulous”
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We stayed here one night for a birthday treat and it exceeded all expectations. Brilliant location overlooking the bay, lovely rooms( not huge but adequate) with the softest most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on, crisp linen, plump pillows all fabulous and nicely decorated. The view from the window (room 3 ) was magnificent. We were lucky that the weather was hot sunny and dry and the whole experience exceeded any of our recent foreign trips .The staff are super friendly and helpful. And as for the food!!! well ,recently my son knowing what a foodie I am asked me what had been my favourite meal ever and I really had no definite answer but now I have. We travel and eat out a lot as you will see from my reviews and I can be very critical but this was the best ever. Our package included B+B and dinner. The dinner if booked on its own is 47 euro which I suppose is pricey but believes me worth every penny. The restaurant is run so well service is relaxed so don't go here if you are in a rush but to us there was just the perfect timing between courses. We started with an amuse bouche of crispy duck confit and a selection of homemade breads and olive tapenade, our starters were garlic prawn and monkfish gratin and croquettes of smoked chicken and goats cheese, for mains I had grilled lobster on tagliatelle( 14 euro extra but worth it) and my husband had lamb. Desserts chosen were a selection of home made ice cream and for me a plate of mini deserts all followed by coffee and an apricot tartlet out on the verandah overlooking the bay. Every mouthful was a taste sensation and I wasn't surprised to hear that it had been prepared by a French chef, simply outstanding.
Breakfast next morning after the quietest most comfortable sleep ever was also excellent. Lovely fresh fruit salad and yogurt, cereals, homemade jams and breads, usual fry or grilled salmon which was delicious, all served in the dining room overlooking the bay.
If you want to treat someone ( or yourself) who appreciates good food and loves a relaxed scenic atmosphere you’ll not do better than here .Even the cookies with the tea and coffee in the bedrooms are home made. Great mid week offers 110 euro B+B + dinner pp. Thank you Castle Murray for such a wonderful birthday.
Before dinner drive into Dunkineely and have a drink In Macs pub so friendly and welcoming also.

Room Tip: Rooms at front with sea view are fabulous
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank holidayseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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269 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Donegal
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 1 night to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We're from the area so we knew what to expect from dining in the restaurant on a number of occasions previously. We were checked in by the lovely Fabrice and shown to our beautiful room over looking the bay. It really felt like we were on a foreign holiday, sipping cocktails on the deck in the glorious sun. Dinner was just amazing, my husband had the prawns & monkfish in garlic butter which is to die for & I had the crab risotto. Followed by Gerry's recommendation for main course the special of the evening we had monkfish & scallops. Dessert was beautiful, I had the selection of desserts & the other half just couldn't pass the warm belgium chocolate cake. It had to be one of the nicest meals we have never had. Breakfast the following morning was lovely, sitting overlooking the bay. There was a buffet for cereals, juices, yoghurt, fruit, bread & cheese & orders for cooked breakfast were served from the kitchen. We really enjoyed our stay & can't wait to go back again. I might have to drop a few hints for my next birthday! Go on you haven't lived until you stay at Castlemurray :-)

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ShamMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

I stayed in Castle Murray House for one night and wish I had been able to stay longer. It has a beautiful location and the view from the restaurant was incredible. The staff were friendly and really helpful. The room was clean, beautifully decorated and they even had a jar of homemade cookies in your room on arrival. The food was excellent. Looking forward to going back at a future date.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 325Bmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
122 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

I thought I would treat the other half to castle murray house, and yes it is a great venue, but I would recommend go down the road a bit to one of the B&Bs like SeaView on the beautiful point, and visit Castle Murray house for dinner . Check that there is not a big group in at the same time though, else you'll be in for a wait . Room was dark and not overly clean , bathroom only just acceptable (toliletries on a low shelf hidden away , why ? ) Breakfast really nice , but finshes PROMPT at 10am , so no lazy lie ins . Chamber maid rattling with keys at our bedroom door at 1030 (although to be fair she apologised ). An American lady was waiting at checkout for her bill for 20 minutes .A bit chaotic but not in a charming way. I doubt we'd return here to stay .

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank plasticpaddyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2013

My wife and I recently stayed here for two nights. This is not so much a hotel as it is a gourmet restaurant with a few guest rooms. If you want to come for a weekend and enjoy the dining experience, this could be a wonderful place to be. We did not dine at the restaurant, but we did have breakfasts, which were superb. The rooms, however, leave something to be desired. Our room was small, rather dark and a bit outdated. It smelled of old cigarette smoke. Also, there is no sitting area to speak of - just a small area near the Reception. The rooms were considerably more expensive than much nicer rooms at nearby B&Bs.

Room Tip: The west-facing rooms get awfully hot in the summer!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Derek P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

My wife and I stayed in this hotel on a dinner, bead and breakfast basis. We fount the whole experience to be superb - the view, staff, location, room and food. From the moment we arrived until we left we were made to feel very welcome. The quality of the food is superb. We intend to return.

Room Tip: All room are sea-facing, so the view is guaranteed.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enniskillen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

I have been to Castle Murray 4 times and each time I am soothed into a state of total and instant relaxation. The location is second to none with sweeping views of water and headland, the Donegal hills framing the view. As always, there could be 4 seasons in any one day here but each play of light and each sweep of wind just adds charm to this lovely, quiet, beautiful place.
The hotel on approach looks more like a huge dormer bungalow! It could easily be by-passed along the narrow road which leads to it. When you realise that the sweeping driveway leads uphill to the hotel, you soon see the advantage of it being set back from the road on such an elevated site; the views are wonderful.
Once inside, it becomes a bit of a tardis with a small reception area leading off to a long gallery seating area with a wall of picture windows overlooking what is quintessentially an Irish landscape. The old castle ruin perched on the water's edge and the green hills dotted with weathered trees facing a bay with mussel and lobster pots really couldn't be anywhere else but Ireland. Not far up the road is Killybegs and beyond there, the stunning Atlantic scenery and cliffs.
The hotel is a great place, not just because of its location, but because it really is a wonderfully intimate spot. This is a place for a weekend retreat for the romantic, for couples seeking a place to rediscover each other, for singles to get away from the world and find a place one person can stay and not feel alone. The staff know their patrons by name and have a genuine interest in them. Again, the friendly, welcoming staff place everyone at ease and the customer is definitely given first class service throughout their stay.
The hotel has the most amazing restaurant. The dinner menu is full of locally sourced produce, top quality and the chef excels in producing some of the finest food I have had in any hotel I have stayed in. It is worth the journey just to eat at Castle Murray! The breakfast menu is simple but fabulous! Everything about this lovely place is unhurried and that goes for eating here as well...no pushy table waiter speeding you up, no conveyor belt experience here! Just a leisurely, top quality, healthy, delicious dining experience. If you have a table overlooking the bay, you will not want to rush away...and in my experience, the staff at Castle Murray will try to ensure you have the table you want and the view you want. They really are models of what the hospitality service industry should try to emulate.
The accommodation is quirky, individual and tasteful. There are only 10 rooms and 2 of these are 'pet friendly', so you could bring your dog with you and stay in one of these rooms. I have stayed in 3 different rooms and each one has its own distinctive décor. There are the usual tea making facilities, TV, hairdryer, etc. All rooms are en suite and the only criticism would be that in some rooms the shower cubicle is narrow. The beds are very comfortable and I have always slept soundly at Castle Murray....maybe a combination of excellent food and wine and the rhythmic sound of wind and waves helps!!
I always feel like I have been on a long weekend, even when I have only had one overnight stay in this hidden gem of a place. The pace of life there creates an atmosphere of leisure and pleasure; it is a sensory experience to stay in Castle Murray...what you see, smell, taste and feel will relax you and when you leave, you will want to come back again for more of the same. It is a luxury break on a realistic budget. It's also lovely to find yourself a million miles away from big generic hotels with the same reproduced interiors. Castle Murray does its own thing and does it beautifully.

Room Tip: Any with a view of the sea! Room 3 is also the only twin room if you need 2 single beds.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rosemary n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant

Property: Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant
Address: St Johns Point, Dunkineely, Ireland
Region: Ireland > County Donegal > Dunkineely
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dunkineely
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury family owned boutique bed & breakfast with magnificent sea views over looking the ruins of Mc Swynes Castle an the Slieve League cliffs the highest in Europe. Amazing breakfast using local sourced ingredients, homemade preserves, breads, cakes and granola. As well as our cooked breakfasts like our in-house smoked mackerel with scrambled egg or the farm to fork full Irish. Relax with a drink in our honesty bar and enjoy the sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Murray House Hotel And Restaurant
Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant County Donegal/Dunkineely, Ireland

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