Visited Tinakilly for a girls day out with two of my friends and had one of the worst experiences in a 4 star hotel ever. It's a lovely setting, but that's about the only positive thing I can say.
We booked in for treatments and afternoon tea. When booking the treatments I explained to the lady that the 3 of us were expecting incase that had any impact on the pedicures we wanted. I booked the one hour 'medi-pedi plus' treatment, and the two girls were booked in for normal 30 minute pedicures. I also booked us in for afternoon tea, again explaining that the 3 of us are expecting so we can't eat unpasteurised cheese, or smoked or raw fish. The girl I spoke to assured me that wouldn't be a problem, but took my number incase the chef had any questions.
My treatment was booked in to go first, when I got into the treatment room I was shocked to see that my treatment space was what can only be described as a dining table chair in the corner of a treatment room with a pillow on the floor. Even in normal circumstances I wouldn't consider that kind of chair comfortable or appropriate for relaxing in while getting pampered, but at 19 weeks pregnant I can recommend it even less. The actual pedicure itself was one of the worst I've ever had, no filing or buffing my nails, no exfoliation, no massage...very, very basic. Apparently the element that gave it the 'medi pedi plus' title was a foot callus treatment, which was basically two treated cloths wrapped around my heels, then my feet were wrapped in bin bags (not joking, they were actual bin bags) and then in towels. Even the polish didn't redeem it at all - there were 5 colours to choose from, and the therapist only applied one coat of colour. My treatment lasted less than 35mins, when it was supposed to last one hour. I complained afterwards and initially the lady taking the payment disputed it when I said I assumed I was only being charged for a standard pedicure, but when I pointed out that there was no filing, exfoliation or massage she couldn't really argue and charged me for a regular pedicure, which was still steep enough considering the poor standard at €35, but it was better than €60 which I had been due to pay.
The two girls went after me and both had slightly better experiences, I think the therapist who treated me must have gotten some feedback, so theirs were a bit better but still not worth €35 by a long shot.
Then came afternoon tea - we mentioned to the waiter that we were pregnant and he assured us we'd be looked after especially as I had called ahead to advise. To say what we were presented with was laughable is an understatement. I'll post a picture of what was on the website to show the comparison with what arrived. We didn't even initially get brought out scones and the 'sandwiches' were a joke - ham, smoked salmon (which none of us can eat when pregnant) and then 2 plain white sandwiches - one tomato, one cucumber. No cream cheese and chives, not even salt, pepper or butter on the bread! The 'desserts' were just as bad - a mini ramekin with some blueberries in it, another with mixed berries and the third dessert was a piece of dry meringue with a raspberry on top. We brought it to the waiters attention that this really wasn't what we expected, and it then transpired that he had misheard us and though we said we needed 'dairy free' not pregnant, so they were off to sort this out for us. The end result was we were brought out 3 tiny scones, and another plate of plain cucumber and plain tomato sandwiches!! Don't get me wrong, afternoon tea in Tinakilly is only €10.50 a head, so I wasn't expecting The Merrion standard or anything of the sort but still, what we got was just so disappointing. We raised the issue again, and this time the manager got involved, and offered to start the whole thing over again from fresh but at that stage we were so over it, and the bar was beyond packed with wedding guests for the wedding the hotel was hosting we just chose to leave, and weren't charged for the afternoon teas.
Final point is that the hotel was also hosting a wedding, and the guests were just everywhere. It felt like we had gatecrashed a private venue and just doesn't work at all. Leaving the bar on the way out we literally had to step over the brides dress, and weave our way through her guests as the bar and the reception area were just packed with them. I think the hotel should either have a separate area to accommodate non-wedding guests, or else close to the public for the afternoon on the days weddings are taking place. It's not like they didn't know we were coming, we had booked it a few weeks in advance and a heads up would have been nice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1883 for Captain Robert Halpin, Tinakilly is a beautiful Country House Hotel with 51 bedrooms set on 7 acres of mature landscaped gardens overlooking the Irish sea ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tinakilly Country House Hotel And Restaurant
- Tinakilly Country House Hotel & Restaurant County Wicklow, Ireland - Rathnew