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“Great refurbishment...”
Review of Ballygally Castle

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Ballygally Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballygally
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Great refurbishment...”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

Visited with a degree of trepeditation following he refurbishment which we had followed with interest. Well can confirm they've done a lovely job and the old castle looks fresh and clean but the character has been retained and there's some lovely art including travel posters from the 50s and 60s and a lovely JW Carey watercolour in reception. Seating as other reviewers have mentioned is a bit haphazard and despite the great picture windows there are not a great deal of seating areas with sea views which is a shame. We came for lunch. Fish and chips. Service was friendly and food certainly came up to scratch. In hindsight would have appreciated some introduction to the refurbishment and some descriptions from the many staff present. They could maybe make more of this wonderful asset. However, worth a stop. Next time we hope to stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Knightsbridgetripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, General Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 26 June 2014
Dear Knightsbridgetripper,

It was a pleasure to have you return to 'the Castle'.

We are delighted that you approve of our recent refurbishment, indeed the new look has been well received by the majority of our patrons.

The fish and chips are a firm favourite with many of our guests and you comments regarding the food and service will be shared with our team.

Once again, thank you for your return visit and thank you for sharing your words of praise and encouragement.

Yours Sincerely

Stephen Perry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Choose to visit the hotel to meet with friends and have lunch. We were shown to seats in the reception area and almost immediately asked if we would like to order. We had not even been offered menus apart from the one on the table. We ordered wine and our food. The young male waiter was polite and service was prompt. The food however was a big let down. Fish and chips bland and over priced. The caesar salad tasteless and the prawn open was 2 pieces of wheaten topped with prawns served with a spoonful of coleslaw , potato crisps and a little glass of olives. Strange to say the least. My experience of a prawn open would include a nice side of salad at least. We finished with coffee. We ate our food as we were hungry and clearly this is what the chef and hotel pass as 4 star. There was a wedding reception on but it would have been nice to have had an area for non wedding guests to sit and eat away from the party. The reception area feels like a white elephant, very bare with uncomfortable seating. I would like to go back but i think only for a coffee as i would not look forward to the food. Maybe the hotel could change this.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
Helpful?
Thank sealink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, General Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 26 June 2014
Dear sealink,

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the polite and prompt service you received at Ballygally Castle. We are also grateful for your constructive feedback regarding the food and furnishings.

We will be delighted to welcome you back to 'the Castle' in the not too distant future.

Yours Gratefully,

Stephen Perry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We had the pleasure of visiting the hotel on the 20th of June for lunch, and the service we experienced was second to none, so much so that I had to write this review. The particular member of staff, Jackie, with impeccable manners and a dazzling smile, attended to our every need.
In fact nothing was too much trouble for this gent. From the moment we were seated at our table to begin our meal - to our leaving the hotel wereby he directed us to the beautiful gardens to soak up the afternoon sun. He was attentive without being intrusive, polite with senserity, efficient yet allowing you to set your own pace for lunch, well mannered and with the ability to engage with people of all age groups I.e my dad 70 years old, me 35 years old and my daughter 8mths old.
Well done Ballygally on employing a real gem.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, General Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 26 June 2014
Dear Jennifer S,

Thank you for your positive review of your recent visit to Ballygally Castle. You may rest assured that we have shared your praise of Jackie and acknowledged him for the service he provided.

Jackie is indeed a great asset to the hotel and we value him as a highly skilled hospitality professional.

We look forward to your return to 'the Castle'.

Yours Sincerely

Stephen Perry
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

We just wanted to say a big big thank you to all the staff at the ballygally castle for our wedding day. Particularly Scott who listened to all our requests for the finer details! Our wedding was perfect for us in every way and we have had great feedback from our guests. The location, drinks and food at the Ballygally was perfect! The renovation is first class! Katrina&Barry

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Barry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Larne
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

We live locally and called in for a drink as it was a lovely evening and we knew the hotel had just been refurbished.

There is no bar other than the one that is right next to the function room, as there was a wedding going on we felt like we were intruding on the wedding.

The view from the bar is lovely, but as there were 2 transit vans parked in front of the window the only other focal point of the bar was the TV.

We sat down and had to ask for a cloth to clean the tables as they were filthy, even though there were a number of bar staff behind the bar.

There is no atmosphere in the hotel and to be honest it doesn't fell like a hotel at all, more like a visitors centre, the furniture is not welcoming and i think if a good interior designer were to take a look at things there could be big improvement on the space.

To add insult to injury I was charged over £8 for a glass of wine, I don't mind paying prices like that if you were sitting in luxurious surroundings, but sitting in hard sets looking at transit vans out the window - definitely wont be in a hurry back.

Would suggest the management pay more attention to the customer experience

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ScottyLarne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 26 June 2014
Dear ScottyLarne,

I fully acknowledge that you are not approving of our choice of decor and thank you for your feedback.

I am sorry that you found the service in our lounge to be lacking.

You may rest assured that your comments have been given due consideration and attention.

I would be delighted to welcome you back to the hotel. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at gm@bgc.hastingshotels.com

Sincerely

Stephen Perry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014 via mobile

My wife and i stayed here on18.06.14 for her birthday. Hotel recently refurbished and rooms are very nice with lovely comfortable bed. We booked dinner in garden restaurant and opted for table d'hote menu which was 3 courses for £30 per head. For starter I had mushroom soup which was nothing special, had ordered minestrone but there was none left. My wife had chicken caesar salad which was ok, however her main of pork belly was disappointing. We think for the price the mains should come with at least one side but they don't. Pork belly just came with a little red cabbage and that's it, and just one slice of very fatty pork belly. Well I guess the fat is the nature of it but it definitely wasn't a big meal. The restaurant manager also seemed disinterested, maybe he had a long day. My wife was breastfeeding so ordered a becks blue which was luke warm. We pointed this out and another one came and was the same. In the end my wife didn't drink it. Not hard to chill beer. We went down for breakfast quite late but before it finished and whilst it was of good quality and quantity it wasn't all hot and bacon a little over cooked. Maybe it was as we were last down who knows. Coffee wasn't particularly nice either. After check out we order a tea and a coffee which cost 3.50 and 4 pounds respectively, a bit steep I thought. Now I would expect that or more at the merchant etc but not ballygalley. I know they have a refurbishment to pay for, but they have really put prices up I think. Not value for money so we won't hurry back. We had high expectations having eaten there before and really enjoyed but not this time unfortunately.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mrlucky09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, General Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Dear Mrlucky09,

We appreciate your candid feedback. I am sorry that we failed to impress you upon your recent stay with us.

You may rest assured that we take your comments very seriously and have taken action regarding the issues you have raised.

You experience is not indicative of what one might expect of 'the Castle' and I do hope you will provide us with another opportunity, allowing us to recover our position, in your judgement.

Should you wish to discuss this experience with me in further detail, please feel free to contact me directly at gm@bgc.hastingshotels.com

Yours Sincerely

Stephen Perry
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Templepatrick, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Hubby and myself looking forward to have something tasty to eat following a gorgeous long walk along the coast. We arrived at the hotel approx 6.35 p.m on Monday evening to be informed by the waiter in the bar area that after 6.30 pm there would be nothing available in that area of hotel except "finger food". We found finger food menu very limited but decided to order the cheese platter and mini burger. Despite the Hotel not being busy there was a long delay before the food arrived. I had asked the young waiter could the blue cheese on the platter be replaced with another variety. This was overlooked. No side plate was provided and when the coffee did not arrive my hubby went to ask the young waiter who apologised as he had obviously forgotten about it. While waiting again for the coffee my hubby went to Reception area to enquire about rates at the Hotel and was advised he would have to look online. Not particularly helpful!
Overall the food was overpriced and average. The staff at the hotel could do with some training on customer service.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank plantwoman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephen P, General Manager at Ballygally Castle, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Dear plantwoman1,

Thank you for your review. I am sorry that you found our service to be lacking on this occasion and assure you that we have discussed and addressed this.

With regards to our menu offerings and times of service, we have heard what you have said and will continue to review these aspects of our operation.

Should you wish to discuss this matter in further detail, please feel free to contact me directly at gm@bgc.hastingshotels.com

Yours Sincerely,

Stephen Perry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballygally Castle

Property: Ballygally Castle
Address: 274 Coast Road, Ballygally BT40 2QZ, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Ballygally
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ballygally
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballygally Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the scenic Antrim coast only 26 miles from Belfast and close to Larne, the Ballygally Castle faces the sandy beaches of Ballygally Bay. The Castle dates back to 1625 and is the only 17th Century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland today. This enchanting hotel is full of character and charm. The many original castle features and antique furnishings also give the hotel a unique welcoming atmosphere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballygally Castle Hotel Ballygally
Castle Hotel Ballygally
Ballygally Castle Northern Ireland

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