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“Out-of-the-ordinary” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Laurel Villa

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Laurel Villa
Ranked #1 of 5 Magherafelt B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Out-of-the-ordinary”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2013

I spent two weeks touring Ireland and my only regret is that I planned only one night in Laurel Villa, Magherafelt, the hometown of my great paternal grandfather. After visiting the archives in both the National Library in Dublin and the Public Records of Northern Ireland in Belfast, and finding nothing on my ancestor, Eugene was able to search and provide a list of possible family baptisms in minutes! I would say he is somewhat of a local treasure chest of historical information. He was also helpful in directing me to possible homes and graves of interest. However, even if you are not on a genealogy mission, this home is a mecca for lovers of poetry and 1870’s Victorian splendor. Every nook and cranny is filled with interesting antiques, books, paintings and framed literature from local Irish bards. It is a temple to the arts, and particularly to the late Nobel Prize recipient, Seamus Heaney. As for the B&B experience, our accommodations were divine and so was Geraldine’s banquet breakfast. I truly hope to return to Ireland someday… and to Laurel Villa.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Montague52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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250 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2013

I don't know anywhere throughout the island that rivals this house for hospitality, breakfast cooking, cleanliness, genuine friendliness and breadth of interest in its hosts Eugene and Gerardine Kielt. It's a Tardis - an ordinary edge-of-town house to look at, but inside an immaculate ... I would have said 'shrine', but that has a ring of something cold and obsessive, so let's say 'place of celebration' of Irish poetry. Each beautifully decorated and comfortable room is dedicated to a celebrated poet; there are poems on the walls, signatures, dedications, first editions. Live poetry readings, too. Eugene will talk poetry to you by the square yard, or local history. If you love poetry, this is heaven. If you don't - then it's just simply the best B&B in Ireland (other B&Bs are available, as they say).

The late and much lamented Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, a local boy himself, was a personal friend of the Kielts. Eugene will take you on a tour of Heaney sites, if you like, and has a great fund of local knowledge and contacts. He and Gerardine hosted the inaugural 'On Home Ground' poetry festival in September 2013 - let's hope it is the first of many such at this true house of Irish hospitality.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2013

Just had my third visit to Laurel Villa, this time for the Poetry Festival . It would be difficult to exaggerate the powerful effect the weekend has had .The combination of the comfort, attention and good food provided by Eugene and Geradine in their gorgeous home with the celebration of Seamus Heaney's poetry will remain one of those experiences of a lifetime. It is Irish hospitality at its best and is a 'must do ' place to visit for any traveller to the island ,whether a poetry lover or not. It felt like coming home .

Room Tip: All rooms have extremely comfortable beds , walls full of paintings and framed poems and the decor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank June H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2013

We stayed 2 nights at Laurel Villa at the end of a round Ireland road trip. This location provided an excellent homely stay. Comfortable, accommodation and excellent hosts. Gerrardine and Eugene provided a full Irish breakfast to set us up for the day. We also enjoyed Gerrardine's home baked scones, very tasty. Without doubt we will be back.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2013

We stayed here as we were meeting friends for a meal at Ardtara. The house is exceptional, they have an amazing collection of antique furniture and a cornucopia of poetry, framed and exhibited all over the house. We stayed in the Heaney room (may he rest in peace).
The breakfast was superb and Eugene was very helpful. The one downside was the noise from the road. The Heaney room is upstairs and faces onto the busy main road. It didn't bother me too much but my wife is a very light sleeper.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank curlykale3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2013

We were lucky to stay at Laurel Villa for two nights during our recent trip to Ireland. Eugene and Geraldind couldn't of been most hospitable. The home is lovely,food delicious(especially the scones), and Eugene's assistance in finding the area where my great grandfather was born was invaluable. We would of spent days finding the location without Eugene's help.He called ahead to someone he knew in the area who knew the family and this helped us to meet family members. If you are searching for your family roots Laurel Villa is the only place to stay in Magherfelt

Room Tip: They are all great
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 421Sally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2013

I arrived at the 'Laurel Villa' and was overwhelmed by the friendly reception. The accommodation was tasteful and the attention to detail was excellent. Gerardine the lady of the house was more than happy to book a restaurant on our behalf and was also an excellent cook, the breakfast scones were warm from the oven. I genuinely don't know how they provide such outstanding service at such a price!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SuzanneDB69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Laurel Villa

Property: Laurel Villa
Address: 60 Church Street | Northern Ireland, Magherafelt BT45 6AW, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Londonderry > Magherafelt
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Magherafelt
Hotel Class:4 star — Laurel Villa 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking for a small family-run hotel in Magherafelt or the Mid Ulster District? Look no further. Just read the reviews and see what others have to say about this top class Magherafelt accommodation. This is an award-winning 4 STAR boutique townhouse located in the centre of Magherafelt town in Northern Ireland. Secure parking.Specializing in Irish/Ulster-Scots genealogy and Seamus Heaney Poetry & 5 Star Tours of Heaney Country. Personal service guaranteed and good home cooking. Excellent value for money. Conveniently located with shops, restaurants, bars etc all within a few hundred yards.Less than 1 hour takes you to Belfast, L'Derry, Antrim Coast/Giant's Causeway.Has received outstanding reviews in The Guardian, Observer, Irish Times, Sunday Telegraph etc. Recommended by all the best guide books including National Geographic, Good Hotel Guide and Georgina Campbell. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Laurel Villa Magherafelt, Northern Ireland

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