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Reviewed 17 May 2012

Went to Ballyseede Castle Hotel with my parents for a relaxing overnight stay on Sunday, 6 May 2012. From the moment you go through the gates to the Castle you are transported to a different place. The hotel's surrounding gardens and beautiful landscape make you feel relaxed and you get that wonderful feeling that you can totally chill out. We were greeted by very friendly and helpful staff, would like to specifically mention Esther, who was extremely kind to my parents. We also ate in the dining room that evening and the food was very good. If I had to find one fault it would be with the piped music - I didnt like it, but others may love it.

Room tip: All the rooms seem to have different themes. I stayed in the Japanese room which was a single room and very comfortable. My parents stayed in the Willie Clancy room which had a fabulous four poster bed and very large ensuite which was also extremely well decorated and spacious.
Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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2  Thank Lady_Elgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2012

Let me start by saying: I love castles! When my wife, friends and I took our trip to Ireland, my #1 priority was to see as many castles as possible. When we found out you could stay in a castle – well, that was too good to be true.

But then we saw the prices. Gulp. This was going to put a serious crimp in our budget. After much research, we found Ballyseede Castle. A bit more reasonably priced than the others, so we made our reservations for it. To be fair, it’s really a manor house, and not a castle, but perhaps that was why it was more affordable? We couldn’t wait!

When we arrived, it was in pouring rain. So I dropped our group off with the luggage and then went to park the car. When I came back in, I was greeted by 3 very unhappy faces. To put it simply, check-in was NOT proceeding well. Since I wasn’t there for that part, I’ll leave it to my traveling companions to give the details.

It was now time to be led to our rooms. We were asked to follow the staff member – who led us down stairs. “Um, are we going to the dungeon?” someone asked. The staff member laughed and said, “Yes, the dungeon.” The humor was lost on us.

Now in a lower level, we arrived at the first room. The staff member opened the door – and was surprised to see the room had luggage and personal items in it. He told us there must be a mix-up on the room, and please wait while he figured it out. So we all waited in the hallway while he scurried off, returning a few minutes later.

We arrived at another room, and our friends were shown in. We were now led to our room. We passed numerous doors marked “Servants Only.” “Glad to see where we rate,” I said to my wife.

We now arrived at our room and were shown in. To put it mildly, we were underwhelmed. Since we were staying in a castle, I expected the room furnishings to be somewhat medieval- or castle-themed. Instead, I would call the theme of the room “late 70’s Motel 6.” We were relieved to see that there was a window, which was at ground level outside. There was also quite a bit of mold/mildew in the room.

(A bit of caveat emptor here: We should have checked TripAdvisor more closely. There are numerous suggestions on asking for a room not in the basement).

We all wanted to eat. The dining room is quite beautiful, but the prices are quite high. So we went into the nearby town to find some food. When we came back, I was delighted to find Einstein, a resident and well-behaved dog, relaxing in the bar, hoping for handouts from diners. That was the sole bright spot of the night.

If you want Internet access, I suggest you take care of it before arriving. For a fee, you can use a kiosk computer, but that is your only option.

Things definitely improved in the morning. We had breakfast in the dining room. The food was good, and the pastries were excellent. The service was… adequate. Not up to the standard we had come to enjoy at the B&B’s we had been staying at.

We asked one of the staff members, Sandra, for assistance in making arrangements and recommendations for our travel plans for the day. She was extremely helpful, and really went above and beyond in all she did. Much appreciated.

Before checking out, I walked around the beautiful grounds, took pictures, and got to enjoy the company of Einstein, mentioned earlier, and Higgins, the resident Irish Wolfhound. If I had my way, every place of lodging would have dogs on hand! :-)

So, how would I summarize? When we tell others about our trip to Ireland, we have to admit that this was our only disappointing night there. Ballyseede Castle has the potential to be much better, but in our case, it failed to live up to expectations, or to the standard set by the B&B’s we enjoyed throughout the country. There are other options out there, I would recommend exploring them carefully.

Room tip: Make sure you request a room that is NOT in the basement. (Basement room names begin with "Paddy")
Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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2  Thank Vinnie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2012

Ballyseede Castle Hotel exceeded my expectations, which were high. The service, ambience, cuisine were excellent. The extra "mile" the staff went to ensure we had a good 3-day stay was fantastic. Our server at breakfast gave us tips where to visit on our Dingle Peninsular trip, another advised us on what to visit in Killarney, another on a drive through Black Valley, which turned out to be fantastic even though it was raining. Simply fantastic.

Room tip: Just stay there, but remember there are no elevators so the elderly should ask for ground floor.
Date of stay: April 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank Flying_Kakapo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We thought the castle and it's grounds were beautiful! Loved the ponies on the front lawn! We had a large, gorgeous room --- with a claw footed tub and a shower as part of a beautiful bathroom. We enjoyed the dinner, but the breakfast is wonderful! The breakfast room is lovely as is all the special sitting rooms. The bar looked like a pub. We had a wonderful stay!

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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Thank Becky H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2012

The castle was beautiful however our room was very small with a double bed, so we did not have much room. We also found the location abit remote with not much to do unless we went out and drove. The bar was delightful as were the living rooms. The food was out of this world and the staff very pleasant and helpful.

Room tip: Ensure that you ask ahead the size of the bed and size of the room.
Date of stay: April 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nanci W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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