Having spent 5 days - 4 nights at the Compass hill house all I can say is I loved it. The house is such a beautiful old house, it has everything in it that you would need for 1 day or a few weeks. We had 10 people staying and used both kitchens which was a lot of fun. We could not fault the house and its amenities at all. I would certainly stay here again and hope we all will do again..
Maybe my expectations were raised too high by the slick pictures and hype, but there was, for our family, far too much wrong with this house for it to be a good place to stay.
On the up side, it's gloriously situated, very, very pretty, and big. We stayed for Christmas and the owners had decorated the house and we appreciated that.
The down sides were these. Firstly, it was freezing cold; secondly, the electrical system had many features that we felt were unsafe; thirdly, owing to a boiler fault, or maybe it is always this way, the house (and our clothes by the end) stank of part burned heating oil; fourth, the beds were the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced; and finally, the house is so stuffed with the owners' things that there was nowhere other than piles on the floor for ours to go. We felt ripped off, especially as owing to a currency mix up that I never understood and the owners didn't document we ended up paying €200 over the advertised price.
To elaborate: we were told a week before we arrived that the Aga had broken, but not to worry as there was electric heating. That was fine, really - in any event the Aga only heated the water. On arrival the house was very cold indeed, with dehumidifiers in most rooms, and a horrible smell of heating oil fumes that was eye watering in the ground floor kitchen. We are old hands with Agas, so we closed off the room, opened windows and assumed it would go. It didn't, though by day 5 it was confined to the ground floor and by day 7 almost bearable. The ground floor was unusable throughout our stay.
The electric system is old - I'd guess 25 years or more. Delights included finding a plug that the wire had been cut off from (so it had exposed potentially live ends) inserted earth pin first upside down in one socket where the router, with a French style plug, was jammed in; sockets so low to the ground no plug could be used; broken sockets with bare metal exposed; two strand twisted wire to lamps; and switches taped over with masking tape. On Christmas Day, with four heaters on not on full blast, all the electrics tripped twice.
The mattresses are cheap, sprung mattresses. I'm fairly small and couldn't sleep without back ache, of which even our teenage sons complained as well. I was literally woken by the twanging of springs and the lumps these formed were palpable even through blankets. I genuinely didn't get a good night in all the time I was there.
The house is prettily, stylishly furnished but bear in mind that every cupboard and most drawers are locked off or full of the owners' things - drawers full of old door knobs, bits of string, etc., cupboards so full things fall out if you open them. In two of the three double rooms there was no drawer space and in one no wardrobe either - it's literally a bed and a desk in the ground floor bedroom. I had to pile pants and jumpers on chairs. The garden yard was messy and full of junk. Maybe if the ground floor had been usable we would have had more room, but it wasn't because the smell was overpowering and my son found his asthma kicked off down there.
It's such a shame as this has the potential to be a stunning house. We knew the owners were away and had only one contact with them over the break - to be honest we tried to ignore the problems and go out as much as possible - but raised the issues as genuine feedback on return. We suggested they look to their maintenance people, upgrade the electrics and mattresses, and tentatively suggested some refund in the light of the fact that a third of the house (half the living space) was unusable. In response I received an astonishingly rude, sarcastic rebuttal, no apology or suggestion of recompense, just an email full of bold font and underlining. I definitely can't recommend this place. Sorry.
Great space and location! We particularly enjoyed grilling and relaxing in the garden space, reading by the bay window with a view of the harbor, and easy walks to nearby reastaurants and shops. Hope to return soon!
House felt very welcoming. Beautiful position in the lovely town of Kinsale. The house offered plenty of room for our extended family group to socialise together whilst giving a measure of independence, when required, for the wide age range of three generations. The position is excellent providing stunning views over the harbour and towards the forts and is within a few minutes walk of the shops and restaurants.
The Compass Hill house is an excellent place to rent for an extended stay in Kinsale. The house is perched above the town with a lovely view of the harbor from many of the rooms. It is a quick walk to downtown and accessible to a scenic walk around Compass Hill. The house is very honey and the beds very comfortable. Given we were multiple families coming together for a holiday we appreciated the variety in bedrooms - queen beds, singles, even a crib. The kitchen had everything we needed for having family dinners and the yard in the back was ideal for relaxing in the evening and BBQing. Marie-Lousie was extremely helpful and accommodating before the reservation and while we were there. We loved our stay in the Compass Hill house. We would love the opportunity to stay in this great house again!