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Reviewed 20 January 2009

The house is beautiful, our room was gorgeous, but the whole place had an empty, "the Shining" vibe. There is no lock on the bedroom door, so the hosts can go in and close the windows and turn down the bed for you. The living room is comfy and they'll build you a big fire to enjoy, and bring tea gratis. If you order a cheese board, though, be aware you get about 10 crackers and are charged about $25 PER PERSON eating off of the single plate. Ouch! That struck a sour note on an otherwise pleasant if somewhat eerie stay.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank joshlawless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2008

We stayed with our 3 young children for just one night, but wished we had booked for longer. We had lovely rooms which were across the corridor from each other, but away from the other rooms a little so we didn't disturb the other guests.
The rooms were huge with gorgeous views of cows and countryside, and everywhere was spotlessly clean.
The gardens are lovely, perfect for children to explore in safety. There is a swing, a hammock swing, slide and playhouse to keep little ones occupied. They had high tea with the owners' children, and once they were in bed, my husband and I had dinner. Friendly service, fantastic food and a wonderful setting made for a memorable evening. Breakfast next day was the most perfect I have had- breakfast cooked to perfection in a wonderful dining room.
All in all, Justin, Jenny and family made us feel very welcome and I would not hesitate to return again.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank sas44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Justybusty, Owner at Ballyvolane House, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2011

Thanks for the great review. We enjoyed having you here and hope to see you all again. Best wishes, Justin

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Reviewed 7 August 2008

I've stayed at Ballyvolane four times over the last three years, so the repeat visits tell you a lot already. The last time, we had a family reunion there, and the rest of my family adored it. This is a beautiful, tasteful, charming, comfortable, and welcoming place which i love. I've stayed in tons of hotels in Ireland for work, and it makes you fussy. Honest to god, who needs a trouser press in a hotel room? The rooms at Ballyvolane are full of charm, lovely old furniture, books and magazines, natural light, and thoughtful touches like radios. I happen to like sharing a table (although you can also have a table for two, but you're really missing out on the fun if you do that) and have had some quite bizarre dining companions - a dysfunctional Canadian millionaire with the world's second largest collection of antique snuff boxes (true, i looked him up on Google later) - but all of them highly entertaining. Delicious food, unfussy, locally sourced and plenty from the garden. It's such a beautiful, tranquil place, and none of it would work without the perfectly pitched professionalism of Justin and Jenny. They are incredibly personable, and will engage as much or as little as the guest wants. Ballyvolane works too as it is the right size, seven rooms: not too small and not too big. It's not cheap, but unlike many other places, you really do get value for your money here, and it is a unique place. I'll be back again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled on business
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3  Thank Resort802754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Justybusty, Owner at Ballyvolane House, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2011

Thank you so much for staying and for the cracking review. We loved having you here. Hope you are keeping well. Best wishes, Justin

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Reviewed 23 October 2006

We had our wedding here last December (a small affair with just family and close friends) and absolutely loved it. It's about half an hour from Cork, and very rural, but the directions are good and it was easy enough to find (though I wouldn't fancy the drive on a dark wet night, if it was my first time trying to find the place). I was in regular contact with Justin and Jenny, the owners, in the months prior to the big day, and found them very helpful and professional - really nothing was too much trouble. The house itself is fabulous and has been beautifully refurbished, but (for the benefit of the reviewer who commented on some worn furnishings) it is a family home as well as a hotel, and is the work of generations, not some instant interior decoration. Personally I loved the mellow blend of old and new, and found it far more characterful than any bland modern hotel. There are only 7 or 8 bedrooms, and I saw them all, as we booked the entire venue for the wedding. (There is also a self-catering cottage, but I did not visit that). The rooms are mostly large (a few are small), and all are different. Our room was enormous, with a huge separate bathroom. The bed was also very large, and extremely comfortable. The decor was fabulous and there were wonderful views from the window. The other rooms were also lovely, though a few are on the (comparatively) small side. The only one I'd prefer not to have is the downstairs one, as it's very near the communal areas and could be quite noisy. Note, also, that there are no locks on the bedroom doors, as everything runs on trust, with the atmosphere of a country house party - a bit disconcerting for the security-conscious modern traveller. I had dinner at Ballyvolane twice, once in the run up to the wedding, and of course on the day. The food is superb, without being overly fancy - what I would describe as excellent country house cooking - all fresh ingredients, locally sourced, much of it from the hotel's own garden. Breakfast included the most wonderful organic eggs from the hotel's own hens. I'm not sure I'd go for the communal dinner, if it meant making conversation all evening with complete strangers - not really my cup of tea, but I suppose it's part of the country house experience, and many people might enjoy it. The gardens are lovely in a relaxed way, and good for a wander - the grounds are extensive. In keeping with a country house, there are several dogs and an enormous cat - I loved this, it's one of the reasons I booked the hotel, but it might not be to everyone's taste. I believe there are also some donkeys in the grounds. As it was winter , there were warm log fires in the communal rooms, which made it so welcoming. All in all, I would recommend Ballyvolane House very highly - can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: December 2005
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3  Thank Galwaychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Justybusty, Owner at Ballyvolane House, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2011

It was a pleasure to host your wedding here. We really enjoyed helping plan your big day and I am delighted you all had a brilliant time. Please keep in touch. Justin

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Reviewed 21 August 2006

Ballyvolane is a complete retreat from the day to day grind. Stepping back to a time of elegance, graciousness and charm, our hosts welcomed us with afternoon tea and the freedom of their home. Days can be filled easily with croquet, gentle walks, fishing, music and conversation with guests from all parts of the world. A privilege to be able to share in the life of a country house that has been loved by so many generations.

4  Thank SRAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Justybusty, Owner at Ballyvolane House, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2011

Thank you very much for your comments and for staying. Glad you had such a great time. Hope to see you again. Rgds, Justin

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