Carlton Hotel Kinsale

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

Rathmore Road, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland

1 Review

Carlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 23% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families79
  • Couples66
  • Solo57
  • Business78
  • SabrinaSummerville's Profile Photo

    Stunning Parkland Setting


    When choosing a Kinsale hotel, I was almost swayed towards one of the old favourites enjoyed by generations of Irish sailing enthusiasts (or, that saying, generations of Irish gourmets and hardy drinkers). However, having considered all the options I decided that I would break the mould and book the relatively new Carlton. Part of a chain that has recently blossomed all over Ireland, I had been delighted with the Dublin Airport Carlton last year and was hopeful that its Kinsale flagship would live up to reputation.

    Let me say that I experienced ups and downs here but the downs were all to do with personnel and service.

    For a four star hotel, the setting is incomparable. I found myself driving along perhaps a mile of tree shrouded sun dappled driveway which curves around an imposing rock and waterfall centerpiece in front of the modern glass and stone built hotel. There was plenty of parking and a couple of disabled spots right in front of the door.

    Our room wasn't quite ready (this was 3.30pm) so we waited on the sunny first floor deck and gazed at the harbor below, sipping our drinks and coffees and reading the paper. We didn't have long to wait before we were shown to our triple room. I had specifically booked for three adult females (two of whom are in their 70's) and had requested three single beds (and was assured I would have them). First disappointment - a double bed and a child sized camp bed. Mum and Aunt insisted that I shouldn't complain so at that stage I didn't.

    The bathroom is modern with both a bath and a separate shower. The towels were thick, fluffy, and plentiful but there was just one set of toiletries for three people.

    The beds were very comfortable. There were two armchairs and an ottoman, tea & coffee facilities (replenished daily), a small old-type television, and a nice view of the waterfall.

    I grabbed my swimsuit and made my way to the indoor pool. This area is really lovely, with the 20m pool divided into sections - two lanes for swimming, a child's section, and a larger section for different types of relaxation jets. There's a separate jacuzzi, a sauna, and a steam room plus rain forest showers. I wanted to swim but found I couldn't as people are inclined to take over this area and claim it for their own.

    That night we enjoyed a nice meal in the hotel restaurant and I will review that separately.

    On returning from a day out on our third day (heading into third night) we found we were locked out of our room. Shock/horror - it seems we were booked for three nights under two reservation for two nights and one for one night. They literally could not book us straight through for three nights and had to re-check us in for the third night. Not on in my opinion.

    My other big "thing" about this hotel is that while I booked by phone, the requested email confirmation took almost 2 weeks and seven solid days of phone calls to arrive.

    I made my complaints known to the very nice and pleasant manager on the third night.

    Unique Quality: The hotel is scrupulously clean with wonderful spa-like scents everywhere you go.

    The views of Oysterhaven and Kinsale bay from the first and second floor decks are incomparable.

    The staff are eager to help and very friendly.

    Directions: When driving towards Kinsale fro Cork, you will see a sign for the hotel at the left turn about a mile before the Village itself. Take this left turn and drive on about three kilometres. The hotel entrance is on the left opposite a stone cottage.

More about Carlton Hotel Kinsale

Lovely location, hotel average

by TripAdvisor Member nikki_ni

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in July, we requested a quiet room as I wake easily, we were provided with a disabled room, no problem there but it was located at the start of the hall beside the main door, and also just above the entrance to the reception area. I was annoyed by the lack of thought from the reception staff especially after I took the trouble to email, overall the hotel has a beautiful location although it lacks atmosphere. We got a great rate 109 euros for 2 nights bed, breakfast and a dinner.

I used the Spa twice and the service was good as was the restaurant although they had a problem with my dairy allergy.

I think the hotel had just opened as they are still doing some grounds work. A concern is the fact the fire escapes have furniture items located at the bottom of the stairs this is unacceptable.

Best option in Kinsale

by TripAdvisor Member TravelSnob1

Most of the other hotels are small B&Bs which could be preferred to a more business like hotel, but they aren't very good. The most expensive hotel is the Perryville in which I stayed there one night and it would be great for your grandma, but if you are looking for a modern place with nice facilities and rooms, this is the best option. The only downside is the location is outside of town, but the seaside view is great. Try and get a room on the 3rd floor that has floor to ceiling windows, so so nice. This shouldnt disappoint anyone that is used to fine hotels. One other issue is that we checked in on a Saturday and in the lobby was a huge pre-wedding party that was so loud that we were considering checking out. Food at this hotel was only fair. If you are ok with being out of town by about 15 mins, there should be no other choice.

Lovely Location..disapointing inside...

by TripAdvisor Member gremar

The Hotel is in a lovely location. When we checked in the receptionist told us we had a sea view room which we thought was great. When we got to the room there was a horrible smell from the bathroom when we told this to the recepionist she wasn't very helpful and offered us a disabled room, we declined as we don't need a room like that and i would have though that the hotel should keep such a room in case people arrived who do need it, we spoke to the manager on duty who moved us to a Suite which was lovely.
The bar is very very small with no natural light - would hate to be there when very full.
Hotels Bus to town is available but doesn't run after 9pm or on Mondays!!!!!! Euro 10.00 for 2 people into Kinsale in a Taxi and again Euro 10.00 back to hotel....makes it a bit expensive
We were on a 2 BB & 1 Dinner. We ate in Kinsale on the Sunday night - Fab... We ate in Blu at the Blue Haven. On the monday night we ate in the Hotel Restaurant - What a disapointment - We got a little started from the chef but it was full of Salt, we ordered the steaks and they didn't come with anything stated on the menn and by the time we got to the desserts they had none left. Breakfast is very messy as its a self service affair - Buffet not stocked quick enough....
Swimming Pool area is lovely and the children are out at 7pm sharp so adults can have a nice quite swim.
On checkout was never asked if everything was okay..Over all the hotel has a lot of thinks to look at and put right.At the moment the only thing going for it is the Location.....................

Poor experience checking in.

by TripAdvisor Member BOXtheFOX

Just returned after a three night stay with both good and bad experiences to report. When we arrived at check in at 2.30 p.m. we were greeted with "check in isn't until 3 p.m.". I was so taken aback I replied "What a way to greet a guest". It took another 45 minutes before our "special" room was ready. When I say "special" I use the term that the receptionist constantly used with us because we had asked for a non smoking room.
As it turns out there are three floors to this hotel and the second floor is all non smoking.

Another thing about reception that bothered us was that we were not told about breakfast or dinner times nor where the restaurant was situated or that there was a spa area available to us. We were just handed the key to our room. After a four hour drive I really needed to be told these things rather than have to ask.

Our room was very nice with a sea view. The bathroom was lovely with both a shower and a bath. There is also very good airconditioning in the room. The were some problems however in that the area around one of the windows was covered in mold with all the wallpaper peeled off. We also noticed a previous occupants hairs on the bathroom floor.
When we returned to our room on the evening of our first night there was an overpowering smell coming from the sink drain in the bathroom. It took several conconctions of shampoos etc poured down the sink before we managed to reduce this odour to an acceptable level. We also boiled up the kettle in the room and poured boiling water down the plughole before it went away 90%. However for the length of our stay there remained a background odour.
Breakfast was very good in the hotel with ample hot and cold available however there could be a better choice of breads. I thought that the evening meal was below average and overpriced certainly not as good as the evening meal in the Carlton Bunclody. Service was very good with "Andreas" a most helpful and "aware" person and a credit to the hotel.

The hotel is a good drive from Kinsale but well located and it looks good. The hotel provides a courtesy bus every half hour to and from Kinsale up to 11 p.m. weekdays and ends a little earlier at weekends. This is an excellent free service but I was surprised that the receptionist never bothered to tell us??

One problem we had was when we were sitting out enjoying the view from the balcony, outside the restaurant. The tables are not being cleared quick enough of dirty plates nor cleaned properly. As a result there were up to 30/40 wasps swarming around the dirty plates. Every body was running for cover.

Yes I would go back to this hotel. The manager was visible and available constantly. This hotel just needs a more organised approached to check in and a bit more attention to detail.

Great value for money

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at this hotel on the Sunday of the August bank holiday. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. The bedroom is very large & contemporary with a huge 6ft bed. The bathroom was also a good standard with separate bath & shower. The reception area is gorgeous with lots of natural light. One thing missing though, you could not order a tea/cofee/drink etc here you have to go upstairs to the very non descript bar for that. I would agree with some of the previous posters on some aspects. The 3.00pm check-in is a pain, we were also not advised on breakfast times, loaction of restaurant, free shuttle bus or spa location. I would recommend this hotel to a friend but I also would bear in mind that we paid a relatively inexpensive rate for that night & I'm not sure how I would rate this hotel based on their normal rack rates.

Breathtaking on the drive in

by TripAdvisor Member WeddingShowAroundGal

From the moment I drove in I was amazed at how beautiful the hotel was. Now coming round the hotel I came in about eight in th evening and the lights around the staircase glowed beautifully out to the drive way.

I walked in and went to the bathrooms which were some of the nicest i have ever seen and checking was great with lovely efficient and friendly staff.

The room I stayed in was beautiful and one of the nicest I have ever stayed in I must say now. Even the smallest things like the bathrobes were lovely and fluffy and the room was a delight. Bed was fantastic and after five mad months at work it was brilliant to relax in.

The internet was down the week I stayed but it was good for me cause if it had been up i'd have been glued to it all evening. Instead i relaxed and explored the hotel.

The bar in the hotel was a little on the small side but I hear that there is a new one being built as with the restaurant.

The views from the bedroom and from the decks were fantastic of the oyster bay.

Its a nice quaint little town Kinsale and not too far from Cork I found it quite easy to get to the hotel being from Northern Ireland and not having a clue about Cork signage was good.

Room service was delivered on time and was delicious apart from the scrambled eggs which weren't really cooked properly though i did order room service at eight since i had a meeting at 9am so another 20mins above the water and they'd be fine.

A gorgeous hotel which i'd really recommend for a romantic getaway.

Reception staff need to make eye contact.

by TripAdvisor Member OxOxO

We stayed in this hotel in July. Check in was not a good experience. I also noticed that some reception staff never made eye contact and one lady in particular liked to make you wait until she was ready before she served you. Our room was nice but there was an odour from the drains. Breakfast was good if you were there early otherwise items were not replenished quickly enough. The evening meal was poor but the service was excellent. At the weekend there were screaming children running around the reception area, up and down the stairs, around the furniture with no sign of the parents. Great value as we were on a midweek special (that included a Sunday) but not good value if you were paying normal rates.

Nice Building, Terrible Service

by TripAdvisor Member TriTrav

We stayed here for a weekend in June of this year. The hotel is in a lovely setting, just a few minutes drive from Kinsale. The Rooms and building itself were brand new and very nice with the rooms in particular looking out over lovely views of the local countryside. Our room was nice, modern and clean except for a large brown patch on the wall (Looked like someone had flung a cup of tea / coffee at the wall). Where the hotel falls down badly, however is in the quality of the staff and overall service provided. Not one of our thankfully few interactions with staff there came anywhere close to acceptable standards. On check-in, the staff utter the most forced “Welcome to the Clarion” as if they are embarrassed to have to say the words. For example, after checking in we went to the bar and ordered 2 coffees, one of which was stone cold. We couldn’t return them because the manager was too busy lecturing the bar-man about his various shortcomings less than 15 feet from us. We noted that the manager in turn walked past a large patch where crisps had been scattered all over the carpet without noticing it on his way to dispensing his words of wisdom (He was also going around with a scruffy piece of paper hanging out of his [--]-pocket). That night we were kept awake by the fact that an outdoor terrace at the front of the hotel was filled with people at a wedding. The following morning we receive a very curt phone call from reception reminding us that we should have checked out an hour beforehand – the problem being that we were booked in for another night and that the dates of our stay had been confirmed directly with them the day before we arrived. It took 10/15 mins sitting in reception before the receptionist managed to sort this out for me, at which point she barely bothered to apologise The mix up also resulted in our swipe cards being de-activated and locking us out of the room – the receptionist simply laughed when we explained this and re-set them without saying another word. Breakfast was a complete shambles. To begin with, the in-room information and reception both state different serving times for breakfast (on a similar note, I was in reception later when a group of people arrived to check in only to be told the person they had reserved the room with had misinformed them of the check in time and that they would have to wait another hour). First of all, our waiter showed us to a table, only to give it away to another couple as soon as we got up to go to the buffet. We then got shown to a second, unset table which we had to set ourselves using crockery taken from another larger table as the waiter failed to bring us any. The dining room in general was littered with tables that hadn’t been cleared and as such, they had to ask people to wait in the bar before seating them in the restaurant, despite the fact that less than a third of the tables were actually occupied. The two tables immediately beside us sat uncleared for as long as we ate our breakfast. The pool area was lovely but again was spoiled somewhat by the fact that the leisure centre receptionist repeatedly walked around the pool decking area in her outdoor shoes. On balance though, we got the hotel at a great rate, which given the fact it was brand new and the standard of the room made it worthwhile. We would however, have been furious if we had paid the normal rates quoted on the hotels web-site. All in all, it’s a great hotel but let down badly by the staff. Shame really as it definitely has the potential to be much better if only someone cared about how it’s run.

Great service - bar the receptionist

by TripAdvisor Member dee888

A bit late writing this review.
Stayed in the carlton in January for one night. As there was 5 of us we stayed in one of the suites away the main hotel. The service provided by the staff was excellent bar the receptionist who barely made eye contact and would put her head down if she saw you coming. The bar staff and the restaurant staff were fantastic and the food was divine (a little pricy though).
The room and the rest of the hotel was very clean - one major complaint though is that the weather was very bad and therefore my shoes were wet entering the reception area, as the floor is tiled I fell badly - they would definetly benefit from putting down some matting when it rains! I have decided to get married in this hotel in 2008 and would hope that this problem will be eradicated by then.


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 Carlton Hotel Kinsale

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Carlton Kinsale Hotel And Spa
Carlton Kinsale Hotel Kinsale

Address: Rathmore Road, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland