The Ice House Hotel

The Quay, Ballina, Ireland

1 Review

The Ice House Hotel
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


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Good For Solo
  • Families70
  • Couples83
  • Solo100
  • Business84
  • SabrinaSummerville's Profile Photo

    Peaceful Riverside Hideaway


    I was drawn to the Ice House for two reasons - because it was the sister hotel of my much loved Wineport Lodge, and because of a misty picture of its riverside setting that I found online.

    Therefore, when I arrived on a cloudy Wednesday evening I was immediately disappointed as it is not at all like Wineport and that magical misty view was far from evident. The not too freindly receptionist didn't help, nor did the unimpressive "Glass Cube"....a tiny cubic conservatory where we were served a welcoming glass of bubbly.

    Thankfully, those turned out to be simply poor first impressions and the Hotel turned out to be quite magical in its own way.

    The rooms have names instead of numbers, and we were in the Saffron room. Its only Saffron furnishing was that two doors of the wardrobes were painted a bright warm yellow while the rest remained dark wood. I didn't like the yellow and I felt it took away from the room.

    Other than that our room was large, bright, and really comfortable. We had twin single beds with those pillow top matresses that you simply sink into. There was also a small sofa, other chairs, a large work area with desk chair, tea and coffee facilities, and a tiny walk out balcony. In the new section of the building, where we were, only one or two rooms have blaconies. While we were fortunate to have one of those, the downside is that they are over a bottle storage area and we were subjected to the noise of the regular dumping of bottles from the bar. This, however, was the only noise that periodically disturbed the wonderful peace of our room.

    The view was just gorgeous. We overlooked the river Moy and straight across from us at the other side of the river was a dense forest and some tiny islands. Birds flitted in and out of the trees, ducks and swans floated on the waters, and small boats made their merry way up and down the Moy.

    Unique Quality: There is an allegedly amazing spa, which we didn't try and so I cannot comment on it. There are two hot tub outside overlooking the river. Some people expressed shyness at using them in full view of guests and river craft, but it wouldn't have bothered me.

    The restaurant was fabulous and is renowned far and wide, indeed a lot further than Ballina! We enjoyed one unforgettable dinner there and a very superior breakfast that featured different dishes such as a wonderful home made granola plus my own fave, an eggs benedict that used pancetta instead of the usual thick ham.

    On our arrival the receptionist on duty was a bit frosty in her nature, but she was replaced on her shift by a lovely girl who gave u some great recommendations for alternative restaurants and things to do.

    This hotel is a nice little find - different from the norm and with a certain panache that's impossible to fake. On our last day, as I approached reception, a vibrant American lady was checking out. She turned to me and said "isn't it just wonderful? Didn't you have just the most amazing time?"

    That's how people feel about this place.

More about The Ice House Hotel

The Ice House Hotel Ballina Co Mayo absolutely fantstic

by TripAdvisor Member NURSEDONEGAL

I stayed in the Ice House hotel for one night.From arrival to check out the service was fantastic.Luxury spa treatments and surroundings ensure a relaxing stay.The staff in the hotel were friendly and efficient.Rooms were luxurious. The restuarant offered a wide selection of dishes and should appeal to even the most discerning of palates. The facilities in the hotel are first class and i fully intend to visit the hotel again.Anyone who wishes to stay should book a treatment in the spa and avail of their facilities.I will be back!!

Ice House Food is "Hot"

by SabrinaSummerville about Pier Restaurant

Pier is the name given to the wonderful restaurant attached to the quirky Ice House hotel here in Balllina.

It's situated in the basemend of the original Ice House and a stunning extension has been built almost entirely of glass to take advantage of the amazing views of the river outside.

The restaurant is designed so that banquettes, suitable for large groups and families, occupy the conservatory area while the more intimate tables are set under the arched ceiling of the original ice house. Wherever you sit you will have the benefit of the wonderful views outside.

The theme here is upmarket with superb food. The hotel is a sister of the famous Wineport Lodge in Athlone. Wineport is most famous as it is the setting for a very popular TV cookery programme. Ice House Pier restaurant aims to follow in the footsteps of Wineport and serve up only the very best of food and the most interesting presentations. The amuse bouche was a tiny cup of piping hot cauliflower soup. It was so hot that I burned my tongue, but it cooled quickly enough to allow me to enjoy thi very tasty soup!

Next I had a half lobster thermidor - delicious, just the right size for a starter, and reasonably priced at around €14.

A mandarin and cognac sorbet was welcomed next as an excellent palate cleanser - just the right balance.

My main course was a plate of half a doze absolutely amazing scallops, beautifully presented with six green asparagus and plated in a perfect mix of seafood sauces.

Finally, my lavendar creme brulee was just a tiny bit disappointing because it was cold and solid, not warm and runny with a crispy top.

With this meal we drank a bottle of Australian Lueewin Estate 2004 Margaret River Chardonnay. It wasn't cheap bt was worth every cent.

Very much to be recommended about this place.


by TripAdvisor Member Rufiola

Just returned from a weekend at the Ice House Hotel, Ballina.
It was simply amazing - Our room was spectacular, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the restaurant was really superb - What the Ice House does in my opinion is provide an relaxed, comfortable, friendly service in a premises that is out of this world which I find is a rare thing to find. Many hotels may have the surroundings but lack the service or the attention to detail that Ice House has in spades - I wish the Ice House and its owners and staff all the best and hope that everybody gets the opportunity to soak in the wooden tub in the Bartra Suite and drink ginger mojitos in one of the two hottubs overlooking the River Moy!

The Best in a Long Time!

by TripAdvisor Member laddyodools

Just a few words, mailnly to thank the entire staff of the Ice House Hotel, for an unforgetable trip. This trip restored my faith in "High End" hotels. I work in the hotel/ hospitality industry in Dublin, and saw in this hotel all the ellements that a "High End" hotel should have. From a beatiful location, seemlessly placed in its surroundings, to a knowledgable and curtious staff, this place had it all. This hotel brought to life a seemless mix of old and new world, in its design and fetures, as well as its menu!! What a dinner! Just like the building, the meal used traditional Irish produce in such a refreshing and interesting way, I was blown away! I have rarely had such a fine dining meal, in such a warm and stunning setting. The staff new their stuff, and presented it so well. Then there is the SPA! From the hot tubs on the shores of the river, to the really well fitted treatment rooms, you can't do anything else but sit back, relax and soak it all in! This is a MUST VISIT destination! Good Luck to all involved there and I will see you again on my return visit! Thanks to Dara, Claire, and Paul!

Made feel at home by the friendly attentive staff.

by TripAdvisor Member PhotomadDublin

My wife and I had planned to visit Mayo this summer, and having read the favourable press reviews regarding the Ice House we decided to base ourselves there for the duration.

Approaching the Hotel we were pleased by how well the old and contemporary has been fused. On arrival at the reception we were met by the heartiest of hanshakes and the warmest of welcomes. The reception area is pleasantly informal and you actually sit while being checked in, and treated to a refreshing glass of bubbly when the usual formalities are completed. We were lucky enough to be able to book one of the rooms in the old part of the Hotel, and were delighted with the old world charm and in particular the wooded bath in which I was expecting Maverick or some other wild west legend to emerge.

The taste of Mayo package included an Evening meal in the restaurent. On entering we were greeted by a friendly and attentive staff who explained the menu in detail, even down to the matching of the desert wine selection with selected desserts. The food, service, and ambience of the vaulted ceiling restaurent is to be recommended.

All tastes and appetites are well catered for at breakfast, the only downside being eating too much. Following breakfast we treated ourselves to a SPA treatment which was both relaxing and envigorating, and which set us up nicely for our day trip along the beautiful Mayo coastline.

If you are planning to visit the visual treat which is County Mayo, double the experience by staying at the Ice House Hotel.

a western paradise

by TripAdvisor Member silver-traveller60

Just back from a delightful two night stay at the Ice House with my husband. Everything about the hotel lived up to and often exceeded expectations. The design - a clever fusion of old and new; the bedtoom - a spacious, comfortable room, with a stunning view of the tidal , ever changing river and the woods beyond; the food - innovative and delicious; the public spaces, inside and outside - welcoming, comfortable and relaxing; most of all the friendly, helpful staff, smiling and ready to chat or not, depending on the cusomer.
It's not cheap and if the weather is wet it might be a bit limited in activities on offer, but all in all I would highly recommend the Ice House for a special break.

Spa Heaven

by TripAdvisor Member Wese

Myself and my partner stayed here for 2 nights recently, a birthday present for me. The hotel is fabulous and our room was fantastic, we had the Quay Suite. The staff were very friendly and the food was amazing. Breakfast in bed at no extra cost was a bonus. The spa facilities were excellent and the therapist very professional and helpful. Overall I would highly recommend this hotel - completely worth the long drive from Dublin!

Will be Back Soon!

by TripAdvisor Member pumpkin31

Just back from a one night stay at the ice house (my birthday treat). Cannot fault anything - staff very helpful, bedroom (we stayed on the quay suite)& hotel decor beautiful, food amazing (am still dreaming of my sweetcorn soup with smoked chicken wontons!!)
Would definitely recommend it for a special treat - my husband is already planning to return for his birthday!

Lovely Boutique Hotel with Great Views

by TripAdvisor Member Michelle3076

Great value, we booked the 'dining-experience' plus an additional nights' stay, which gave us 3-nights plus dinner in the restaurant. This is a lovely looking hotel, and we were given a wonderful room with floor to ceiling windows with views over-looking the river.

Really modern, well designed rooms, but I didn't realise, until I was getting changed, that diners in the restaurant were able to wonder onto the terrace and look directly into our room. It would have been a goood idea to give us a heads up that that was the case, and possibly provide net curtains, rather than requiring us to close the curtains completely to maintain our privacy and close off that lovely view.

The spa was very pleasant and the hot-tubs have a view you wouldn't believe, but you have to walk either through reception or through the restaurant to get to the spa, the hot-room was not really very hot and those using the hot-tubs can quite easily be seen by those in the restaurant, which is a bit unsettling.

The food in the restaurant was really very very good and given our deal, incredibly good value. There is a nice pub/restaurant 5-mins up the road for those who don't want fine-dining every night of their stay but I recommend the restaurant at least once - it is pricey, but very much worth it. The staff were lovely and knowledgable about the food. It is worth looking a little smart for dinner as other diners (not necessarily hotel guests) were also well-dressed. The outdoor terrace is lovely for an evening drink, watching the sun set over the river.

The staff were friendly, but a bit inexperienced when it came to dealing with guest enquiries and there were a few small irritants: why isn't better use made of the outdoor space next to rooms overlooking the river? too much space given over to introducing the owners of the hotel in the information booklet rather than presenting the info a guest really needs - like breakfast times; there was a fire-alarm in the night, for which we received no explanation or apology; and very little room to actually get changed in the spa.

Overall a very cool, lovely hotel with a great restaurant.


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 The Ice House Hotel

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

Ice Hotel Ballina
The Ice Hotel

Address: The Quay, Ballina, Ireland