Waterford Castle Hotel

The Island, Ballinakill, Waterford, County Waterford, Ireland

1 Review

Waterford Castle Hotel
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


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  • Families81
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  • Solo100
  • Business83
  • SabrinaSummerville's Profile Photo

    Island Luxury


    Being from Waterford I would never really have reason to stay in hotels locally, but there have been one or two exceptions.

    I threw a big birthday party at Waterford Castle and they very kindly put me up in the Presidential suite for the night. It really does represent luxury at its very best.

    Waterford Castle is currently the only five star hotel in Waterford City and it is situated on its own private three hundred acre island which is reached by a members and guests only ferry crossing. The Castle shares its ground with the exclusive Waterford Castle golf club where you can play a round with the best of local golfing society.

    As you drive through the elegant country estate, a winding drive leads to this hotel and you are likely to spot pheasants, foxes and rabbits along the way. The Castle itself emerges from the trees and as the heavy double wooden doors open you find yourself in a huge hallway with a great log fire burning.

    There's a cosy residents bar and a very grand oak panelled dining room with live piano music each evening. I will write a seperate review on the main restaurant here. You can also choose to wander down to the golf club and eat more casual fare there.

    My suite was divine with a big four poster bed where Brad and Jennifer used to stay before they became Brad and Angelina. There was a very large sitting room and a bathroom with a claw footed tub in the centre of the floor. From each of the windows you could see nothing but remarkable country island scenes. Here you will be guaranteed absolute privacy while all of the nightlife of the vibrant Waterford city is just a short taxi ride away.

    Unique Quality: Gosh I don't know any island outside of the Maldives that houses just one perfect hotel. Book in here and see for yourself.

More about Waterford Castle Hotel

Island Life

by SabrinaSummerville about Waterford Castle

The restaurant at Waterford Castle is very exclusive indeed, in that it is a place you simply cannot just walk into. It is the main restaurant of this Island Castle hotel and the island itself is accessibly only by private ferry. As you board the ferry a man with a clipboard checks your name against his register to ensure that you're either a resident, a member of the golf club, or a dinner guest.

Be prepared for the grandeur of the entrance foyer with its open log fire. Have a pre-dinner drink in the very comfortable lounge with its specially commissioned carpet depicting the coat of arms.

Then walk across the hall, past the grand staircase, to the elegant oak pannelled dining room and enjoy very delicious French-style food in opulent surroundings. The tables are set with crisp white linen, crystal, and silver cutlery with candles and roses making a perfect romantic atmosphere. The service is prompt silver service and although the place is very grand, the staff are mostly local and very friendly wihtout being intrusive.

Most evenings there is live piano music which adds to the already romantic atmosphere. The same pianist has been entertaining guests since the Hotel opened. His name is Bernie Flanagan and he taught me piano when I was a child.

There is a good and varied selection on the menu and they use local produce as much as possible. You are very unlikely to leave this restaurant feeling hungry or disappointed.

Perhaps the mian downside to this place is that it is very big and very grand, and on days when the restaurant is quiet it can appear very cold both in terms of temperature and atmosphere. I adore the aged beef - there's something about the flavour of the beef here that I have never experienced elsewhere. I don't know if they marinate it first, though it doesn't taste of marinade. I wonder would they tell me if I asked........ :-)

Another nice and unusual dish is the starter of marinated crispy belly pork - very rich and tasty.

Amazing Beautiful Castle & Grounds - Room needs improvement!

by TripAdvisor Member SteffiG

We spent our honeymoon touring Ireland in October of '06. I was extremely excited when we were able to book a room for one night at Waterford Castle. It was an amazing experience because of what a magical place it is, castle and grounds. The staff was great, as well.
Our room was certainly interesting. It was large and our view was of one of the beautiful meadows in which we were able to see the water. The windows opened and we able to sleep with fresh Ireland air coming in off the water. The bathroom had a pull handle flush system with the toilet and that was fun. The claw foot tub did have a shower and a wonderful look. Our room service was fast and thorough with amazing food!

We did experience disappointment in the condition of the furnishings, especially the wall-to-wall carpeting in our room. It was old and stained, very dirty in the corners. The upholstery was a bit tattered and I felt that the room was certainly not as clean as upscale should be! The money that we spent for our experience was certainly not for the comfort and cleanliness of the room.

We were able to explore the grounds the next morning and it seemed we were the only ones around. We enjoyed it greatly. Keep in mind that there are many stories of Waterford Castle being haunted. We were unaware of the stories until one of the ghosts gently woke me up in the middle of the night. Don't worry, it was a friendly experience. My Husband did some research the next morning and we asked the staff. There are some fascinating stories out there and I would advise doing some research so you can embrace Waterford Castle's spirit guests!
A truly amazing stay.

Absolutely beautiful!

by TripAdvisor Member naimataylor

As part of our honeymoon trip, we stayed for two nights at Waterford Castle. When I booked it, I decided to upgrade to a Deluxe room, which i did NOT regret at all. We stayed in the Presidential Suite, which is HUGE, amazing and beautiful. The bathroom was AMAZING...the tile work, the tub, the ammenities....really suberb.

Every meal at Waterford was spectacular and served professionally, but with NO snooty-ness which was refreshing. I found EVERYONE at Waterford Castle to be friendly, helpful and very capable.

A walk around the grounds is a must.

As another reviewer mentioned...the Chocolate Fondant desert was out of this world!

Beatiful castle, but shabby rooms

by TripAdvisor Member sddistel

We booked 2 nights at this castle during our trip in October 2006. The arrival to the island via the ferry and the short drive to the ivy covered castle, added to the charm of the location. We were booked in a Deluxe room with a huge bathroom, small sitting area and view towards the water. The room itself was very shabby, worn carpet, stained bedspread, saggy bed, threadbare chairs and furniture in definite need of replacement. The entire atmosphere was like staying in a distant elderly relative’s home and for the price, we expected better accommodations. We requested either a four poster bed or fireplace room, but were told the fireplaces were just for decoration, we were placed in a room without either. We did see other rooms, and with the exception of the Presidential Suite, most needed attention.
The castle itself is very lovely. Only 19 guest rooms, a magnificent large front room with the largest fireplace I have ever seen and beautiful tapestries on the walls. The dining room was elegant and cozy and our dinner there was delicious, the service was excellent. Staff even surprised us with a anniversary cake topped with a candle. The bar/lounge was a nice place to relax with drinks and a choice of daily newspapers or local magazines.
On our last night at the castle, we had dinner in front of the fireplace, sandwiches and light snacks which turned out to be our favorite meal of our stay.
The staff arranged for us to ride horses locally and my husband played golf on one afternoon. The castle was a nice stop over on our travels, but I could not see staying here for longer than 1 evening. We would probably not return to Waterford Castle unless we wanted to splurge on the Presidential Suite.

Amazing,wonderfull....a dream

by TripAdvisor Member MissGG

I stayed at waterford castle for 2 nights in December. Firstly the staff were exceptional, so friendly & so helpful. the service was the best I have ever recieved. The Munster Dining Room, an amazing dining room, where dinner is served each evening, I have never tasted food so good, it was possibly the best meal I have ever eaten, the piano player complimented dinner beautiful. I cannot praise the chefs enough. Our room was beautiful it had all the charm a castle room should have, there were no modern features ie wide screen tv's..but it had everything you could ever need & if they didnt have it they did their best to get it. Overall a complete dream, can't wait to go back.Its a must for every traveller visiting Waterford, even if its just for dinner its well worth the trip. I will definatly return!!

Definitely Not Worth The Money...

by TripAdvisor Member TimmyAnn

Waterford Castle came highly recommended and it was definitely our big splurge in hotels during our recent trip to Ireland. We first encountered the hotel's cable driven ferry that takes you to the island. It was kind of neat and once on the other side we encountered the beautiful grounds of the property. After driving up a long driveway we approached the Castle that's really more of a manor house and that, too, was impressive. We were told that our room was up several flights of steps. It was, steep steps. If there was an elevator to this level we were never told of it. The room was small but did have a nice view of the property. The bathroom was large and quirky. I guess they feel that since it's an historic place the must have historic bathroom fixtures. These included a claw-footed tub and a toilet with the water box on top. Both the sink and the commode had huge pictures of lowers all over and, though clean, gave you the feeling you were with other living things. The mattress on the bed kind of caved in in the middle; I'm sure it was as old as the Castle. When we were checking out the next morning there was nobody around to help us and when we finally did find a bellboy to get our car he locked himself in the car and it took five minutes of talking and gesturing before he finally unlocked the car. The restaurant was nice and the service adequate. One of our travelling companions ordered her steak rare and it came out well done and by the time they got her a replacement we were all finished.

All in all I think Waterford Castle is resting on its laurels and needs to do some reeducating of its staff. If they want to call themselves a 5-star property, they have to act like one from the bell staff to the staff in the restaurant.

Wife felt like a princess!

by TripAdvisor Member GoCards

Wow! This was the first time we have ever stayed in a castle and it was lovely! Definitely spend some time walking the grounds/ golf course. Beautiful! Dinner was very good and the chocolate dessert was excellent!! (better than Morton's). Spend some time in the bar/lounge before dinner.

Yummy Afternoon tea!!

by TripAdvisor Member avocadublin

We stayed last weekend to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. We had a wonderful stay. We were greeted at the door by name (the ferry guy had asked us if we'd a reservation). The castle is a real, real castle with ivy covering the front of it.
We had afternoon which was sublime.... Little sandwiches and even little creme brulees. We were stuffed after and took a walk around the grounds. Dinner that night was gorgeous - the steak was cooked perfectly and at the end they arrived out with a dessert with a candle in it and sang happy birthday to my boyfriend - the waitress had heard me wish him a happy birthday.
The bedroom is big. In the bathroom, as in the rest of the castle, they are going for the old worlde look with a stand alone bath and shower above but it was a bit awkward as the water tended to splash out.
Breakfast was yummy. We had a great time.


by Krumlovgirl

" What To See and Do"

While most people think of Waterford Crystal when they think of Waterford, there is actually more to the town and region than fine glass. There's a bevy of pre-historic and aracheological sites, as well as a range of outdoor activities, and Waterford Town is actually pretty cosmopolitan to be so small.

" Sites"

Prehistoric & Historic Sites:

* Ogham Stones

* Harrison Megalithic Tomb

* Gallowshill Mound

* Promontory Forts

* Ardmore Round Tower & Cathedral
(as written about in the Nora Roberts' "jewels" trilogy)

* Waterford Castle

* Dunmore East Castle
* Ballyduff Castle
* Ormond Castle & Manor House


* Tourin House & Gardens
* Cappoquin House & Gardens
* Tourin House & Gardens
* Dromana House & Gardens * Lismore Castle Gardens
* Glenleigh Gardens


* Waterford Treasures at the Granary

* Waterford Crystal Visitor's Center

* Lismore Heritage Centre

* Tipperary South Riding County

* Waterford County Museum

" Useful Websites "

Waterford Tourism

Waterford Castle


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 Waterford Castle Hotel

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Waterford Castle

Address: The Island, Ballinakill, Waterford, County Waterford, Ireland