by Julie Bielenberg
One of Ireland’s most historic resorts is only 25 minutes from Dublin. Carton House in Kildare is steeped in history, allowing families to step back in time and enjoy an authentic Irish experience. The 1,100-acre estate’s original Manor House, once the ancestral seat of the Earls of Kildare and the Dukes of Leinster, is where guests can experience the same charm and elegance that royals enjoyed in centuries past.
There are so many bonuses for children including in-room treats upon arrival and bite-size sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a wide selection of teas at the Children’s Afternoon Tea in the historic Manor House. Little ones will delight in additional activities and amenities including complimentary access to the Leisure Center’s pool, a game room with a pool table and arcade games, two outdoor tennis courts and cycling trails. Carton House also partners with several nearby activity centers to offer archery lessons and hourly horse riding treks and lessons.
Make sure to ask the concierge about Queen Victoria’s influence. Prior to her visit in 1849, Queen Victoria dreamt she was rowing on the lake at Carton House, so The Boat House was built and a special boat was commissioned for her visit!
Our Editor Loves
- Historic hotel
- Myriad of family activities
- Special Superior Family Bedrooms
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Firstly, I love this hotel in terms of location and the old house and grounds are just gorgeous, especially in late autumn as the colours of the trees are beautiful.
But this is the second time I have stayed here where I feel compelled to write a review about the service. This is probably my last visit.
Pretty much all of the issues are down to staff training. They haven’t hired bad people. Almost everyone was polite and had good intentions but the staff are overstretched and it is clear that there is zero management cover to check that things are running properly.
Ok, here’s the list of things that are unnecessarily bad. You just expect better from a hotel like this....
1) Freezing swimming pool. We complained in the reception at the pool. They said they don’t “take” complaints at the spa reception and sent us to the main reception to complain. Joke. Day 2....pool still freezing.
2) Jacuzzi out of order. 2 days in a row with no sign of anyone worried about that.
3) Dinner in the restaurant. We were asked if we wanted still or sparkling water in an empty restaurant by 3 separate waitresses. Nobody asked us if we wanted anything else, like a GnT for example. Basic training issue.
4) Breakfast - pre made granola with fruit. Soggy as hell. Hands up who likes soggy granola? Otherwise the breakfast was pretty good but again the staff seemed overstretched.
5) Lounge staff - you could turn into a skeletal remains before they would ask you if you needed anything. They are wandering around picking up glasses but it seems that their biggest fear would be to ask a customer if they were ok.This could result in the customer wanting something which would be an inconvenience. Again, it’s what happens when you let young staff go unsupervised. I don’t blame the staff. It is clearly a management issue.
Have a duty manager patrolling the bars and lounges and a restaurant manager who is actually running the team in the restaurant. The food in general was good. No complaints there. The hotel has also been renovated in the modern wing and it’s a pretty good job.
This hotel deserves better on the service front. The history and grandeur of the place should not be let down by sloppiness.
We booked for a Halloween break. The hotel is beautiful, this was our 2nd visit. The new rooms look fantastic. However a few issues..we arrived arround 3pm and our Autistic son was delighted to hear pumpkin carving, cup cake decorating and movies had started and would be on until 6..we quickly left our bags in the beautiful room..went to find pumpkin carving at 3.30, the room was empty..pumpkins and cupcakes had finished he was very sad. We went to the pool and it was nice but no robes or slippers provided as would have been handy to return to the room to relax. The next day we passed the houskeeping lady leaving our room at 10.30am..we returned at 4.45 and the room had not been cleaned. Id accidently forgot to take the do not disturb sign off, my fault , so on our way to reception I met housekeeping an apologised for leaving the card on the door and asked could she tidy up plz. We dropped by reception to explain and then had to pay 11euro for two hot choc. I returned to the room at 5.40..still not made up with a note slipped under the door to say house keeping had gone home, I went back to reception..we had dinner booked in Kildare so decided to just go on..we got stuck in traffic and missed our reservation..ended up back in the room and just had to order pizza..the menu selection for room service or the restaurant was very overly priced. Yes its a stunning hotel, we rarely get weekends away and this was for our anniversary..just a bit let down at the service..not sure if we would return.I went to see some of the rooms advertised on the web site..both were locked..the girl did offer to get a key but I declined.