Carlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale

Address: Rathmore Road, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland | 4 star hotel
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TravelPod's Snapshot

Guests overwhelmingly agree that the Carlton Hotel offers an enjoyable stay in a unique, stunning location for excellent value. The hotel features picturesque views of the surrounding 90 acres of wooded parkland and Oysterhaven Bay. As one of the leadings Kinsale hotels, it offers several types of accommodations including lodges, family bedrooms with a double and single bed, interconnecting rooms for large parties, and spacious suites. The hotel also offers an on-site spa, pool, and dining. Recent guests give the hot breakfast high praise. The Rockpool Bar offers a casual bite later in the day, and the Rockpool Restaurant offers gourmet dining.


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This 4 star hotel, located on Rathmore Road, Kinsale, is near Kinsale Walking Tour, Old Head Golf Links, James Fort, and Desmond Castle & International Museum of Wine.
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          TravelPod Member ReviewsCarlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale

          Reviewed by terry.graue.9

          Could have been better

          Reviewed Jul 14, 2013
          by (9 reviews) Los Angeles , United States Flag of United States

          Our group experienced several problems here. Plus, it was extremely hot and the hotel air conditioning didn't seem to be working. The location was nice. Sorry we had problems there but our tour director mentioned that he'd had problems there previously.

          This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of

          Historical Traveler Reviews Carlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale

          Delighted Wedding Guest


          Having just attended my brothers wedding reception held at the Carlton Hotel, Kinsale I felt a need to write this review. When my brother told us he was holding his wedding at the Carlton, my husband and I looked it up on this site. We were very alarmed to read some of the other reviews and were not looking forward to the visit. I have to say that the service we recieved when staying and the comments of the other guest are not reflected on this site. It really was second to none, a 5 star instead of the 4 stars it has been awarded. The staff could not have been more accommodating and friendly, the building and grounds are beautiful and we shall definatley be returning in the near future.

          Lovely location, problems with dinner reservations


          my partner booked the Carlton for us for a romantic night away. we know the Kinsale area quite well and found the road sign for the hotel quite confusing. it is on the right hand side of the road and appears to be pointing towards kinsale itself, whereas the sign is supposed to indicate a left turn, the sign is positioned just after the left turn.

          there is a lovely long drive lined with broadleaf trees into the hotel which we thought was lovely. as it is still a very new hotel parts of the road still need to be covered with tarmac, but i imagine that will be done in time.

          the location of the Carlton is magnificent - panoramic views of the bay all around. there is a water feature just outside the hotel - a waterfall with a small little japanese garden style wooden bridge in front of it. it would be perfect for wedding photos. the lobby of the hotel is very spacious and contemporary, i was very impressed with the view out onto the bay.

          the receptionist was courteous and as we were checking in at around 5.30 pm my partner asked to make a dinner reservation. we were told that the restaurant was fully booked but that we could get bar food if we liked. Bar food on a romantic night away? Not good enough! Especially considering it was Valentine's weekend and were hotel residents paying a full room rate for the night!

          my partner asked was there any possibility that we could be squeezed into the restaurant as there were only two of us. Another receptionist told him in a quite matter-of-fact tone that the restaurant was only open to hotel residents who had booked a 2 night package, with dinner included.(i thought that this meant people who had booked a Valentine's weekend package, but we met another couple we knew there who told us they had booked 2 nights on a SuperValu break which is a heavily discounted hotel break, and we were paying full price- 160 euro for the night incl. breakfast)

          When booking the room with the hotel directly it was never mentioned that we would not be able to eat in the hotel when booking for one night and we could have made alternative arrangements.

          my partner asked the original receptionist if she could recommend a nice restaurant in Kinsale. we were given some recommendations, the receptionist jotted down the names and telephone numbers and told us there was a shuttle bus service into Kinsale from the hotel. She was apologetic about the fully booked hotel restaurant but did not offer to ring around for us.

          We went to our room. the room itself was very spacious and contemporary. there was plenty of light coming into the room and we had a lovely view of the bay. The bedlinen is new and the pillows and duvet were plump and exceptionally comfortable. there is a lovely walk around the hotel overlooking the bay - unfortunately our room was located on the ground floor so the promenade passed right outside our bedroom so we had to close the curtains for any element of privacy. the bathroom was big and had a bath and separate shower. the room had all the necessary mod cons - tea and coffee making facilities, tv, good hairdryer.

          However, given our treatment at reception both of us were quite cross. We rang the restaurants from our mobiles and they were booked out. my partner went to reception again and told them our predicament. this time the receptionist actually contacted the restaurant. he was told that we could either go for dinner now straight away or we could go at 9.30pm. he opted for the latter as we wanted to freshen up first.

          we arrived for dinner at 9.20pm and were surprised to find the restaurant half full (or half empty, depending on how you look at it) the staff were really nice and friendly. we were given an a la carte menu, with prices, so surely people who were not on a "dinner included" package and were staying in the hotel could eat in the restaurant? All very confusing! i liked the wine list and the service was prompt. the food was nice, not outstanding and we enjoyed ourselves. Our bill came to approximately 101 euro.

          the next morning breakfast was again in the restaurant where we had been the night previously. there is a buffet style breakfast - steel containers of rashers, sausages etc. with heavy steel covers which are quite awkward to manage. it would have been nicer if the food was freshly cooked. there was a large selections of cereals, fruit juices, dried fruits, fresh fruit salads, cheeses, cured meats and danish pastries. the staff were friendly and brought tea/coffee to our tables and toast also.

          my partner went to the leisure centre part for a swim and a sauna and enjoyed it.

          we had been looking forward to a nice romantic night away and after we had sorted out the glitches ourselves, we had a great time. however given that our night away cost around 260 euro in total, i felt that this was bad value and we should have been looked after.



          Myself and my Husband arrived on a wet evening with our three young children. We had booked a "Chalet" which is a three bedroom house type seperated from the hotel. We unpacked our bags from the car and took the kids inside to check in. We were told at the desk by a rather rude lady that our room would be ready in ten mins and to go to the bar for a refreshment. We did this and found the bar quite small, also there was no real kids menu and when i asked the waitress she didnt seem to understand what i was talking about.

          We were ytold our room was ready and then informed that we must pack the car up again and drive to the Chalet, when i asked for some one to help i was told there was no one, so myself and my husband and 3 small children went back out into the rain and to our room. We tried to ring room service and were told that we could not receive room service as they didint do it in the Chalets! My husband and i went to bed hungry as we couldnt leave the children alone and it was well past their bed time.

          Breakfast was a little cold but the restaurant was lovely and the breakfast staff were a pleasure.

          We tried to go for a walk into town but it was 3 miles away and the road is very dangerous to walk on so we strolled around the grounds

          I went to the pool with the kids after lunch in the bar which (for want of a better word) was edible, and was informed that children were not allowed in the pool as it annoyed the other guests. I had 2 three year olds devastated! My husband and i decided to leave and were informed that if we left early we would have to pay for the 3 nights as this is what we booked.

          We thought this was ridiculous but paid and packed up and went to another hotel in the town.

          Overall very disapointing especially with the reception staff who are in serious need of training.

          Great hotel staff


          Stayed on the 31st Jan 07. Girls night away. having read other reviews I am shocked that some have mentioned they found it difficult to find....I thought not a problem! directions on net very good.

          Lovely Irish Warm Welcome at reception. Staff in general very friendly.which is Quiet Rare !! Was on a one night spa break. Room was lovely, spacious, lovely decor, fab big bath sheets! Robes and slippers.Table D'hote menu good, surcharges not too much extra. Good wine list. Hotel was very quiet, but hotel shuttle bus was provided to take guests to Kinsale Town. Would hate to see this hotel full of Kids as it is in such a lovely relaxing setting. Breakfast was great, espicaly the buffet. Already planning on returning in late Feb. I will definately be a regular here. highly recomending it to all.

          Thanks for a great stay.

          No Personality


          Booked a 3 night stay in Jan for myself , wife and 15 month baby. We arrived after having to go to the tourist info centre in Kinsale because the signage for the hotel is poor. The road leading up to the hotel is very bad and dangerous and needs serious attention. The hotel is very modern with great rooms, our first room was facing the front looking at builders fixing the fountain so we asked to be moved to a room facing over the Bay, We were informed it would cost an extra 30 euro a night on top of 130 euro we were already paying per night, remember this is January and the hotel was empty ( Great customer service) The front desk staff were very unhelpful and robot like. We are dinner in the bar that night and boy was that an experience, I had a rubber steak sandwich and my wife had the So called chef special Thai Chicken green curry with rice, it turned out to be a small overcooked breast of chicken and the rice was so stuck together she could not cut through it. The leisure centre was top class except for people looking at you from the gym. We ate dinner the following night and again awful, the breakfast buffet was the only good thing about the food. Needless to say we checked out early and moved to a different hotel. For a new hotel it needs serious attention to detail Rooms 4 stars Food and Beverage 2 stars GET A NEW CHEF.

          Nearly perfect, some small glitches


          I stayed at the Carlton Hotel with my partner on a special midweek break package including 3 nights and one evening meal.

          I liked the location, very peaceful and with a fine view. It was not easy to find the place though, as it is quite isolated and the directions available on the website were a little misleading.

          The bedroom and bathroom were very spacious and comfortable, with nice touches such as the complimentary robes and slippers. However, being a little away from reception, the wireless network coverage did not reach our room, plus the cable connection would not work with either of our laptops. The staff was very supportive in trying to solve this problem, but they couldn't do it in the end. We used the hotel's reading room for working and internet access: a nice room with a view of the sea, which was very quiet due to the hotel being almost empty.

          I found the breakfast excellent, especially the fresh fruit salads, nuts and dried fruits. The restaurant was quite pleasant. On the first night we had to choose from a special set menu which is offered as part of package deals. The selection was quite limited and the most interesting options all had a surcharge. Both our steaks had to be sent back because of being cooked medium instead of blue as requested. My replacement steak was, again, medium. The waitress was very polite and eager to please. I was offered to choose dessert from the a la carte menu to make up for the steak fiasco. The second night we chose dishes from the full a la carte menu, and everything was of excellent quality and nicely cooked.

          The bar also offers a selection of hot food, which, although OK, is not particularly inspiring. Both restaurant and bar staff were very friendly.

          I took advantage of the spa on two of the days of my stay. It's quite expensive (60 euro for a pedicure), but I found the treatments excellent and the staff extremely friendy and professional.

          Altogether, staying at the Carlton was a very nice experience, and I would recommend this hotel for a relaxing break. I found a slightly unpleasant surprise on the bill, though: I had to send a letter and I left it at reception to be posted. The hotel charged me 52 cent for the postage. I found this surprising and a bit cheap for a four star hotel.

          Lovely hotle but very poor restaurant management


          I booked the Carlton Hotel Kinsale for a January break for my boyfriend's birthday. The directions were good enough to the hotel but the roads are in a very bad condition when driving off the main road for the turn off for Charlesfort. The directions mentioned something about a boat at the crossing and no matter how hard we looked we couldn't find it until the next day when driving into the town we saw a small dinghy by the side of the road full of dirt! Hardly a boat by any means. The decor at the hotel is really modern, bright and very thoughtfully designed overall. The bedroom was very spacious and very tastefully decorated. The bathrooms are gorgeous with a separate bath and shower. Although the hotel is very impressive with beautiful views overlooking Oyster Haven bay, we thought it lacked character and an athmosphere and this we felt was due to the staff. The reception staff were very helpful and friendly and in particular the male receptionist who came down to our room to show us how to use the heating system. However some of the staff in both the restaurant and the bar were both unfriendly and unhelpful. We had one dinner included in our special weekend price and there is a set menu for this package which we felt was petty and mean. The restaurant manager greeted us at the door of the restaurant by completely ignoring us for about ten minutes. Then after my boyfriend asked him was there a problem he said that they were overbooked. That was fine by us but he was so rude to ignore us before telling us this. The restaurant was fine and the food was gorgeous but other couples who were clearly left waiting for their orders were also fed up waiting and one couple actually got up and walked out. We thought this was down to the restaurant manager's lack of communication and social skills! My boyfriend said he was like agent Smith out of the Matrix!! We do understand that this is a new hotel but they should make an effort to be friendly with customers and if they are overbooked in the restaurant its not the customers fault!! Overall definitely worth a visit, a beautiful hotel for couples of any age.

          Great Hotel


          After reading some of the reviews, I was really surprised at how much We really enjoyed this hotel. The staff were extremely friendly and I couldn't really complain about any of the service we received. The health spa was always empty because its only recently been opened - very nice. Our room was nice aswell but calling it a seaview is pushing it a bit. Its still a nice view - its overlooking nice landscape and you can see the edge of the bay. Maybe calling it a seaview raises peoples expectations. Nice robes in the room was a good touch. Lovely bathroom. Very modern and nice interior design.

          Breakfast was top class- everything you could want. We had dinner on new years eve. We both had steaks and they were cooked perfectly. The staff really were working hard. The weather was terrible so we were glad the hotel was so nice. The only thing I can really fault the hotel on is that the landscaping still has to be completed but it will be done this year. We paid about 500euro for 3nights b&b and 1 evening meal and we felt it was worth it. If eating out, try Man Friday. 10mins away

          Dull average hotel


          We were really quite disappointed with the hotel- its about 3miles away from the town of Kinsale.. Apon arrival the reception staff were unfriendly, unhelpful and slow- there were four behind the desk all chatting but noone seeming to do anything. The foreign staff were better than the locals... No turndown service and diggers all around the outside of the hotel (sea view side). For a brand new hotel the rooms were pretty average, and the breakfast wasn't 4 star standard (buffet with tiny scrumpled sausages). The waiter in the restaurant was a bit manic and rude to other staff members and cleared our plates before we finished eating.. For such a beautiful place as Kinsale, the hotel and staff really let it all down.

          A hide away in the hills


          Stayed for one night mid week, paid €160 for sea view room, not really worth the extra €30. its worth comparing rates, we got a better rate online than over the phone. Great setting for a hotel. It was built around a forested area so the grounds are pretty well developed. The road from the main road to the hotel is in very bad condition. MASSIVE POT HOLES presumably from the heavy traffic during construction of the hotel. The hotel itself is very modern, fantastic decor, great hanging lights in the reception area, couches and comfy seats in the lobby. Bedroom was a nice size. separate shower and bath, both big enough for 2 people!!! the TV allowed you to surf the web, select music, play games, view your bill and pay per view movies. €12 per movie though! The spa was not open when we stayed but the leisure center was. Reception staff were not as friendly or helpful as you would expect. we only ate in the bar in the evening as we had lunch in Fishy Fishy (it was great). breakfast was good. Over all it was a good experience, it is still a bit rough around the edges but is only open 2 months. worth a visit!

          TripAdvisor Reviews Carlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale

          4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

          Travel Blogs from Kinsale


          A travel blog entry by samatt1020 on Oct 24, 2015

          21 photos

          ... The leg in the egg was duck confit stuffed inside of a cracked egg. That would make the second time on this trip that Matt has said "how can you get that much flavor in an egg." The second dish was a cucumber gazpacho with the fish and really pretty cucumbers stuffed with creme fraiche. At this point, we headed back to the B&B so we could change for our dinner at Fishy Fishy. We ordered the oysters, seafood chowder (tomato based broth), brill with ...

          Sailing into Kinsale

          A travel blog entry by chintz on Jun 14, 2015

          12 photos

          ... cross training. Cutters train for five years and master cutters for eight years. In their peak production time, Waterford employed sixteen hundred people and they were some of the best paid people in Ireland. In the 1980s, demand declined and in 2010 the original factory closed down. It is now owned by an American Investment company and they have factories in Poland, Czechoslavakia and various other countries.


          Blarney Castle!

          A travel blog entry by narabouts on May 09, 2014

          6 photos

          ... but strangely enough the occupants seemed to have dissipated throughout the area! Leaving these tourists "the run of the mill"!! Pun definitely intended! After having a light lunch, we continued to the Castle. The weather had improved since we set out this morning and we were very soon stripping off the layers! We seniors paid €10 each to get in to the Castle and the surrounding Arboretum, which proved to be ...

          A rainy day for our journey to Cork

          A travel blog entry by aerial.tennille on Sep 17, 2013

          5 photos

          ... we headed off).

          We got to a mechanic right near our hotel before they closed & will be able to grab the repaired tyre in the morning. The evening was then spent having dinner at a local restaurant & a nice walk around Cork (the rain had finally cleared).

          After we sort out our tyre in the morning we will be off to Gallway, stopping in at Blarney Stone on the way.


          "Ohh the places you will go"

          A travel blog entry by alaina.cranston on Mar 24, 2013

          ... I had previously gone there, but it rained so hard that I didn't enjoy my trip), listened to traditional Irish music, went to the pubs, toured UCC-- University College Cork where I attend classes, and we did a bunch of other things as well. Melissa left on Friday morning, and ever since then I have been working on homework like MAD to get ready for my parents to get here this Thursday!

          Once my parents get here, we will be staying in Cork for one night, and ...

          Traveler Photos Carlton Hotel & C Spa Kinsale

          Selfie in the gardens
          Cork, Ireland
          Hair drier in the desk drawer again - with a spare
          Cork, Ireland
          Forest walk beside the hotel
          Cork, Ireland
          There's a bride in our window
          Cork, Ireland
          Our hotel in Kinsale
          Cork, Ireland
          Gardens at our hotel in Kinsale
          Cork, Ireland
          The view we woke up to this morning.
          Dublin, Ireland