Personal experiences at The Dunboyne Castle
As I am stuck at home with no traveling plans (yet) for the rest of 2016, I thought I’d write about the local trips I had for this year. It’s not as if I just sobbed miserably at home. I didn’t. I just wished I could’ve taken more international flights before the year ends.
The first local trip we had this year was a visit to County Meath at the Dunboyne Castle. My husband changed jobs before 2015 ended. And as a result, the headhunter gave him a €250 voucher to spend at the Dunboyne Castle – a token for a successful application. I knew that the voucher was enough only to cover for a one-night stay but we decided to book for a couple of nights to celebrate my son’s second birthday, too. My husband was not even familiar if there’s any tourist attraction to go while in Meath. But what the heck, we decided to go anyway!
We didn’t have a car but decided against the commute – it seemed too troublesome. It didn’t help that traveling with a baby meant that even an overnight stay meant bringing the entire house with you – so we had a lot of things to bring. Eventually, we booked a cab to take us there. And quite surprised the trip from our home to the Dunboyne Castle only took 45 minutes!
Upon arrival, we noticed immediately that the hotel was busy – packed with people. I think it was a “bad time” to check-in as reception services had their hands full. I can say that checking into the Dunboyne Castle was one of the longest check-ins I experienced in my entire life. And I can clearly see that the guy behind the reception counter wasn’t too pleased with it, either.
After a couple more minutes, they told us our room wasn’t ready yet. It was OK since we were a bit early than the proper check-in time anyway. So we went to the lounge area and had some snacks first. We got seated immediately but I noticed there was a shortage of staff looking after diners. It took quite a while before somebody approached us to give the menu, take our order, or even get the bill!
After we finished, we took the chance amidst the gray clouds outdoors to go for a walk. We took the ramp beside the hotel and followed the footpath. We thought it would lead us to a pedestrian path but – nope! The driveway leading to the hotel was the only way to get out of the premises. It seemed there was an option through the parking space but we didn’t have a car, LOL! It was pretty safe to walk using the driveway but we really have to stay super close to the sidewalk especially since we were walking with a pram.
We did a quick (literally) walk around town. There was nothing much to see, we realized. So after a few minutes, we headed back towards the hotel, hoping our room is ready.
When we arrived, the room was ready. The room was nice and big. And we were lucky to have a view of the gardens, too. It seemed that even if the experience started on a not-so-good-note, things were starting get better from then on.
We were wrong. After dinner, we came back inside our room to spend the night watching TV. We hurried with dinner as my son started to get “sick” (he was cranky the entire dinner time) so we decided to order some food through Room Service.
It took a while before our food arrived, which was OK-ish. But we got surprised when the staff requested for cash as payment. We were told that since we didn’t leave any card details upon checking-in, there was no way to store “credit”. My husband complained that nobody from the reception told us about that protocol. Luckily, we have some cash with us at the time. It was so disappointing as we always have almost cashless transactions when checked in any hotels!
That evening, my husband went to the reception to leave a credit card stored so we can use in case we needed ANYTHING from Room Service, again. But despite that, the next Room Service we requested STILL asked for cash payment, ARGH!
We were a bit stressed as my son seemed sick the time we were there but our experience with the hotel didn’t help lighten the mood either. Especially with the “issue” with the credit card and Room Service arrangement and the first encounter with the receptionist, it really dampened the overall experience we have had from the hotel.