Vanessa Edgington, IA, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, September 2017
Our trip to Ireland is the best trip I’ve ever experienced and let me share why. I worked with Genevieve Sheehan, and others who work at Sheenco Travel for 10 – 12 months before our vacation. Genevieve and her crew at Sheenco Travel took time to get to know me and what my goals were for our family trip to Ireland. Genevieve covered everything we requested, gave ideas as to how to make them happen and then shared other ideas that might be of interest to us. Sheenco Travel didn’t make this trip what they thought I wanted for my family. They made this trip exactly what I wanted for me and my family. We took 16 days with a personal driver to help make it exactly what we wanted. Everywhere we went, they were expecting us, as they already had our names; this included the hotels, the Shakers Experience at the Jameson Distillery, the Guinness Experience, and all activities in which we participated at the Ashford Castle. There were absolutely no questions; everyone was expecting us. Genevieve gave me the name and phone number of a gal to order our flight tickets from and we had extremely smooth traveling. After getting to know me and my wishes for this trip, Genevieve specifically requested our driver, Mike. He is amazing and even took us to a few places that we weren’t aware of, yet we loved to be able to see/experience them! He knows the Country of Ireland and its history. We listened in awe as Mike shared about the tumultuous times Ireland went through to remain a country all its own. We’re talking well over 10,000 years! We truly enjoy history which brings me to the primary reason for going to Ireland. I was hoping to step on ground where my ancestors came from. They left Co. Westmeath and Co. Cork during the Potato Famine in 1846 and 1849 and were fortunate to make it to the U.S.A. alive. Not only do I know that we walked on ground they walked on, we were fortunate to meet very distant relatives. We visited churches and heritage centres around the areas I knew my family had come from. At one of the heritage centres, we obtained copies of the Priest’s handwritten journals from church logs. These were of family member’s baptisms and a marriage. We also learned that our ancestors rented and farmed land as well as where that land is located. If I would have attempted to read this information myself, I would never have recognized it as my family due to abbreviations, and other reasons. Finally, after our driver called numbers we had discovered earlier, and we asked people walking by if they knew of (name of family) and where they might live; we knocked on their doors and were invited in to their homes! They are from my ancestry line! Tears of joy trickle down my cheeks as I write this and my heart is filled with more love than I could have ever imagined from this trip of a lifetime! I am going to visit Ireland again and will ONLY TRAVEL THROUGH SHEENCO TRAVEL! Genevieve and her crew are exceptional! Afterall, I have family there! If I could rate Sheenco Travel with 100 stars, I would!
Vanessa Edgington, IA
Ken & Jill Wilson, CT, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, September 2017
We had the most wonderful week in your gorgeous country!! Your itinerary was perfect we saw more than we ever hoped. It was glorious in every way. We had a truly unforgettable experience. Our driver Gerry Waters was absolutely fabulous to us, professional, cordial and so very kind and generous with his time and thoughtfulness and attention to detail. We felt like we were taking a University Credit Course in History. The man is a walking encyclopaedia!!! I felt like we were leaving ‘family’ when we had to say goodbye to him. I requested him for our next trip back to Ireland :)) We loved all of our accommodations and you sure know how to send us away saving the BEST for last. Both castles were amazing, simply utterly unforgettable!!
Ken & Jill Wilson, CT
Cheryl Snooks, IN, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, September 2017
I have been fortunate to travel a lot, but this trip by far is my absolute favorite! People are asking me what my favorite part was and it is hard to come up with a favorite other than to say the whole trip. We even enjoyed the few times the GPS took us on “unnamed” roads as there was always something fantastic to see and people were so helpful. Memories to last a lifetime (or until we deem we must return)!
Cheryl Snooks, IN
Anne & Ted Grove, ON, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, September 2017
We very much enjoyed our holiday in Scotland. Everything ran VERY smoothly. All the accommodations were lovely except for Dornoch Castle Hotel. The lounge was dark and dreary and the dining area was not appealing. We were told we even had to get our own coffee! However, the town was lovely. Our favourite castle was Glengarry. A lovely experience. Everyone at Sheenco was very helpful especially Elaine. Always bright, cheerful and helpful. The icing on the cake was our driver/guide Doug Allison. What a gem and how lucky we were to have him guide us around Scotland. I can’t say enough good things about Doug. So accommodating, always on time, helpful, and most of all a fun guy and we really enjoyed his company. Thank you for great service and we will be sure to recommend Sheenco to our friends.
Anne & Ted Grove, MO
Jim Muller, MO, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, September 2017
I want to first start off by saying Thank You for all the help you were while we were planning our Trip! I also want to say our driver, Colin was wonderful, he made us feel very welcome and it was more like visiting a family member more than having a guide. We had a wonderful trip and didn’t have any issues other than a Power outage when we were trying to go to the Science Center, we joked that it was because the Sun was out that day :). I would say that my favorite Part was Touring the Highlands and The Isle Of Skye we really can’t pick a favorite Hotel/Castle because they were all pretty great. Thank You to all at Sheenco Travel, we will recommend your services to anyone!
Jim Muller, MO
Diane Rumpke, OH, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, September 2017
We had a fantastic trip from start to finish! There were absolutely no glitches in any of the accommodation, restaurant or activity reservations. Our party of 12 adults and a 4 mos. old baby had a wonderful time touring your awesome, most beautiful country. Thank you again for your impeccable attention to detail in answering all my questions and requests! I will definitely recommend your company to anyone looking to travel to Ireland!
Diane Rumpke, OH
Maxine Belcher, FL, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, September 2017
We had a wonderful time, loved Ireland, the people, the food and the hotels; our favorites were The Malton and Lough Eske. Thanks for all your help and advice from your staff.
Maxine Belcher, FL
Judith Knight, AZ, Escorted Castle Tour, Ireland, September 2017
I wanted to write and tell you what a perfect trip Colin, Ruth, and the rest of your staff planned for my husband and me. It was the best group tour we have ever taken! Everything that was planned came off without a hitch starting with the driver that picked us up at Dublin Airport. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Colin to make sure we got there and that everything was okay—brilliant touch! Because of the 12-hour flying time, layovers, and time changes, we were exhausted when we arrived and really needed the two days to recover. Unfortunately we did not take advantage of the sites we planned to see in Dublin but did spend the time with a cousin I had not seen in 50 years. When our tour began, we met Paddy our drive. It was great to learn that there were only 14 people in the tour. We were all very compatible and Paddy was the best! The castles were amazing and the accommodations were wonderful. The people of Ireland were so warm and helpful, and the pride in town and country was uplifting. The highlight of the tour for us was Ashford Castle. The most amazing thing we did was the “hawk walk”. It was something very special. I can’t begin to tell you how great all of your staff was. They were concerned, patient, informative, and helpful. They didn’t miss a beat! Bravo to Sheenco!
Judith Knight, AZ
Martin Randle, NY, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland & Scotland, September 2017
We had a really wonderful trip. We felt like we got a good feeling of both Ireland and Scotland – the beautiful scenery, great people and great cultures. Sheenco really helped out when we didn’t like our first driver/guide in Scotland. Our second guide/driver-Gerry- was great. He was talkative, informative, and knowledgeable and when we asked about something he couldn’t answer he looked it up and told us the answer the next day. James in Ireland was also outstanding. We especially enjoyed Inverlochy Castle- a beautiful old castle with great rooms and the tasting dinner was amazing. Trinity City Hotel in Dublin was also great as we both got complimentary room upgrades. All of the other accommodations were very good. All in all it was an outstanding trip and we will recommend your company.
Martin Randle, NY
Deb Craig, IN, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, August 2017
Our trip was amazing! My husband said it was his favorite trip to date. Normally after a week we’re ready to come home, but we could have stayed another week in Scotland. Having a private driver, Douglas Allison, made the trip the best! Looking forward to going back. Thanks.
Deb Craig, IN
Anne Morris, IL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, August 2017
Our Scotland trip was absolutely wonderful thanks to the planning done by Sheenco Travel and our wonderful driver/guide Andy Machen. Each day was a new adventure! The trip totally lived up to our expectations. Our favorite accommodation by far was the Kingsmills Hotel. It was so lovely! We really enjoyed the Carlton George in Glasgow too, but Andy complained he couldn’t drop us off directly in front of the hotel due to traffic restrictions. We didn’t mind the short walk, however. Our only concern was that we should have asked for rooms on lower floors in advance in hotels without lifts. We had heavy luggage and my husband had some difficulty with climbing so many stairs as the hotels without fail put us on the top floors. This happened at the Kingsmills, the Bosville, the Atholl Palace and the Dalhousie. I think they were trying to give us great views, which we did, but the Dalhousie had 52 steps to our room. It was a lot at our age.
I especially would like to commend the driver/guide Andy Machen. He was prompt each morning and really optimized our itinerary so that we actually saw MORE than what we had planned. His dry humor and knowledge of Scotland and excellent driving skills made it fun to spend so much time with him. We made a friend.
Thank you for all your support!
Anne Morris, IL
Connie & Bill Hunt, CA, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, July 2017
Our entire trip was absolutely fabulous. We credit our wonderful sightseeing experience to our driver, Paul Hehir whose expert knowledge of the country, sites, history, languages and traditions was both educational and fun. His love and pride for Ireland was contagious. The hotels were fine, with the exception of the Europa hotel in Belfast. The best by far was the Brooks Hotel in Dublin. The service was excellent, the staff very friendly and helpful and the rooms were exceptionally nice. We thank you so very much for planning and executing our dream vacation. There was always someone who promptly assisted us with our concerns. Again, thank you for all that you did.
Connie & Bill Hunt, CA
Diane DiBonaventuro, PA, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, July 2017
The Falconry was also very informative and fun. Both highlights.
While it was an early day, taking the Ferry to Harris was definitely worth doing. I wish we had brought a box breakfast/lunch, as nothing was open when we arrived and it was probably around 11 before we found a place to get a scone and a cup of tee, but not a big deal. The Calanish standing stones were very interesting, particularly for those with an interest in those kinds of things and, unlike Stonehenge, we were able to walk through and around the stones. As we were there first thing, we were also there alone which was very cool. There was an interesting Broch nearby and the Black House village near Calanish was much more interesting than the one that is up near Stornoway.
The weather was great with the exception of our one golf day. However, even that worked out to our advantage. It was pouring rain the morning of the round and the two-some we were paired with canceled at the last minute. That allowed us to take their caddie. The rain stopped on the second hole and we had great weather the rest of the round. One suggestion, if you are scheduling golf for a client you should mention that one needs to arrange the caddies in advance. Had the weather not helped us out we would have been playing the course blind, that would have been tough.
We decided to stop and see the Glenfinnian Viaduct to see the “Harry Potter” train bridge. We arrived around 11:30. Apparently, if you get there later in the day you can see the steam train cross the tracks. The train crosses around 3:10 in one direction and 3:20 in the other during the summer. You can also see it around 10:30AM. The parking attendant said it gets pretty crazy but if you have Harry Potter fans it would be good to know the times. I would say get there at least a half hour before hand. There is a 5-10 minute walk to see the viaduct.
I would say our favorite hotel was Cuillin Hills Hotel in Skye. The setting was gorgeous. We also loved Glengarry Castle Hotel. I think we had the best rooms at both. Kincraig was very nice, but we had to go up the stairs then down the stairs then back up the stairs to get to our rooms. Once we got there, the room itself was fine. There was a very warm and friendly feel and the breakfasts were great, so we could deal with a few extra steps.
The one disappointing hotel was the last one. We stayed at the Carlton Hotel in Glasgow. It was kind of bleak, especially compared to all the great hotels we stayed. But more than that, we had to park the car 3 blocks away and we couldn’t drop-off our bags because the street the Hotel is on is closed to traffic between 7AM and 7PM. It would have been nice to know that in advance. We would have timed our arrival better. We got into town around 4 and it took a while for us to find it let alone get to it. I would also recommend getting a dinner reservation in advance. By the last day we were pretty exhausted and it would have been nice to have a plan. We had one for the first day we were in Edinburgh, and it was very helpful. We ate at each of our hotels at least once and the food was, in general, very good.
Overall we had a really great trip. Sheenco Travel did a great job.
Diane DiBonaventuro, PA
Nina Snyder, CA, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, July 2017
We had a fantastic time! The airport pick up was Great! Our driver was knowledgable and very friendly. The power went out right after we cleared customs and the doors would not open and as i understand it, people had a really hard time leaving and some missed flight connections because the airport shut down. Well, the Snyder family had arrived. LOL. Our driver navigated out of the airport when everyone was crowding the one seemingly working door.
The staff at the Bonham were very nice and stored our bags. What might have been an oversight for me, is knowing we were going to be doing a ton of walking, better rain proof walking shoes. The rain was sideways and an umbrella was senseless. So a hat would have been a better idea. At any rate we managed and found food and Princess Street. Now what would be a great suggestion for you to tell others is, if you want to avoid massive data charges on your phone for GPS purposes, there is a free app called maps.me and you must load it on your phone ahead of time. Then when you arrive at your destination and have wifi, you load your location and it works just as good as any GPS program without using your data plan! It was great! The second day in Edinburgh, we realized a few things. We learned, not just that night, but the entire trip, that in Scotland- even in your own hotel, without reservations you may not be able to get dinner. We live just north of San Francisco in the heart of Wine Country. This is a big tourist destination and many of our upscale eateries do not take reservations. We are used to arriving at a place and waiting for a table. Reservations are a must in Scotland.
After picking up our car, we continued on to what I would say was absolutely my favorite location Glengarry Castle. I have no idea why this is listed as only 3 star compared to the other establishments. This was the most wonderful area, and the people inviting. I suppose the breakfast was not a wonderful as the Bonham but it was delicious and you cannot make up for the ambiance. For future guests, dinner reservations are a must as there is nothing else around even close so perhaps suggesting, the dining at the establishment. While we were there we did try to visit Stirling Castle, but we found out talking to locals once there that parking is an issue. We were unable to park at Stirling Castle and drove in circles surrounding the Castle Hill and could only locate a one hour zone. So the hike up to the castle, which is lovely by the way, took up at least 20-25 minutes and that was at a brisk pace. I was afraid to get a ticket or towed so we we could not go inside Stirling Castle, we would not have had enough time. Unfortunately, later I discovered that William Wallace’s sword is on display there and I am sure my husband will never let me forget he didn’t get to see it! While at this stop in our Journey, we did not take the trip to Skye. We discovered that the approximate driving times listed were just a little faster than we could manage. Once behind a truck or other slow moving vehicle, passing just wasn’t an option. So our average speed was about 40 not the posted 60 in many areas.
I Just loved everything about Glengarry, Invergarry. The greenery, the peacefulness, the castle ruin. I loved the secludedness, the peace and the friendliness of the staff. The breakfast was hearty and dinner was very nice-both nights. The rooms were clean and there was plenty of room for the three of us together. Now, the husband and daughter didn’t list this as their favorite stop, but my opinion is the only one that matters! just kidding. Oh, and by far Eilean Donan Castle really is a must as you said. What an absolute gem!
We moved on to Kingsmills Hotel. This was my daughter’s favorite room but not her favorite city. We received the family room which was across the parking lot in a very contemporary building. Thus, this was my least favorite because of that. We were not in the main building which had all the charm. However, the rain style shower made up for it. Walking into Inverness was pleasant, and although there was rain it was nothing compared to Edinburgh. Urquhart Castle was breathtaking and very enjoyable.
Macallan Distillery was near impossible to locate. The first map took us to the middle of a forest and said we had arrived. It is a much longer story but after giving up, decided to try again as we had driving 2 hours to find it. Turns out they are under massive construction and the tasting room was very hard to find. We did eventually find it but could not tour the facility as those reservations are at least 2 weeks out! There were a bunch of other distilleries along the way and we ate lunch at Glenfiddich, which was very nice.
We continued on from there to Dalhousie Castle stopping at Castle Blair along the way. FYI the food at this Castle was not so good and I would suggest stopping for lunch somewhere else other than the castle but still visit the castle. The Falcon experience was super fun and we really wish we could have done the archery. As far as Dalhousie Castle is concerned: the staff was great. We missed the dinner hour on our last night due to the underground Edinburgh tour. When we returned to the Castle, having had no supper, even though the kitchen was closed they were willing to make us a few cold sandwiches and deliver then to our room. That was very nice. When we made this booking I believe you asked us about health, due to the amount of walking we would do but the stairs in this Castle! 96 stairs from the front door of the Castle to our room at the top, carrying 35 pounds of suitcase each. I actually video taped the ascent and posted on my FB and Instagram pages. This should be a warning for some, it was A LOT of stairs! Also, dining in the dungeon was really fun and wonderful, thank you very much.
Lizzie, my daughter, was still very much wanting to go to the Witchery and by luck was able to reserve an odd hour 3pm for last sitting lunch the day we took the underground vault tour. That dessert I had that day was the best dessert I had the entire week. Too bad their service was terrible. Even at lunch, we seemed to be off in a corner and the odd hour, must have been shift change for them as we had 3 different waiters for one meal, I never got the coffee I had asked for. Therefore, for all its hype, the one great dessert does not make up for the lack of service for such an acclaimed establishment.
The last suggestion, I have for you to recommend to future guests is in regard to the rental car. We were supposed to fill the tank before delivering it to the airport. However, search as we tried, from Dalhousie Castle to the airport as the car GPS navigation took us there were NO gas stations. The rental car people told us that it happens all the time, there are very few stations along the routes into the airport. The suggestion would be to get gas the day before coming into Dalhousie.
Thank you again for putting together our travel plans! Should we jump across the pond again, we will certainly be in touch!
Nina Snyder, CA
Cindy Vizi, ON, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, July 2017
The trip was amazing. We wanted to stay in castles and see castles and we did. Driving in Scotland on some of the roads was scary. Our weather was great. The staff at every Castle was amazing, friendly. Nice. Every room and meal were great. The breakfasts were all great.
High teas were great. If we had to choose Kincraig castles high tea was the best. Service at Inverlochy was exceptional. We had the most fun at Dalhousie and Fonab. The archery and falconry was lots of fun. The walks around Fonab to the town of Pitlochry were great. We loved the town and the shops. Restaurants, Heather gem outlet. We saw how the jewellery was made. Fonab castle was elegant and fun without being stuffy. Kincraig isn’t really a castle but really large beautiful house We drove to The falls of Shin and saw salmon jumping. It was great. And the town of Dunoch was lovely too. Thank you for all your help.
Cindy Vizi, ON
Joseph Amiel, NY, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2017
Our family trip to Ireland was a wonderful experience that was truly enjoyed by all nine of us, from ages 80 to 15. Cognizant of our desires and budget, you crafted a trip that brought us to all the sights we wished to see and others you advised us we would enjoy. The hotels you picked were excellent without exception, and the guide/driver you chose, Danny McCarthy, was a delightful and knowledgeable conductor throughout our tour of western and southern Ireland.
Joseph Amiel, NY
Mark Sumsion, UT, Custom Self Drive, England & Scotland, June 2017
The trip was great. The Grand Hotel and Spa in York was by far the best place we stayed. The location is great, the rooms were luxurious and the staff excellent. It is the finest hotel I have personally stayed at, and we enjoyed it immensely. The Waldorf Caledonian and the Residence had different pros and cons. I would certainly not rate the rooms at the Caley as a 5 star hotel, but I think you mentioned that was to be expected in Scotland. Obviously, traveling by train, neither location was ideal, but the Residence was a bit far and more removed from restaurants. However, we liked the rooms, particularly the size, much more than the Caley. Finding Enterprise in Edinburgh was a bit difficult as the location is hidden on the bottom floor of the parking structure, but once we found it, their staff was great. The Glengarry was a perfect location for what we wanted to do as it was right at the crossroads to Loch Ness, Eilean Donan and the Jacobite Steam Train. This ride is a fabulous way to see the countryside, particularly when it is hard to enjoy the sites as much while actually driving a car. I would recommend taking the morning train, as Mallaig was rather a disappointment in the afternoon when many shops already started to close. The Glengarry was also nicer than expected. Although 3 stars is probably accurate and it has no lift, the bathroom was enormous and the room good sized as well. If we ever make it back, particularly if we make it to Ireland as originally desired, we will certainly use Sheenco again.
Mark Sumsion, UT
Mike Henderson, MN, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, June 2017
We had a terrific trip. Extra warm weather that we did not expect! We really loved Ashford Castle. Our babysitter, Caliste was great with our boys, the breakfast each morning was terrific, the dog walk every morning was fun, the rooms were tremendous (boys loved the auto blinds!), the falconry school was an amazing experience as was the zip line and tree climbing, the hikes thru the woods were amazing – we could go on and on! The pickup to airport and back out to airport at trip’s end was on time and one less thing to think about. The last castle, Ballyseede, was interesting – definitely a castle, although a bit worn and we had two basement rooms and the kitchen closes at an early 8pm, nightly. All in all, it was a fantastic trip that our entire family enjoyed and will always remember. We met many friendly and interesting people and saw so many unexpected sites that we will never forget. We may be in touch in a couple of years or so to book a similar trip to Scotland!
Mike Henderson, MN
Adrian Green, FL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, June 2017
We had a fantastic week. Without doubt the highlight of the week was Douglas. Thoughtful, respectful, intelligent, knowledgeable, caring and personable, he went “off piste” a few times at our behest and came up trumps every time. Fonab was exceptional. I would go back there any day. The castles were castles! The countryside was spectacular. The scotch was good! The fishing was poorly done. The Taste of Scotland show was rather cliche and long winded. But it was ok to spend a few hours. Our group was great. The van was fabulous and the whole tour was received very well by all who participated in it. Thanks for all your efforts.
Adrian Green, FL
Ashley Simmons, LA, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, June 2017
We had such an amazing time! The people, the locations, the entire country was absolutely amazing! We were planning to travel to Sweden next year but we decided we’re coming back to Ireland. You guys planned an amazing vacation for us. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to express how much we enjoyed the experience, how grateful we are for it, and the quality of the time we spent there. The local people treated us with extraordinary hospitality. The driving and locations that we visited were Beyond Compare! Thank you so much, we plan on coming back next year. Ireland has ruined all of Europe for us, because nothing will top it! Also you should add Tipperary to your list of places for people to visit we had an amazing time there.
Ashley Simmons, LA
Aria Guarino, MD, Custom Self Drive Honeymoon, Ireland, June 2017
We had an absolutely amazing honeymoon in Ireland. All of the accommodations were lovely with no complaints! Our favorite locations were Kilkenny and Ashford Castle. In Kilkenny, we did a Guided Cycling Tour with Kilkenny Cycling Tours. It was absolutely fantastic. The guide and owner, Jason, grew up in Kilkenny and showed us all of the best sights – the churches, the castle, the mural of the witch trial, an old abandoned mill building, etc. He was so knowledgeable and really contributed to our trip. I highly recommend this tour to other travelers in the future. Another favorite attraction in Kilkenny was Sullivan’s brewery. We happened to stop there for lunch and fell in love with the malt red ale. We even took two liters home! We also really enjoyed listening to the band Drops of Green at the Left Bank pub.
At Ashford Castle, the staff went above and beyond to make our experience extraordinary. They decorated our room with candles and rose petals, gave us complimentary appetizers and desserts at dinner, and even some whiskey on the house in the billiards room. We did the Couple’s Massage which was incredible. I have never had a massage that good. We had Dylan as our instructor for the zip lining and archery. The zip lining was comparable to other zip lining experiences I have had; I would not necessarily recommend this as a must-do activity, though we enjoyed it very much! The archery instruction was incredible, and Dylan had us popping balloons with our arrows by the end of the session. The hawk walk was also incredible. Just FYI, the 60 minute session was more around 2 hours due to the introduction beforehand and the instructor answering our questions afterwards. Not sure if that’s typical, but we loved every minute.
Thank you again for everything you have done to make our experience perfect. I would highly recommend Sheenco Travel to any of my family and friends. We could not have had a better honeymoon, and believe that our carefully saved funds were well-spent!
Aria Guarino, MD
Steven & Bernadette Bondell, GA, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, May 2017
We had a great time and the itinerary and accommodations your arranged were excellent. As you know, two of the hotels are on very busy streets, the Granville in Waterford and the Twelve Hotel in Barna. oth are wonderful choices but we tend to go to sleep early and start off in the morning early and had trouble sleeping in these locations with all the road noise. We just should have requested rooms not facing the street. The staff at all the hotels were great but the Fitzwilliam Hotel staff and particularly the concierge were extremely friendly and helpful.
I highly recommend the the Mary Gibbons tour of New Grange. The guide on the bus is her son and he is an archeology student and historian and loaded with information. We opted for a tour bus for the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle peninsula. We drove from Ballyseede into Killarney for both tours. For the Ring we had made a reservation with the Killarney Tours Big Red Bus company and the pick up in town at the Corcoran Tours office resulted in us getting the last two seats in the middle of a 4 seat back bench with no view out either side, despite having made the reservation weeks in advance. Also the guide was very nice but tended to mumble and we did not get nearly as much info as on the Dingle tour, which we did with Deros. That guide was excellent. Deros and some other tour bus companies offer the option to pay extra for priority seating, which we did. These seats are towards the front and are not really any better but it was worth it just to avoid the possibility of being last on and getting the seats in the middle of the back bench.
The Wineport Lodge of course is beautiful. There was one relatively minor complaint about the Wineport. Our suite was the very last one immediately next door to a room in which there was a party function that evening with a very loud singer who could be heard clearly through the wall. That evening we were tired from the road noise in Barna and were looking forward to a peaceful night. We did talk to the owner and he bought us two drinks in the lounge and assured us that the entertainment would stop at 10, which it did and the party pretty much broke up by 10:30 and it was quiet after that. We do think that we should have been informed of the party when checking in and given an option for a different room. Most people would not have cared because they would have been out eating and drinking till at least 10:30.
The weather was very “cooperative” and we took the ferry to Garnish Island and the Gardens there are very much worth seeing. We also drove from the Twelve Hotel and took the Ferry to Inishmore and took a tour bus there and our guide Rory was very good. I highly recommend climbing up to see Dun Aengus. It was partly rainy that day but the we were very glad the weather was good enough to allow for this side trip.
The highlight of the trip was the Cliffs of Moher. We were lucky to have great weather that day and the cliffs are a must see. One suggestion I would make is that the original itinerary had us leaving Dunraven Arms on the drive to Gallway and visit the Bunratty Castle, and then go on to the cliffs. We arrived in Adare early enough the day before to check with the Hotel and then drive to King John’s Castle and also go to Bunratty Castle before coming back to Adare for our room which by then was ready. Although Bunratty Castle is on the way to the Cliffs, there is so much to see at Bunratty Village and so much to see and walk to at the Cliffs that it would have been difficult to fully enjoy both the same day. We were very happy that we visited Bunratty the day before. Also it was better to get to the cliffs early before it gets unbelievably crowded. The parking lot was so crowded by the time we left, cars were searching for an open space.
Thank you all for a wonderful trip and we will definitely recommend Sheenco to anyone wanting an excellent trip to Ireland.
Steven & Bernadette Bondell, GA
Brianna & Joe Kelly, MN, Custom Self Drive Honeymoon, Ireland, May 2017
Both my husband and I had a fantastic time on our trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon. Everything went very well and we had no issues with any of our hotels/castles/events that we participated in. We greatly appreciated all of our upgrades at our hotels and everyone was very friendly and helpful while over in Ireland. We were very pleased throughout the planning process with everyone at Sheenco Travel and how fast everyone was at responding to our questions and requests. We have already told many friends and family about our trip and Sheenco Travel. We have posted many pictures on our facebook and everyone has loved seeing them. We wished we could have stayed longer for there was so much more to see and do, but for the time frame that we were there we enjoyed every minute of it and have no regrets of where we stayed and all that we did. There was never a dull moment or a dull sight to see. We hope to go back to Ireland one day. Thank you all at Sheenco Travel for your wonderful service and making our honeymoon trip a dream come true.
Brianna & Joe Kelly, MN
Deborah Broome, OK, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, May 2017
Our driver Mike Dooley was a jewel and a real asset to the trip. He knew so much history and found us places to visit that were off the usual route, such as the flying boat museum – that fascinates me as I am a pilot. He and Mark had wide ranging conversations over a myriad of subjects. With the exception of the Europa in Belfast, the accommodations were superb. The castles of Ashford, Dromoland and Balleysede are absolutely amazing. The staff and cleanliness in all areas was amazing. The hawk walk at Dromoland was the best thing ever! I never knew I could fly a hawk and pet an owl! The wolfhounds of Ballyseede and Ashford are such gentle giants and so loving. Foxford Woolen mills are fascinating. Thank you so much for the great holiday.
Deborah Broome, OK
Sean Bruce, MD, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, May 2017
Sheenco Travel did a wonderful job for us with a very difficult task of trying to accommodate multi-generational travelers. From the pick up at the airport to the last night at Powerscourt things went very smoothly. Our only “issue” we came across was at The Granville Hotel in Watersford, and that was for some reason they had us in a triple room (three single beds in a small room). We finally got them to put us in a King room and we made it work fine. Overall, of all the places we stayed, they were probably the least helpful and accommodating. I think overall we all felt that the Dromoland Castle was probably our favorite stay – we could have spent the entire week there. They were very welcoming and gracious from our arrival through departure. They took personal attention to us and made us feel as though we’ve been there many times. We had afternoon tea in the Drawing Room in front of a large fireplace and dinner at the Thomond Restaurant. Even though it was a 5 Star hotel and dining, the staff couldn’t have been friendlier and inviting. They even took my wife and daughter on a mini ghost tour to some of the areas they say they’ve seen Lady Ethel walking the halls and sitting in the old library (now the Pub). Waterford was probably our least favorite stay. Somehow it didn’t quite measure up to the other places we visited. If we did it again, I would stay longer in Killarney – such a beautiful town and The Malton was such a great hotel. We didn’t get out to the Ring of Kerry – my Aunt and Uncle were not too excited about the roads and were a bit nervous to spend that much time driving around, but we spent the day at the Muckross Estate and took a jaunting car around the property. Everyone really enjoyed this as we could see everything without having to walk too far. The Brooks in Dublin was fantastic as well and we can’t say enough nice things about our short stay at the Powerscourt Hotel – this was another place that we could have stayed much longer to really enjoy what they had to offer. Everyone there was fantastic. We ate dinner at McGills and they were great and the food was very good. Thanks again to Sheenco Travel for everything they did to make this a truly wonderful vacation.