Ireland, 4 hotels and B&Bs where you should absolutely stay

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Ireland, 4 hotels and B&Bs where you should absolutely stay

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Our Ireland road trip is now over and it's time to take stock. If you're looking for tips on the various stops and attractions not to be missed, read all our articles on this wonderful emerald island. However, in this article we talk about Irish hotels and list 4 hotels and b&b's where you should definitely spend at least one night during your roadtrip to the island.

We love... Ireland!

After having travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, our road trip to the island is now over and it’s time to take stock. In the various articles published on this blog we have told you about our itinerary and recounted the different attractions we visited, as well as giving you some useful tips for your visit. However, in this article we talk to you about hotels and B&Bs. Contrary to what we experienced in England, the availability of bed & breakfasts in Ireland is decidedly limited, as is their average quality. During our trip we made an effort to look for establishments that offered a more authentic and homely experience rather than large chain hotels. However, we have to admit that the task was arduous and not always successful. So in this article, we list four hotels and b&bs where, for quality of service, value for money or location, you should definitely spend at least one night during your roadtrip to the island.

Suggested hotels

Lemon Leaf Café Bar in Kinsale

Kinsale is a small village on the south coast of the island with a distinct maritime character and a bohemian soul. The town is easy to get around on foot and as you stroll around you will certainly come across some of its main attractions, such as St. Multose Church, the town’s main church, or Desmond Castle, which was closed for restoration at the time of our visit. But our advice is to focus more on the narrow streets and squares of the centre, with their cheerful coloured buildings, cafés and pubs. Although the town has plenty of accommodation, we suggest you stay at the Lemon Leaf Cafe Bar & Townhouse, a bistro with rooms available upstairs. Let us tell you straight away: although the rooms have been recently renovated and are very clean and well maintained, they are very small. Despite this, we really enjoyed our stay, appreciating the attention to detail and the location right in the centre. Breakfast is normally included in the price and can be eaten in the bistro on the ground floor (N.B. guests are provided with a voucher per person that covers a maximum amount; if you exceed this, you will have to pay the difference on the spot).

Kells Bay House & Gardens

Kells is a picturesque fishing village halfway between Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen. We reached it at the end of our Ring of Kerry and Skellig tour. The village has nothing special except for a charming sandy beach. Here, however, is one of the most curious accommodations on the island: the Kells Bay House & Gardens. This unexpected place is surrounded by one of the most amazing gardens on the island, consisting of a rich collection of tree ferns, palms and other exotic plants, which thrive here thanks to the special microclimate created by the Gulf Stream. The hotel has good, well-appointed and clean rooms and guests have free access to the garden and park, which can be easily explored on foot. If you decide to spend the night here, our advice is to book a table in the hotel’s Thai restaurant – which offers really good food – and to walk one of the park’s most fun and popular experiences: ‘The SkyWalk’ rope bridge!

The Mustard Seed in Ballingarry

We only spent one night here, but it was enough to appreciate the tranquillity of the place and the excellent food prepared mostly from locally grown ingredients. The Mustard Seed Country House is a hotel with a distinctly rural and authentic character. We had read about it in the Lonely Planet, but after trying it we absolutely recommend it. The hotel is housed in an elegant country house and former monastery in County Limerick. A well-kept garden and good service make the visit special. The advice is to book both the overnight stay and dinner well in advance, as the hotel restaurant is quite popular and also frequented by locals and people from outside the hotel.
Although the cost is on average higher than in other establishments in the area, it is really worth it. But if you choose not to sleep here, we suggest you at least treat yourself to an unforgettable dinner!

Waterfront Rest B&B in Clifden

This charming turquoise house with a spectacular view of a bay along the Sky Road gave us one of the most pleasant awakenings of our entire stay on the island. The property, run by a French woman who moved to Ireland many years ago, houses a few rooms and has ample parking. Its idyllic location, in the midst of peace and quiet but only a few kilometres from the centre of Clifden, makes it an absolutely recommendable place to spend a night. Being a bed & breakfast, the property has a friendly and welcoming service and a hearty Irish-style breakfast. However, it has no restaurant for dinner. So you’ll have to take the car and drive to Clifden or, alternatively, make use of one of the scenic garden tables and eat your takeaway.
How to get there

Arriving by airplane

See the location in Google Maps. Most travelers choose to reach Ireland by plane. The island’s main airports are located in Dublin and Cork – in the Republic of Ireland – and in Belfast – in Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. However, the island is well connected to Switzerland and the rest of Europe by several flights of the national airline Aer Lingus, Swiss and, of course, the low-cost airline Ryanair. Dublin Airport is located about 11 km north of the city. If you have rented a car, the counters of the major rental companies are located in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Arriving by ship

See the location in Google Maps. Ireland can also be reached by ship, a popular option for those who enjoy on-the-road travel with their own car or caravan. Dublin has two harbor areas: Dun Laoghaire Terminal, southeast of downtown, and Dublin Port Terminal, northeast. Many companies connect the city with the United Kingdom. We suggest Stenaline, Irishferries, P&O Ferries. Alternatively, other companies connect Ireland with France (mainly with Cork, southern Ireland): Irishferries and Brittany Ferries.



In general, it has to be said that Irish accommodation has, in our opinion, somewhat lower standards than in other European countries. Although courtesy and a hearty breakfast were present almost everywhere, many of the establishments we selected showed the signs of time and, sometimes, a not-so-careful cleanliness. So if you are a demanding traveller, we suggest you read the reviews carefully before booking and, in any case, be prepared to be flexible and have a spirit of adaptation. After all, the goal is to enjoy your holiday and hotels are nothing more than a place to sleep!


Are you planning an on-the-road trip to Ireland? Then read all our articles on the topic and if you have any questions or need additional tips let us know by leaving a comment below. We will get back to you as soon as possible!

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