I was able to make reservations at all the stops along our tour of the west coast of Ireland. Frankly, I could not be happier with what we were able to lock down and wanted to share them with you.
Beaufort House (Days 1-5)
Our first stop after leaving Dublin will be Beaufort House. Beaufort House is a beautiful 18th century manor house set in 40 acres of woodland overlooking the River Laune, just outside of Killarney. It consists of a main house with four surrounding cottages. The main house dates back to 1760, with updates in 1840, and a refurbishment in recent years. We stayed here on our last tour of Ireland and it was one of our favorite places, so we are excited to be back.
We will use Beaufort House as a base of operations for the first 5 days of the tour. It is very convenient to places like Killarney National Park, the Gap of Dunloe, and the Ring of Kerry, all of which we will visit. It sits just 10 kilometers outside of Killarney, which is close enough to give us access to its restaurants, pubs, and shops, but far away enough to get us out of the bustle. I think you’ll agree it is an almost perfect location.
We will have the entire place – the main house and all four cottages – to ourselves. We will be able to congregate as a group on occasion to share and review our photos and won’t have to worry about bothering other people. We’ll be able to wander the beautiful grounds at will and check out the adjacent pub as well.
Dingle Benners Hotel (Days 6 – 7)
Next up is a change of pace in Dingle. We’ll be moving from a country house into a charming hotel in the center of town.
Dingle is one of the best towns in all of Ireland and we felt it important to give you a flavor of it. It has amazing restaurants, historic pubs unlike any you’ve ever seen, shops galore, and much to do. It is located on a bay on the Dingle peninsula where there is much to do (perhaps too much, as we can never seem to do it all).
Dingle Benners Hotel is an intimate boutique hotel in the heart of town with only about 50 rooms. It has a unique combination of very nice accommodations, perfect central location, and a real focus on food. On our last tour, many rated Dingle Benners as their favorite breakfast in Ireland. We’ll definitely have two breakfasts here and probably a dinner as well.
We will use Dingle Benners as our headquarters as we explore the Dingle peninsula, including Slea Head and Ventry. We will also give you a lot of other options for activities as well – everything from a visit to the Blasket Islands to climbing Mount Brandon to just spending the day shopping. The central location means that you can just wander around town at will.
Doolin Inn (Day 8)
The Doolin Inn is an unexpected gem we will use as our base as we visit the mighty Cliffs of Moher. We have not stayed here before because they have minimum stay requirements, which they agreed to set aside for us, making our 1-night stay possible.
There is a lot to love about the Doolin Inn. It starts with the location. It sits on Doolin’s main road, very convenient to the local restaurants and pubs. What’s more, it is only a few steps away from the head of the Cliffs of Moher walking trail. I anticipate an early morning hike on this trail, so the location cannot be beat.
Next, the food appears to be among the best in Doolin. The owner (Anthony) puts a real emphasis on food and the restaurant (Anthony’s) is among the best in Doolin (check out the reviews). He has already put aside space for us – along with a large screen tv to display and discuss our photos. Being just beyond the midway point of the tour this will be an excellent chance for us to take stock of our phots and progress so far.
Park House Hotel (Days 9 – 10)
We’ll spend the next two nights in Galway. The heart of Galway is a square called Eyre Square, and that’ the place you want to be. We scored with a great hotel only a block off the square called Park House Hotel.
It is beginning to be a familiar refrain, but this place combines a great location (Eyre Square) with nice accommodations (4-star) and great food (one of the top restaurants in Galway, although I don’t know that we will be there – besides breakfast). As this will be a return to a city environment, we wanted to put you in a spot where you could walk anywhere you wanted to go. Not far from Eyre Square is a pedestrian-only area filled with restaurants, pubs, and shops of all kind.
We will spend our evenings in Galway, after spending our days out and about. We will arrive after having seen amazing ruins in County Clare and we’ll spend the second day visiting the island of Inis Mor. It will be great to return to the city, get cleaned up, and enjoy the nightlife of Galway.
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (Days 11 – 12)
Finally we get to what I hope will be the best place to stay on the entire tour. It is called Abbeyglen Castle Hotel.
The unofficial capital of the Connemara region – which is where we will be spending the last few days of the tour – is the town of Clifden. We wanted a place close to the restaurants, pubs, and music of Clifden, and this place provides it. It is a less than 10 minute walk to the heart of town.
But I suspect you aren’t going to want to leave the grounds of Abbeyglen. The grounds are stunning and it overlooks the bay as well. I am envisioning capturing sunset from the hotel grounds, which would be a nice relaxing way to conclude our tour.
Dublin Hotel (Day 13)
We will end our tour by moving back to Dublin. This will allow you to do some last minute shopping and then for us to have a farewell dinner that evening. You’ll then be ready to get you to the airport the next morning.
I cannot think of a better place to do that from than the Gresham Hotel (now the Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin). It sits on O’Connell Street in the heart of central Dublin. It is essentially across the street from the GPO and very close to the pedestrian areas.
It occurs to me that some might want to stay in Dublin beyond the tour. If that applies to you, and you would like to avoid changing hotels, let me know. I am happy to extend your booking at cost.
Getting these places locked down always makes a trip seem a little more real, so I wanted to pass these along. I am really excited about all of these places and hope that you are too. I encourage you to check out their websites and reviews. I think you’ll be impressed with them.