They’re in towns, cities and villages. Some are at the foot of mountains, some overlook lakes and others are steps from farms, beaches or golf clubs. They’re B&Bs and they can turn a good vacation into a great one
Staying in a B&B is the definition of killing two birds with one stone. Yes, you’ll find cozy rooms, tea/coffee and scones on arrival and a breakfast that could sustain a battalion, but you’ll also find local expertise.
The hosts greeting you at the door aren’t just hosts; they’re tour guides in disguise.
This means good things for your visit to Ireland. Just ask Dan Faloon.
"Like old friends”
Thanks to a winning entry in a B&B Ireland’s essay contest, Dan Faloon found himself in Ireland able to choose from a mind-boggling range of options. Eventually, in line with their itinerary and his travel plans, he and his wife Mary Ann made their decision.
Their travels took them to Riverwalk House in Galway’s Oughterard (“where Ann made us feel like family”) to Newpark House in Ennis, County Clare (“Declan was not only an attentive host and great cook, but also assisted us with our genealogical research”) and Avonmore House in Youghal, County Cork (“even though I messed up our reservations, Eileen was able to find a room for us”).
The B&B odyssey continued to Dualla, County Tipperary, where Dan recalls that host Tommy promised to take care of their every need, while Tommy’s wife Joan “made the best pancakes”.
Dan and Mary Ann’s journey ended in County Wicklow at Cherrybrook in the postcard perfect town of Avoca. Here, host Bernie – who Dan had been in touch with on Facebook for so long – “treated us like old friends.”
After all his B&B visits, we wanted to know what really stands out about the Irish B&B, and why is it so unique?
“The Irish as a people tend to be friendly and curious, as well as possessing an inherent need to please. These traits lend themselves well to the running of a B&B. Upon returning to any of the B&Bs we stayed in, our hosts asked us about our day and generally made us feel like family.”
The simple things
Ask B&B host Bernadette Freyne of Ardfield Farmhouse B&B in County Cork, and you’ll be glad to know that the feeling is mutual.
“I love meeting and welcoming guests into my home,” she says. “There is great satisfaction in seeing people relaxing, discovering and appreciating the simple things we take for granted.”
For Bernadette and her farmstead accommodation wrapped in the velvet fields and trees of Cork’s Owenaube Valley, it goes even further than that. Each new guest is an education:
“When my children were younger, the different nationalities they met really opened up the world for them. I can honestly say that the many friends we have made over the years have enriched our lives. What other job do you get to experience other people's vacations?”
Sometimes it’s nice to know that your visit really is special.