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Alanna shares her love of the Irish B&B experience

I hear the kettle whistle as I finish throwing a few things in my backpack, preparing for tomorrow’s adventures.  I pour the tea and set the mug carefully on the windowsill.  Rummaging through my bag, I locate my journal, and then I pull an extra blanket from the closet and settle into the armchair in front of the window.  The sea stretches out in front of me as I take the first sip from my steaming cup.  Home, I think to myself, and I smile.
Of course, I’m not home at all, but it feels that way.  I’m in Rossroe Lodge in Cashel, a tiny hamlet located in the vast expanse of Connemara.  I arrived yesterday and was greeted warmly by my hosts, who showed me to a beautiful room at the front of the house, facing the sea.  I have just returned to Ireland for the fourth time, and this will be my longest stay yet - 3 years.  I’ve lived in Ireland three times before, and coming back here feels more like coming home than anytime I’ve ever returned to the States.  In America, I’ve only visited 18 states; in Ireland, I have stayed in all 32 counties and could tell you my favorite activities and restaurants and pubs in each one.  I could also give you B&B recommendations; in the ten years I’ve lived and traveled here, I’ve stayed in 78 of them.  The majority of those accommodations have been through B&B Ireland.  If it’s in the B&B Ireland network, I know that the B&B I’m staying in is going to be held to a higher standard, and I’ve never had a bad experience at any of them. 

Rossroe Lodge, Cashel Connemara in County Galway

Ireland, as everyone likely knows, is the land of Céad Míle Fáilte, which means one hundred thousand welcomes.  To me, you need only look at the B&B system in place here to know that the saying rings true.  I have traveled all over Europe, and I’ve never found a network of B&Bs quite like the one in Ireland.  I know, when planning a trip, that there will likely always be a welcoming B&B within twenty kilometers of where I’m staying, and I love looking at reviews and locations and picking the place that’s right for me.  When friends are visiting Ireland and ask me for accommodation recommendations, I always recommend B&Bs. Sure, you could stay at a hotel and have an anonymous experience with very little craic, or you could stay with local hosts, families who have sometimes had their B&Bs for generations, who take pride in providing amazing service, a welcoming atmosphere, and an overall excellent experience.  Not to mention the breakfasts, oh my God, the breakfasts.  I don’t think you’ve officially been in Ireland until you’ve had your first Full Irish, which will set you up nicely for a day of sightseeing and adventuring.  Unless you’re a vegetarian, make sure to try the black pudding.  I was hesitant at first, but over the years, it has become one of my favorite breakfast staples.

Alanna's B&B experience memories

Ireland has so much to offer, in terms of the landscape and the culture.  I love hiking its mountains, swimming its shores, and having a nice pint in a cozy pub with traditional music playing in the background.  I’ve had so many amazing meals in so many beautiful restaurants; Ireland truly prides itself on its culinary skills, and it shows, from the biggest restaurants down to the smallest B&Bs.  I’ve had so many different adventures, from crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge to riding horses on the beach in Sligo, from kayaking in Dunmore East to hiking in the Mourne Mountains, from delivering lambs at a sheep farm in Dunmore to getting a kiss at the Matchmaking Festival in Lisdoonvarna.  There is no shortage of fun and culture in Ireland, and all of it starts with its people.  The network that B&B Ireland has grown and fostered over the years is made up of hundreds of those people, who are ready to welcome you into their homes and show you the best of Ireland from their doorstep.  If you’re coming to Ireland and looking for a Céad Míle Fáilte experience of your own, book a B&B and know that you are in kind, capable hands.  I guarantee you, the B&B experience will make you feel right at home… even if it’s your first time here.

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Posted: 01 Mar 2023 by Claire Regan | with 0 comments

Tags: B&B Experience

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