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Meet Your Host | Donal and Connie Connolly

Nonaim Lodge HostsMeet Donal and Connie, B&B hosts at Nonaim Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Their home can be found nestled in the rural countryside of Connemara in County Galway. A couple who are avid walkers and anglers, they have travelled the world and have many stories of both home and abroad. Find out more about their fascinating B&B and its location.

1. What are the hidden gems close to your home?

Lough Corrib, exploring this vast lake and picnicking on one of the many uninhabited islands is a must! Also the Western Way Hiking Trail is an excellent way to chill out and see a little bit of hidden Ireland, but there is a huge range of options throughout the area from sightseeing in Connemara to day trips to the Aran Islands or Inishboffin or a day trip to Galway City. All are within easy reach of us here at Nonaim Lodge.

2. What is your favourite guest story?

We have several, from the couple who booked for one night and then stayed another 6 nights - their whole holiday - with us! But One that stands out this year was the guest called Mike, who arranged to stay with us, along with his girlfriend and intended to propose to her on one of the islands on Lough Corrib. He had contacted me prior to arriving letting me know his plans and looking for advice as to a particularly romantic island. I suggested Caislean-na-Circe which has an old castle on it and the famous Grace O'Malley (Granuaile) once lived there. It's located in a most stunning wild location, with little chance of being disturbed. The day of the planned picnic and proposal was a beautiful bright sunny and hot day amid great excitement (although we could not show it!), we got the boat ready and they set off on their boat trip. I can only imagine how nervous Mike must have been because both myself and Connie had butterflies and were very nervous in case we let something slip and went out of our way trying to act normally. At around 4pm I received a text from Mike letting us know all was good and his proposal had been accepted! We greeted them on their arrival back to the Lodge with a Champagne toast!

3. What is your signature dish/food?

We provide a varied menu, but our full Irish breakfast, is very popular, also our scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or smoked mackerel goes down very well.

4. Is there anything about your home that is quirky?

Our location is very special, this is truly hidden Ireland at its best!. We are located in a very scenic, wild, beautiful rural Connemara setting, on the shores of magical Lough Corrib.

5. Have you ever had any famous guests?

As you can understand we would never name people who visit us, as they are entitled to their privacy. But we have had a few well known faces as guests, from a well known science fiction writer, an opera singer and we also had a Pulitzer Prize winner. I find almost every guest has an interesting story and it can be fascinating talking and listening to people from literally all over the world.

6. What is your favourite thing about the area you live in?

The peace and seclusion and the idyllic scenery all around us, and the magic of the lake - Lough Corrib. It has an influence on the whole area, both visually and it also has a restful calming effect that is difficult to describe. The wild nature of the area is something I delight in, seeing red deer, pine martins, otters, badgers, foxes along with white tailed eagles, merlin, peregrine falcons and sparrow-hawks is uplifting! Yet for all its seclusion and wildness, the hustle and bustle of Galway City is 45 minutes drive from us. We live in a very special place and throughout the year it never ceases to surprise and delight me.

7. When you are not looking after your guests what is your favourite thing to do?

Fly fishing is my passion and enjoy getting out on the lake and "wetting a line" fishing for wild trout, salmon & pike. I am also a fishing guide and take people on fishing trips and sightseeing trips on Lough Corrib. I enjoy walking and hiking, and have a great love of reading, we have a small but interesting selection of books in our lounge room that many guests find interesting.

8. What are your top three attractions in this country?

The beauty of the Irish countryside and the quickly changing and varying landscapes throughout different regions I suppose. I am biased but I would put Connemara as one of the top attractions in the country! Lastly the people! Irish people in general are outgoing, friendly and want to help and ensure visitors enjoy their visit to Ireland and this very much also includes Irish people not in the tourism/hospitality industry.

We'd like to thank Donal and Connie for taking the time to share with us an insight into their home and their local area of Connemara. To find out more on this Donal and Connie's beautiful home and their stunning location, check out Nonaim Lodge Bed and Breakfast.

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Posted: 23 Jan 2015 by Niall McKee | with 0 comments

Tags: B&B Hosts, Connemara, Galway

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