Ireland’s 100 Best Places to Stay – and they’re surprisingly affordable

Ireland’s 100 Best Places to Stay – and they’re surprisingly affordable

“It’s about authenticity”

PUBLISHED12/03/2015 | 06:48

Newforge House, Co. Armagh7
Newforge House, Co. Armagh

McKennas’ Guides has published its 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland, with some fascinating inclusions… and exclusions.

The influential guide features 12 new entries this year, ranging from Dublin’s five-star Marker Hotel to Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B on Co. Clare’s Loop Head peninsula.

Ard Na Sidhe in Co. Kerry – recently voted one of the world’s best affordable places to stay by Condé Nast Traveler – also makes the cut for the first time.

Cork City’s River Lee Hotel is new to the list for this year, as are the Bridge House and Lis-Ardagh Lodge in West Cork, The White Cottages in Skerries, Co. Dublin, Milltown House in Dingle, Léim Siar in Belmullet and the Blue Book’s Newforge House in Co. Armagh.

Galway gets two new entries – The Huntsman Inn and The Stop B&B.

One of the big features of the guide is its affordability and focus on small business.

Just four five-star hotels make the cut, for example, and rooms at Glencarrig and The Stop are currently listed from just €32.50pp and €35pp respectively.

None of Ashford Castle, Sheen Falls Lodge, The Merrion Hotel or Adare Manor make the 100 Best list, despite winning numerous international accolades (all four featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s most recent list of the Top 15 hotels in Ireland).

Harvey’s Point in Donegal – recently voted TripAdvisor’s No.1 hotel in Ireland for the third year running – is also conspicuous by its absence.

The Marker Hotel, Dublin

“I respect things done well at the five-star level,” said John McKenna.

“But the STAY 2015 app is aimed at people coming into Ireland for a holiday, and what we’ve learned over the years is that they want to meet the owner… It’s about an intimate, homegrown experience, about feeling that you are in somebody’s home – that’s what visitors to Ireland are looking for.”

“Ultimately it has to be places I want to stay,” he added.

Cork accounts for more than a fifth of all entries, with 21 in total.

Ireland’s 100 Best Places To Stay

Co. Carlow

Kilgraney Country House, Bagenalstown

Step House Hotel, Main Street, Borris

Co. Cavan

MacNean Townhouse, Blacklion

The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, Butler’s Bridge

Co. Clare

Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B, Carrigaholt [NEW]

Gregan’s Castle, Ballyvaughan

Hotel Doolin, Doolin

Moy House, Lahinch

Sheedy’s, Lisdoonvarna

Stella Maris, O’Connell Street, Kilkee

Vaughan Lodge Hotel, Lahinch

Wild Honey Inn, Kincora Road, Lisdoonvarna

Co. Cork

Ballinterry House, Rathcormac, Fermoy

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry

Ballyvolane House, Castlelyons, Fermoy

Blindgate House,  Kinsale

Bridge House, Skibbereen [NEW]

Fortview House, Goleen

Gallán Mór, Durrus

Garnish House, Cork City

Glebe Country House, Ballinadee, Bandon

The Glen, Kilbrittain

Gort na nain Farm Vegetarian Guesthouse, Nohoval

Gougane Barra Hotel, Macroom

Grove House, Schull

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty

Knockeven, Cobh

Lancaster Lodge, Cork City

Lis-Ardagh Lodge, Union Hall [NEW]

Newtown House, Kinsalebeg, Youghal

Rolf’s Country House, Baltimore Hill, Baltimore

River Lee Hotel, Cork [NEW]

Sea View House Hotel, Ballylickey

Co. Donegal

Castle Murray House Hotel, Dunkineely

The Glen House, Clonmany

The Mill Restaurant, Dunfanaghy

Rathmullan House, Rathmullan

Co. Dublin

Aberdeen Lodge, Ballsbridge

Ariel House, Lansdowne Road

Brooks Hotel, Drury Street

Kelly’s Hotel, South Great George’s Street

The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square [NEW]

Number 31, Lower Leeson Street

Pembroke Town House, Ballsbridge [NEW]

The White Cottages, Skerries [NEW]

Co. Galway

Angler’s Return, Roundstone

Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara

Connemara Coast Hotel, Furbo

Dolphin Beach, Clifden

The Heron’s Rest, Galway

The House Hotel, Galway

The Huntsman Inn, Galway [NEW]

Inis Meáin Suites, Inis Meáin, Aran Islands

Kilmurvey House, Inis Mór, Aran Islands

Lough Inagh Lodge, Recess

The Quay House, Clifden

Renvyle House, Connemara

Sea Mist House, Clifden

The Stop B&B, Galway [NEW]

The Twelve Hotel, Barna

Co. Kerry

Ard na Sidhe, Killorglin [NEW]

Brook Lane Hotel, Kenmare

Castlewood House, Dingle

Emlagh House, Dingle

Heaton’s House & Restaurant, Dingle

Hotel Europe, Fossa, Killarney

The Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney

Milltown House, Dingle [NEW]

QC’S, Cahersiveen, Ring of Kerry

The Ross, Town Centre, Killarney

Shelburne Lodge, Kenmare

Co. Laois

Ivyleigh House, Portlaoise

Roundwood House, Mountrath

Co. Limerick

The Mustard Seed, Echo Lodge, Ballingarry

Number One Pery Square, Limerick

Co. Longford

Viewmount House, Longford

Co. Louth

Ghan House, Carlingford

Co. Mayo

Bervie, Keel,  Achill Island

Knockranny House, Westport

Léim Siar, Blacksod, Belmullet [NEW]

Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny, Westport

Stella Maris, Ballycastle

Co. Sligo

Coopershill House, Riverstown

Co. Tipperary

Inch House, Thurles

The Old Convent, Clogheen

Co. Waterford

Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore

Glasha Farmhouse, Ballymacarbry

Richmond House, Cappoquin

The Tannery Restaurant, Dungarvan

Co. Westmeath

Lough Bishop House, Colinstown

Wineport Lodge, Glassan, Athlone

Co. Wexford

Kelly’s Resort Hotel, Rosslare

Monart, Enniscorthy

Co. Wicklow

Ballyknocken House, Ashford

The Brook Lodge, Macreddin Village, Aughrim

Northern Ireland

Beech Hill House Hotel, Derry

The Carriage House, Dundrum

Dufferin Coaching Inn, Killyleagh

Marlagh Lodge, Ballymena

Newforge House, Armagh [NEW]

ANS Twilight.jpg
Ard na Sidhe – new to the list for 2015

The 100 Best guides, compiled by influential food writers and publishers John and Sally McKenna, were published in app format – along with a guide on where to eat and stay on the Wild Atlantic Way – this week.

The apps are produced together with DCU’s School of Communications via the Enterprise Ireland knowledge partnership scheme, and include GPS and links to social media and websites for the establishments listed.

They are available on iTunes and Google Play at €2.99 each.

Read more:

Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants – now with beach shack and food carts

Condé Nast ranks Irish hideaway as one of the world’s best affordable hotels

Ashford Castle rated world’s second ‘Most Romantic’ place to propose

Four Irish hotels named among Europe’s Top 10 resorts

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on Nov 14, 2015