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The Pros And Cons Of Staying In An Irish B&B

Traditional Irish Breakfast

Irish B&B’s are a firm favorite of mine when I’m on the hunt for accommodation around Ireland. You pretty much always know you’re going to get a comfy bed, in a warm hospitable environment, and you are always made to feel welcome. I definitely do have a bias towards staying in a B&B over other types of accommodation, but that is purely based on past experiences. To help you decide what’s right for you I am going to describe for you what I consider to be some of the Pros and Cons of staying in an Irish B&B. image credit

Pros

Attention To Detail

Near the top of the ‘Pro’ list is that almost all Irish B&B’s have a very homely feel. You will most likely be staying in a B&B that is run, and lived in, by the owner. Unlike large hotel chains, you can be pretty sure the owner is going to take great pride in the simple things that can make a big difference, such as cleanliness, the comfort of the furniture, and the quality of the food they serve.

Making Friends

When you stay in a hotel, it’s not too common to end up in conversation with the person staying next door. However, while staying in a B&B, the chances are good that the other guests in the B&B are there for the same reason as you – they want to see the beautiful Irish countryside, or sample the nightlife of the nearby towns and cities. You have a perfect opportunity to strike up conversation at the breakfast table, or while having a cup of tea in the evening. You’ll find yourselves sharing tips on what you did the day before, or where you’re off to next, or some other helpful information. Who knows, you may even end up doing an activity together.

Helpful Hosts

Book Online with B&B Ireland

There’s a good chance the person who runs the B&B has lived in the area for most, if not all, their lives. They may be busy running around trying to keep everything in order, but they will usually have time to answer your questions. They should be able to help you with directions, public transport info, places to avoid, finding a good pub/restaurant, finding places that are not too ‘touristy’ or almost anything else in the area you are looking for. You may argue that hotels have dedicated staff for that, but oftentimes those people do not know the area. Perfect example….when in Dublin in April, I asked 2 hotel staff where the nearest kid’s playground was, and both said there were none in the city center. Two hours later while in St. Stephen’s Green, we stumbled upon the marvelous outdoor playground there (you should’ve seen the kids faces 🙂 )

Familiar Face

No matter where you go you should always keep your valuables safe. I never leave passports, cash etc lying around no matter where I stay. But a B&B does have an added layer of protection that a hotel does not. So many people come and go at hotels. Nobody knows who’s who, and an unsavory character walking the hallways will go unnoticed. B&Bs are much smaller, your host will know you by name, and they will certainly know a stranger when they see one. That being said, use common sense to always keep your valuables safe.

Variety Of Choice

B&Bs in Ireland are everywhere! The 2 things that spring to mind in your favor here are: a) it should be easy to find a place to rest your head, and b) it gives you more flexibility when shopping around for price and comfort. You can find B&B’s in the countryside, the cities, farmhouse B&B’s, and even some historic Irish houses that have been transformed to provide an amazing accommodation experience.

Cons

Facilities

Beautiful Irish Countryside

If you’re looking for a pool to splash around in, then a B&B may be the wrong option for you. The same can be said for other facilities that you might typically find in a hotel e.g. a gym, restaurant, pubs, shopping etc. I have put this in the ‘Con’ section but depending on what you are trying to get out of your holiday in Ireland, this may actually be a ‘Pro’. Pools, pubs, shopping etc generally lead to crowds, so if you’re looking to avoid those, then consider this a pro : ) image credit

Sshhhhh!

A certain amount of noise at night in a hotel is to be expected, but in a B&B you may want to be more conscious of your surroundings. Remember you are a guest in someone’s home. Again, for a lot of people this will fit in to the ‘Pros’ section.

Common Areas

You are going to have to keep in mind that you’re not staying in a house reserved exclusively for you. There will be other guests and residents. Be prepared to share some space, such as dining areas, living rooms, and possibly bathrooms too.

Slower Pace

Hotels are set up to accommodate large amounts of people. If they need to hire a few more temporary staff to cover a busy weekend, this can easily be taken care of. In some cases, expect to wait a little longer than you might hope to, for a request to be fulfilled. Having that extra little bit of patience will help you relax and enjoy Ireland even more.

Where Can I Book An Irish B&B?


Book a walking vacation in Ireland
 Now that you’re hopefully a little closer to deciding what type of accommodation is right for you, hop on over to the B&B Ireland website to take a look at what options are available (you can even download their free iPhone App there too). You can find B&B’s by county and town, and each B&B is featured with pictures, directions, nearby activities, reviews and more.

If you are still undecided and would like to explore your options further, both Hotels.com and Expedia.com, offer great deals on hotels in Ireland.

Do you have a B&B experience you would like to share? Great stories and helpful comments are very welcome 🙂

6 comments

  1. B&Bs top my list as well. Some don’t take credit cards, so that can be a negative to some people.

  2. Although the staff in hotels often know the geographic area well, what I find is that the folks running B&Bs know the local people AND the area well. And if you’re at all on a bit of a genealogy mission, they’re often knowledgeable enough about the people in the area to point you in some useful directions.

    • I agree with you, Elizabeth. The local insider knowledge you can get from B&B hosts is often priceless. They can generally tell you everything from what to see to where to eat to where to look for your long-passed relatives.

  3. We were in Tullamore for one of their fleadhs and stayed at a B&B a little farther than walking distance, the hosts wouldn’t allow us to take a cab and would drive us into town daily. The breakfast table was a joy to attend as other Irish music lovers would have great chats. On the other hand, on a trip to Galway by myself, I stayed in a hotel and had access to the pub for a late night pint after hours, something that is not allowed in the states. It was nice to have a pint and chat with the night manager, Its a nice decision to make, where to stay in Ireland? Thanks for the info,
    Cheers,
    Brian.

  4. B&B’s are awesome.. I have travelled to Ireland & Scotland several time & each time I chose a B&B… In Dublin, I stayed @ the Tinode House. Owners PJ & Maureen went out of their way to make sure I had a pleasant stay. the b&b is located on upper Drumcondra. While in NI I stayed at the Abbey B&B in Derry & in Belfast I stayed in a b&b also. Scotland also has wonderful B&B’s..