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