Collected by Paula Halverson
1 Baile Na Gleanna, Inisheer, Co. Galway, Ireland
Inisheer (also called "Inis Oirr") is the smallest of the three Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway, Ireland. Before I went I was told by an Irish friend that it has a spiritual quality to it and it does: the quiet (that you can literally feel),...
2 Sea Rd, Galway, Ireland
If you visit this pub you could find yourself in the middle of a traditional Irish music jam session with as many as 22 musicians. This happened on my second visit - and we went most nights just to see what was happening. Grab a pint and then head...
Oghil, Co. Galway, Ireland
The site of the seven churches and cemetery on Inishmore underscores the long history and far reach of the Catholic Church. Here lived saints and scholars in the 7th and 8th centuries and drew pilgrims then as it does by tour van today. You can...
Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland
Mitchell's was very well rated online and rightfully so. The restaurant had a lovely atmosphere and pleasant staff. The seafood was extremely fresh and if you asked, they could tell you where it all came from. I would love to go back and eat my...
Shelbourne St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
If a hotel has a swank spa that administers treatments using ultra-expensive (and effective) Sisley products, it’s probably something special. And if those treatments come in a Victorian manse overlooking the placid waters of Kenmare Bay in...
Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
With its lanes of thatched-roof, old-Irish bungalows fronted by flowering gardens, lovely little Adare is beloved by a certain subset of Irish grannies as the prettiest village in Ireland. It’s easy to see why: An hour south of Shannon...
Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Georgian grand dame just off St. Stephens Green in downtown Dublin, the Merrion has been around in one form or another since 1760, when it was a set of four stately homes owned by English nobility. Today, it is elegance incarnate. An excellent...
Ockanaroe, Ballyfin, Co. Laois, Ireland
For people who lament that they weren’t born into Downton Abbey–style gentility, Ballyfin, which opened in 2010 after nearly a decade-long restoration, is a fast track to 1820s-era refinement from the moment guests pull up to the front...
Lougheask Demesne, Lough Eske, Co. Donegal, Ireland
While some castle hotels can feel a bit dusty—with all those heavy curtains and canopy beds—the Lough Eske Castle Hotel feels more airy and contemporary than you’d expect from a 150-year-old castle. Located near Donegal Town in...
Parknasilla, Sneem, Co. Kerry, V93 EK71, Ireland
A former railway hotel that first opened in 1895, this 500-acre property on Kenmare Bay hosted Charles de Gaulle and Irish hero Eamon de Valera in its heyday. Those two would be surprised at Parknasilla Resort’s current iteration, which...
Middle Road, Dysert, Ardmore, Co. Waterford, P36 DK38, Ireland
In some ways, the Cliff House Hotel is just a resting place for people looking to eat in its highly regarded Michelin-starred restaurant, but the hotel’s loft-style bedrooms are also among the most modern and stylish anywhere in this...
Newmarket, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare, Ireland
Among the best of Ireland’s castle hotels for its ambience and location—convenient to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren’s dreamy landscapes in county Clare—the 1830s-era Dromoland Castle was the home of the O’Brien...
Perrott Ave, College Rd, The Lough, Cork, Ireland
Hidden down a side street beside University College Cork, this Georgian hotel feels like a fancy family home with its vine-swathed, redbrick exterior, wood-paneled library furnished in deep chesterfield sofas, and lots of fire-warmed corners to...
Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Quirky is the word for Castle Leslie Estate in Monaghan—near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland—where rooms are arranged at the end of higgledy-piggledy corridors and long flights of stairs. The winding...
Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Myrtle Allen is Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters: The centenarian chef has lobbied the Irish parliament for better food policies, earned some Michelin stars, and, 50 years ago, opened a restaurant called the Yeats Room in the town of...
Ashford Castle Estate, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
What trip to Ireland is complete without a stay in a castle hotel? Ashford fulfills even the wildest castle fantasies with its crenellated towers, medieval-looking canopy beds, and esteemed falconry program that lets guests explore its 350...
31 Leeson Cl, Dublin 2, D02 CP70, Ireland
Ask someone who’s stayed at Number 31, a downtown Dublin house-hotel, what it’s like and he or she likely won’t get past the breakfast: the pears poached in vanilla syrup, Wexford strawberries, eggs scrambled with smoked salmon...
Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
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