The last time I stayed at Doolin Hostel was in 2016. I found it much the same as I had during our stay in 2014: clean, comfortable, welcoming. The only noticeable change was that we didn't have to wash our own dishes after enjoying the light continental breakfast.
It's obviously time for me to return because during the winter of 2016 and before the reopening in 2017 some big changes happened.
Join me as I chat with Anthony Moloney, the owner of Doolin Hostel and Doolin Inn, about the changes to his business, and what has changed- and remained the same- in Doolin.
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Revisiting Doolin with Anthony Moloney
(0:30)Anthony first joined me on the podcast way back in in Episode 8
The topic of that podcast was hosteling and why it is a great option for families. (listen here)
(1:57) About Doolin Inn and Doolin Hostel
Doolin Inn and Doolin Hostel sit opposite each other just where the R479 bends to cross the Ailee River.
The hostel sleeps 40 people, has both dormatory and private rooms (including twin, triple, quad, and 5 bed options), and includes a continental breakfast in the morning
The Inn has 17 bedrooms (double, twin, and family rooms) with all the amenities you expect form a 3* boutique hotel. Breakfast in the morning includes continental options and local foods cooked to order.
You'll also find a Cafe on site with options for a light snack, lunch, or early evening meal. Picnic lunches can also be arranged for your explorations.
(6:25) What Has Changed – and What Hasn't- in Doolin
Though it has always been popular people have become more aware of Doolin in the past few years.
While Doolin hasn't grown in the past years it has managed to avoid its young people leaving for larger cities for jobs, and younger families are coming back.
The charm of the village is that everything is local and family owned. It's a sense of community that you can feel as you meet people.
You'll find multiple B&Bs, hotels, hostels, rental cottages, and, of course, some terrific pubs. But no chain businesses.
(8:29) Local Highlights
- Cliffs of Moher & Cliffs walk
- Ferry to the Aran Islands
- Cliffs of Moher cruise
- Traditional Music
- Doolin Cave
Read: How Many Reasons Do You Need to Spend a Few Days in County Clare? to get all the links to these highlights!
(12:27) What attracts people to the area- besides the Cliffs of Moher
- Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark
- Unique landscape and botany
- Megalithic sites
- Seabird colony
- Outdoor activities like rock climbing, bouldering, caving, hiking, kayaking, surfing
(17:40) Other spots in County Clare to add to your itinerary
Note: You will want a car to explore County Clare.
I recommend Irish Car Rentals for unbeatable quote. Use code IFV in the referrals box.
Ennistymon and Lahinch are two charming villages just south of the Cliffs of Moher. You'll find a tasty food scene, art galleries, and the cascades in Ennistymon, while Lahinch has a terrific beach and water adventures.
Kilkee and Loop Head Peninsula are about an hour south of Doolin. Be sure to include the Bridges of Ross and Loop Head Lighthouse in your time here. Also (as I learned the hard way), be sure to have a full tank of gas.
Ballyvaughn and Kinvarra north of Doolin. Include these in a loop through the Burren.
(21:08) Reference Links
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Remember, you'll get the best rates at Doolin Inn and Doolin Hostel by booking direct. Please use code IFV in the promo box so Anthony knows you heard about his accommodations from Ireland Family Vacations.