Finding Rooms for 3 (or more) in Ireland | Traveling in Ireland Podcast Episode 175

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{Hello from Sligo town – in the county of Sligo.
I'll fill you in on the past few days – but first a terrific accommodation question}

How to Find Accommodation in Ireland

Ruth W. asked a question that I hear rather often…

I’m wondering about how to find budget- to mid-priced accommodation for three adults (me 70, children mid 40’s).  We like places that have character, feel homey, and have a flavor of the local culture. We can share a room together and a bathroom, but each need our own bed. No sharing a room with others. Breakfast would be great, but could mean a frig and a coffee maker. I’m thinking we’ll spend 2-4 nights in most places. Maybe a week if there’s a central location to day trip from, and then we could do a short term rental. Planning on a car except in Dublin. 

Hotels are usually geared to couples or families with young children. Is a room with three beds very common? Are guest houses a category?  Or bed and breakfast places? And how best to find them?

This is a terrific question – especially as room terms in Ireland can be a bit confusing.

For mid-priced, homey accommodations you can't get any better than a traditional Irish bed & breakfast.

And the best place to start your search is on the B&B Ireland website. On this website you can search for rooms by dates, location, and the number of people staying. The site will then deliver your best options.

Another search tip is to use aggregate sites like Booking.com. Again, you can search by dates, location & number of people staying. (But always check the rates and rooms found here against booking direct.)

Terms to watch for when booking a room in Ireland

When booking a room for three people with three beds you want to search for a ‘triple' room. This room will have three twin beds.

A ‘family room' may also work, but you need to check how many people it will sleep – you would want a room with a double bed and two twin beds that would sleep 4 people.

If you want breakfast included you would look for a room on a ‘bed & breakfast' basis. All B&Bs offer breakfast but in many hotels it is an additional cost.

A few more room terms to know.

A double room means it sleeps two people, but not necessarily in one bed, or in a double bed. You would want to read the description or inquire with the accommodation to learn more about the room layout.

Many king bedrooms can easily be made into a double room (two twin beds) by simply splitting the bed in half.

Not all hotel rooms will have a refrigerator, so you will want to read the room descriptions to see if it is included. B&Bs are highly unlikely to have a refrigerator in the room.

Nearly every accommodation will have a kettle or coffee pot in the room.

A few other things that I have noticed that people (North Americans especially) find odd in Irish hotels

  • Many hotels will not have a top sheet. Duvets are used and the covers are changed between guests. If you would like a top sheet you can usually ask at the front desk and housekeeping can deliver one to you.
  • Accommodations below 4 stars will often not have washcloths (often called a flannel in Ireland). If this is a necessity you can certainly bring your own – or plan to bring facial wipes for your trip.
  • Sustainability is important in Ireland and many hotel rooms will require you to insert your key into a card slot in the room to turn on the electricity – lights, plugs, etc.

Through Ulster

To give you a little overview of the past couple days…

Dunluce Castle, Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
Dunluce Castle

We continued through the North with a couple photo opps of Dunluce Castle (GoT fans know it as the House of Greyjoy) and an incredible walking tour of Derry with Gleann Dogherty of Derry Guided Tours (podcast episode116).

Free Derry Corner, Derry, Northern Ireland
Free Derry Corner

We had a very windy visit to the Grianan of Aileach hill fort, and spent the night near the border of Counties of Donegal and Derry.

Glencolmcille Folk Village, County Donegal, Ireland
Glencolmcille Folk Village

The next day we woke to heavy rain, but the clouds thinned as we made our way south. We had beautiful views from the Glengesh pass, dodged a heavy shower at Glencolmcille Folk Village, and enjoyed stunning, clear skies at the Slieve League Cliffs.

Slieve League Cliffs, County Donegal, Ireland
Slieve League Cliffs

A (not so) quick stop at Studio Donegal Handweavers saw quite a few of us shipping wonderful Donegal tweed home, before we arrived at Lough Eske Castle for a night of pampering.

Studio Donegal Handweavers, County Donegal, Ireland
Studio Donegal Handweavers
Lough Eske Castle, Donegal, Ireland
Lough Eske Castle

This morning we woke to Storm Agnes pushing heavy rain into Ireland, which rather ruined our coastal touring. We arrived in Sligo town and dodged intermittent heavy rains as we popped in and out of shops on Castle Street before joining Anthony Gray for a Taste of Sligo food tour (podcast episode 66).

Taste of Sligo food tour, Sligo, Ireland
Taste of Sligo food tour

This evening we are heading out for live music and a bit of craic.

Thanks to those who ordered a copy of the My Ireland Vacation Planner and Journal. I picked up a special gift for you today and it will be tucked in your order when I return home.

If you are ready to begin your own vacation planning and want to know more about this special offer listen to episode 173 and place your order before October 7.

Do you have an Ireland travel question? I would love to answer it on the podcast! Email your questions to jody@irelandfamilyvacations.com – write Podcast Question in the subject line. And be sure to let me know if I can use your first name and the first initial of your last name when I share the question.

Jody Halsted
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