Connemara may be one of the most wildly beautiful areas in all of Ireland. People are drawn here by the lush landscape, the dramatic sea side and the the Gaeltacht, where you'll hear Irish as often as English. Clifden, the unofficial capital of Connemara, is an inviting town filled with pubs, shops and many bed and breakfasts.
While it is very tempting to stay at a B&B along the Sky Road for the beautiful view, if you're wanting to spend an evening or two enjoying live music and craic at the pubs you'll be much safer at a location within the town.
Staying at Kingstown House B&B in Clifden
Kingstown House Bed and Breakfast is a perfect choice if you're staying in Clifden. Located right in the center of town, it's a quick and easy stroll to shops and pubs.
Kingstown House has been a bed and breakfast since the current owner, Regina Hopkins, was young and her mother was the hostess. Both Regina and her husband Jim worked in hospitality in the US, and what they learned in hotel management they have applied to their eight room B&B.
Entering Kingstown House, you are immediately drawn to the cozy sitting room. The fireplace, deep chairs and chess board invite you to relax, enjoy the wifi or, in my daughters' case, play an impromptu game of checkers (yes, with chess pieces).
Our room, which Jim led us to, was on the 2nd floor (3rd to us Americans), at the rear of the house. Tip: When Jim offers to carry your bags, let him! This spacious room was designed for families, with a double bed and two twin beds. The ensuite bath was filled with shower and toilet, with the sink just outside the door, quite handy for four people sharing a room. A built in dresser had tall closets on either side- which my girls delighted on hiding in. As we were settling in, Jim returned with the What's On Connemara, showed us where each pub was, and shared his opinion of the dining and music offerings at each. When I asked if the girls would be allowed into the pubs after a certain hour, Jim went out and got the answer for me, returning quickly and telling me, “Of course they will!”
The breakfast room at Kingstown House is just past the sitting room. The tables are neatly set and have a small menu waiting. Offerings include the Full Irish Breakfast, yogurt served with fruit and granola, and pancakes. A rack of toast is presented when your tea, coffee or juice is delivered. Everything is orchestrated in a way that makes this feel like a cozy inn; presentation and taste are both fabulous.
Kingstown House Bed and Breakfast is, in my opinion, a bit more than your traditional B&B. Maybe I read too many historical novels, but this beautiful townhome felt more like a comfortable inn with very personal service. The location is terrific for families wanting to explore Clifden and Connemara.
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Disclosure: Our one night stay at Kingstown House was complimentary. Ireland with Kids thanks Regina and Jim for their generosity and local knowledge; we loved staying with them and hope to return soon!