I’ll be the first to throw my hands in the air and admit that I’ve never stayed anywhere overly unique or unusual in Ireland.
A hotel/hostel/BnB to me has always just been a base; somewhere to chuck your bags before heading off for a ramble.
It’s time that changed; enter my unique places to stay in Ireland bucket list… because apparently I haven’t burned through enough money exploring Ireland already…
Here’s five deadly places I’m going to try work my way through over the next 5 months!
1 – Snooze on the edge of a cliff in Clare Island Lighthouse, County Mayo
I need this place in my life.
You’ll find Clare Island at the entrance to Clew Bay, in County Mayo.
For nearly two centuries, the island’s lighthouse was simply a nautical landmark; sat proudly on the islands rugged cliffs, gazing out over Westport and Achill.
You can now spend the night in this magnificent structure *insert shocked emoji*.
Here’s what the folks that run it have to say about it:
“We see Clare Island Lighthouse as a ‘great escape’ – a restorative haven, where even the busiest mind is soon stilled by the unhurried island pace. Our interiors, in keeping with the ethos of the lighthouse and its location, are uncluttered & sleek but exceedingly comfortable.
Where possible we have let the landscape do the talking! Clare Island Lighthouse is a retreat like no other, a special place where guests are free to while away their time in solitude or to enjoy mingling and socialising in the welcoming warmth of the kitchen, drawing room or library.”
Watch the video above and get your wallet out.
2 – Gaze at the stars from a cosy forest dome in Fermanagh
I don’t care how much this costs; I’m sleeping in one of these shiny little domes as soon as next months pay check hits my account!
Imagine gazing up at the stars while you’re wrapped up snugly in a warm, duvet cocoon, the only thing separating you from the outside elements being a thin, transparent wall – magic.
You’d probably want to pack an aul dressing gown; it doesn’t look to be the best place to be wandering around in just a pair of jocks.
Here’s a bit about the Forest Domes in Fermanagh from their website to get the wanderlust flowing:
“The Forest Domes feature 180° transparent walls allowing you to truly immerse yourself within the beauty and tranquility of nature. Escape the noise of the outside world and enjoy stargazing in comfort for the perfect romantic break in Northern Ireland.
Featuring bespoke four poster bed, ensuite bathroom, Nespresso coffee machine, fluffy robe and slippers and daily breakfast.”
Yea, yea, yea just take my money.
3 – Hang out in a forest in Wicklow from inside a treehouse tent
A Tent… that hangs from the trees…
I’ve been daydreaming about this place for the last couple of weeks.
Hoovering up fresh country air, saturated with the smell of pine, while warming the feet by a campfire as a couple of fat sausages sizzle away.
Living the dream!
These lads on Airbnb have a site close to Rathdrum Village in County Wicklow.
Here’s what they say about what is soon to be my nest for a couple of nights:
“It is a private setting with a beautiful river running alongside it. The Stingray is our flagship three-person tree tent. This unique and comfortable outdoor shelter is not only fun and immensely comfortable, but also elevates you above ground conditions, insects and other creepies.
The interior consists of three spacious bays with a rip-resistant insect-mesh top overhead. Access via floor hatch in the centre and a large front door.”
Probably best to avoid having a few cans before hopping in for the night.
4 – Soak up Dingle from a toasty hot tub
Staying here would be the absolute epiphany of #TreatYoSelf.
OK, so this one isn’t necessarily about the room or the hotel itself; it’s all about the hot tub.
I’ve been going mad to stay in the Dingle Skellig hotel for the last couple of years, solely to kick back in their hot tub that looks out over Dingle Bay.
This view + a glass of whiskey + hot, bubbling water = life.
You’d have to drag me out of it by the head.
The fact that it’s just a stones throw from some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland sweetens the deal that little bit more.
- Explore the amazing Gap of Dunloe
- Eat, drink and be merry in Dingle town
- Visit Valentia Island – my favourite place in Ireland
5 – Be the King of your castle… literally
I’ve always wanted to kip in a castle; once it’s not haunted, that is…
Just 25 minutes from Galway City stands a beautiful, original medieval castle that can be yours to call home for a couple of nights for just 130 quid.
Built sometime during the 1400’s, the castle has been refurbished in the last decade, and comprises of a master bedroom upstairs, with access to the turret, a living room, dining room, and two guest bedrooms
Here’s what Peter, the host, says about this incredible place:
“What to expect: lots of winding staircases, a castle that has been lovingly restored, but there are some cobwebs, and it gives you the real Irish castle experience. It’s not pristine, its not perfect, but it’s a real castle. There are lots of sheep and cows in the nearby fields – but lots of peace and quiet.
This is a very unique place to stay. There’s nothing like it around, where you can say that you stayed in an actual castle. It’s not a tourist attraction (like Blarney Castle) and it’s not pristine like a hotel, but you’ll have a great time visiting.”