If you are traveling to Ireland, I recommend seeking out a bed and breakfast and not a hotel. Staying at B&B will give you a sneak peek into Irish culture and daily life. Sometimes though, hotels are easier and more centrally located. So if you find yourself spending a night or two in a hotel, you shouldn’t be disappointed.
In larger towns and cities, you can usually find an Irish hotel that will meet the smallest of budgets or the largest of expense accounts. Depending on your limitations, there are a variety of hotel accommodations in Ireland to suit you needs.
Selecting an Irish hotel can be as easy as finding one on an aggregate travel site like Expedia or Orbitz. This is an okay place to start to see the types of hotels available. If you find one you like, I would check the actual hotel’s website or give them a call to see if you can get a better deal.
I also suggest reading prior guest reviews on a site like Trip Advisor or another travel site with reviews to find great hotels or decide one over another. Nothing is worse than arriving and finding out that a hotel recently had an outbreak of bed bugs.
If there is a festival or bank holiday weekend, hotels in major hubs around Ireland, like Dublin, Galway and Sligo, can fill quickly. Some weekends in July or August can also be tricky to find a room in many places. It’s best to book a month or two in advance if your stay falls within this time. Also note that a few hotels do not book more than 6 months out, others do. It is best to simply check, especially if you have your heart set on something special.
The typical three star Irish hotel will have most everything you need: shampoo, soap, clean room and bedding, hot showers and cleaning service.
Rooms are smaller than their American cousins and are often without alarm clocks. Use your cell phone or pack a portable clock just in case. Some other conveniences that may or may not be included in your room are hair dryers, ironing boards, laundry service, and wash cloths (considered a “personal” item in Ireland).
Amenities at four and five-star hotels will likely have all sorts of fun extras, like spas, salons, swimming pools, fitness centers, on site restaurants and pubs. They have full concierge services too to help you book tours, picnics, and other marvelous adventures.
Many hotels can be booked with or without breakfast included. Look for a bed and breakfast rate to get a meal in the morning. Double-check that it is a full Irish breakfast—unless continental is ok with you. If you have other plans for breakfast look for a standard room or room only rate.
Depending on how you book (online or over the phone), you may need to produce final payment upon arrival at the hotel. All Irish hotels should accept cash, Visa or MasterCard transactions. Be sure you are charged in Euros to eliminate dynamic conversion, which means the hotel converts into your payment to US dollars and then your bank doing the same, causing you to pay twice.
Most Ireland hotel rates are quoted per person in the room. If you are traveling alone, some places may ask you to pay a single supplement rate. This helps the owner cover the loss of not having two people in the room.
If you are traveling with disabled persons, hotels might be your best option for accessibility. Many modern hotels have rooms, elevators and entrances that can accommodate those in wheelchairs or walkers, but not all so call ahead to be sure or request a ground level room.