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Bailey Aug 16th, 2003 01:47 PM

Does anyone have any firsthand experience with Hidden Ireland? (I've tried to find old posts...??)
I'm starting to plan our trip...the properties look wonderful...BUT I'm wondering "do you feel as if you are tip-toeing through someones home"??
Any houses that are marvelous??
Many thanks for your help!!!

Bailey Aug 16th, 2003 07:21 PM


wj1 Aug 17th, 2003 11:25 AM

We used some Hidden Ireland accomodations and others like it. (I think there was also something else called the Blue Book.) The places we stayed at actually turned out to be some of the highlights of our trip since they were so unusual. As I look back, in a way we did feel like we were in someone else's home, but it was in a good way. (And I'm somebody who values my privacy and respects others' to a great extent.) Usually, you see these great old manor homes and just stand outside wistfully wishing you could be invited to see the inside but, of course, that never happens. So it's wonderful to actually be allowed to stay there. The houses and the owners are in this generally as a way to get some extra income as these houses must cost a fortune in upkeep. The bedrooms never felt like a hotel room. So if you're looking for something like the Holdiay Inn, forget it. If you want a lot of charm, even some mustiness, then I highly recommend it. The houses are huge (often larger than many small boutique hotels) so you really feel like you have your privacy (which is something that often makes me feel uncomfortable in some B&Bs in the U.S). I would stay at these places again if I were going back to Ireland. Hope that helps.

Bailey Aug 17th, 2003 12:54 PM

Many thanks....what a thoughtful response!!
Now I'll check into Blue Book!!
Off the top of your head do you remember any houses in particular..or maybe the area??

wj1 Aug 17th, 2003 01:31 PM

Hi Bailey. Lucky for you I have our old itinerary nearby. Without it, I probably wouldn't remember a darn thing.

Dublin: Simmonstown House. This used to be a Hidden Ireland property, but I don't know if it still is. This was the closest to an American B&B.

Cork Co.: Ballymakeigh House. I don't believe this was a Hidden Ireland home. The owner was a TV cooking show host. Food was fantastic.

Lake Caragh: Caragh Lodge. Nothing wrong with this place, it just wasn't our cup of tea. We would have prefered to stay in Kinsale.

Clare Co.: Carrygerry Country House. It could have been charming but there was a wedding there and we were the only non-wedding guests. Frankly, Clare County was our least favorite area.

Galway Co.: Ballynahinch Castle. We loved this place.

Sligo Co.: Temple House (Hidden Ireland). We really enjoyed this one too. The place has tons of character but a bit of a musty feel. I don't mean to say that it smells or was dirty because that wasn't the case. But this "mustiness" added to its charm. This may not be for everybody but we definitely enjoyed it.

Monaghan Co. Leslie Castle. This was also a wonderful, eccentric place. (This is where Paul McCartney got married.) We'd also love to return here.

You need to remember that many of these places are not hotels and thus not in the middle of a city where all the action is. Because everything gets so darn dark there, we tried to make it to the place we were staying at by nightfall on our first night there. Before we left for Ireland, we weren't sure if we wanted to eat dinner at the places we were going to stay. However, we ended up doing so many times and the meals were almost always memorable.

Have a great trip. You'll probably drive yourself crazy looking for the perfect places to stay, as I did. To drive you even more crazy, I believe there's a Green Book too!

Bailey Aug 17th, 2003 01:48 PM

Yes, great advice...arriving before dark!! We were the last to arrive (6pm) at the Trebrea Lodge in Tintagel...WELL it was first come first served...we ended up four the room with a very slanted floor...we found ourselves in the lower right hand corner of the bed many times that night. It's worth the laugh...but glad we didn't have to stay a second night!
We have also found that having dinner at the properties has been memorable...especially the first night!!
YEAH....a green book too!!
Hope I can be of help to you sometime soon!!!

Retired_teacher Aug 17th, 2003 05:21 PM

Guess you really did bookmark the Hidden Ireland site..... After recommending it to you, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've only stayed at one of their properties, Glendalough House in County Kerry. It's a lovely house with lots of history throughout. I really have never felt as though I'm intruding in someone's home, for they have opened them up to make ends meet. It's more like being an overnight guest my great aunt's house; I'm on my best behavior as a guest in her home while browsing (look, but don't touch) through the family keepsakes. For another resource, you might also want to check out the following site: Enjoy planning your trip!

Bailey Aug 17th, 2003 08:52 PM

Yes...""my bookmarks"" is a mile long!!
Karen Brown is another one of my favorites!!
Thanks for the info...I'm going to check Glendalough house!
I'll put Z (husband) in handcuffs!!
Many thanks!!

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