Irish B & Bs--are they noisy?

Nov 8th, 2004, 06:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 223
Irish B & Bs--are they noisy?

We'll be traveling to Ireland with our two teens this summer and are inexperienced with B & Bs. Only time we've ever stayed in one was in Europe 23 years ago, and can't remember much except we sometimes had to share a bath.

I'm a lot older now, and a very light sleeper. I'm a little worried a B & B might be noisier than a hotel, but B & Bs seem to be all that's available in Ireland, at least in the smaller towns. Some are "purpose built", which I guess means designed and built as B & Bs rather than renovated older homes. Are those more likely to offer privacy and quiet? I know there are trade offs, perhaps with atmosphere and character, but a good night's sleep is a priority for me.

Some of the places we're considering are:

Ballinalacken Castle House--Doolin
Heaton's or Greenmount House--Dingle
Legends Guesthouse--Cashel

Will probably pick Heaton's over Greenmount because they have bigger beds (American Kings). Greenmount said their beds are queen/king, which I think means queen in Ireland, correct? We wouldn't mind two twins, but they only have one room with two beds, and that would have to go to my son and daughter. Is Heaton's in a good location? It's listed as "the wood" area of Dingle...not sure what that means. This would be the new building being opened by their son and his wife this spring.

And of course, on the flip side, I don't want my teens to bother any of the other guests. They aren't particularly noisy kids, but they will have the tv on at night... And my son can sound like a herd of elephants on our wooden staircase at home. Is it common for families to stay at B & Bs or is it mostly adults?

Thanks for any input.
bucky is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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A B&B is someone's home w/ usually only 1 to 4 rooms for rent. Noise is seldom an issue -- unless it is on a busy main road or next door to a popular pub. The vast majority do not have these issues.
janis is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Bucky, Each B&B is as different as each owner. No two are alike. I have stayed at some with paper-thin walls and others where you couldn't hear a thing from the next room. As I see it, you might run into problems with B&Bs that have uncarpeted wooden floors and stairs if your kids tend to clomp around. I generally don't have any problems sleeping and I am a light sleeper also. However, I always travel with ear plugs. They are a must for me. Most of the time I don't use them but on occasion they are a sleep-saver. Only problem is I can't hear my travel alarm! Generally, I think that people staying at B&Bs are more considerate about not making noise than those in hotels. Sometimes at hotels you can get people and kids going up and down the halls talking on cell phones or playing.

In Ireland a king bed usually means an American queen. A super-king means an American king. If in doubt ask for measurements. In Ireland a 5' bed is a queen and a 6' bed is a king.

As for your B&Bs, I like Heaton's a lot. If you would like a splurge try Emlagh House for wonderful elegance. They both have great breakfasts. In Cashel I actually prefer Rockside House to Legends as the rooms are larger and more up to date. Also Legends has just been bought by new owners and time will tell how they will run their guest house.
IrishEyes is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 10:21 PM
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I agree with others as to the vaiable nature of B&B's in Ireland and elsewhere. I also liked Heaton's alot and do not remember noise as being an issue. Great breakfasts and great showers.
mjs is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 02:42 AM
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We found the purpose built B&Bs to be the quietest. Take earplugs.
pegoode is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 04:44 AM
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Thanks to all who replied. I will look into Rockside House.

I am unable to sleep with earplugs because I am such a finicky sleeper and they bother me. I do use a white noise machine, which I plan to bring, although I may need a converter for the electricity.

Many of the B & Bs I've read about are called "guesthouses", and all have been bigger than 4 bedrooms.
bucky is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Yes -- a "guest house" is usually just a larger B&B, but they are technically a different animal. There tend to be more B&Bs than larger guest houses in most areas of Ireland, especially in the more rural, scenic places.

I almost always stay in B&B's and have never (well, hardly ever) had a noise problem -- except maybe my roommate's snoring. . . . .
janis is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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We stayed in 5 different B&Bs in October. The only noise we heard was from very strong winds one night, and the occasional sound of a distant toilet flushing, which you might very well hear in a hotel or B&B anywhere.
allisonm is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Bucky, I'll tell you how I managed to book nice quiet rooms in Italy and you can use the same method for finding quiet rooms in Ireland.

For Italy I first researched B&Bs and hotels in guidebooks and on-line, looking at travellers comments on these web-sites: fodors, slow travel, rick steves, and I started with a list of places where other guests reported peace and quiet.

Next I contacted the B&Bs (or hotels) directly. Each time I wrote nice warm letters, saying good things about how nice the B&B looked, expressing appreciation for the nice rooms I saw on-line and for the interesting towns they were in. Then I mentioned a "special request" for a nice quiet room with a view on the quiet side of the hotel. I mentioned I preferred that the room is "quiet at night for sleeping".

When somebody e-mailed me back I wrote back directly to that person using their name...always thanking them and in the case of people who went out of their way to help me I would complement them and tell them in Italian that they were "the best", as with one man who actually measured his Italian "double" beds for me, and it turns out they are actually larger than what we call "queen" beds!

In every case we were very pleased with our rooms...they were nice and quiet at night for sleeping and they had a nice view on the quiet side of the B&B or hotel!

In some cases when the B&B or hotel writes back to you, you might determine from their information that this isn't the place for you...perhaps they don't really have quiet you thank them and inquire elsewhere.

Have a wonderful trip to Ireland!

Also, if you find good comments about the B&B on, mention that in your e-mail as a compliment. They appreciate knowing that past guests were happy.
Nov 9th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 113
In my opinion both rockside and legends are too close to the rock - especially in the summer when the traffic in that small little area will be bad - the close by restaurants will be going full blast - suggest thornbrookhouse - wonderful people - great food - great rooms - five minute drive to town and couple more minutes to rock - just my opinion
lizard is offline  

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