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Our B&B experieces in the west of Ireland

Our B&B experieces in the west of Ireland

May 10th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,736
Our B&B experieces in the west of Ireland

I realized that Id better get my B&B report posted before I forget all the details!

Im going to post this information twice. Im attaching it to my trip report so that everything is in one place. But Im also going to post it separately. There always seem to be people looking for just B&B info. This way they can find it easily without having to scroll through my whole report.

We spent our first two nights at A Aaron B&B at 25 College Road in Galway. Before we went, I had some doubts as to whether we were making the right choice in going with College Road over Salthill. And I still think that Id like to stay in Salthill sometime. But, for this trip, I definitely think College Road was the way to go. It rained the entire time we were in Galway. And a lot of that time, it rained hard! Our B&B was an easy walk into the town centre. And we were very grateful for that!

However, I would not recommend the particular B&B we chose. Fortunately, there are a lot of other ones on College Road!

I made these reservations in early January (we stayed March 26th and 27th) by e-mail. I, of course, asked about rates and specifically asked whether they took credit cards. Unfortunately, I was having printer problems at the time and later had problems with my e-mail in-box. So some of my correspondence with them was lost.

When I confirmed our reservations, I explained that we would be coming in on an early flight the morning of the 26th and asked what time we could check in. They didnt ever respond to that question. We arrived around 1:00. Frankly, I got the impression that they werent expecting us at all. Although when I asked, the woman said theyd known we were coming. We had reserved a total of three rooms for our party of eight; a family room, one room with one double bed and one room with two single beds. Two of the rooms were ready, the family room wasnt. So we decided wed go look for some lunch while they finished. As we were leaving, the owner asked me how we were going to pay. I told her wed planned to use a credit card. She said they preferred cash!
When we came back from lunch, I explained to her that Id specifically asked whether they took credit cards in my first e-mail She very pleasantly told me that a credit card was fine.

As for the B&B itself, the rooms were fine. Small but with very comfortable beds. The bathroom was also small but adequate. Ill give them points for the fact that they had a dispenser for both shampoo and shower gel in the shower stall!

Breakfasts were okay, a typical full Irish breakfast adequately prepared. But they served only margarine which I thought was a little tacky in a country known for its dairy products! And the service was not good! The young woman who was apparently in charge would disappear for long periods of time. At one point she was gone for a good twenty minutes! My brother finally went looking for her as theyd not yet ordered their breakfast.

And speaking of inadequate service, our room wasnt made up the second day. When wed finally gotten into the room the first day, we realized there was no toilet paper. I went down for some and, as she was giving it to me, the owner told me that extra towels would be brought up in a while. Well, we didnt see those towels until they were dumped on the floor outside the door the following day!

When we checked out, they did indeed take our credit card. But they charged us in dollars! I cant say that I was all that surprised. But I told her (the inadequate breakfast person!) that wed prefer the charge in Euro. She tried to tell me that the slip just showed the amount in both currencies. Even though there was a disclaimer saying that wed agreed to waive the MC conversion rate and pay a 3% surcharge!

In our e-mail correspondence, Id been told that wed be given a break on the family room. We werent. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned problems, I didnt have a copy of that particular e-mail. Since I couldnt prove it, I didnt pursue it.

Fortunately, none of the problems we had were enough to put a damper on our time in Galway. But I certainly would never stay in that particular B&B again!

As for the credit card thing...I realize that merchants pay a fee for credit card transactions. And I certainly respect their right to choose not to take them. But, obviously, they have to be up front about it! And, of course, we could have avoided the whole DCC thing if wed gone ahead and paid cash. But we still shouldnt have been put in that position.

As I think I said in my trip report, what bothers me most about a merchant or innkeeper being difficult about the DCC is that it puts the customer in the position of either getting nasty or being taken advantage of. And I really resent that. Im on vacation, I just want to relax and enjoy myself. Its not worth getting worked up over a few bucks. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth!

Fortunately, our B&B experience in Westport was quite different. I have nothing but good to say about it. And I'll get to that soon.
CAPH52 is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 02:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 73
Just a suggestion to those of you out there who are not happy with your accommodation choices in Ireland. Failte Ireland formerly (Bord Failte)is responsible for standards in hotels and other approved accommodation in Ireland. If you are unhappy with the service and standard of accommodation, send the details to someone who can actually do something about it. They will contact the B&B owners and investigate the issue. Repeated complaints could result in a B&B losing it's Bord Failte accreditation (something most people look for when booking).This is surely more constructive than posting on a travel forum and maybe service will improve for other potential guests.
Email your complaint to [email protected]
youngblueeyes is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,393
I think sending one's complaints to the Failte Ireland is a good idea; however, I wouldn't critize CAPH52 for voicing any complaints with this B&B. There are many travelers to Ireland that would like/need to know about such problems. That's one reason this board exists.
historytraveler is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 293
I agree with the credit card issue being a
problem because I usually skip B&B'S that want cash. I especially don't use the one's who want you to use the credit card to guarantee the room and then want cash for payment.I would be happy to pay and additional 3% for the convenience, but I don't think the cost is the real issue.
Income tax's are probably the real issue and as one who pays my share I don't want to add to that scam.
StephenG is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
I've stayed in B&Bs in College Road, Galway. They have no problem filling their rooms because of their position on one of the main roads into the city within walking distance of the centre. Most, if not all of them, haven't registered with Bord Failte, because they have no need to. The last time I stayed there (I don't remember the name or the address), the room was scruffy, they were very late serving breakfast, and still charged much more than B&Bs elsewhere in Ireland. However, College Road is so convenient, so I'd still try again next time and hope to get in one that's better.
GeoffHamer is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,736
When I was having a lot of trouble finding much info* on B&Bs in the areas we were planning to visit, I promised myself that I would post a full report when we returned. To me, this is a separate issue from reporting a B&B to Bord Failte. This is about one traveler giving a personal viewpoint to other travelers.

*When I say "much info" I mean opinions of real people who had actually stayed there.
CAPH52 is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Our two nights in Westport were spent at Adare House on Quay Rd. And we couldnt possibly have been happier with our choice! The location is great, about equal distance between the town center and the harbor area. Margaret, the owner, is wonderful! Shes one of those people who immediately sets one at ease. And she was extremely generous with recommendations and driving directions.

We had four rooms, two on either side of the upstairs corridor. My daughter and I had one that faced the front of the house. We had a pleasant but unspectacular view of the street and, just beyond it, a stone wall with a park like area behind it. If I absolutely had to come up with something bad to say it would be that the traffic was slightly noisy in the morning. But, truth to be told, I didnt notice it until the alarm had already gone off.

The rooms that faced the back of the house had much nicer views. But all of the rooms were nice; homey and light and of a good size. Our bathroom wasnt large but neither was it cramped. There was a pleasant guest lounge at the end of the hall with a really nice view toward the harbor area. But, without a doubt, the nicest part of the house was the breakfast room. It was glassed in on three sides and had excellent views.

Unlike our experience in Galway, Margaret asked us specifically when we wanted breakfast served. It was served right on time, they were very attentive and the food was very good both mornings. And, speaking of service, our room was made up while we were out exploring!

As if all of this werent enough, Adare House was the least expensive of our three B&Bs! There was no problem paying with a credit card and we were charged in Euro without even having to ask! All in all, a wonderful experience!

CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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ttt for poster looking for Galway and Kenmare B&Bs
CAPH52 is offline  

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