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Trip Report--I'll be brief

Old Mar 15th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Trip Report--I'll be brief

First of all, thanks to all here who contributed invaluable information for my trip week before last. We had the uncanny experience of near perfect weather--1/2 hour of rain all week.

Drove from Shannon to Clifden the first day. It took four hours which was a lot, but doable. Going around Galway is difficult at best. I must say, the website information I printed out was not always accurate and we pretty much simply used the map and what was left of our brains after an overnight flight. With the help, of course, of some Irish directions! Anyway, we absolutely loved Abbeyglen Castle for lodging and simply supurb meals. Not only would I recommend it, but we're going back in November and spending three nights there.

Connemara is my favorite part of Ireland. We spent both days traveling around and taking many, many of the suggestions I got on this forum as to what to see. So I don't need to reiterate those drives, Kylemore Abbey, etc. Just gorgeous. Tooks lots of back roads to take in the remote areas. We also went horseback riding on the beach in Cleggan, which was loads of fun.

Went on to Donegal the next day. And took that scenic route from Leenane to Louisburg, which was well worth the extra time--another thanks to this forum. We finally got to Killybegs around 4 p.m. Again, can recommend the Bay View Hotel there. Right across from the fishing piers (Killybegs is the biggest fishing port in Ireland), and very nice, modern rooms. A true highlight was a restaurant there--formerly The Fleet Inn, now The Vineyard. Absolutely fabulous--don't miss it if you are in the area. A smallish room, upstairs, maybe 12-14 tables. But delicious and elegant food. I had a brill (fish) which I had never had, but would again in a heartbeat. I cannot say enough about that restaurant. Matthew Broderick's parents have a home in Killybegs and we were told that he and Sarah Jessica Parker have been spotted there--and have eaten at The Vineyard. The Donegal area is gorgeous. Did not go to Slieve League as we were told at breakfast that they were expecting gale force 9 winds that day, but I don't think that ever did occur. But again, did a lot of rural driving.

The next night was in Portrush (thanks to Angela of this forum). It was a great choice and, Angela, we did go to the Ramore Wine Bar! Wish you had been there. We stayed at the Comfort Hotel, which was great for the price (a special at 40 pounds the night for both of us). Went to Giant's Causeway where we were two of four people there--it was great.

I don't know quite how to describe our next night at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, except to say we were one of two guest rooms in use, so we had the run of the castle. It was sort of shabby chic but we loved every minute of our time there and the dinner was out of this world. I'm trying to keep this brief, but suffice it to say it was an interesting and worthwhile experience.

Lastly, Dublin accommodations were great--Camden Court Hotel. Very new, clean, nice and well located for a very reasonable price. I think we paid $150 each for two nights, which I'm told is good for Dublin. My fingers are getting tired and I have to get back to work and I promised to be brief (too late for that), so suffice it to say we had an absolutely fabulous, perfect weather, no glitches vacation--and have already booked a return trip in November. That will be Connemara and County Clare only!! Thanks again to all on this forum for the help--it truly made a difference!
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 03:38 AM
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I am so glad you enjoyed your stay in Ireland. And you've already arranged to come back - well done!!

It was a pleasure to help you with your Portrush plans. Knowing that you enjoyed it makes me feel good!

Isn't Castle Leslie gorgeous?? So relaxed and friendly. As I said before, I got married there last year, and as we had to rent out the whole castle, we had the run of the place too - such an experience - I quite got used to being lady of the manor!! Sounds like you had a similar experience!

Thanks for sharing your report with us.

Angela
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 03:47 AM
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Glad to hear you liked Abbey Glen. Its a tough place to describe for me as I had a starange impression at first and then I loved it. were you in a newer room?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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First of all regarding Castle Leslie--yes, it was a grand experience. Everyone was so very helpful and nice. I forgot to mention how nice all the staff was. It was just plain fun. The friend I traveled with didn't sleep well that night because she thought it was haunted! I just laughed. And regarding Abbeyglen, when we got home I realized that because of our sightseeing, etc., we didn't take the time to really enjoy the hotel and its amenities--maybe just to sit and read for a while. And it definitely was a favorite area and place to stay. So this forthcoming trip we're staying there three nights with lots less to do in the way of sightseeing--more time to relax and enjoy. They've quoted me 199 Euros in November for three nights, all meals. Can't beat that! For my other three nights we're going to stay in western Co. Clare. I have three hotels I need input on. I'm going to post a new message later with the three names and see if I get any opinions--I hope so. I know I plan far in advance--but it certainly worked this past trip--everything went so well. So watch for my Co. Clare hotel post later--maybe you can help! Thanks!

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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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Excellent report. I was in Ireland Jan of last year and had just one afternoon of rain during a one week visit. Sometimes we get lucky. I am glad to see I am not the only one planning ahead - as I am making plans for Nov as well.

For Dublin, I would recommend a great B&B I stayed at- the Auburn. auburn.ie
It is in the suburb of Drumcondra, located on a very quiet residential street. It is just a 5 min walk to the bus stop and during the week the bus runs every 8 min. I paid 40 Euros a night. I definitely would stay there again.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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Holldoll, is that price per person midweek for the Abbeyglen?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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SiobhanP--Yes, I asked for a quote for the nights of November 17, 18 and 19 (that does include a Friday). I got a return email from Malcolm stating 199 Euros per night per person. I'm booking very soon!
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Yikes! per night per person?? or each for 3 days i.e. 398 for 3 nights?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 07:28 AM
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Here's the quote from the email:
"We will be open in November and our rate for three
nights midweek would be 199 euro per person plus
the 12.5% service charge."
I'm assuing that's for all three nights. When we were there last week we paid 99 Euros per night per person. The three-night break advertised on the web is three nights for 249 Euros. I figure this extra break is because of November, and midweek. I'll verify if you want because I'm going to book, but I'm sure this is for three nights.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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P.S. Here's the next sentence from that email I should have included:
"This covers breakfast and
dinner each day and also afternoon tea." So it says "each day." That would suggest it includes all three days.
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