During my trip in June I had the opportunity to stay in the Bunratty, County Clare area. I was coming down from Donegal and heading on to Wexford and I thought I would break the drive with a stop in Bunratty. I've been to Bunratty before when I was departing from Shannon Airport last year. I liked Bunratty because of its proximity to Shannon Airport. It is about a 10 -15 minute drive. The Bunratty area offers plenty to do in the evening versus staying at a Shannon Airport hotel.
I chose the Courtyard guesthouse at Bunratty for this trip as I had stayed here before. Michael and Mary Walsh, the proprietors, are a great couple. They have been in the hospitality business for quite a ling time. They started this place quite a few years ago. The first thing I noticed is that Bunratty is easily accessible from the N18 - main Galway to Limerick road. Plenty of car parking too.
I received a sincere warm greeting as a returning guest, a greeting which had not changed from my previous stay. Michael very efficiently assigned my room, gave me the key, and escorted me to the room. Very comfortable looking queen size bed. Plenty of space to open my suitcase (and put things away if I wish).
I was only staying for one night but Michael told me he has cycling groups that stay there for multiple nights. Bathroom has a great shower and all was very clean. Plenty of good lighting and two windows for natural light. Most of the rooms are on the ground floor however he told me he has family rooms (3 beds) on the second floor (their first floor).
What I found to be a delight is that I could leave the car parked and walk to several pubs, shops and even the Bunratty Folk Park (that will be future review). Next door was Gallaghers restaurant with a very varied menu. Seafood seemed to be a specialty. A short walk took me past 15th century Bunratty Castle and on to Durty Nellys Pub which I understand is a great watering hole for locals and tourist alike. This pub dates back to 1620 so it must be one of the oldest pubs in Ireland. They had a good pub food menu.
The Courtyard provides breakfast but no other meals. After my visit to Durty Nellys I cross the road (watch the traffic) and peeked in the Blarney Woolen Mills store. Looked like you could buy anything you missed while touring here before you departed home from Shannon.
I settled on the Creamery Pub for a meal and a beer. Very good food!
I returned to the Courtyard guesthouse and Michael asked me if I wanted some tea of coffee. I accepted and we sat down for some great conversation. Great conversation from Irish and American politics to how the tourist season was going. I retired to my room and enjoyed a very restful sleep - extremely quiet - and a very comfortable mattress. Next morning I went into the breakfast room and Michael was there! I think this man never sleeps! A great smile and a warm good morning greeting followed by, tea or coffee? You can enjoy the cold breakfast options AND a 'cooked' breakfast. Other guest were finishing their 'cooked' breakfast and looked quite pleased. I chose the lighter fare of hot porridge and toast.
A very nice send off from Michael and his wife Mary and back on the road - refreshed! The room rate varies by time of the week with the weekend being higher in cost. Not much more than a B&B in cost. Good size room and good size bathroom. Good choice!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bunratty Courtyard Bed & Breakfast has 11 en-suite rooms and is ideally situated in Bunratty village. Our rooms are spacious and are equipped with TVs, Wi-fi, Power Showers and Telephones. Tea and Coffee Facilities are available on request. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard Bunratty
- Bunratty Courtyard