My family and I came to Ireland from Boston. My fiance has family in County Meath, but this was my first trip. We spent 4 nights at Balrath and were extremely pleased! Balrath Courtyard is an old, historic property with modern renovations. The rooms have all been created out of the existing structures, and done so in a tasteful and artitstic way. "Self catering" is not a typical American classification, but now I understand. .We stayed in the Coach house, a converted barn, basically. It was beautiful! 3 bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen, microwave, w/d, coffee maker with all the supplies, the whole nine yards. It was like renting an apartment, which is much more than we expected. We had privacy, it was quiet, extremely peaceful, and we were incredibly relaxed during our entire visit. The owners, the O'Brien family, were lovely, caring, friendly people who catered to our needs, yet didn't intrude on our space. I am a big fan of Lonely Planet and I felt that Balrath Courtyard is exactly the kind of place Lonely Planet would highlight, and I intend to write to them to say exactly that.
So if you need a place to stay while seeing all the sights around Dublin in County Meath (Slane Castle, Battle of the Boyne, Bru na Boinne, Trim Castle, Tara Hill, etc), this is your place. As an American, I was quite surprised at all this location had to offer at a price that was much better than the other hotels at which we stayed during our trip. Definitely check it out!