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“Great in every way”

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Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites
Ranked #1 of 4 Inishmann B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great in every way”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

My wife and I spent two nights in Inis Meain in late March. The quality of the accommodation was excellent, the best I have stayed in while holidaying in Ireland. I do not have enough superlatives to describe how good the views from the room were, the quality of the food in the restaurant and the warmth of Rurai's welcome. A packed lunch provided in the morning (again, delicious) allowed us to wander around the back of the island for an entire day, a thoughtful touch as there was not much else available. The second day we cycled around small lanes with dry stone walls, eventually ending up on a beach watching birds with the binoculars provided alongside our lunch.

The island itself is fantastic. A landscape that is totally different to anywhere else, even that of Connemara across the water, a habitat rich with birds and rare flowers, and background noise mostly free of machines (cars etc) - just birds, wind and waves.

It is an expensive stay, without a doubt, but it is excellent value and definitely worth it. There is no other experience I have found that even comes close.

Room Tip: There are only 5, all are good. The suite is larger, and would provide enough space for a child'...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Musakical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

I still daydream about returning here. The scenery alone is spectacular, even when the weather is bad. But when it's combined with outstanding hospitality, clean green ethos and fresh food from their land, the result is not far from being cosmic. Pain to get to, if you hate travelling. But boy was it worth it. Truly inspiring.

  • Stayed July 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank AislingNiBu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2012

My wife and I stayed at Inish Meain in June of 2011 during a week-long stay in the west of Ireland. We stayed at three other hotels that were all "Fodor's Choice" selections. They were very nice but Inish Meain is playing in a different league. It deserves comparison to the best small inns in the world.

Inish Meain's design, accommodations, food, service, and setting are all superlative. Every item we encountered during our stay seemed to reflect the owners' high standards and attention to detail. The inn is very peaceful and the island itself seems to be adrift in another century if not another millenium. At the same time, the accommodations and services offered were more refined than anything else we found in western Ireland.

The island is small but offers a unique view into Irish culture and history. We took two afternoons to explore the windward side of the island, with its ancient stone structures and dramatic views, by bike and on foot. We found the Irish-speaking residents of the island to be shy but very friendly. We also enjoyed sitting in our room reading. While looking out at the rocky island and the ocean, we enjoyed the coffee, baked goods, and other provisions found in each guest suite.

Breakfast, delivered to the room, was simple but fresh and delightful. Dinner, in the restaurant, featured local seafood and was easily the finest meal we had during our visit to Ireland. Lunch is available, if you are interested, at one of the other small inns nearby.

Ruari and Marie-Therese were lovely hosts. They met us at the ferry dock and returned us there after our stay. They answered all of our questions and provided for every need. Due to the limited ferry service early in the season, we arrived well before the normal check-in time and left well after check-out. While we waited, we were provided with food and coffee at a table in the restaurant.

I struggle to find anything that might compare to the excellence of this small inn and its island setting. For American travelers, Inish Meain, with its Frank Lloyd Wright-style minimalism, may be reminiscent of a smaller Post Ranch Inn without the cliffside location but with better food and service. Oh, and at about one-third the price. The latter point suggests that you may want to visit Inish Meain sooner rather than later. Eventually the inn will be discovered by the mainstream travel press and the owners will realize that their offerings are vastly underpriced.

One additional suggestion: You can find about a dozen good photographs of the inn, including its setting, rooms and restaurant at the website of its architects, de Blacam and Meagher, under the "projects" link. You will find Inish Meain under "commercial" projects for for the firm.

Room Tip: The inn features four small, l-shaped suites (bedroom/sitting area) and one larger apartment that is...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Reed_Reed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport Beach, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2011

My wife and I stayed here for two nights as part of our honeymoon in June 2010 (this review has taken some time to write!). Despite being from and living in Ireland at the time, we decided to honeymoon in Ireland too, a decision that was utterly vindicated by stays as places like this. Although at the time (immediately after our stay), we had some misgivings about the value for money aspect of Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites
, on reflection it has to be said that this place offers one of the most special and unique accommodation experiences anywhere in the world and for that, price (almost) doesn’t come in to it. And the food offered in the suites and at the restaurant lives up to all expectations too.

I can express nothing but wonder at the experience of staying on Inis Meain, where time really does seem to stand still. This is the kind of place where you find it is completely possible to fill your entire day with the simplest of simple pleasures, be it just reading a book, sitting on the pier fishing or strolling the quiet lanes. It is perhaps one of the most tranquil and unspoiled areas left in Ireland.

The suites themselves are stunning – the views across the island, the comfort of the bed and the quality of the breakfast being the highlights that made our stay so enjoyable. Yes, the bathrooms are a little on the small side but if a Jacuzzi tub is what you most long for in a guest room then coming to Inis Meain in the first place is probably not the right decision anyway. The shower was great – plenty of power and hot water – and the towels were always warm and fluffy. Done.

The owners, Ruairi and Marie-Therese, provide a friendly, subtle and wonderfully unobtrusive service that helps maximize the feeling of tranquility that pervades the island yet they are always available at a moment’s notice to answer any requests and queries.

Everything that has written about the restaurant in the press is borne out by our own experience there: the freshest ingredients prepared and served with wonderful personal attention in breathtaking surroundings.

This is one of those places to see before you die. The fact that there is such an exceptional place to stay and eat there makes me wonder why people don’t flock here in their droves. But then, of course, it wouldn’t be the same for those of us who love it so much.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundalk, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 September 2011

Although the latter part of September, we recently stayed at this hidden treasure on Inis Meain off the Galway coast and any description of the experience would just have to regularly use such words as “remarkable”,” terrific”, “superb” and “excellent”.
So, in this regard, the cleverly designed Inis Meain Restaurant & Suits combine a view over the remarkable windswept Island landscape and Atlantic Ocean, really excellent and well appointed rooms, a superb restaurant and refreshingly natural and gentle outstanding good service across all aspects of the operation. Owned and run by a delightful young couple, Marie-Thérèse & Ruairí make a strong and complimentary management team who stamp the highest of standards, uniqueness and innovative on every aspect of this business.
A three day stay is probably about right to get in the relatively small Island's reccomended walks and scenery, the knitwear factor shop is worth visit as is Synge's Cottage and the Island's only pub pours a top quality pint of Guinness. We will certainly be returning and probably next time use the 10 minute small aircraft service provided by Aer Arann rather than the one hour ferry but overall, the experience can only be described as “a pure joy”!!!

Room Tip: Four of the five rooms are the same (and excellent) and there is one larger, superior suit at the en...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank aidan_harte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Galway, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 September 2011

My favourite get away , best place to unwind , delicious food, amazing setting, serene & calm , unique landscape & venue . My third visit here in 3 years , gets better every time , even this year with baby in tow , best hosts you could wish for

  • Stayed August 2011
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Helpful?
Thank lynnspooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2011

My wife and i have just returned from a weekend on Inis Meain.We had the pleasure of eating in the restaurant on both nights.We have been to many good restaurants across the globe and have no hesitation in recommending this place as amongst the best we have eaten in.
It was astounding for us to find such a place on the island.The ambience and welcome were first class.The setting with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean was sublime.As for the food,Ruairi is a fantastic chef who manages to produce melt in your mouth dishes of the highest quality.
The attention to detail is excellent.We really could not fault anything at all.
The island is so easy to get to by boat or a short (6 mins!) plane ride.
We will be back for more!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jollyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites

Property: Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites
Address: Inis Meain, Province of Connacht, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Aran Islands > Inishmann
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Inishmann
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inis Meain is one of the Aran Islands, 15 miles off the west coast of Ireland. It is just 3 miles across and supports 160 inhabitants. Ruairi & Marie-Therese de Blacam created Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites to enhance visitor's appreciation of the island by providing a style of accommodation and dining that is complimentary to the location. The suites are simple and understated in styling, with ample space and views. The restaurant serves mainly island-sourced food. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Inis Meain Restaurant And Suites
Inis Meain Restaurant Hotel Inishmann
Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites Ireland/Aran Islands

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