Marie-Therese & Ruairi De Blacam have created an incredible guest experience on Inis Meáin; nowhere else in Ireland or probably in Europe can you stay on a small island, which has a strong living community and enjoy the hospitality of a young couple who have set the bar so high in terms of a beautiful, sustainable and incredibly inspiring business. From start to finish, you are in their hands; mostly everything you eat has been grown or created by them, the beautiful building designed by a family architect, the to-die-for woolen cushions, throws and furnishings all created by the family business.
Inis Meáin is the middle island of the Aran Islands and for any tourist is incredibly beautiful in a very harsh natural way, it's essentially just all rock. There is an ethereal beauty to the whole island and anybody visiting for a few days (you need to stay at least a few days!!) has an endless list of things to do; follow Marie-Therese & Ruairí's suggestions and you won't go far wrong. Take a stroll up to Synge's chair and on to the cliffs, by the time you make it back around to the pub, you'll have earned your pint of Guinness!!
After a short ferry ride from Rosaveal, we were delighted to be welcomed to Inis Meáin by Marie-Therese who bundled us and our bags in to their jeep and brought us to their Suites. Wow!! Their home and business is one of the most beautiful examples of how modern architecture can compliment the landscape which you will see anywhere on Ireland's coastline. The suites themselves are huge and take every opportunity to remind you that all you need to do is relax and look out the panoramic window views at the beautiful coastline. The style is minimal but extremely comfortable; we had the best sleep in years in what are definitely the best beds I've experienced in a hotel.
Breakfast each morning was delivered to our porch and we were then at ease to dig in to the incredible spread of breads, meats, cheeses and preserves which was laid out. Of course so much of the produce is hand-made as Marie-Therese & Ruairí's philosophy is to source as much of what they use and provide from the island.
There was so much food that we bundled some of it up for a picnic later on; no need for lunch!
Even if you don't stay with Marie-Therese & Ruairí in their suites, I would highly recommend visiting the island just to visit their very reasonably-priced restaurant. Part of the same building as the suites, but at the dome shaped end of the building; the restaurant is small and intimate; yet nothing is fussy. We started off with some gorgeous periwinkles and brown bread then followed with delicious seafood and fish courses which of course are all fresh from the boat. As we were celebrating a special occasion, we pushed the boat out (excuse the pun) for their signature lobster dish. You shouldn't need a special occasion for this, just have it, you'll regret it if you don't!
Luckily (or maybe not) the only pub on the island is only a few hundred metres up the road, so we finished off the night tucked away amongst our new friends with a sing-song.
Go stay with Marie-Therese & Ruairi; the island will have an effect on you like no 5-star hotel spa can. We made some big decisions out there, just because it provided us with the inspiration and head-space to do it. Of course the incredible hospitality helped too.
- 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