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“Pure magic”

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Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites
Ranked #1 of 4 Inishmann B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Pure magic”
Reviewed 4 May 2010

Marie Therese and Ruairi de Blacam have created a gem on a gem of an island. Inis Meain is extraordinary. The overall design of the restaurant and suites deserves all the attention it has received to date. From the bicycles to the home-baked breads, to timeless landscape and artic terns, to the breezily unaffected locals who greet you in Irish, nothing can prepare you for how wonderful all this makes you feel. I only hope I can get a reservation next time I want to come here.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank N L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 reviews from our community

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sligo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2010

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.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank aoifep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2009

The island is gorgeous, whether it is sunny and cloudless or drizzly and foggy. The owners are incredibly welcoming, and have clearly gone out of their way to foresee the needs of their guests. The suites are beautiful, but also very functional -- you have every thing you might need already waiting for you upon your arrival. We ate at the restaurant 4 nights in a row and never tired of the delicious food or the breathtaking view. We will be back!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Greenlite711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olympic Peninsula
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2009

We went to Ireland for a vacation/honeymoon trip, and we found that the two-day stay on Inis Meain became our "honeymoon" while the rest of the days became a great vacation. The time at Ruairi and Marie-Therese's was wonderful in every way; the review below by "JaneM" sums it up quite well, and I won't go into needless repetition ... will just say that this stay is one of the more memorable stays we've had anywhere, and when we go back to Ireland, we'll be sure to stay again.

Some specifics to add to the below reviews:

The dinners we had were the best on our trip (closely followed by a dinner we had at Vasco, near Fanore). Particularly impressive was the scallops/hazelnut/green bean combination we had ... it was difficult not having it again the next night, but we wanted to try as many things as possible, and had a baked cod dinner that was also excellent. The roasted vegetable dish was perfect, the pureed vegetable soup we repeated on both nights and would love to have it again now that we're back home.

While the facility and food are first-class, the delightful aspect to our stay was how absolutely unpretentious and genuine this all is.

We also were impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of the rest of the staff. One of our bicycles was not in good riding condition when we arrived, but the next morning it was rapidly fixed for us, enabling us to tour the island extensively the next day. Breakfasts were wonderful and service at all times was simply outstanding.

In the above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty category, Marie-Therese was exceptionally helpful to us in a bad-weather ferry dilemma that came up. She got up early to make several calls to provide us 'plan a', 'plan b', and 'plan c' options in response to the storm(will not go into further detail, but this had to take her quite some time, and as we had no cell phone, was very valuable to us) .

I bought a couple of comfy cardigan sweaters from the knitting company (belonging to Ruairi's family) just below the restaurant/hotel. When I wear them next winter, I will inevitably think back to the hospitality and warmth Ruairi and Marie-Therese offered us on Inis Meain. If you do one special thing for yourself on your trip to Ireland, be sure to include a visit here.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jayfarrarfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
belfast
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2009

Inis Meain is a beautifully romantic place.
I couldn't imagine a better place to take a loved one if you intended to propose or needed some special time together. There are few places left in the world where you feel so relaxed and removed from all the hussles and bussles of daily life. This is the way Ireland used to be when life was simpler.
Marie-Therese & Ruairi manage to provide 5 star comfort and standards which complement this romanticism perfectly. Every detail has been carefully planned to make your stay seem effortless.
The accomodation is perfect, from the super comfy beds (my wife has a bad back after hip surgery so this is something we are always very particular about) to the amazing views. (Watching the rain clouds spill over the Connemara coutryside while being yourself surrounded by blue skies is breathtaking). There are raincoats and bikes, books, games, maps and advice to help while away your time and there's lots of gentle walks and exploring to help build up an appetite for the fabulous food cooked by Ruari and served with impeccable grace by Marie-Therese. The freshest of local produce cooked to perfection.
Having travelled around the world and stayed in the very best of hotels, The 'Inis Meain Restaurant and Suites' has certainly won a place in our hearts and we honestly can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank peejc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballyjamesduff
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 July 2009

My partner and myself spent three days and two nights on the island staying in Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites as a birthday present for her and it looks like I scored quite a few brownie points.
We thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of our stay here from the design and cleanliness of the suites to the walks around the island and the simply gorgeous food at night in the restaurant.
It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly makes all this a winning combination but it simply works and it works well!
Having stayed in a number of five star hotels this place is easily up there with the best of them. For me it’s probably that this place is about genuine things, genuine brilliant service, genuine excellent food and nothing feels fake. You can feel that these people have their heart in it.
There are so many great touches to Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites that I don’t know where to start. The design of the restaurant and suites is very minimalistic from the outside (blends in well with the surroundings) as from the inside. Although the suites are minimalistic in design you will soon find out that there has still been a great amount time spend on the actual rooms itself with the massive panoramic window being at exactly the correct height and the oversize windowsill doubling up as the ideal spot to enjoy your breakfast while taking in the scenery.
People who are not willing to take the time to roam around the island to see all the beautiful places that the island has to offer will probably not like the fact that the suites do not have a television, but we simply loved that fact. We can’t say of ourselves that we are active people but that did not seem to stop us from having covered nearly every inch of the island, even though our second day on the island was mainly a wet one we still managed to trek through fields and climb walls for a big part of the day and believe me we have quite a few funny anecdotes to tell after that.
The suites come with bicycles and fishing rods which in my opinion is worth a lot more than a telly on the wall.
The legs still hurt a little but that will soon pass, the memories of our stay and of the good food will linger for a lot longer.
We will definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Frederic_U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2009

4 of us (2 couples) spent 2 great day/nights here last weekend. Everything was super, made all the more so by the exceptional care & attention we all got from Marie-Therese & Ruairi, which made the visit special.
Based on our past experiences Inis Meain is by far the most attractive of the 3 Aran Islands. It is good to have good friends with you so you can jointly enjoy the walking, pub visit(s), scenery, excellent restaurant & super knitware factory shop visit, as we did. So don't delay, go now & stay !!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JBD_Dublin_Ireland
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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