Just returned from spending New Years in Portmagee for the first time - December 29th - January 1st.. Had heard much about it but never been here. Well now I know what I have been missing. What a time. We stayed at the Moorings guesthouse. We asked for a delux room with a harbour view. it was brilliant. Spacious, clean, tidy, inviting, bright and well worth the money and journey down from Dublin (240 miles door to door). The bed was at least 6ft wide, if not more. There was a sitting room for watching tv. Really great. The bathroom was grand. The shower was a real power shower which was a great massager. There was a jacussi bath as well - did'nt use it (not a bath person!!!). Then there was the food. Well we knew it was going to be great and it was. No reduction in standards we experienced during the summer break. The service was fast and friendly. The food was tasty and plenty of it.
We did a bit a driving round. The weather was mixed - wild storms, crazy winds, heavy rain and stunning views. The colours we saw were unreal.
Then came the big night. Much work was done to get the place ready. All the locals were involved. This year the whole event was broadcast live on the web. The weather improved for the traditional parade of the 'the old year' as they call it. (This parade has happened every year for over 200 years - French in origin. Check it out on the web.) When he 'dies' the new year jumps around the place. There were men bearing big firey torches with loads of flames and smoke, a pipe band parading up and down the street followed by all who wished to participate. We did. It was crazy but great. A massive crowd was there. At least 2000 people came from far and wide. The music and dancing went on late!!! Nothing rowdy - very family orientated.
So two parts to this report - 1 The Moorings delux rooms/food - A+; 2 The New Years Eve Parade and event - A+ for sheer madness and craic. I defy anyone not to have some bit of fun at this event.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled into the picturesque seafront of Portmagee, the Moorings Guesthouse overlooks the village's busy working harbour. Just a 30 second walk from the pier, where boats leave for the Skelligs every morning, and right at the heart of village life, there's simply nowhere more convenient to base yourself when you stay in Portmagee. Offering 16 rooms in total, the owners have created a calm and surprisingly luxurious ambience through the use of traditional yet contemporary furnishings with crisp, clean lines of soft ivory against vibrant reds. The Moorings strive to deliver personal, attentive service while matching the very best standards in efficiency and attention to detail that you've encountered elsewhere. Room facilities include direct-dial telephone, satellite TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, iron and ironing board, ensuite marble bathroom with power shower, bath, hairdryer and Gilchrest & Soames toiletries. Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the guesthouse and there is free car parking for guests. There's nothing more endearing than knowing that some of the Hollywood's biggest movie stars like Mark Hamill and Director J.J Abrams have visited the sleepy village of Portmagee, and even sat in the Bridge Bar local pub where Mark Hamill poured a pint of Guinness behind the bar. The Moorings was home to the pre-production team of the Star Wars VII movie and you can visit the room where all the magic took place and listen to the stories told by the staff. The Moorings is open all year round. Great food served all day with traditional music at weekends. Trips to Skellig Michael can be arranged and packages are available from April to September. Cois Cuain gift shop is open from March to January. The Moorings is located in a fishing village with a working harbour, post office, general store, coffee shop, bar, restaurant overlooking Valentia Island. The Moorings received a platinum award for green hospitality in 2013. They have introduced a 'Green' package which offers two nights B&B in The Moorings Guesthouse, a guide to a wildlife shore search and a special '30 mile' menu where all main ingredients are sourced within a 30 mile radius. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Moorings Guesthouse Hotel Portmagee