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Our Ireland Hotels & Restaurants

These are the hotels we stayed at on our recent trip to Ireland. Most were booked as part of the CIE Tour that we took & included breakfast & dinner as part of the tour. I'm also including the other restaurants we ate at along the way. We loved the food in Ireland. So hearty & filling. Add a half pint of Guinness for me & a pint of Smithwicks for my husband, and we were happy campers!

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin - We stayed here two nights, one prior to the tour starting and one with the tour. Very nice hotel, staff very friendly & helpful. They let us leave our luggage early & told us where the bus stop was into city centre. That was the only negative of this hotel, it wasn't very central, although it was a quick bus ride to all the action. Two euros each way. It was close to the canal, which we walked to a couple of times. Our room was very nice, spacious & quite comfortable. Breakfast was the full Irish, filling and good. I enjoyed the coffee in the restaurant which was where breakfast was the two mornings we were here.

Our first night we had dinner at O'Neills Victorian Pub, about a half mile walk away. We had fish & chips, which were just ok. We shared a bowl of soup with soda bread and the fish dinner, which was a bit soggy and not the best fish & chips we had. Our second night we had a late dinner at Oliver St John Gogarty's Pub in Temple Bar. We shared a Guinness casserole and it was delicious. We both agree it was the best thing we ate on our vacation. Huge chunks of meat & vegetables along with two large pieces of soda bread. Yum.

Dooley's Hotel, Waterford - Very nice hotel, our room was spacious, comfy and had a view of the river. Dinner here was amazing. Beautifully presented & tasted good too. Liver pate, chicken wrapped in bacon with col-cannon, raspberry meringue dessert for me. Salad served in a shaped filo dish, sea bass with lentils, lemon dessert for my husband.

We stayed at the International Hotel, Killarney for two nights. Its a very pretty hotel, great location, city center. Our room was spacious, with a king bed, small table with chairs and a very spacious bathroom. Dinner there both nights was very good & the service was great too. I would definitely stay there again.

Our next hotel was the Ardulaun Hotel, Galway. Another nice room, this time with a comfy chair and ottoman, plus a desk. Dinner there was very good, again but by that time we are tiring of the 3 course meals (starter, main & dessert every night) and really just wanted some pub grub. Oh well. Just a couple more nights of 'suffering'. LOL

Everglades Hotel, Derry - I really liked our room at this hotel. This was a more modern hotel than the last two we stayed in. We enjoyed another great meal in their restaurant and slept well in the king bed with soft squishy pillows, just the way I like them.

Our last hotel on the tour was the Croke Park Hotel in Dublin. It was a long way from city center but it was by far the nicest hotel of the tour. Very spacious rooms, extremely comfy bed, the biggest bathroom of any of the hotels we stayed at too. About 20 of us CIE peeps kinda took over the bar & had our own farewell party there. It was fun.

After the tour ended, we spent another night at the Jury's Inn Christchurch. Great location, basic but comfortable and clean room. I would definitely stay there again, mostly due to the fantastic location. We could walk pretty much anywhere we wanted to from there.

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Other meals, not at the hotels -
Lunch at the Cloch Ban, a small pub in Wexford. My husband and I split an order of cottage pie. Very good & filling.
Lunch at Blarney Woolen Mills restaurant. We both had soups with soda bread and split a beer. We ate soup quite a bit for lunch and it was always delicious and accompanied by the most wonderful heavy soda bread. Yum.
Lunch at the Skellig Experience (lamb stew) was very good. We also had a yummy apple pie with ice cream.
Dinner one day in Killarney at The Laurel. We split an order of bacon (known as ham in the US) and cabbage. Again, delish.
Lunch at the Cliffs of Moher cafe (the small one because we didn't see the large restaurant with a view of the Cliffs until after we had ordered). I had a quiche and my husband soup again. Both were good, not great but fine for a quick lunch. Hey you can't always have gourmet. LOL
We stopped in Donegal for lunch one day at O'Donnell's Bar & Restaurant (we went in the bar). We had Guinness stew for lunch. Yummy. I really liked Donegal and wish we could have spent more time there.
No lunch this day but we had a coffee and scone at the Titanic Belfast. Quick & easy.
The last night of the tour we had dinner at the Glyde Inn right by the sea in Annagassan. We had a great meal there followed by an entertaining 3 piece Irish band.
We ate lunch at the Brazen Head in Dublin. We split a very delicous fish and chips dinner there.
Last dinner in Ireland was at the Boxty House in Dublin. We had the boxty platter and it was very good.

All in all, we had a fantastic time both before, during and after the CIE Tour. We had reservations about doing a group tour as we'd never done one before but it all turned out great and we loved it.