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Huge Change in B and B Directories since 1996 when were last in Ireland-Question

Next May we fly to Ireland for free using Delta Skymiles (only 120k miles using very specific dates ! PHL-DUB, SNN-PHL) renting a car 1 way (Enterprise). ! My wife and I have been to Ireland several times from 1973 (honeymoon) through 1996, mostly during the Troubles. We always stayed at B and Bs and used the Irish Farm Holidays Directory, and the other ones for Town Homes and the corresponding ones in the Six Counties ("northern Ireland"). Now searching for B and Bs with Full Irish Breakfasts BTW, it's a laborious mish mash of incomplete dedicated web directories, Air BnB. Gone are the small mom and pop family farm BnBs that were required by Board Failte and NI Tourist Board to serve a full Irish Breakfast included in the rate. More often than not the traditional family BnBs are big business or impersonal affairs who at best (most often serve help yourself Continental Breakfasts. What happened to the former Offical organizations BnB directories (hardcopy) of family run BnBs as late as 1996. It's all totally changed now, and not for the better. BTW In 1973 on our honeymoon, there were no private bathrooms in BnBs, and if you wanted a bath, you told the owner in the morning so he/she can fire up the peat-fired hot water heater.

Posted by
58 posts

I found that using TripAdvisor and checking the box for Bed and Breakfast was helpful.
Was quite happy with the places I booked in Aug 2017 that included full Irish Breakfast in the stay.
Using TripAdvisor again for a trip next month and seems like I'm finding B&Bs with Full Breakfast included.

Posted by
16817 posts

Looking at irishfarmholidays.com and the related site www.bandbireland.com, the results that I see look promising, and not particularly different from my 1990s expectations. The tourist boards at www.ireland.com and https://discovernorthernireland.com also have booking engines with a variety of accommodation styles to select. Remember that star systems indicate certain amenities, like a dedicated breakfast room, etc. I'd also expect hotel listings in Rick's Ireland guidebook to include breakfast, unless otherwise stated.

In England, for example, I'd say that I've noticed "more" accommodations not offering breakfast in London, but these also weren't properties I've ever visited, so don't know when the policy was set. The big city is not the place to look for the mom and pop operations, but I'm confident they can be found elsewhere.

Posted by
3 posts

I know exactly what you mean, my 1st trip was long ago, then honeymooned in Ireland in '98, went back 2 years ago, and am planning a new trip.
Between that paper booklet about the size & thickness of a comic book that the Irish Tourist Board's office in MY would send for the asking, and the Frommer Ireland on $XXX a Day book i do think it was easier to get an overview of available accommodations.
On the more recent trip, besides TripAdvisor (not just their search engines, but recommendation from the Users' Fora,) I found Booking.com very helpful for finding B & Bs.
I brought a cheap ($25) smartphone with me, not to use as a phone but to have internet access without the weight of a tablet, and booked a day or 2 ahead most stops over the 6 weeks we were there. Booking.com had the most useful filters and usually made it possible to find walkable, convenient lodging (we were carl-ess,) since they'll give you distance in feet from town centers, etc.
We had no trouble as we zig-zagged around the island, finding places that served the full Irish, (from Sligo to Wexford to Drogheda to Clonalkilty, & points in between,) even at some largish hotels.
Yes, there seem to be more purpose-built B&Bs nowadays, and some can be impersonal, but there are also places that feel as if you're bunking at your best friends, or your grandmas! And everyone seems to have internet via which to contact.
Do you like to have it all booked ahead or are you more free-wheeling?
Either way, I'm sure people can give you some terrific suggestions.
Best of luck with your planning.