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Lodging impacts?

The last time we were in Ireland (March 2010), my family could take the car while traveling the country, and about 3:00 PM we'd start looking for a B&B or hotel to stay in whichever location we found ourselves. There was no shortage of options for lodging. With very few exceptions, we got our first choice when calling around for accommodations. This coming April, my wife and I will again be touring the country. We have been advised that there are possible impacts to available lodging due to Ireland accepting Ukrainian refugees. Recent articles in the Irish Times also indicated an impact due to the refugees. We wholeheartedly agree with the Irish policy for lodging these unfortunate souls throughout the country, though coming from 5,000 miles away, it's difficult to determine if the shortage is real or "imagined-to-be" .

Is there now any difficulty finding lodging (especially in the West) on short notice? Are B&B's affected more than hotels, or is it a toss-up?

Posted by
1585 posts

Things have changed since 2010. Perhaps the best advice is to try some 'spoof' bookings and see what availability is like, or if places are already booked up. Chances are you will find something, but it may not be be where you want to be or what you want...

Posted by
2155 posts

Not Ireland specific, but I think more travelers, and the internet have more of an impact on lodging in 2023 compared to 2010.

Posted by
508 posts

Yes, things have changed dramatically today, not only for securing accommodations on the fly but even getting a table for dinner.

Between 1988 and 2007, we took multiple bicycle trips all over Ireland. We could pull into a town, knock on a couple of doors and have a B&B room within minutes. In those years the country was populated by some 2,500 B&Bs.

Now, the pandemic, 50,000 Ukrainian refugees housed in hotels and B&Bs and, mainly, the growth of the Internet have made that nearly impossible. In planning for our 2022 trip, we soon learned that accommodations were being booked months in advance, many had closed (permanently and otherwise - retirements, etc.) due to Covid and that entire hotels and their dining facilities were now given over entirely to refugees. I'd estimate that the number of B&Bs has dropped by 50% since the early 2000s.

We began booking our 31 overnights in May for a July departure, a process that took a full month. Gone now are the flexibility, serendipity and the chance to see a room and meet the owner before deciding. Not nearly as much fun and quite limiting.

Also because of the pandemic and staff shortages, restaurants last summer were closed one weekday a week (on different days), some had closed for good and in many tables were few for walk-ins. We also found that daytime and nighttime pedestrian traffic in most towns and villages had dropped significantly in the past fifteen years.