I am a writer looking for a peaceful location to visit and gain inspiration while visiting Ireland. My husband will be going too. He would like to see landmarks, ride bikes and spend time in a good friendly pub. Need some hotel suggestions near Dublin or Shannon airports but nothing commercial. We really prefer a castle or other traditional hotel with roomy, clean and amenities but nothing too fancy. If you've beed somewhere you like, please share. We intend to go in the fall. thanks!
How long do you intend to be there, and what month are you going?
My husband and I took a 14 day Ireland tour with TAUCK tours. We were there in June, 2012. It was wonderful. We flew into Shannon and out of Dublin. We stayed at the Ashford Castle, which was fabulous. We were only there for two nights though. We all would have liked to have stayed longer. The castle and surroundings were beyond spectacular. The Ashford castle used to be the summer home for the Guinness family (beer). We also enjoyed the Mount Juliet Hotel. The setting was picturesque there also. We liked the southern part of Ireland better than the northern part (Belfast). Every day that our tour bus drove, the scenery was even better than the previous day. Ireland and its people are beyond words.
I also highly recommend Ashford Castle, especially if you book one of the two or three-night specials that include breakfast and dinner. The Hawk Walk (where you would each learn to launch and land your own hawk) is not to be missed. Nice rural setting, with an easy walk into village of Cong. Set on a lake, which gives a lovely view and additional activities. The Connemara region of Ireland is a drive to not be missed (just to the west of Ashford).
Closer to Shannon is the Dromoland Castle, which is also lovely. Again, the two or three-night specials are best. Dromoland has a fabulous walled garden and is quietly located away from cities. Although its history is deep, it is not as castle-appearing at Ashford.
We stayed at both and both were fabulous....just different from each other, which adds interest, if you do both. They often also offer last-minute booking specials, if you want to stay flexible, but they could also be totally booked up (not unusual during prime times).
We did not stay at Adare Manor, but visited it. It looks lovely, too, but more expensive.
Enjoy your time in Ireland.
In Doolin I stayed at a B and B that was a working farm. We found the B and B through the Irish tourist board. We had not thought about staying on a farm when they suggested it. We had a wonderful time, a short drive from town it was really peaceful. If you give them some parameters they may come up with something interesting for you.