My husband and I arrive in Dublin at 5:30am 6/26 for a 9 day trip, our first to Ireland, with 3 days booked at Heaton Guesthouse in Dingle beginning 6/27. We will have driven 3 hours to our departure airport, and then have flown overnight, so we'll be tired and new to driving on the opposite side of the road. We're not huge on cities, but maybe it would be best to stay in Dublin that night? If so, where? We would really prefer to drive part way to Dingle that day. Could you recommend a good town, and possibly a place to stay as well? My husband is not into cozy B&B's.
I would for sure stay in Dublin that first day. We were soooo tired that there was no way that we would have wanted to drive on the 'other' side of the road at that point. I would stay by the airport. The hotels are cheaper and you can then just pick up your car the next morning right at the airport and go. You can still take the bus right into the city as well to explore Dublin that first day.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn which was fine but there are a ton of other 'chain' hotels by the airport as well
Rather than spending your first night at a Dublin airport hotel, which you won't be able to check into until later in the afternoon of your arrival anyway, why not take the train over to Galway and spend your first night there? That would preclude having to drive immediately upon arrival and yet still get you away from Dublin. Could spend a relaxing day exploring Galway on foot, hit it early, then collect your car the next morning for the short and scenic drive down to Dingle. Could throw in a side trip to see the Cliffs of Moher on your way.