We've about finalized our plans for the Ireland leg of our vacation but still haven't decided on where to stay in the Westport area, the Galway area or in the Cashel/Kilkenny area. We'd like to hear from you well-seasoned travellers.
We stayed in a farmhouse B&B just outside of Cashel called Rahard Lodge. It's a sheep farm, and at the time of our visit (early April) they had new lambs that they let the kids hold. It had nice rooms, a large, friendly sitting room, and a nice view of the Rock of Cashel.
Knockranny Lodge -- not to be confused with Knockranny Hotel, which is very expensive -- is a very reasonable and comfortable B&B in Westport. It is in a gorgeous area a 5-minute walk from the center of Westport, a nice little town.
I wish I could help, but we didn't like the B&B we stayed at in Westport, and we didn't like the B&B we stayed at in Galway. I don't want to post the names, but the Galway one was in the RS book. Something about pre-flavored silverware turned me off, if you know what I mean.
I can recommend the Wyatt Hotel restaurant in Westport. The casual dining restaurant was good - we couldn't get into the fancy one. And, in Galway, the River God Cafe restaurant was really, really nice. McDonagh's is okay if you don't mind waiting in a line and chilly service.
We visited Galway City on St Patricks Day several years ago and stayed at the Forster Court Hotel. It's about a block away from Eyre Square, right in the heart of all the activity. Five years ago, we paid 95 euros per night, which was actually a lower cost than many of the B&B's that charge you per person, not per room. We stayed several more nights just 9 miles north of Galway at Cregg Castle, a 17th century castle that was simply breathtaking, and very reasonably priced. For our visit to the Aran islands we moved over to Spiddal and stayed at Ard Mhuirbhi, a pleasant but rather nondescript B&B. Of the 3, Cregg Castle offered the best accommodations.
Thanks for all the help. It looks like we're set for Westport and Galway and will leave Cashel/Kilkenny up in the air for flexibility.
The Ibis in Galway is clean, consistant and has a nice breakfast and bar.