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In Search of Value: Daly’s House, Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Img_1463_2 THE BACKSTORY: There might be bed & breakfasts in Ireland that outdo Daly’s House, but I’ve yet to encounter one. This B&B stands apart for setting, service and friendliness, qualitites which are generally not in short supply in this country. Daly’s House is actually two contemporary houses, adjacent to each other on a quiet dirt “boreen” or single-lane country road in the town of Doolin, in County Clare. Our room looked across that road to a field full of cows and beyond, to a view across the sea to the Aran Islands. It gave fresh meaning to the term “pastoral.”

Doolin3 THE ROOMS: Clean, bright and simply furnished. Ensuite bathrooms are a treat and more common than they used to be in Irish B&B’s.

MORE REASONS TO STAY: Susan Daly is a delightfully gregarious hostess. Her husband Paul is a font of local sightseeing knowledge.

INSIDER TIP: Doolin is a center for Irish traditional music and a five-minute walk down the road from Daly’s House brings you to Gus O’Connor’s, one of the three musical pubs in town. Around 9PM, you’ll see the fiddles, guitars and tin whistles appear for the nightly “seisiun.” Plan on arriving a bit earlier to tuck into the decent pub food and enjoy a well-poured pint of Guinness or two.

YOUR NEIGHBORS: A gaggle of Americans, French, Germans and English of all ages. In true B&B fashion, chances are that you’ll share a table with some of them. You can swap tales of sightseeing in the West while Susan brings you a classic Irish breakfast of eggs, rashers and black pudding.

THE DEAL: The year-round rate is 42 Euros per person, based on double occupancy. That’s 84 Euros per room, or about $134 at the current exchange rate.

CAVEAT: As with any B&B, a couple of days’ stay is best. The rooms are comfortable but not huge.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: From Daly’s House, it’s a 10 minute drive to the Cliffs of Moher. You’re also at the edge of the Burren, the spectacularly rocky landscape that dominates West Clare. And the ferry to the Aran Islands is minutes away. Note too that Shannon Airport is 90 minutes distant, making this B&B ideal for your first or last night in Ireland.

THE DETAILS: Daly’s House, Doolin, County Clare, Ireland. Tel. 065 7074242

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