When it comes to accommodation, the initial choice of lodging would always be a hotel. Hotel accommodation is straightforward —you’ll have a modern and comfortable suite, access to amenities like swimming pools and fancy bars and restaurants, and 24/7 housekeeping services. However, many travelers would rather opt out of a hotel for many reasons — some frugal tourists want to explore cheaper alternatives, while some are too adventurous to lodge somewhere unique and unpredictable.
If you’re traveling to Ireland, consider yourself lucky: there is a wide array of lodging alternatives for you!
Are you one of the travelers who’d want to skip standard hotels? Here are 7 of the unique accommodation options you can try staying in.
1. Stretch your money with hostels and university dorms
Let’s start with the most common lodging option for budget travelers: hostels. Forget the stereotype that hostels are cramped spaces with flimsy bunk beds, filled with rowdy backpackers who don’t respect personal space. While they can happen, some hostels can be fantastic places to spend the night.
There are a variety of room options to choose from, such as private rooms with a bathroom, large male or female-only rooms, or co-ed dorms. You can also find university dorm rooms in major cities that cater to budget travelers.
2. A hotel-like suite but bigger and homier? Try serviced apartments
Looking for a bigger, home-like space while taking advantage of hotel-like luxuries? Say no more —serviced apartments might be perfect for you. Serviced apartments are not just bigger than standard hotel rooms: they also have a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, and dining area. These fully-furnished apartments are a perfect way to save costs if you’re traveling with a business partner, family, or group of friends for long periods.
If you’re looking for a luxurious hotel alternative in Dublin, you can find serviced apartments in Sandyford, Leeson, and Ballsbridge, which will give you easy access to the best attractions in the city.
3. Sleep like a king inside a castle
If you feel like splurging a bit for VIP treatment, skip luxury hotels: stay in a legit castle instead. Nothing says “VIP” better than feeling like royalty.
Ireland has an astounding array of medieval castles that have been restructured into unique lodging establishments. Ashford Castle in Mayo, Black Castle in Tipperary, and Ballyseede Castle in Kerry are just some of the top castle accommodation options to name a few. For a full majestic experience, the castles are adorned with the old-fashioned furnishing style of centuries back to make you feel like you’re not living in the 21st-century.
4. Stay in a lighthouse
You might have enjoyed seascapes from a beachside hotel in the past, but have you ever experienced seeing ocean views from a lighthouse? Make the most out of Ireland’s lovely coastlines by staying in a former-working lighthouse turned overnight accommodations.
Galley Head in Cork, Wicklow Head in Wicklow, and Clare Island Lighthouse in Mayo, are just some of the best lighthouse accommodation options in Ireland. These lodging spots offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and the sea.
5. Lodge like the Hobbit
Have you ever dreamed of living like Frodo or Bilbo Baggins? The good news is hobbit houses aren’t merely a work of one’s imagination — they’re real and you can stay in one of them. At Mayo Glamping, there are three stone-built, turf-roofed hobbit houses, adorned with dinky details. The northeast of Glencolumbkille in County Donegal has a more luxurious take on hobbit homes: a hobbit pod by the beach.
6. Spend the night in a pub…with a bed
Ireland is home to different kinds of pubs, including a unique “pub with no beer” (but has beds and couches). We’re talking about the world’s first self-catering pub, Conroy’s Old Bar in a little rural village in County Tipperary.
You’ve read it right — it has not served a drop of alcohol in 15 years and it’s perfect for families and friends who are celebrating a sober holiday. While it’s completely “dry” of alcohol for more than a decade, the self-catering pub preserves its charming, rustic pub aesthetics with a wood-paneled bar, bar stools, and beer taps.
7. Sleep under the stars inside bubble domes
Take your camping experience up a notch by staying in bubble domes while gazing up at the stars. Don’t worry about mosquitoes and wild animals keeping you awake at night — you’ll be wrapped up snugly in a warm duvet cocoon and you’re protected from the outdoor elements by a thin, transparent wall.
You can have this experience in Finn Lough Bubble Domes in Fermanagh. If you visit during the winter season, you’ll be lucky to catch the spectacular Aurora Borealis a.k.a Northern Lights.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a free-spirited writer who hates being locked up at home. She loves traveling, eating, taking food and streetscape photographs, and simply enjoying new experiences and writing about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit PREMIER SUITES Sandyford