When I first heard the phrase "boutique hostel," I figured it was a bit of marketing gimmickry at work. I mean, hostels were bottom-of-the-barrel, right? I suspected the word "boutique" was in line to replace "charming" and "lots of character" for describing accommodation that wasn't quite up to par.
Well, this summer I got a taste of modern hosteling, and I must admit that I was quite surprised at what was on offer. I visited more than 40 properties, and I even asked two somewhat hostel-fearing friends to give them ago.
You're invited to listen in to the Irish Fireside podcast episode where I interview Liam and Tony about their modern hostel experience. Just stop by http://irishfireside.com/2014/07/28/138-finding-value-comfort-irela... and click the play button.
At the end of the episode, I also recommend some of the best hostels in Ireland ... especially selected for anyone who might be a little nervous about staying in hostels. Here's a peek at that list:
Corcreggan Mill – Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal – www.corcreggan.com
Errigal Youth Hostel – Gweedore, Co Donegal – http://anoige.ie/Hostels/Our-Hostel-Guide/Errigal-Youth-Hostel.htm
Go Explore Hostel – Clare Island, Co Mayo – www.goexplorehostel.ie
Doolin Hostel – Doolin, Co Clare – www.doolinhostel.ie
Rowan Tree Hostel – Ennis, Co Clare – www.rowantreehostel.ie
Dunloe View Hostel – Gortacollop/Killarney, Co Kerry – www.dunloeviewhostel.com
Top of the Rock Pod Pairc – Drimoleague, Co Cork – www.topoftherock.ie
Knockree Youth Hostel – Lackan/Enniskerry, Co Wicklow – http://anoige.ie/Hostels/Our-Hostel-Guide/Knockree-Youth-Hostel.htm...
Slane Farm Hostel and Cottages – Slane, Co Meath – www.slanefarmhostel.ie
Newgrange Lodge – Donore, Co Meath – www.newgrangelodge.com
Armagh City Hostel – Armagh, Co Armagh – www.hini.org.uk/hostels/Armagh-Hostel
Portrush Townhouse Boutique Hostel – Portrush, Co Antrim – www.portrushtownhouseaccommodation.com
Downhill Beachouse – Downhill, Co Londonderry – www.downhillhostel.com
Irish Fireside Podcast Episode #138: The Unexpected Value and Comfo...
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Liam, in a few well-chosen words, how would you differentiate 'boutique hostel' from 'hostel.' Kudo on this important look at travel options within Ireland!
I say a "boutique hostel" offers additional room/space, upgraded finishes, more privacy, and often a unique location.
Of course there's not an official boutique designation or definition (however Northern Ireland initiated a 5-star rating system), but I think those are four frequent attributes of a "boutique hostel."
Meanwhile, regular hostels can often be described as cramped with basic finishes and function simply as places to sleep. That said, hostels can vary greatly.
Isn't there a hostel that is dome shaped? Or part of it is dome shaped...near Sligo? I think they called it an "Eco-lodge" ...I looked into it for my Vegan clients...but the name escapes me at the moment