Boutique Hostels and Unique Places to Stay: The Truth About Irish Budget Accommodation

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 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 –

Errigal Youth Hostel – Gweedore, Co Donegal –

Go Explore Hostel – Clare Island, Co Mayo –

Doolin Hostel – Doolin, Co Clare –

Rowan Tree Hostel – Ennis, Co Clare –

Dunloe View Hostel – Gortacollop/Killarney, Co Kerry –

Top of the Rock Pod Pairc – Drimoleague, Co Cork –

Knockree Youth Hostel – Lackan/Enniskerry, Co Wicklow –

Slane Farm Hostel and Cottages – Slane, Co Meath –

Newgrange Lodge – Donore, Co Meath –

Armagh City Hostel – Armagh, Co Armagh –

Portrush Townhouse Boutique Hostel – Portrush, Co Antrim –

Downhill Beachouse – Downhill, Co Londonderry –

Irish Fireside Podcast Episode #138: The Unexpected Value and Comfo...

Views: 978

Tags: Antrim, Armagh, Clare, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Hospitality, Kerry, Mayo, Meath, More…Tourism, Travel, Wicklow

Comment by Gerry Regan on August 2, 2014 at 3:24pm

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!

Comment by Irish Fireside on August 2, 2014 at 5:21pm

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.

Comment by Bit Devine on August 3, 2014 at 7:17pm
I used to know the man who ran the hostel in Errigal... Phenomenal photographer...great friend...

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


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