Updated: Jun 17, 2020
I have Irish ancestry through my mother's father's side of the family. I didn't know that until I attended a Master's Program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, in Santa Monica, California. Part of the program is to work a 4-generation genogram.
What's a genogram?
A genogram is a diagram outlining the history of the behavior patterns (as of divorce, abortion, or suicide) of a family over several generations and it is also a diagram detailing the medical history of a family in order to assess a family member's risk of developing disease.
This assignment was the most grueling but also the most rewarding challenge because I unearthed all sorts of family secrets, secret ties, and evidently how my maternal grandpa was born of a woman from Hong Kong and an Irish sailor. It explained so much that I am not going to get into because then I would have to start my own novela!
Anyways, I have always been intrigued and attracted to Ireland, Irish people, the culture, etc, but never made it there yet. Every time within the past ten years that I have been planning a trip there, something always comes up that I have to cancel my trip. But this year, I am determined to make it there no matter what! During my research crafting my itinerary I came across 10 places that stand out to me that are unique places to stay and hopefully while I am there this year, I will be able to stay at all of them!
So here are ten unique places to stay I found:
1. Finn Lough, in Fermanagh.
These forest bubble domes come with fully transparent walls so you feel completely immersed with the beauty of the nature around you. The bubble domes feature cozy beds, a Nespresso machine, ensuite bathroom and daily breakfast.
2. The Ring Fort, Wexford.
This is what The Irish Road Trip says about it: "It’s here that you’ll experience life as it would have been for our ancestors in the time of the Druids.
The best part? The ring fort is set in the grounds of the Irish National Heritage Park, and you’ll have full access to the 35 acre park after it closes to the public."
3. Martello Tower, Red Rock Sutton, Dublin.
The Martello Tower is located at Red Rock Sutton, an area which gets it name from the red sandstone topography of the locality. It was the first Tower built on the North side of Dublin and is located 12 km from Dublin city centre.
4. Urban Tranquilatree, Cork.
This treehouse has spectacular views over Cork city. It consists of a bedroom with double doors on to a deck at the top level with a bathroom on the level below. It lies in the corner of a large garden, which was originally a Victorian garden, complete with paths and ponds. Cork city center is a 5-minute walk with all its attractions, restaurants and shopping.
5. Chleire Haven, in Cork.
Yurting is such a fun experience. I camped in a yurt for two weeks back in Topanga Canyon, California, many moons ago, while attending a silent retreat, and had a blast!
But looking at this place's website, yurting by a lake with magical views and other campers seem like a must-do to me! Who'll join?
6. Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Meath.
7. The Corcreggan Mill, in Dunfanaghy, Donegan Cty.
They have not only the rooms in the lodge and free breakfast, but also glamping accomodations, a fishing boat suite, Camper spots, they are close to the beach, they make their own woodfire pizzas, and wine bar called The Blow In. What more could you want? Obviously I will do my best to stay on the boat!
8. The Mamore Cottages, in Ardara, Donegal.
Step back in time and get away from it all in an original thatched Irish Cottage, located at the foot of the Gap of Mamore overlooking Leenan Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way, with shops , hotels, restaurants and licensed premises such as the Rusty Nail nearby.
Each of the Mamore Cottages has been carefully restored and is fully heated, with all mod cons. Features such as a thatched bog oak roof, open turf fire, flagged stone floor and old pine furniture create a timeless atmosphere. There are a choice of five beautiful, original 'Donegal style' thatched cottages.
Originally built 150 years ago, they are all similar in style and appearance, and each cottage is named after the last owner/tenant who occupied it. A perfect location for hikers; The 'Seven Peakes Walk' in the Urris Hills is said to be one of the finest walks in Ireland. Visit the Glenevin Waterfall near Clonmany, a short walk from the road, along a well sign posted, safe path with picnic areas and foot bridges criss-crossing the babbling stream along the way.
9. The Bayview Bed & Breakfast, on Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, Cork.
Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve covers some 300ha, with the dominant habitats being old oak woodland and young woodland which is regenerating in areas which have been cleared of non-native conifers over the last few years. The woods form one of the best examples of oceanic sessile oak woodland in Ireland, being rated at least as important as the Killarney oakwoods. The Nature Reserve is part of the much larger Glengarriff Harbour & Woodlands Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
10. Portsalon Luxury Camping, in Fanad, Donegal.