From A. Fitzsimmons, March 16, 2010
“I wanted to give you an update on my wonderful trip to Ireland with my family! I used some of the recommendations here so I wanted to thank you all. I stayed at the Merrion in Dublin and it was absolutely perfect. I felt like I was going home to my townhouse in Georgian Dublin. I had a drink at the lively Peploe’s and ate at Il Secreto (close enough to walk). I also took a tour of the Number 31 townhouse. It was serene inside, though it doesn’t look like much at the entrance. They serve a wonderful, organic breakfast in a sun room. My aunt and uncle ate at L’Ecrivain and raved about it the entire trip. It was perfect for their 35th anniversary dinner. We also spent one night at the Ritz Powerscourt. Enniskerry is the quintessential Irish village and we enjoyed eating in town. Gordon Ramsay was closed the night we were there and I was glad because we had the chance to meet Enniskerry locals that would become new friends. The Ritz is within walking distance to the beautiful Gardens of Powerscourt and Powerscourt House. A horrible fire in 1974 destroyed the inside of the home but it was renovated in 1996 (nothing really to see inside). The Ritz itself was flawless but felt a bit impersonal. My sister commented, as she tried her first Irish coffee at 17, that the lobby felt like a cruise ship. I loved working out in the huge gym! Ashford Castle was grand and beautiful. My family chided me for not having seen The Quiet Man (filmed on the grounds—The Quiet Man “cottage” is in nearby Cong), so I bought it when I got back to New York, watched it last night, and loved it!
We spent two nights at the best B&B I’ve ever stayed at in Galway, Petra House. Our family took up almost the entire place. The breakfast was better than any other we had in Ireland and getting to know the owner, Frank, was one of the highlights of our trip. He was helpful without being cloying, charming, witty, and delightful. We will remember him forever. My aunt and uncle spent three extra days after the rest of us left and stayed at Doonbeg. I kept getting photos and text messages about how wonderful their experience was. They also stayed one night at Markree Castle in County Sligo and quickly cancelled their next night’s reservation. My aunt called it a dungeon (she always says what’s on her mind and is always correct!). Oh, I also had afternoon tea at The Westbury and The Shelbourne in Dublin. Both were wonderful.
Thank you for recommending some of the places we loved the most!”