We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ideal stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Beach Cove B&B

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Save
You added Beach Cove B&B to your Saves list
Beach Cove B&B
St. Finnian's Bay | Beach Cove, Ballinskelligs, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Ideal stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

All the good things in the other reviews and more. Boutique chocolate factory down the road too! Look at the beach, turn around and look at the ideal pastoral landscape with sheep/cows, look back at the beach... Bridie was most helpful and her son helped explain the rules on hurling. Ring of Kerry beauty, but off the main track. Great for half ring each day, which puts you at all the sites at different times than those doing the full circuit. Wish we could have stayed longer.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    121
    8
    2
    0
    0
See reviews for
26
77
1
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
326 helpful votes 326 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

What's not to like? Other reviews have already demonstrated the great Atlantic views, sandy beach, well kept property, and yummy breakfasts provided by the hosts. I'll endeavor to flush out some unaddressed details for my fellow travelers.

The accommodations include five options: three en suite rooms in the main house, one on the ground floor, and two upstairs above the breakfast room. There is an additional guest cottage to the left rear of the main house with two more spaces. The first level houses a bedroom and hallway bath on the main floor, along with a communal kitchen area. The upstairs provides a private hideaway with an open carpeted living room from the stairwell in the front and a door (with a lock) to a large bedroom with both a double and a twin bed, desk and chair, as well as a small bathroom with shower only in the rear space. Both the bedroom and bath have wooden floors. Large glass dormer windows let in the ocean breeze, sound of the surf, and a glimpse of the ocean down the house driveway from the living area. I would actually favor the upstairs of the guest cottage as the best option of the 5. It's bright, airy, spacious, and has the best water pressure of any shower I used in Ireland. My only cons: WiFi didn't work in the cottage on my iPhone, the double bed's mattress has seen better days, and the water in the bathroom sink, like many rurual places in Ireland, is slightly discolored. Bring extra contact lens rinsing solution in lieu of using tap water. You're so far away from it all in a wonderful setting that the positives outweigh any challenges.

Breakfast is served at two sittings, either 8 AM or 8:30 AM, each morning. The full Irish breakfast is substantial (2 fried eggs, Irish bacon, garnishes, a basket of toast and mini muffins), and there is a yogurt, fruit and cereal bar offered as well. The view of the ocean and Skelligs out the large bay window is delightful. There are 4 tables and 5 rooms/parties, and the guests tend to linger. With a full house my second night, we had a bit of a backup with the latest couple to arrive at 8:30 AM. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the Skellig boats in Portmagee, so opt for an 8 AM sitting if that's on your itinerary. Boats depart at 10 AM and checkin at 9:45 AM is standard.

Though the B&B has a Ballinskelligs mailing address, it is really located near a junction called "The Glen". If you are coming from the north portion of the Ring of Kerry from Killarney, it will take you between one and one and a half hours based on your propensity to hug the hedges. Once you are off the Ring of Kerry, you are on a road called "The Skellig Ring". Google Maps worked perfectly. Once you get to The Glen, which is on a corner with the Catholic Church, a day care cetner and a municipal playground, you turn left. The multi-location sign actually says "Beach Cove B&B 300 meters". The white house is set back on the left with an elevated lawn. The Skelligs Chocolate Factory is just down the road on the left, and is a must visit! Bring back lots of little 1 Euro bars for gifts. The 71% cacao dark chocolate with peppercorns and the dark chocolate with lime zest are both spectacular, though the virgin dark is also very good. I only wish I bought more for myself!

If you are in residence on the weekend and looking for Sunday Mass, the one at The Glen is at 9;30 AM, followed by one at 11 AM in Portmagee. The former is only 300 meters from the B&B, is said half in Irish and half in English, and lasts only about 35 minutes. There are also Saturday vigil Masses at the church in Portmagee on certain Saturdays. Check with Bridie for that possibility.

Maps and tour guides all warn to drive the Ring of Kerry counter clockwise. However, I drove clockwise on the way back to save time, and it was fine. I encountered perhaps a dozen tour buses midday on a Sunday, and I only felt it necessary to honk at two who were over the line.

Plan for lunch, dinner, and snacks during your stay. While Portmagee is about 15 minutes away, it is a very tiny village with a couple of eateries and a small multipurpose grocery store. If you are a bit challenged with Irish driving, the Skellig Ring is perhaps one of the more difficult areas to squeeze by hedged roadsides, and there is a bit of a mountain separating Portmagee from the Beach Cove B&B. I suggest you honk going into the turns on that road. Better safe than sorry. The locals tend to drive fast and go over the line, while Americans are hugging the left with little room to spare. While it's certainly fine by day, you probably don't want to navigate the route in the dark. So plan your meals and shopping accordingly. I found having a loaf of bread, cheese, fruit, and some beverages available made for a nice beach picnic whenever I was hungry. Bring some sort of small compact bag to carry to the beach, and ziplocs from your suitcase would be great to contain your sandwiches. There was some foil in the kitchen.

While I was very fortunate to be able to climb to the top of Skellig Michael in sunshine, don't obsess over this attraction. The boats only take a dozen people at a time by reservation, so have Bridie get in touch with Pat Joe Murphy, skipper of the Shelluna, who runs a tight ship :) That said, the climb is not for the faint of heart or the unfit. I counted over 600 flagstone-like "stairs" on my way up, and they sometimes border both the cliff to the Atlantic and an interior mountainous ravine. Most of the trek enables you to hug the interior wall, and the "stairs" are about two to four feet wide. Going up is definitely easier on the mind than the descent. There are a few plateau areas to collect your thoughts, and the one at around 475 steps is where most people reassess their desire to make it to the top. If you do get up to the beehive dwellings and monestary, you'll be greeted by one of the five Irish naturalist officials who rotate and live on the island, three at a time. Our docent, Claire, explained that some of the upper areas were closed off to us, and we had our choice of peeking into a few of the skylight lit huts. While you will no doubt feel a great sense of accomplishment at this feat, I wouldn't suggest that younger children, those afraid of heights, or those without appropriate footwear venture up. I would recommend serious hiking boots, free hands, and longsleeved, windproof clothing. I noticed a heliport near the base, and the Irish explain that it was constructed due to fatalities and injuries that have occured on the island. So use your best judgment about your fitness level and affinity for a mentally tough trail. Venture slowly, and don't let others force you past your personal speed. Sit on a step and let them go by if you feel pressured.

Once back in Portmagee, dine at the Bridge Bar. They have outside tables across the street on the water. The grocery is just past that area, and also serves as the post office. One gift shop in next to the bar, and it has postcards, art, cheap jewelry, and some household item gifts.

When you arrive back at the Beach Cove B&B after any adventure, you'll have one of the best showers in Ireland awaiting you to revive your aching muscles, and an amazing beach to renew your spirit. Bridie and Jack are much more reserved than American B&B owners, but they are truly wonderful hosts and want to make your stay welcoming and comfortable. I don't think I saw another situation as beautiful on the entire Skellig Ring.

Room Tip: There doesn't seem to be a reservation system to get particular rooms. I had my choice of the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

This comfortable B&B is located, as the name implies, right on a beach cove overlooking the Skellig Islands off the Atlantic coast. It is located in one of the most stunning and scenic parts of Ireland. Owners Bridie and Jack O'Connor (local celeb- manager of the GAA Kerry team) are excellent hosts and help make a memorable stay at this clean, charming, somewhat remote location off the Ring of Kerry. A 10 min drive over the mountain to the fishing village of Portmagee for the local shops, pub/resto and Skellig tours.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Conover, North Carolina, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

Based on the reviews/images posted, we planned a stay here. What a wonderful place; cozy, comfortable, clean and with an amazing ocean front. Bridie is awesome, very personable, charming and welcoming. The nicely decorated, clean rooms, along with the delicious breakfast, the fresh ocean air, the surf and the most amazing views makes it a must stay! Plus any direction you drive, you are guaranteed more gorgeous coastal views. We had dinner at the Bridge Bar (Moorings), our meal was fabulous! We went to Bridies' church up the road and can say what a wonderful experience that was, the people were so welcoming and kind, they all love Bridie. This was one of the best overall experiences we've had yet in Ireland. We will stay again, but hopefully go to the skellig's and see the puffins.

Room Tip: Definitely want a room facing the ocean, but I think they all do!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Wow what a lovely place to stay! By far our favorite on our trip.Excellent hospitality and what a view! Right on the sea. Nice and close to two towns with great pubs and fabulous food too.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

Imagine waking up to hearing the surf from outside your window and looking out to see Skellig Michael. If you are wanting to stay on the Ring of Kerry, don't look any further than here. Bridie is an amazing host, she is very gracious and very welcoming. This is the best bed and breakfast we have stayed in Ireland. Just an idyllic part of the world. The rooms are overlooking the beautiful surf beach of St Finnian's and are without a doubt very comfortable and cosy. The B&B is also within walking distance of the Skellig Chocolate Factory.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

We stayed at this B&B last year and again this year. We wanted to travel to the Skelligs but were not able last year but were successful this year. The room we were in had a wonderful sea view and we could see the Skelligs. The rooms are large and beautifully decorated. We were there 5 days this year but they passed in a flash. Bridie puts out a very nice breakfast. We had the Irish breakfast which held us until dinner time. Besides being close to the Skelligs, the B & B was also near Valentia Island, right off the Ring of Kerry, between Ballinskelligs and Portmagee, about 30 min from Killarney so there are many things to do if the day you are there, you cannot get to the Skelligs.
We had such a wonderful time with Bridie and her husband that we will be returning again in the near future.

I almost forgot there is a fantastic chocolate factory within walking distance from the B&B. If you are planning a trip around the Ring of Kerry - this is a perfect half way stop.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Beach Cove B&B? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Beach Cove B&B

Address: St. Finnian's Bay | Beach Cove, Ballinskelligs, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Kerry > Ballinskelligs
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Ballinskelligs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Beach Cove B&B reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Beach Cove Hotel Ballinskelligs
Beach Cove Bed And Breakfast
Beach Cove B&B Ireland/Ballinskelligs

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Beach Cove B&B, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.