Ireland is a land where the B&B is king. That said, when I arrived in Bantry (solo) I wanted to try something different and so for €50 chose to stay in the Bantry Bay hotel. Bottom line is I've stayed in much worse for much more in my native Canada. Had I been travelling with my wife and it been €50 per person then I would be voting negative. For just me however - with my bohemian tastes in travel - it was fine. Constructed in the 1940s (1946?) you have to expect small rooms, odd window placement and cranky plumbing. Taken in the context of a small provincial european hotels however it was clean and no little effort has been spent trying to create a pleasant atmosphere in the common areas - Effort that I felt succeeded with a nautical theme that felt more right than contrived and little surprises like a first floor parlour/reading room that was a trip back to 1910. I suspect the extensive pub and restaurant downstairs brings in more revenue overall than room rentals - short of investing the winnings of the Irish sweepstakes I can't see how the owners could do more with this place than they have. Where I DO recommend this place is the location and the food. Located on the central square you can not get more central to Bantry, its pubs, restaurants and waterfront. I wanted to enjoy a pint or two and some local pub music and so didn't want to have to drive to and from a B&B on the outskirts of town. The Bantry Bay fit the bill perfectly for me and the breakfast the next day was a highlight. After 10 days of either "Full Irish" or porridge for breakfast I was delighted to find I could order a filet of fresh plaice for breakfast here. Maybe not YOUR idea of breakfast but it was delicate and as fresh as fresh can be and one of the best breakfasts I had during my 3 weeks in Eire. My advice regarding the Bantry Bay Hotel is to put aside 21st century North American expectations and try and imagine an earlier time. While probably not worth €100 for a couple if you factor in great breakfasts it is good value for the solo traveller. I personally would stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bantry Bay Hotel is a 14 bedroom hotel situated in the centre of Bantry at Wolfe Tone Square. We are the only family run hotel currently in Bantry and pride ourselves in offering O'Callaghan hospitality since 1946. We would be delighted to welcome families, groups,couples and business people, where we will cater for everyones needs and ensure a very worthwhile stay ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bay Hotel Bantry