I've stayed at Emerson on a few occasions and find it consistently good.
The previous review by ALAN C seems overly critical as the vast majority of other reviewers, including myself, find Cyril a very welcoming and an informative host. "Overfiriendly and quite intrusive" are not at all how most people would describe Cyril at all.
Emerson House is an Edward-style house which is well-kept (no musty smells at all), very spacious rooms though admittedly small shower rooms. This is a feature of these older buildings. While the guesthouse could benefit from a major overhaul, this would require hugh investment mindful of planning restrictions imposed on such period homes. For now, its perfectly fine, great value for money and a personal service that you won't find in hotels downtown. It's also a good way to meet other travellers, whether travelling on your own or with others.
Most rooms have a harbour view; in the guest room, there are binoculars for you to view at habour closely and watch ship movements to/from Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic. The guest room also has an extensive library and some "coffee table" books that re enjoyable to browse through.
Bedrooms are very spacious and all are en-siute with the exception of one room. While all rooms are TVs, the reception can be variable. If you planning to stay in one evening to watch TV, then, ask for a room with good TV reception.
Nearby, there are two establishments worth checking out:
O'Keefe's - an artisan food/deli shop with great coffee and snacks;
Henchy's - a wonderful pub where you can enjoy a pint in the bar or lounge, or have a little more privacy in one of the more privare areas at the back.
In summary, a welcoming place to stay and great value. Recommended!