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“A wee gem in Galway, with excellent staff and the best hostel breakfast we have had in a hostel.”

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Old Monastery Hostel
Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A wee gem in Galway, with excellent staff and the best hostel breakfast we have had in a hostel.”
Reviewed September 19, 2010

This place has to be seen to be believed. It is at the entrance to the Connemara national park, a hill walker's dream. With camping, dorms and private rooms available at very competitive rates and a wonderful, free breakfast of porridge and home made breads and boiled eggs, all your needs are met. In fact Stephen, the owner, often cooks up yummy vegetarian meals. The afternoon we arrived he had left freshly caught mackerel in the fridge for us, we were an hour late and he had to pop out so he left it and our key just in case we had to leave. The hostel itself is the one of the most interesting my husband and i have ever stayed at, with pups and cats regularly saying hello you are sure to feel right at home. The layout of the building does not seem to have lost it's original design, but certainly has a new lease of life. For those of you who prefer to cook your own food the hostel's kitchen has all mod cons and 'proper' coffee makers as well as wine glasses and cork screws. This is not a party hostel and would suit family groups too, having said that there are no rules against having a few beers with your meal in the glorious sitting and dining room. No Wi-Fi or TV - BLISS.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joe23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Cristobal de las Casas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2010

Hi There,
I've visited this hostel several times. The reason is simple, it is amazing place. Location is in the hearth of Connemara just few steps from the gate of National Park, hour walk to the see, small river under your window, just perfect. The hostel by itself was organized in manner of kind of open community and spot where you can pay a bit and stay, not worrying too much about the usual guest/host approach. I've visited the hostel around five times and spend one of my best Christmas there, whit wonderful people around and with I believe Mandy being the "right hand" of the owner, whose name I can not remember now (I think it is Steven). The place was quite pretty clean, I used the cold shower but there was warm water most of the time if you needed, breakfast was tasty and plentiful. The "design" and art in the hostel are super cool and I loved the animals around! I've had some really nice conversations with both visitors and personal and I liked the style of the owner. I've seen him angry just once when someone was touching the fires without his permission and it was clear that he did not like it but it was expressed in OK way. People probably do not get the few important things like that he is actually living in the place and it is more like his home which he is allowing you to share. One thing you should keep in your mind is not to touch the fires (I completely understand him on this point because 90% of the people do not have a clew how to work with peat bog - I've learned this art there) and other is for example realizing that there is a "lights-out" around ten I believe, which is expected to be respected. I think that if you behave as a decent people you should really enjoy your stay. By the way the money/my rent was kind of the last think what the people were worried about and I really liked this approach. My experience is from 2006/2007/2008 and 2009.
I certainly recommend this place, I've been traveling around the word for the last 7 years and this spot is my favorite and do recommend it to anyone who is going to Ireland as the "first and only" place to go. I should mention that I'm hard core, sleeping in the nature, swimming in cold water, sleeping on the floor etc. so if you are expecting 3-5 stars standard forget it but to have a good time with fine people, amazing place.
Thanks for lovely stay for me and my brother,
Sincerely,
Frantisek Apfelbeck

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Algoldor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2010

I stayed here for two nights with 16 friends. I had pre -warned my friends not to expect anything but, good atmosphere, big open fireplaces, fantastic free breakfast, good evening vegie dinner and a comfy bed. I also told them how cheap it was, all these things in mind we went away and had a wonderful weekend. The food was fantastic. We found the owner to be relaxed and friendly and he stayed away from us, except when we needed him. This is a dusty hostel but the owner is convinced that this is part of its charm, so if you cant handle dust, then this is not the place for you... I liked its rough and ready way. Its like a different world.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SophistiCatIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2010

Just returned from spending three nights in the old monastry hostel, and without a doubt it will be an experience i will never forget for all the wrong reasons. A group of us stayed at the hostel for a study trip from college. On arrival we found the hostel comfortable and acceptable and we were looking forward to spending our time there, however this feeling was short lived once we discovered what type of man was running the hostel.
On the first night of our stay, our entire group was verbally abused and threated with a cricket bat late at night, this being the correct response in the owners opinion to the one or two guests returning from the local pub. The owner came into our room where we were sleeping telling us he would 'get us between the eyes' and 'kill us all', even though we had done absolutely nothing wrong. Never in my life have i experienced such an incident, I actually during the entire incident was in complete disbelief throughout the entire ordeal.
Without a doubt this hostel needs to be shut down as the owner is in no way fit to run such a place. I would strongly advise people to look at alternative options of accommodation, if visiting the area.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank queenoftheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Letterfrack hotels

Berlin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2009

If theres an award for the worst Hostel in Ireland, the Old Monastery Hostel would be my nominee. I´ve been there some years ago and at that time it had charm and was only a bit filthy.
Now, in September in 2009, it was extremely filthy. But the worst was definitely the owner. He was friently until he had pocketed our money for the following night. After that, he behaved like a lunatic for the rest four stay. You´ll find proper descriptions of his behaviour in the other reviews.

Just don´t go there! Even, if you have good memories.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank snutje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
1 review
Reviewed August 20, 2009

The Old Monastery Hostel in Letterfrack, right next to the entrance to the Commenara National Park, is an ideal affordable spot for people wanting to explore Connemara. The interior is colourful and warm, the facilities (cooking, eating, washing) seemed to suit everybody who was there, so the atmosphere was very welcoming. (An unfortunate plumbing problem meant that we went from being the guests closest to the toilets, to being the ones furthest away, but hey - it's an old building; and the problem was approached with humour from all sides.)

I loved it, my partner loved it, but nobody loved it more than our two daughters (9 & 13). We felt really at home in our family room 'CHURCH' (sleeps five, shower in room), where there was no shortage of reading material, provided you're interested in theology and religion. Each room has a theme, and as our room overlooked the church next door.... we were in Church.

My daughters didn't want to explore Connemara. They wanted to hang around the hostel and play with the hostel's three kittens. Which they did for a considerable amount of time. At the front of the hostel there is plenty of garden (and non garden) furniture (sheltered) where the guests can sit around and chat, smoke, play with the kittens etc.

The free breakfast of porridge, fresh brown bread and fruit scones, boiled eggs, tea and coffee was an extremely welcome alternative to the Full Irish served in B & Bs around the country. At 9am all guests converged on the breakfast rooms to indulge in the healthy option, to the soundtrack of a Muddy Waters cd. Great idea.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank IrishBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2009

Strongly suggest avoiding this hostel- it is filthy. When we complained to the self-styled "serf" he said that "that is part of the charm of the place" but he did bring us to another room where at least the sheets had been changed. One of the other (francophone) guests described it as a "bidonville" (shanty town) and with all the rubbish strewn about he wasn't far off. The breakfast was lovely, but a tip jar?, really??. I can see the potential charm, location eclectic collection of art, open fires, but if the mimimal standards of welcome and cleanliness are not present, these "added extras" are useless

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank pod40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Monastery Hostel

Property: Old Monastery Hostel
Address: Twelve Bens, Letterfrack, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Galway > Letterfrack
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Letterfrack
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Also Known As:
Old Monastery Hotel Letterfrack

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