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Hotels in Donegal in general

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      15.07.2001 22:58
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      Hotels can turn out to be disappointing once you turn up, weary from travelling and generally spending time as a ‘tourist’ (can’t stand them myself!). The Strand in Ballyliffin turned out to be a pleasing haven after having gained sore feet and a sore finger (camera usage!) on the trail of tourism. A bit of geography; Ballyliffin is in an area of Ireland called Inishowen in Donegal (that bit that is officially in the south but is geographically in the north – you know what I mean). Inishowen is a peninsula, which has some of the most spectacular scenery that I’ve ever seen. Ballyliffin is on the west coast near Malin Head, which is the northern most point of Ireland (Northern Ireland included). The Stand Hotel looks to be fairly unextraordinary when you drive up to it. I would say that it looks like a 60’s block of beach apartments, but looks are deceiving in this case. The hotel is tastefully decorated and comprises a lounge, bar and dining room. The rooms are a bit of a mix of styles. They’ve painted the old 70’s furniture white and added some contemporary curtains and bed linen. All rooms are en-suite. They’re comfortable, clean and practical. Restaurant meals are available in the dining room, but they also serve meals in the bar. There is a variety of meals on the menu, including vegetarian choices. A good idea is the Early Bird specials, which they serve until 7.30pm weekdays and until 4.30pm at weekends. Basically, you can choose three courses off their special menu for £7.50 IR. There isn’t much of a variety and it is basic (e.g. soup starter, gammon, Ice cream) but it’s useful if you’re on a budget. I found out that there were only two problems with The Strand. Firstly, as you drive into Ballyliffin, there is a lot of luxury apartments being built. Fortunately, though, the hotel is situated far enough away for it not to be noticed. Secondly, our room
      was above the bar (just minimal, but loud enough to notice) and the room above us was obviously occupied by young children (sorry, but not my cup of tea). The sound proofing in the hotel isn’t too great, but I would think that asking for a room away from the bar would improve matters greatly. There is a variety of things to do around Ballyliffin. There's a good sandy beach about a mile down the road. Ballyliffin Golf Course is about 2 miles away and there is a museum about 3 miles away which tells the story of the area through the potato famine to the present day in a very visual and unbiased way. I will tell you more about this in another op. So the synopsis? This was a relatively good hotel to stay in. I wouldn’t really say it was a family hotel, because there didn’t seem to be any facilities for children (apart from a number of high chairs), although there is plenty to do for all ages within the area, if you want to travel. It’s generally used as a hotel for golfers (Ballyliffin Golf Course is nearby) but it is an ideal base to use if you're taking a short break in the area. It’s actually very reasonably priced as well. In high season a double room would cost £60 IR a night (with a very good cooked breakfast included). With the exchange rate of the Irish pound, this would only work out to be about £45 sterling. Another good thing for us computer nerds is that reservations can be booked online on their website. This was how I booked and I had no problems and they confirmed receipt of my emails. The Strand Hotel Ballyliffin Inishowen Co. Donegal Republic of Ireland http://www.ballyliffin.com strandhotel@ballyliffin.com

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