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Ireland was AMAZING and blew all expectations I had out of the water! If you are even considering it as a vacation spot, I highly recommend it, as well as the Authentic Ireland team! This was my first international trip, and the first non-military trip for my husband, so we were feeling a little overwhelmed at the task of booking everything without knowing all the ins and outs of how things work in Ireland. A quick internet search brought my to the Authentic Ireland site, and I couldn't be more pleased!
We had talked with a travel agent company recommended by a friend, but their prices were much higher than we could afford. When I found Authentic Ireland, I requested a quote for what we wanted to do, and they gave us one nearly $2,000 less than what the other agent quoted us!
We spent a full two weeks in Ireland and rented a car. Our stay was mostly at B&B's (which I think is the way to go), except for in Dublin and Belfast where we stayed downtown in a hotel (and trust me, you will want to be part of the action there!). The car we picked up on the way out of Dublin was a cute little car, and we were able to get an automatic, that carried us well throughout our travels around the country. We didn't have any problems with any of the places we stayed or the car.
Thank you Maggie for making our experience an amazing one, and I can guarantee that everyone else choosing to use Authentic Ireland to book their vacation will be nothing but pleased!
Thank you for an unforgettable vacation! The whole trip was so well planned. Every place we stayed was unique but excellent accommodations and definitely added to the experience. Everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. We loved Ireland and have told all our friends what a great place it was to visit - and urged them to contact you to get a vacation arranged.
We stayed one week in each Ireland and Scotland. We chose to drive ourselves in each country. Cars were very nice. We had a couple of hotels that did not have our reservations but one phone call to Authentic Ireland and it was resolved in minutes! Next time will be more B&B's they are the best way to go! Would definitely go through Authentic Ireland again to have that insurance of someone to troubleshoot any issues that come...at work I value the companies on how quickly they can resolve issues....as it's inevitable with all of us humans...Authentic Ireland was great from the planning stage right through to the end of our vacation....both countries were absolutely fabulous !
What a wonderful trip! We focused on western Ireland and ancient ruins, and it was the perfect decision. Our driver Tony was like a colorful character out of a James Joyce novel -- full of history and stories, how Ireland is changing, and a few tall tales. He took us to many backroad spots and ruins where no one else was. He was tremendously professional, always on time, always ready and helpful; took us all over for 3 days. Stayed at Roadford House in Doolin for 3 days; Marian was the best hostess you can imagine and even let us use the apartment on the day it rained for no extra charge. She arranged rides for us, fixed breakfast early for us on the day we left, even took us to the ferry. The ferry ride from Doolin to Inis Mor was our favorite part, and the ruins at Dun Aengus are amazing. Be sure to get cash before you go to Doolin since there are no ATMs there, but definitely the best trad music there in the pubs (much more than Ennis) despite being rather crowded. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We will come again and will make plans through Authentic Ireland. Thanks to Lynn for all your help in arranging our trip.
We recently toured Ireland with Cahal Dunne. It is a lovely country, green and peaceful. Cahal is a perfect host and the bus drivers, Ken & John were delightful. The hotels, buses were clean & neat, food was good. Would highly recommend this trip.
Great family vacation
Our 7 nights in Ireland were wonderful. Thank you to Authentic Ireland for helping us plan and book our tour. All of the B&Bs were top notch and the hosts were very gracious. We loved Doolin, especially the music, and would not have gone there without your suggestion. My wife and teenage girls now have many great memories of the towns and people of western Ireland. Thank you. One small sour note: Hertz has added some nuisance charges to my Credit card, which I secured through you. Can someone contact me to discuss? Thank you.
Our trip was fantastic. The entire trip went off without a hitch. Hotels were all beautiful and accommodating but the stay in Dromorland Castle was without compare. The grounds are beautiful, activities are plentiful and the staff is just great! We stayed in one of the turret rooms which was a climb but the view was amazing.
The best of all was the chauffeured tour. Our driver, James, was the best. He knew the best times to go to major sites like the Cliffs of Moher, so we would miss the crowds and gave us a personal glimpse into the history and beauty of Ireland. Not having to drive allowed me to enjoy the whole experience stress free. I highly recommend having a driver. Thanks for a great vacation!
Thanks a million Authentic Ireland!
This was simply the BEST trip of my life! All the reservations went smoothly and the accommodations were great! Amanda Lynn truly worked hard in making sure we had the experience of a lifetime. She included stays in Ballyseede castle in Tralee and Marless B & B in Galway and both were amazing. We were very lucky to get upgraded (at no extra cost) to the Lake Hotel in Killarney, which as the name implies, is on the lake and the view from our room was breathtaking!! The staff there even told us that your company puts together the best itineraries and I absolutely agree. We spent the most incredible 10 days in Ireland and I can't wait to go back! I would definitely recommend your company to anyone wanting to visit Ireland without the stress of having to book everything on their own. Amanda Lynn was so helpful and responded quickly to my e-mails, I was very impressed by the personalized customer service. As I heard many locals say during my visit....thanks a million!!
10 Days in Ireland
Our first experience touring Ireland was perfect! Aisling was friendly and very helpful from the beginning of our experience with Authentic Ireland. The locations we stayed were excellent but we especially enjoyed Faithlegg and The Lake Hotel. Car rental was spot on and glad that we had GPS. Would recommend anybody to Authentic Ireland for a well planned and seamless trip. Beautiful Country with the worlds most friendlest people at every stop. Garth Brooks could learn something from the Irish people..
8 Days in Ireland
8 days in Ireland. We took the 8 day driving tour from Dublin to Shannon. Aisling did a great job and worked hard to be sure ALL of my wife's questions and concerns were taken care of. All hotels were set up exactly as they said it would be. The rental car (had a built in GPS) was ready and waiting when promised. The suggestions of things to see were spot on. We could have had a few more days to spend enough time at every stop along the way.
Great job by Aisling and Authentic Ireland. You will definitely get a recemmendation from us when friends travel.
14 Days In Ireland
Our trip was amazing, and Ireland was even more beautiful than we imagined. Thanks for putting us in touch with Brian Barr, who conducted our 20th wedding anniversary vow renewal at the top of Slieve League near Donegal - the ceremony was amazing! Ashford Castle (Cong), Harvey's Point (Donegal) and River Lee Hotel (Cork) were superior accommodations - absolutely first class comfort and service which exceeded our expectations. Ashling Hotel (Dublin), City Hotel Derry, Kilkenny River Court Hotel, Europa Hotel (Belfast) and Dunraven Arms Hotel (Adare) were clean and nice with generally comfortable beds - no major complaints worthy of listing. We both felt that the Arbutus Hotel (Killarney) fell below the standard of the 4-star minimum hotel rating we requested due to a very uncomfortable bed, very uncomfortable old bedding and the noise from Murphy's Bar which was unavoidable due to the room location. While the staff was wonderful, I'm not sure I'd recommend it to others based on our experience. As a note - if we did this again we would skip Adare and the Dunraven Arms Hotel and find a nice hotel in Dingle, which we loved! Slea Head is a must see.
Our major hotel fiasco we encountered was that our reservations for 2 nights at the Park House Hotel in Galway were never made by your service. In response, you chose the G Hotel as an upgraded replacement hotel. While the beds and service were worthy of their 5-star rating, the hotel was ultra-modern and just plain weird - completely not something we would have ever chosen. In addition, we had to take multiple taxis to and from Galway because of the distance from Galway city centre as opposed to our original chosen hotel located right in the downtown area. Not a huge issue, but 8 euros for 8 trips (4 trips back and forth was 64 euros - about $100 US) It all worked out fine, but that was a pretty big error on your part. We appreciate how your service tried to handle the error, it showed class to offer the upgrade despite the outcome - thank you.
The flow of the trip from beginning to end was wonderful. Seeing the majority of the Irish coast was really amazing. I'm convinced that Ireland is the most beautiful country in the world. We lucked out and got outstanding weather during almost our entire 2 weeks there. The suggested en-route sightseeing was on point and worth while. Thanks for your help in planning what was, in whole, the best vacation we've ever taken. Everyone I dealt with was kind, helpful and responsive. Were it not for the missed reservation, I would have given you 5 stars. Thanks again :)
Response: Thank you for your review, we were delighted to help plan your 20th wedding anniversary renewal. We very much apologize for the mixup at the Galway Hotel and let you know that we have refunded your credit card $100.00 to cover the taxi fare.
I hope that you enjoyed your vacation otherwise. -- Maggie Lunde, Vacation Representative
Very classy Maggie, thank you!
We had the time of our lives, please don\'t fret. I was just trying to give honest feedback regarding the hotels, not trying to get a refund. We loved our time in Ireland and look forward to coming back. Other than the one mix-up, your service was exemplary. We will use your service again. Thanks again for your help!
Eric & Kathleen Wetzel
Our trip to Ireland was “fabuful” (a synthesis of fabulous and wonderful.) Authentic Ireland did all of the hard work. They laid out a suggested itinerary, took care of all of the bookings, and did a great job of communicating with us before the trip. This was our first time with this company, so we really didn’t know what to expect. We could not have been any more pleased! All of the hotel reservations went without a hitch, as did the full Irish breakfasts each morning. Being from the US, we were naturally apprehensive about driving on the left. Authentic Ireland used Hertz as our rental car vendor and all went smoothly, although we did bring our own GPS. Don’t leave home without one (configured for Ireland, of course)!!!
Authentic Ireland’s suggested itinerary provided reasonable drive times/distances for each day. However, I could have traded off the day in Waterford for another day in Trim to visit the Stone Age ruins there. I guess that will be for our return trip.
There were NO hidden charges, taxes or fees that had to be paid during the trip.
We believe the company is well-named “Authentic” Ireland, for the company’s customer-centered service was mirrored by the Irish people we visited. ALL of the people we encountered along the way were welcoming, friendly, and wanted to provide any help they could render. We even had a local citizen offer us a coin to use for a pay toilet when all we had was paper currency.
We would book with Authentic Ireland again anytime, without hesitation and we thank them for making this vacation truly special.
Beautiful Scotland 2014
This is the second self drive tour we have done (Ireland in 2010). Worked with Lynn for a few months researching route, etc., and must say Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. All accommodations were top notch, rental car was excellent and arrangements went off with out a hitch. We coordinated and arranged all attractions and sites and quite frankly wore ourselves out in a good way. I would recommend anyone visiting this beautiful country.
Now we need to start planning for the next journey??
Ten beautiful days in Scotland
We spent two nights in Saint Andrews, Inverness, isle of Skye, Fort William and finally Edinburgh. The B&Bs which you booked us in were superb. The owners were special people who made our trip even better with their suggestions, help and a wonderfully warm and welcoming attitude.
The diversions and Ghost tours that you booked were done very well and were thoroughly enjoyed. It didn't hurt that we had perfect weather but you provided a tour without any glitches and where anything that you scheduled happened on time without any need for our checking ahead.
Thank you for putting together such a wonderful vacation.
We have a lovely second leg of our honeymoon thanks to Authentic Ireland. It made everything nice and easy for us and we want to specifically thank Lynn for her help and customizing things for us :)
First off, we did the self drive tour because I can't do buses... and it was much more romantic that way! We got a GPS with our car (highly recommended!!) and were off!
We got to see a great deal of the country and loved Killarney the most. I would have spent less time in Dublin (but this is after we spent a week in London so I think we were ready to get out of the city!).
The places we stayed were great and most of the time we were upgraded because we were honeymooning and the rooms were spectacular!
We took a 5 night trip from Dublin to Killarney and back.
First the highlights. Dublin was great. With the museums, restaurants, and all the other sites, it was simply a great place to explore. You must go to Trinity College and see the library. They also have other things to see there other than old books but the old books are pretty great. The hotel, Camden Court, was very nice. We got there early and were able to check in early. Breakfast was a good range of choices and we had a good bit of smoked salmon. The Guinness Store House was part Willy Wonka and part World of Coke. I like Guinness and they teach you how to pour it right. The stuff tastes better in Ireland than in the US. Try Arthur's Pub near the Guinness Store House. Fish pie was great and staff was very friendly. (You will eat a lot of fish)
The medieval museum in Waterford was extensive and informative. Lots to see there so make time for that.
Even if you do not like whiskey, the Jameson Distillery in Middleton is great. Our tour guide was wonderful and there was minimum of pretension. They make whiskey, they are good at it, they are happy to show you how. Someday my wife wants to take the distiller's class that is a week long.
The Famous Blarney Castle is a must see. Yes, it is a little silly but not in a bad way. Kiss the stone. Don't be a baby. (yes they wash it off.)
The Victoria House was wonderful. They upgraded us to a suite just because. The bar was the best place to sit and have a pint or four. Bartenders will talk to you if you let them and ours was very polite and nice to us. Breakfast they had smoked herring, Again, fish is always present.
Killarney is sort of the tourist area for Ireland. It is where the Irish go on holiday. It reminded me a little of Gatlinburg, NC. Not too tasteless but still a vacation spot. Most people go there to drive the Ring of Kerry. We made it half way but it is a long ride and we turned around. GPS also sent us a weird way but it was still very beautiful. Ross Castle is there too and is the opposite of Blarney. Blarney is left in a half ruined state. Ross is fully restored. I prefer Blarney. I think the tour guide was spouting a bit of her own blarney about Ross Castle.
Trim is close to the Newgrange mounds. Get there early and rested if you want to see all of it. One of the largest neolithic sites in Europe and a World Heritage site. Trim Castle was where they filmed Braveheart. We were not able to see all of that either.
Now the things I would have done different. More time in Dublin. Waterford was more of a stop on the way and I would have preferred another night in Dublin to a night in Waterford. The Waterford Crystal was not worth the price of the tour. Glass blowing and carving, pretty but not worth it. If you really want to drop the money on the crystal, go for it. Not my thing. Would have rather spent more time at the museum across the street. The Waterford Marina Hotel did not stand up to the others we stayed at. WIFI was spotty and our room was right next to the vent for the restaurant. I would have preferred to have another night at the Victoria House.
The roads are narrow and twisty. If we were to do it again we would have taken a bus around the Ring of Kerry. I would have also gone to Skellig Michael if we had not been exhausted. Just.Just because GPS says it is the fastest route does not mean it is the easiest.
The hotel in Trim was more of a resort. The bar was closed and the restaurant was over priced. If you like golf it seems to be the kind of place to go. We do not play golf... It reminded me of an American suburb. I would have traded it for another night at Camden Court.
This was a great vacation. All accommodations were perfect. We had no problems driving and saw many remote areas of Ireland. Staying in a Castle was really a plus!! Will do this again. Thanks Lynn for all your help, we had a wonderful time.
Perfect 25th Anniversary Trip
We didn't want a bus tour, but we didn't want to spend all of our time fighting with maps, GPS and windy roads, so we did the Chauffeur guided tour of Ireland. Best decision we could have made. The driver was knowledgeable, had great suggestions for additional sites to see and places to eat. Could not have asked for a better trip. Thank you.
Trip of a lifetime
We Just completed our luxury minibus tour of middle-southern Ireland. Aside from great weather, scenery, culture & the friendly people we met, our tour guide/driver Liam Bourke, provided us with insights, history as well as folk/heritage music that made our trip one of a lifetime. If you're headed to ireland, seek out Liam to provide the secret ingredient to an incredible tour of the Emerald Isle!
Ireland and Scotland
With the exception of 1 hotel that you should never book again and if you are looking for a true castle experience I would not suggest the one we stayed at, we had an absolutely fantastic time. The people were awesome, we learned how to play the Bodhran in Killkenny. Loved the family walk through history and how my ancestors shaped some of Scotland's history. Thank you for a great experience.