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Heat Wave of July 2013
Dear Nora the explorer and Authentic Ireland:
The fleece never came out of the luggage and we only used the rain gear once, on Innishmore. The remainder of the time the sky was blue, the sun bright and temp around 28 degrees.
We four senior citizens had a marvelous time, laughed a lot, drank a few pints of Guniess and loved the Bunratty Medieval Banquet!! It was our first time traveling using all B & B accommodations and I must say all of the B & B's we used were grand. As a matter of fact the men are still talking about the full Irish Breakfasts. And in the opinion of this old southern lady, the real jewels of the Emerald Isles are the people.
Nora, we adapted your nickname from a cartoon character here in the U.S. She takes children on travels and adventures in the Amazon....and you sure took us on travels and adventure in Ireland.
vacation in Ireland
Our vacation was simply amazing and the tour guide that we consider a friend and someone we will never forget made the trip an unforgetable advendture. The scenery is more beautiful than words or pictures can describe and the pubs and people are so fun and the music is wonderful. The people of ireland are probably the nicest people and the culture is beautiful and historic and takes your breath away when listening to stories and fables and seeing the colors are too kool for words. I would recommend you and Ireland to anyone I spoke to. God bless all. We loved every minute of it. Oh by the way, we had prettry nice weather also!!!
16 nights in Ireland
Our trip to Ireland was a dream of a lifetime. The people are incredible, kind and friendly. We liked the places we stayed which were all hotels except one B&B at the Cliffs of Moher. We have several thousand gorgeous pictures and drove almost 1300 miles. We loved being picked up by a van cab and taken to the rental car in Dublin. Our only negative about hotels is the parking lot was 7 blocks away in Cork. But the hotel was great. We had an incredible experience in Cork. We were out of fresh laundry. Did not know it was a bank holiday the weekend before and the nights we spent at one hotel before cork, the drop place for laundry was closed. At the hotel in Cork at check in I explained my husband was desperate. They showed us where to go around the corner. The lady there had had all the laundry picked up to go to the central laundry. When my husband explained the bind he was in, she called the plant and they said they would do it for us that day. She had no way to get it there, but we had our rental car. She gave us directions, we dropped it off and went to Kinsales. We called back mid- afternoon and it was done. When we picked it up, they had done 2 loads and charged us only 20 Euros. That was true kindness. We had great service and food for breakfast and had incredible dinners.
We had called the B&B by the cliffs to let her know our arrival plans and the owner told us to head straight to the place or we would be trapped in traffic from Galway for hours. That was very nice of her. We met so many interesting people and saw tons of historic places and loved the landscape.
Now for our negative comments and bad experiences. we will never rent another car from Enterprise because of the following issues.
1. The wait at the counter, on a Saturday, with only two agents renting cars. There were 5 groups tying to rent cars when we arrived. After waiting an hour to get a car, there were 8 groups in line when we left.
2. The GPS mess. They did not have one reserved for us. They claimed we never reserved one. Authentic Ireland had on record we wanted one. Someone dropped the ball. Therefore, we had to pay them at the counter and they said it had never been ordered or paid for. It was a very unexpected extra big expense. Then we had to go to the airport to pick one up. More time lost and an unexpected charge at the counter plus the VAT added to it. BAD
3. The nonsense about a chipped tire when we returned. I cannot prove a chip wasn't there when I got the car, but I strongly suspect it was, because - as you know if you check the turn in report- I did not hit anything, did not scrape a curb, did not hit a high curb- if that tire was damaged during our rental period, it was either due to road hazard or a defective tire. They charged us 70 euros (over $100) for a new tire. Like I told the counter person and my wife, gain a tire, lose a customer. Maybe more after my 6 kids all hear the story.
4. If Ireland is going to have a holiday during the time people are visiting, it would have been nice to know this in all the planning so we could have done better with the clothing situation. ie. Do you know that August x-y is a 3 day bank holiday weekend. We do hope to go to Ireland next year, to see the places we missed this time. But we would not recommend Enterprise. We were pleased with the arrangements Authentic Ireland made and very happy we did not rent a compact car. We needed all the room we had for my husbands 6 ft 4 body to drive.
The pictures do not do justice
We are just getting over our jet lag and reviewing the details of our just completed first trip to Ireland. We had a wonderful time and did not ever believe friends when they told us we would like the Irish best of all the Europeans we have met in our travels. I can honestly report that our friends were correct; we so enjoyed our hosts and sales people and wait staff in the places we stayed and the towns we visited.
We did a self-drive trip and the car was small, which proved to be good, but it lacked a boot cover and that was a problem to not be able to conceal luggage and with us driving place to place and leaving the car unattended. We would want to correct that issue if we were to come again.
We had a variety of places to stay: Althumney Manor in Navan which had the smallest in rooms in which we stayed, but we enjoyed the town and the breakfast was great. Pat and his wife do a good job. After Navan, we stayed 2 days at Bangor and we loved the Victorian ambiance of this seaport.
We stayed at Ennislare House in a nice large room with a view of the port. We ate at the Salty Dog and would recommend it to visitors to Bangor.
Next was Brown's Country House, near Bushmills on the Antrim coast. We loved the area and we were charmed by the proprietor at breakfast.
Donegal was our next stop for 3 days at Lough Eske Castle near Donegal town. We loved this area and we had a beautiful spacious room to move about. The castle itself a lovely reclamation of a ruined castle facade, but the grounds and the area are lovely. The food was excellent.
We spent only 1 night at St. Judes during horse race time. We had a large room in a beautiful old home within walking distance to Galway. Jack Taylor was nowhere to be found.
In Dingle town, we enjoyed our room and proprietess, Denise, at Dunlavin House. We were within walking distance to Dingle town, but we also drove in to town.
We were struck by the absolute beauty of Adare Manor and it's extensive grounds and we wished we had booked another day there. We loved everything about Adare and would love to go back.
We finished up in Dublin at the Trinity Capital Hotel, which I thought looked like a Venetian bordello, with its purple and fuschia striping and dim lighting. Our room was decorated in a similar color scheme, but it was large enough and the bathroom was clean. With the dim lighting, hard to know about the rest of the place. Everyone was nice and the hotel was ideally located. If you can get used to the bordello meets Alice in Wonderland decor, you'll be fine.
We have great memories of the trip. Sadly, my husband's Bushmill purchase was taken out of his luggage which had a TSA lock. It is a whisky he cannot buy here and he had to take the tour to get it. Several pairs of Donegal wool socks were also taken. We will not let the bad end to the trip color the really great time we had.
We would use Authentic Ireland again for trips in Scotland and Ireland.
Fantastic Drive Yourself Tour
Four of us spent 10 days driving what we called the Dublin/Galway Circle. Authentic Ireland reserved us a car and all of our nights lodging. We stayed at the Kilkenny River Court for two nights ( nice but warm) great view of castle, two nights in Kinsale at the lovely Woodlands B&B ( highly recommend), in Kilarney we stayed two nights in the Kingfisher Lodge B&B ( only disappointment of the trip), in Galway we stayed two nights in the magnificient Park House Hotel, and finally one night in Navan at the Althumney Manor B&B ( small but wonderfully inviting), Nora of Authentic Ireland was so helpful in making our arrangements, the directions to each nights lodging were perfect and the list of sightseeing available was helpful. This was the wonderful balance of organized and self tour we like. I hope that others use Authentic Ireland. We were never far from town in the B&B so we could walk to everything. Having your own car and setting your own schedule meant we could spend more time at places we loved. And go into a view abbeys along the road. Thanks again for a great trip.
Fantastic Honeymoon Trip
My wife and I used Authentic Ireland to travel through England, Scotland, and Ireland as our honeymoon, part B (part A was a trip through the wine country in California, through Authentic Ireland's sister company, Authentic Wind Country, which was also wonderful). We traveled on a coach, and had a marvelous time! Every guide we had was fantastic, especially our driver, Colm. The company picked out excellent stops to visit, and we felt that we received a very thorough visit through each country, even though the trip was only two weeks long! We particularly loved our stops in Stratford-on-Avon, the Blair Athol distillery, and Dingle. As for our stays, we had a great time in London (especially our walk through the theater district), Edinburgh, and Galway. We were also thrilled by the accommodations, as each hotel was wonderful, as were the meals. Since this was our honeymoon, we did not want to spend too much time thinking about what to see or where to stay, and Authentic Ireland exceeded our hopes in this regard. This was my wife's first trip to Europe, and she loved it, finding the Scottish highlands exceptionally beautiful. We would definitely recommend Authentic Ireland, and look forward to using the company again when we return!
Trip of a Lifetime
We are so happy that we took this trip. We have been dreaming of seeing Ireland - and it was all that we hoped it would be, and even more. Authentic Ireland made our first trip a seamless experience. From beginning to end, we knew we could count on them to be there for us. We wholeheartedly recommend Authentic Ireland!
Our first European trip
My husband and I did the 6 night Castle Manor self-driving tour and added 3 nights in Dublin. The tour took us to Bunratty, Killarney, Tralee and Dublin and gave us easy access to the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Galway, the Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, the Dingle Pennisula, Cork, Kinsale and much more. Authentic Ireland over delivered in all aspects and allowed us to have the best vacation yet in our 10+ years of marriage and traveling. They were friendly and accomdating, allowing us the flexibility to change the trip according to our needs. Ireland is a stunning country and Authentic Ireland made it easy to enjoy it in a stressfree and affordable way. There was a small mix up with returning our rental car in Dublin and our representative took care of it immediately, leaving us with no worries so we could enjoy the rest of our trip. We loved the whole experience so much we're planning another trip through them with friends. We highly recommend Authentic Ireland and their helpful staff.
Christina, thank you so much for all the arrangements that you made for our recent trip to Ireland, the hotels and bed and breakfast were wonderful. We can't believe we were lucky enough to have an amazing chauffeur ,Seamus , meeting us at the Brooks Hotel and taking us on a journey of a lifetime. He left no stones unturned as we toured Belfast, Malin Head in Donegal, Galway, Dingle, Killarney, and Limerick. He found two ancestral home towns along the route that we will remember forever. Every site and every restaurant Seamus recommended was an amazing experience. What a relaxing way to see such a beautiful country and meet so many wonderful engaging. Thanks again, Christina , for all your work, as well as a special thanks to the best chauffeur ever, Seamus.
Rural Ireland Pubs, Music and people
I decided I wanted to spend my 61st birthday in Dublin on June 16. Our agent, Christina was the best travel agent. She listened to my wishes for our visit,especially my desire to celebrate "Bloom's Day" in Dublin and to learn about the Irish culture without having museums and cathedrals being the primary focus. Oue hotel in Dublin was the best with very helpful staff. During our 3 nights in Dublin we attended a Literary Pub Crawel on one night.We then experienced traditional Irish folk music and dance the next night as well as spending the third evening learning about Irish Fokelore.We traveled around the country and stayed in absolutely wonderful B&B's she reccomended. She arranged some walks and hikes near Kilarney which were very nice. My wife and I were so impressed with the itinerary developed especially for us. I will be back to visit again and definately will use Authenic Ireland.
We chose to go to Ireland for our honeymoon since it was at the top of both of our bucket list. I honestly don't think there was anything that would have been any better than this trip. The scenery was absolutely amazing and the weather was perfect while we were there (sunny and mid 70s, never rained once while we were there.) Many people asked us why we chose Ireland and not a island or exotic place. We got the best of all the worlds in that we got to see mountains, the ocean and was even able to enjoy the beach a couple of days. :-)
The people in Ireland are so nice from the time we stepped off the plane until the time we left. We met an amazing couple while we were there and plan on going back in 5 years to spend some time with them again.
As far as accomodations the hotels that Authentic Ireland housed us in were immaculate. Again the customer service in these places were above perfect! The activities that were planned were very well thoughtout, well planned and were very easy to attend. We simply printed off the papers, then gave them to the activity manage and that was it.
Ireland Music and Pub Tour
We had a fantastic experience booking with Authentic Ireland.Rebecca welcomed our changes, our questions, and our requests. On our trip, we had a fantastic time, the Music and Pub Tour was everything we had hoped it would be.
The Hotels and B & B's were top notch and we'll, no doubt, do it again soon. Thanks Rebecca.
Rebecca and Jerry G our driver were awesome! The country was awesome! We simply had a great time. The only part of the trip that we didn't really care for and was on my list of musts was to stay in a castle - we stayed in Tralee and I would say it just wasn't that great. If we make it back we will skip that. We didn't get enough time in the SW corner of the country - so next time it is... otherwise it was just wonderful! Great job!
Modern and Ancient Ireland!
My sister and I spent 10 wonderful days in Ireland and just returned. We were in Dublin, Kilkenny, Kilarney and Ennis and cannot express what a wonderful time we had. We hired a car and driver and Mick was fantastic - we saw backroads and places most tourists don't get to see - accomodations were excellent - food fantastic and the people we met we will always remember - Ireland is just beautiful - thank you Rebecca and Authentic Ireland for giving us the trip of a lifetime!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Authentic Ireland for making our recent trip to Ireland so special. Everything was perfect from the accommodations to the sightseeing to the many pub visits. The boutique hotels go out of their way to make everything so perfect and a private chauffeured bus for eight allowed for everyone to relax and enjoy all aspects of the vacation. Our driver, Kevin Burke,is worth asking for! What an addition to the trip. Knowledgeable, flexible and so much fun to be around. Cant imagine the trip without him! And thank you to our agent, Mariam for having the right answers to all our pre-trip questions.
Pub & Music Tour
We had a fantastic time on this trip. Accommodations were great, as were the locations and site-seeing suggestions. Everything was well organized and very easy, with lots of flexibility built in to make the trip our own. Highly recommended.
Spectacular Ireland and Scotland Tour
Just like every other reviewer, we had a wonderful time touring Ireland and Scotland. We would particularly like to thank Rebecca for making all the plans and reservations as everything over the 10 day trip went perfectly as planned. The hotels, especially Ashford Castle and Adare Manor in Ireland were unbelievable as well as the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Although everything we did was wonderful, I would say the Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abby were our two favorites.
We also adored our chauffeur (Jerry) and would strongly recommend him to everyone and would also strongly recommend that if you are thinking of renting a car and driving yourselves, don't, hire a chauffeur. We drove through the countryside of Ireland 5 days with Jerry and by the end of the first day we felt we were driving with an old friend and not just a hired chauffer, which added to the experience.
By the end of the second day we were sharing pictures of our grandkids. It also was great having him as our guide as he knew every road in the country, knew the best places to go, and the best places to stop for lunch every day. My wife and I also found that we had more pictures of the two of us together on this trip than any other trip as Jerry was not only the driver, tour guide, but a great photographer.
All in all it was a wonderful trip thanks to Authentic Ireland, Rebecca, and Jerry – thanks again.
Most of our dreams came true
My husband had been waiting for almost 60 years to visit Ireland and he finally made it. We found the people, the landscape, the pubs...Oh heck, might as well say that everywhere we went and everyone we met was just wonderful and breathtaking. The only problem we encountered was with the rooms assigned to us at the B&B's. I had specifically called Authentic Ireland to inform them that my husband had a handicap and it was difficult for him to walk at times. I was told this would not be a problem. I'm not sure what they consider a problem, but we very much considered it a problem when every room assigned to us, except for one, was on the second or third floor. With no elevator, or lift, and no one to help us, it was extremely difficult and very painful for my husband. Either the information was not conveyed to the B&B's, or it was just ignored. The hotels, of course, did have a lift. Other than that, everything was perfect.
We had the most perfect vacation and the chauffeur (Dermot O'Brien) was awesome. Everywhere we went was exciting and beautiful and the hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and castle were just like we pictured. They were beautiful and clean and the people were friendly and personal and charming. This vacation is one for the records. We want to go back again. Thanks Rebecca for making this vacation so perfect. God Bless Ireland and the wonderful people there.
We absolutely loved our trip. Aisling did a great job. We loved the Abbeyglenn Castle. Our driver/tourguide, James was fantastic! Thanks!
Anna & Shawn