After last minute changes of plans, I needed to find a B&B quickly in Galway the day before we were due to arrive. Almara was one of only two places that could accomodate us at reasonable rates.
Upon arrival we were surprised to notice just how far out of the town centre we were, relatively speaking. Maps suggest that the B&B is within the town centre but the reality is it's a good 15 minute bus ride away. This wasn't a problem, the bus stop is not even 5 minutes walk away and the bus services were frequent, even on a Sunday, but it did catch us out initially. Location wise, unless you are desperate to be right in the centre of Galway, it's fine. Approx 1 euro each bus fare to go into town, and we paid between 8 and 10 euro to get back after dinner/drinks each night on taxis.
The accomodation is very clean and perfect sized for a couple with individual en suites for each room. Shower was slightly underpowered, I'm guessing because the water pressure for what is basically a large, family home is being redirected to a number of ensuites added after the fact perhaps. Our biggest complaint however was the bed and it was almost certainly to do with personal preference - our bed was one of the cheaper memory foam matresses (or it certainly felt like it!), but was too hard for us and both myself and I suffered from relatively poor sleep because of it. Not enough to ruin the trip and I'm certain this wouldn't bother others at all, but still was a disappointment.
Our hosts were very nice, friendly and helpful, giving advice on how to get into town, what to expect etc. as well as advice on our planned trip to Connemara. Breakfasts, which form a large part of any B&B experience, were good though not as spectacular as some tripadvisor reviews made out. Portion sizes were quite a lot smaller than I expected - for example, the sausaage with sweet chilli option is literally just that. I had expected a number of sausages, perhaps some egg, but a small bowl of chilli and three chipolata sausages was all I got. Tasty, but small. Other dishes were a little larger and you can fill yourself up on their toast if needed, but I was expecting more on this front.
Overall, it was a very good B&B and it's really only a couple of niggles, some unique to myself and my wife, that would stop me giving this place the full 5 stars. We realised after the fact that rather than feeling like a regular B&B it was like staying with grandparents which I think is testament to the care & attention our hosts put into it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This is an elegant AA 4 star family residence. Guide du Routard, National Geographic, Arthur Frommers, and The Italian Touring Guide recommended. Contemporary Rooms with complimentary WI-FI, Fridge, Hospitality Tray, Mineral Water, Hairdryer and choice from our Extensive Breakfast Menu. Located in the city suburbs just 5 minutes drive from the City Centre. Tours to The Cliffs of Moher and Connemara can be organized and you are collected from our Home. ... more less
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