Europe

Doll’s Cottage B&B: The Best B&B in Doolin, Ireland

When we were planning our trip to Ireland, I had one thing I absolutely had to do while we were there and that was to see the Cliffs of Moher. I knew if I got to do that, I wouldn’t care however else we spent our time, so I began searching for accommodations in the general vicinity of the cliffs. That’s when I stumbled on Doolin, a small coastal village just a short drive away (or a walk, if you’re fit) from the cliffs. Besides offering quite a few B&B’s to choose from, Doolin was also the prettiest of all the towns I looked at near the cliffs, so I knew I’d found the right place for us to stay!

Then the task became choosing where to stay in Doolin for three nights. Normally, I look at between 20-30 hotels and B&B’s when I’m trip planning – this time I researched less than 10. I stopped looking as soon as I came across Doll’s Cottage B&B. Such a charming name immediately brought to my mind an image of a child’s dollhouse with lots of flowers and lace curtains. And in reality, I wasn’t too far off the mark.

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll’s Cottage B&B

Tucked away down a side road off of Fisher Street, Doll’s Cottage B&B is an attractive, pink two-story home, not altogether different from the vision I had in my mind. The cottage is named after Doll O’Connor, mother of the owner, Sean O’Connor. Sean and his wife Niamh live in and run the B&B here in County Clare. They made us feel right at home from the moment we first arrived.

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Our Room at Doll’s Cottage B&B

Sean took us upstairs to the top floor where room #3 awaited us – a bright, comfortably decorated room with a view of the Irish countryside from the window. Barn-style doors and ceiling planks gave the space a homey, farmhouse feel. Photographs and prints covering the walls in our room and down the hall were like a museum of Doolin’s history, one that Sean’s family has played a part in for a very long time. After making sure we had everything we needed and giving us a few tips for dinner, Sean left us to get settled in.

Cory and I shared a double bed, with Lexie sleeping on a twin in the same room. While the room was small, due to how well everything was arranged in the space, we never felt cramped. It was also very quiet – almost too quiet for me, actually. I need a little noise to fall asleep, so Sean and Niamh were kind enough to lend me their fan to run during the night. (Kinder folks you’re unlikely to find, I tell you!)

Our bathroom was tiny, only large enough for one person to use at a time, but it was very clean. The skylight allowed in plenty of natural light. No toiletries were provided – not a big deal if you’re used to bringing your own – but since we were flying Ryanair and I couldn’t pack my shampoo in my carry-on, I spent the duration of our trip with some awfully dirty hair.

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Breakfast at Doll’s Cottage B&B

Our room was lovely, but the best part about staying at Doll’s Cottage B&B was our morning breakfast. Sean is a chef and it showed in how he prepared our food every morning – everything cooked to perfection and delivered with beautiful presentation. Cory’s order was always the full Irish breakfast – Irish bacon, sausages, mushrooms, potatoes, a fried egg, tomatoes, black pudding, and white pudding. I wake up hungry, but not that hungry so I typically chose a lighter option – smoked salmon with a bagel and cream cheese.

Each morning we had two other guests join us for breakfast, and ironically, they were all Americans as well. The couple from our first morning were artists from Connecticut – a painter and a photographer. Our second and third morning we were joined by a friendly pair of cousins from North Carolina. It seemed that the majority of tourists we met outside of the B&B were from America as well – a puzzling, yet welcome discovery since we hardly have any contact with Americans in London.

While we filled our bellies, Sean would sit with us and share stories from the past, both his own and that of his parents. Sean being an excellent storyteller and myself having no stories in my repertoire that could even compare, I was content to simply sit and listen. Breakfast entertainment at its best! An added bonus was getting a kiss every morning from Johnny Depp Jr., the resident food scrap eater and belly rub lover at Doll’s Cottage.

Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

Things to Know

Rooms at Doll’s Cottage B&B include free parking, breakfast, and WiFi. A small collection of books are also available to borrow. Televisions are not provided in guest rooms, but one is available in the breakfast room for guest use. (Although, if you’re coming to Ireland to watch TV, I believe you may not be making the best use of your time.)

The O’Connor’s are an excellent source of information about what to do in the area. Without their help, we wouldn’t have had a clue what to see in the Burren, and probably would have completely missed out on Hag’s Head. Over half of what we saw in County Clare came at their recommendation. If you’re staying at Doll’s Cottage B&B, don’t hesitate to ask for advice!

When we said goodbye to Sean and Niamh after three days, we were sent on our way with big hugs and kisses, and I felt like we were parting with dear friends. Friends who stood at the window and waved to us as our car disappeared from view, no less. Our hosts were a perfect example of the warm, caring nature that was so graciously shown to us by everyone we met in Ireland. That kind of friendly reception is exactly why I can’t wait to return to this part of the country some day!

Doll’s Cottage B&B: Check Rates & Availability
Address: Fisher Street, Doolin, County Clare

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Doll's Cottage B&B: The Best B&B In Doolin, Ireland

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  • Donna
    September 17, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Hi Sarah! It’s Donna! My cousin and I were at Doll’s while you and your family were there! What a lovely post and so true!! Hope you all are doing well! Tell Lexie that I just started production of a new play. My troupe is producing “Disney’s Little Mermaid”!

    • Sarah Shumate
      September 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Hi Donna! Of course I remember you guys! Its so wonderful to hear from you! How in the world did you find my blog? I don’t even remember mentioning that I wrote one! :)

      I will for sure let Lexie know – she’ll be jealous! After we returned from Ireland, Lexie was cast as Violet Beauregard in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at her school’s drama club. She did a wonderful job!

      • Donna
        September 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        hahaa…How awesome!! I bet she did a great job! Wish I could have seen it! I came across your blog on Doll’s FB page! It is really great! I don’t think you did mention it, but I am glad I ran across it! Your description and pictures took me back, just like I was there again! I am planning to spend 4 or 5 days in Dingle and Doolin next spring after I visit Scotland! Enjoyed reading about your other travels, as well! What a great way to share!! Hope to run into you all again somewhere beautiful!! Donna

        • Sarah Shumate
          September 21, 2014 at 8:03 PM

          I’m so jealous that you’ll be returning to Doolin next spring! Take me with you!! :) We actually plan on visiting the Scottish Highlands in the spring so maybe we’ll run into you! Wouldn’t that be bizarre?!

          • Donna
            September 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

            It would be awesome and too funny!!! I can’t wait to go to Scotland. My 5xggrandfather was a Scottish Privateer – McRae and was dropped off down below Hatteras Island, here on the Outer Banks of NC by England! You guys need to plan a trip to the Outer Banks..Ocracoke, Hatteras and the surrounding area! It’s very “Western Ireland-esque”! Look forward to reading your posts!

  • Emmymom
    May 2, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Cory’s breakfast looks so so good! Seriously I want it now! Yum! Sounds like an absolutely wonderful place to stay

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee
    May 1, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    We had a similar experience when we went to Niagara on the lake. The lady we stayed with was so lovely! It makes me want to stay in bed and breakfasts all the time now.

  • Liz
    May 1, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Beautiful! I think that’s exactly where I’d want to stay. And yay for a private bath! Jeremy and I stayed in a B&B here in Oregon once, and only one of the many rooms had its own private bath. All the others were shared. I like my OWN bath ;) Love that sweet Johnny Depp Jr. <3

  • Stacie Stamper
    May 1, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    That place looks so charming and the food looks delicious. I have never stayed at a B&B, we need to!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    May 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    What a cute little place!! Don’t you just love Doolin?! So quaint and charming! I believe the Irish to be the friendliest people, ever!! =) So glad you guys had a great time!

    • Sarah Shumate
      May 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      I agree with you there – I’ve never met such friendly and hospitable people as we did in Ireland and I’m from the southern US! That’s practically what we’re known for! :)

  • DorothyKHolt
    May 1, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Not a fan of the exterior, but the interior, the dog, the view, the food…. its like a dream. so beautiful.. i need to go to ireland

  • Margo @ The Overseas Escape
    May 1, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    What a wonderful stay! I’m going to pocket this recommendation for when we visit the area. :)

  • rorybore
    May 1, 2014 at 3:15 AM

    This is exactly what I picture in my head if I was fantasizing about visiting Ireland. A cozy and quaint B&B with warm hospitality, amazing views and even the adorable 4 footed welcoming companion!
    so beautiful. I do hope you go back soon so we can enjoy the sights again!
    How I’d love to hear some of them stories too.

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    April 30, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Such a nice place. Sean sounds like a champ. I stayed in a B&B in Northern Ireland and it was so cozy!

  • Katrin
    April 30, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    I think I just fell in love with Johnny Depp Jr.! So adorable! And what a cute little place to stay! If I ever travel there I will definitely stay there too. The owners sound so friendly and I love your view from the window!