Dunlavin House (http://www.dunlavin-house.com) is a very comfortable Irish B&B in Miltown, a couple minutes out of Dingle in County Kerry. Proprietor Denise Kane has seen to every detail ensuring your stay is comfortably homelike, with an emphasis on fine Irish hospitality.
When you think of an Irish B&B, you might envision an historic, traditional home. We sure did. Because our Irish tour booking options were defined as those with a four star or above rating who participated in B&B Ireland, Dunlavin House was the pre-eminent choice in the Dingle area. Even so, I hesitated to book because the house looked “new.” I’m glad I went ahead.
We couldn’t have been more delighted. The house is quite new, and has a suburban-like feel, but it’s warm and comfortable. Even more important, our double ensuite room had an enchanting view of the sea. We awakened to a mesmerizing view, which changed every few minutes as clouds raced past and sunlight peeked through.
Denise gives a very warm welcome. Even though she was out when we arrived, the only other guests that evening turned out to be a friendly couple from the Washington, D.C. area who were traveling on a similar package to ours. We chatted amiably, went upstairs and inspected the available rooms, and inferred that Denise intended us to stay in a front dormer room with a view of the sea. She confirmed we were right when she arrived shortly thereafter. Denise has a sparkling personality, her children are delightful, and the dog, Darcy – a black and tan Cavalier King Charles spaniel, is an understandably happy hound.
After our harrowing drive on narrow mountain roads punctuated by white-knuckling encounters with oncoming locals, we took Denise’s recommendation to get dinner and drinks at John Benny Moriarty’s pub, a two minute drive into town from Dunlavin House. She knew just what we needed and we got exactly that at Moriarty’s.
It was at Moriarty’s that I ordered (and will never forget) a staple Irish dinner consisting of bacon loin on cabbage with mash and root vegetables. The rich cream sauce made this comfort food of the first order. Pete had traditional Irish stew, another excellent choice. Our bartender had to be Frank McCourt’s twin, separated at birth. As a doppelganger, his winsome personality made up for the aftereffects of my adrenaline rush from the highway. After several cocktails, we scribbled an Aloha message with a Sharpie on an American dollar bill and pasted it to the wall according to tradition.
Back at Dunlavin House, we settled into our comfortable room, replete with embroidered linens, ample space to spread out, and wonder of wonders, heated tile in the ensuite bath! In the morning, Denise cooked us a traditional Irish breakfast: bacon, sausages, eggs, white pudding, black pudding, toast and tomato, served in the conservatory with sea and garden views. We enjoyed visiting with our new American friends before we headed out to Slea Head.
If you’re planning a visit to Dingle, you’d do very well to book your stay at Dunlavin House. You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome with all the homey comforts you might imagine, well out of the tourist activity on Dingle’s Main Street, and convenient to Slea Head and the scenic Dingle Peninsula.