Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites Shortlist*

Ruairí and Marie-Thérèse de Blacam’s ‘stunning’ stone-and-glass restaurant-with-suites blends into the landscape, allowing majestic views to Galway Bay and the Connemara mountains. More

Contact details

Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites
Inis Meáin
Co. Galway
Ireland
00 353 86 826 6026
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Good Hotel Guide Review

Ruairí and Marie-Thérèse de Blacam’s ‘stunning’ stone-and-glass restaurant-with-suites blends into the landscape, allowing majestic views to Galway Bay and the Connemara mountains. On the most remote of the Aran Islands (a stronghold of Irish culture), the enterprise is deeply rooted in sustainable practice. Ruairí de Blacam cooks four-course dinners based on a philosophy of elemental eating, using hyper-local ingredients, including currach-caught lobster and crab from the bay and garden-fresh vegetables. Minimalist suites have a Scandinavian feel: muted colours, wooden floors, hand-designed furnishings; each has a large bed, living space, vast windows, an outdoor seating area. Escape: island explorers are provided with a hotpot lunch, maps and nature guides, bicycles, fishing rods, walking sticks and swimming towels. A breakfast box is delivered to the suite. This is as far from sliced supermarket toast as it gets: expect freshly baked breads, Irish yogurt, cured meat and fish, boiled eggs, soft cheese, and a sweet for elevenses. Restaurant/lounge (dinner served at 8 pm; closed Sun nights). Free Wi-Fi. No background music. 3-acre grounds. Children: number limited, and by arrangement. 45-min. ferry from Ros a’ Mhíl; 7-min. flight from Connemara airport. 5 suites. Per suite B&B from €265 (including packed lunch, bicycles etc). Dinner €70. 2-night min. stay. Closed Oct–Mar.

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Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites
Inis Meáin
Co. Galway

Guest comments

'Of the three Aran Islands, the middle one - Inis Meain - is the quietest. Its atmosphere matches its remoteness. This is reflected in Inis Meain Restaurant and Suites, where the limestone pavement landscape and rugged island life is brought inside with rough stone walls and ceilings, timber floors and furniture, complemented by soft woollen throws, cushions, etc, from the island's knitting factory. The views from the suites - which have well-stocked fridge, books of the islands, fishing rods and bicycles, but no TV or radio - are across Galway Bay and over the mountains of Connemara. Island life, such a wandering donkey, an old woman building a dry-stone wall, cows being herded down a lane, is the view in the foreground. A breakfast of home baked scones and brown soda bread, freshly laid eggs, salamis, fresh fruit, yogurts, etc, is delivered to the suite. Packed lunches are available (best one I've ever had), and the fantastic 20-seater restaurant is open for dinner. The food is superb, local seafood and produce feature strongly, including home-grown vegetables and the most delicious potatoes I've tasted. The lobster is unparalleled. The stunning building blends into the stone fields of the island. Marie-Therese and Ruairi - front of house and chef respectively - emanate a gentle warm welcome, a generosity of spirit and a deep understanding of the unique environment and history of the island. ' - Sarah Goddard - May, 2009

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Tourist attractions

  • Stone Forts

    Short hikes up pre-christian forts with magnificent views

  • Karst landscape

    Explore cliff walks, rock formations and grey sand beaches created during the ice-age

  • Culture

    Observe old island traditions in fishing, farming, language and literature