best places to stay on the wild atlantic way

Wild Atlantic Way Hotels Perfect for an Irish Getaway in 2024

From Cork to Donegal, cottages to luxury hotels, I’ve got Wild Atlantic Way hotels and self catering options to ensure a memorable stay.

Hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal

Donegal is not only the starting point for the Wild Atlantic Way, but it is also the county with the longest coastline in Ireland. It is home to some of Ireland’s best beaches, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe – The Slieve League Cliffs and Ireland’s second-largest National Park, Glenveagh National Park.

It is difficult to choose just one beach hotel in Donegal, as there are several great places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way. The Sandhouse Hotel and Shandon Hotel & Spa enjoy a fabulous beach location, Lough Eske offers the ultimate 5-star experience, while Portsalon is a great choice for glamping on the Wild Atlantic Way.

1. Shandon Beach Hotel & Spa 

beach at shandon beach hotel, one of the best Wild Atlantic Way Hotels

The Shandon Hotel is one of the best beach hotels in Ireland, overlooks the beautiful Sheephaven Bay and is within walking distance of the beach. This reasonably new Donegal Hotel (opened in 2016) boasts sea views from almost every bedroom. The outdoor Canadian hot-tub is a firm favourite with guests and also boasts stunning sea views. 

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2. Sandhouse Hotel

Sandhouse-Hotel on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa overlooks Donegal Bay and the beautiful Rossnowlagh Beach. With award-winning cuisine and a marine spa that specialises in Irish-sourced organic seaweed (Voya), this offers a relaxing escape on the Wild Atlantic Way off peak, while the summer months attract families and surfers looking for an active holiday.

This hotel does not have a swimming pool, but with this stunning beach on your doorstep, I doubt you will miss it!

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3. Lough Eske Castle

Lough Eske Castle - a luxury hotel on the wild atlantic way

Lough Eske Castle is one of Ireland’s most romantic hotels. Dating back to the 15th century and set within 43 acres of native woodland on the shores of Lough Eske, it certainly has the wow factor. It blends its historic past with modern luxury beautifully and has a luxury spa with a swimming pool for the ultimate relaxing break.

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4. Airbnb with private beach on Wild Atlantic Way

airbnb on wild atlantic way, Donegal

If you are in search for an Airbnb by the beach in Ireland, then this Donegal stone cottage definitely fits the bill. Located on its own private beach, surrounded by seven acres of land, it is surely one of the most secluded beachfront Airbnbs on the Wild Atlantic Way  – the public can only access this beach via a boat.

The cottage is over 100 years old, and retains its original thatch, overlaid with a modern roof. It is now equipped with all mod cons, even Netflix, if you fancy a cosy night in.  With two large bedrooms, it is ideal for a family or group of friends and you can even bring your pet along with you.

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5. Portsalon campsite and glamping 

glamping in donegal ireland

Ireland has some incredible glamping spots and Portsalon is no exception. Home to five luxurious yurts, with king sized beds, wood burning stoves and carpeted floors.

The outdoor decking comes with a hammock, firepit and barbecue area, as well as stunning sea views over one of Donegal’s best beaches. Communal bathrooms and kitchen facilities are available beside the yurts and there is  24-hour complimentary wifi available.

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Hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way in Sligo & Leitrim

As well as a rugged coastline and stunning beaches, Sligo is also home to the iconic flat-topped Benbulben mountain. Ireland’s answer to Table Mountain dominates the landscape and is visible throughout the west of the county.

Don’t miss Drumcliffe Church too, the final resting place of WB Yeates which is located at its foothills.

Photo by Andreas Brunn, Unsplash.

Mullaghmore Head is one of Ireland’s best surfing locations, and Coney Island is another hidden gem that shouldn’t be overlooked – you can drive or walk across the 5km causeway from Rosses Point, if you are there at low tide.

1. Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone, Sligo

beach at Diamond Coast Hotel, Donegal

The Blue Flag Enniscrone beach is renowned as one of the safest beaches on Ireland’s west coast. Its golden sand stretches for 5km, making it popular with families and water sports enthusiasts.

The Diamond Coast Hotel is just a short walk from Enniscrone Beach and is very popular with couples and families. There is a choice of dining options and large rooms with kids facilities for families.

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2. Teapot Lane, Leitrim

tree house glamping in Leitrim, close to the Wild Atlantic Way

You may not be aware of this, but Leitrim has 2.4 miles of coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way. I have chosen Teapot Lane, as not only is it one of Ireland’s best glamping sites, but it is also just a short drive from the coast. In fact, Mullaghmore beach in Sligo is just a ten-minute drive away.

Teapot Lane offers a wide selection of accommodations including yurts, a vintage caravan, and even a treehouse. The treehouse boasts a king-sized bed, a wine fridge, and a swing chair to relax and enjoy the view.

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3.  3 bedroom Home on the Beach in Enniscrone

beach house in Sligo, one of the best Airbnbs on the Wild Atlantic Way
This three-bedroom beach house offers panoramic views of the beach, and the sun sets right in front of the living room.

Located in heart of Enniscrone, with direct access to the beach, the location couldn’t be better. The house is very well equipped, with two bikes, a surf board, body boards, buckets and spades and a fishing rod. 

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Wild Atlantic Way Accommodation in Mayo

There are so many wonderful things to do in Mayo, including riding along Mayo’s Great Western Greenway a 42km cycle track from Westport to Achill exploring Mayo’s beautiful coastline.

If you are feeling even more energetic you can climb the Holy mountain, Croagh Patrick.Many of you may know that I visited Mayo this summer, and I was blown away by its stunning beaches.

Don’t miss Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island, and home to some of the best beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way. The Erris Peninsula has some of Ireland’s best kept secrets, including Claggan Island. DownPatrick Head is also a must see.

1. Mulranny Park Hotel

Mulranny Park Hotel

The Mulranny Park Hotel boasts an idyllic location overlooking Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick Mountain, and also happens to be located on most scenic section of Great Western Greenway.

You can swim in the Blue Flag Mulranny Beach, cycle on the Greenway or enjoy the hotel’s indoor leisure centre. As well as standard and deluxe rooms, its also boasts two-bedroom apartment suites which are very popular with families.

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2. Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is one of the best hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way

Can you think of anything better than staying in a 13th century castle? I recall driving across the moat and seeing Ashford Castle for the first time – it was like being inside a fairytale. Awarded the accolade as a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, Ashford castle is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

As well as lavish interiors and a choice of dining options, you can enjoy a host of sporting activities or relax in the stunning spa.

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3. Belmullet Coastguard Station,  Claggan Island

unique places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way

I spotted these luxurious glamping pods recently and I can’t wait to see them first hand. They are located on Claggan Island – which was only officially declared an island in 1991. Claggan Island is about 12km from Belmullet and is linked to the mainland by a narrow, sandy causeway, and is surrounded by stunning beaches. 

The luxury Pods can sleep up to four adults and have a toilet and washbasin, with full access to the dedicated kitchen and shower area. Tents can be pitched beside the pods for additional €15 per day.

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4. Achill House Hotel

The best holiday homes beside the sea in Ireland

You only have to look at the image below to see the unobstructed views that lay in store if you stay at the Achill Atlantic House in Mayo. You will also have private access to Cloughmore Beach, which is just 50 meters away, Achill’s Atlantic Drive is just five minutes walk from the house and you can find your own ‘catch of the day’ at the local harbour.

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Galway Hotel Wild Atlantic Way

With one of Ireland’s most vibrant cities, a stunning coastline, and some of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, it is no surprise that Galway is one of the most popular places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kylemore Abbey is one of the top attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Connemara coast boasts stunning beaches, superb dining options, and is home to the fjord of Killary Harbour. Don’t miss the drive through Killary Harbour and Doolough Valley, which connects Galway to its neighbouring county, Mayo. Kylemore Abbey is another top attraction that shouldn’t be missed.

1. Connemara Sands Hotel

Hotels on the beach on the Wild Atlantic Way

With private access to the Blue Flag Mannin Bay beach, the Connemara Sands Hotel is one of the best beach hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way. With crystal clear waters, fine food, chic interiors and a Voya seaweed spa, it is not surprising that it has received excellent reviews on Tripadvisor.

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2. Glenlo Abbey Hotel

five star hotels on the wild atlantic way

Glenlo Abbey is located on an 138-acre estate on Lough Corrib, and has been welcoming guests since 1740. The on site facilities are impressive, and include Falconry, archery, fishing, golf, and the Abbey movie theatre.

However, the pièce de résistance is the Pullman Restaurant, which is two former carriages that once served on the Orient Express. Who needs overseas travel when you can dine in the Orient Express on the Wild Atlantic Way?

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3. Podumna Glamping Village – Best glamping in Galway

podumna glamping pods on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Podumna Glamping Village have a selection of pods, huts and cabins, some sleeping up to six people. All pods are fully insulated and come with bedding, heating, and a deck with barbecue, table and chairs.

If you wish to have a large family gathering or group event, you can hire the exclusive use of Podumna Village for your party.

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4. Folan’s Stone Cottage, Roundstone, Galway

airbnb beside the beach in galway

Folan’s Cottage is located just metres from a quiet sandy beach in Connemara. Rebuilt in 2010 from two ruined stone cottages, it is your picture perfect Irish hideaway. With three bedrooms, a large kitchen, underfloor heating throughout, and a south facing terrace with sea views, it is surely one of the best Airbnbs on the Wild Atlantic Way.

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Hotels West Coast of Ireland: Clare

The Cliffs of Moher is arguably one of the most iconic attractions on the Wild Altantic Way, but Clare is also home to the Loop Head Peninsula, which should not be overlooked.

 Cliffs of Moher

The stunning Bridges of Ross and the lively town of Kilkee are popular tourist spots, as are the beach towns of Spanish Point and Lahinch. The Burren and the traditional much town of Doolin are also unmissable if visiting Clare.

1. Armada Hotel, Spanish Point

best luxury hotels in Ireland and unique stays on the Wild Atlantic Way

With the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and the Burren on your doorstep, as well as the traditional Johnny Burke’s Irish pub on site, its no surprise that the Armada Hotel is one of Clare’s most popular hotels. I recommend booking a sea view room or suite, which offer stunning Wild Atlantic Way views.

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2. Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle is one of the best hotels in Ireland

Dromoland Castle has been welcoming guests since the 16th century. I stayed here many years ago with my husband and enjoyed a wonderful weekend. This luxurious five-star hotel is full of history, grandeur and romance – a royal stay is guaranteed. 

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Purecamping, Kilkee – Best Wild Atlantic Way Glamping

family glamping on the Wild Atlantic Way

Purecamping was my first experience of glamping in Ireland and I loved it. Located in Loop Head, just 7 kilometers from Kilkee, it has all the feels of a retreat, but with great amenities close by.

You can choose to stay in one of the 5-metre bell tents which sleep up to four people, complete with its own deck and fire pit, or one of their wooden cabins, some of which can accommodate families of six.

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 5. Modern apartment with sea views, Lahinch

luxury Airbnb on the Wild Atlantic Way

If you are looking for the holy grail of sea side holiday homes along the Wild Atlantic Way, look no further. This modern 2-bedroomed home has a 270 degree view of the sea, with stunning floor to ceiling windows overlooking Liscannor bay and the Cliffs of Moher.

The open plan living area has polished concrete floors and there is a rotating stove in the middle of the living area. This has to be one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland, and it is one that is firmly on my own Irish bucket list!

Read: Luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

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Kerry – The Best Hotels in the West of Ireland

‘The Kingdom’ as Kerry is widely known, is home to some of Ireland’s top attractions. Kilarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry Drive, and the Gap of Dunloe are just some of its must-sees, but its coastline which includes the Dingle Peninsula, Valentia Island and the colourful town of Kenmare are all great places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way

1. Dingle Skellig Hotel

The Dingle Skellig Hotel is superbly situated overlooking Dingle Bay. The hotel also has a leisure club, swimming pool, spa, and outdoor hot tub – so if you just want to relax, you can do that too! Rated excellent on TripAdvisor, this is one of the most popular places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

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2. Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare

luxury hotel deals in ireland

Sheen Falls Lodge enjoys an idyllic location overlooking Sheen Waterfalls, as well as being within walking distance to the picturesque town of Kenmare, and located on the Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way. A Relais & Chateaux Hotel, it boasts fine food and wine and a host of activities, as well as spa and indoor heated pool.

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3. Skellig Rest Cottage, Waterville

Skellig Michael, Kerry

Skellig Rest is a beautiful 100 year old cottage , that offers stunning views of the Skellig Rocks. Located between Waterville and Caherdaniel and just 5km from Derrynane beach, it is not surprising that it is listed as one of the top Airbnbs in Ireland.

The Kerry Way walking trail is at the end of the garden, and you can enjoy sunset views from your own private hot tub or garden hammock.

As well as superb facilities including a hot tub and sauna, you will find Skellig Rest equipped with robes and slippers, a telescope and binoculars, perfect for star gazing at Kerry’s International Dark Sky Reserve.

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4. The Hideaway at Dromquinna Manor

The Hideway at Dromquinna Manor

For couples looking for the ultimate luxurious retreat, The Hideaway is the place to go. You will be staying in a custom made African safari tent, over looking the lake on the grounds of Dromquinna Manor.

A delicious breakfast basket will be delivered to your tent every morning and you can enjoy dinner in The Boathouse in the evening. This is one of the most unique places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Read: My top picks for glamping in Ireland

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Wild Atlantic Way Hotels in Cork

Ireland’s largest county sure packs a few punches. As well as having a vibrant city, it is home to some of my favourite coastal towns in Ireland. West Cork has so much to offer, there are so many highlights, including colourful towns like Kinsale and Skibbereen as well as smaller villages like Baltimore and Glandore.

Don’t miss the Beara Peninsula drive, take the cable car to Dursey Island and cross the famous footbridge at Mizen Head.

1. Inchydoney Resort & Spa

hotels on the beach on the Wild Atlantic Way

The multi award-winning Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Hotel is located on a stunning Blue Flag beach which has been voted Ireland’s best beach by TripAdvisor for the last three years. I stayed here last year and I can understand why – the setting is stunning!

The spa boasts unique seawater therapies and it has been voted Ireland’s Leading Spa Resort at the World Travel Awards seven times! 

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However, it would be remiss of me not to give a special mention to Eccles Hotel in Glengarrif. This landmark hotel is located close to Garnish Island and Gougane Barra, two places that are unmissable if visiting the Wild Atlantic Way.

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2. Hayfield Manor – Luxury hotel in Cork

Hayfield Manor - one of Ireland's best hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way

The prestigious five-star Hayfield Manor hotel has all the charm of a country house, yet is located just a short stroll from Cork City, and a half hour drive from the Wild Atlantic Way. However, with two award-winning restaurants and the Beautique Spa with indoor heated pool, you may find it difficult to leave.

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3. Ballyvolane House – Best for glamping in Cork

Ballyvolane House

If you want to try a luxury glamping experience but are not too keen on cooking, then Ballyvolane House is the place to go. You will enjoy a full-service glamping experience, with all meals, drinks and afternoon tea provided in the main house, as well as a ‘glamping box’ provided with essentials.

There are different glamping options to choose from. The ‘glamping ark’ is ideal for couples, while bell tents sleep up to two adults and two children. 

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4. The Boathouse, Baltimore

The boat house airbnb

The Boat House location in West Cork is idyllic. This four-bedroomed house is one of ten properties on an island estate, reached by a stone bridge. It is ideal for a large family, or if there are a group of families or friends who wish to travel together, you can rent more of the properties on Inis Beg estate.

It is also located close to Baltimore and Skibbereen, so if you fancy a change of scene, you don’t have too far to go. You will also have access to an indoor heated swimming pool during your stay. 

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I hope this post on the best places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way will help you plan a trip to the west coast of Ireland soon.

These hotels and homes were researched independently. Some have links direct to the hotels websites, while others have my affiliate links attached to third party websites, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you. Read more in my privacy policy.

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