- The Bastion (County Westmeath; tel. 090/649-4954; www.thebastion.net): This simple and peaceful guesthouse in the heart of colorful Athlone is a find. Run by brothers Vinny and Anthony McCay, it has a minimalist approach, with clean white walls and crisp white linens contrasted with dark polished wood. The big, rambling house is comfortable, friendly, and perfectly located for touring Athlone, or as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside.
- Devondell (County Galway; tel. 091/528306): Definitely one of The Best value places to stay in Galway Town, this elegant little B&B sits in an upscale residential district a short stroll from the sea. Breakfasts here are something else.
- The Shores (County Kerry; tel. 066/713-9196): It's not often you find a place with a private beach for under €100 per night. Views of Tralee Bay from this guesthouse are stunning, especially on a sunny day. Bedrooms are comfortable and well designed, and the breakfast menu will give you a good start to your day.
- Glencairn Inn (County Waterford; tel. 058/56232; www.glencairninn.com): A cozy farmhouse with a charming country-chic decor, this is a lovely option where rooms are the color of buttermilk, beds are iron or brass, and bathrooms have big, claw-foot tubs. The French owners also run the outstanding Pastis Bistro, where dinners are an event.
- Wicklow Way Lodge (County Wicklow; tel. 01/281-8489): Set on a peaceful farm with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, this is one of those places that you can't quite believe you've found for the money. Hosts Seamus and Marilyn Kinlan could hardly make their guests feel more welcome.
- Tara Lodge (Belfast; tel. 028/9059-0900): This stylish, comfortable little boutique hotel is an excellent find in Belfast, a city not known for the quality of its budget accommodations. Rooms are comfortable and well designed. Try the homemade porridge at breakfast -- it's practically legendary.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.