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  • Moy House (County Clare; tel. 065/708-2800; www.moyhouse.com): This unusual 19th-century tower house atop a hill overlooking the sea is beautiful inside and out. Rooms have comfortable, modern beds covered in crisp Irish linens, and are decorated with original paintings and period antiques. Bathrooms are beautifully designed to combine modern conveniences with the building's old architecture (a glass panel in one room provides a look down into an ancient well). Downstairs, the small, attractive dining room serves up excellent food and has a sea view. It's a snug, warm, friendly place to visit.
  • The Bervie (County Mayo; tel. 098/43114; www.bervieachill.com): Views really don't get any better than this -- right at the edge of the sea, overlooking the cliffs across the bay. This cozy retreat is an ideal place to stay for those exploring Ireland's wild west coast. Owners Elizabeth and John Barrett are charming hosts who greet you with fresh scones and will cook you a delightful dinner if you wish. The house is a former coast guard station -- as solid as a rock, and as comforting as a security blanket.
  • Temple House (County Sligo; tel. 071/918-3329; www.templehouse.ie): Not a hotel, yet not quite like any other B&B we've stayed in, Roderick and Helena Perceval's grand manor house is an extraordinary place where ceilings soar to the stratosphere, marble stays solidly underfoot, and the family's working farm stretches out for miles around you. A Templar castle lies in ruins on the banks of their lake. They offer amazing breakfasts, and will cook you a wonderful dinner. You can explore their pond, boat on their lake, and experience a bit of their country idyll. To spend a few days here is to experience a different world.
  • Iskeroon (County Kerry; tel. 066/947-5119; www.iskeroon.com): This charming place sits amid an arrestingly beautiful natural setting, overlooking the sailboats of Derrynane Harbour and the Skelligs beyond. Inside, the 1930s building has been done in fresh Cape Cod style with locally made furniture and linens. It's now self-catering, but they'll bring you the supplies for a fresh, delicious breakfast.
  • Waterloo House (Dublin; tel. 01/660-1888; www.waterloohouse.ie): A classy guesthouse at the edge of central Dublin, Waterloo House has a lovely Georgian look, with a comfortable sunny drawing room where you can read the papers and fluffy white comforters on the bed in your room. A quiet, peaceful option.

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.