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Kilronan Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
One of only a few budget options available on the fantastic Aran Islands, Kilronan Hostel makes a good base for exploring Inishmore (the big island). Close to everything you need (bike rental, restaurants and pubs, a supermarket), comfortable (though somewhat cold), and laid back, here you can relax and let yourself slow down and enjoy being on island time.

The Location

All of the ferries coming from Galway and anywhere else on mainland Ireland land at the same dock in Kilronan. The hostel is about a two-minute walk (including the length of the dock) from the landing, and you can see the docks from inside the hostel. It is the third or fourth building you see as you start walking toward the town. Kilronan is tiny, so although the hostel is located right next to the docks, it is basically also in the center of town, and everything is within a five-minute walk. Kilronan is basically "the town" on Inishmore and therefore the largest town on the Aran Islands. That said, you can walk from end to end in ten minutes or less.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorm rooms are comfortable, if a little cramped. Most have six to eight beds, the mattresses are somewhat better than is the standard in Irish hostels, and they provide clean sheets and a comforter for the beds, although when the heat turns off in the middle of the night it may not be enough to keep warm in an Irish winter. Most rooms have ensuite shower, sink, and toilet. Again, the spaces are very small and cramped, but the showers have hot water (though not a lot -- if several people in a row take showers you run the risk of getting a cold one), and the bathrooms have soap trays, hand soap, and hooks. Many rooms have a view of the harbour, and you can hear the waves from your bed.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is incredibly well stocked here, with lots of nice utensils and equipment -- just about everything you can imagine (including two working ovens), and everything is in great condition. A lot of the space however seems to be taken up with the staff's stuff. This is also true for most areas of the hostel -- the staff (most of whom are backpackers themselves there for a few months stay) tend to make themselves at home in all the common areas and spread their stuff out everywhere. Depending on the staff in question, this can be intimidating as you feel like you're invading on their space or going where you're not supposed to go. Though the overall impression is that the team of backpacker staff is only doing the minimum required in order to get paid, there are also usually some very welcoming types who try to make you feel at home.

The lounge/TV room is small but warm and cozy, with an extensive DVD collection and a fairly large book exchange shelf -- greatly appreciated on the cold rainy days that are so common here! There are comfy couches, chairs, and bean bags; a coffee table; nice atmospheric lighting; and lots of cushions. There is a computer with free internet but the wait is usually long, even in the off season. The lounge room, by far the warmest place in the hostel, is usually full of people. This makes it a great place to get to know your fellow guests (and the staff), but the room can only comfortably hold about six to eight people.

Summary

Overall, the Kilronan Hostel provides a more than adequate place to stay when exploring Inishmore and the Aran Islands. Breakfast is provided (cereal, toast, coffee, and tea) but don't put too much faith in the times they tell you -- everything here runs on an approximate time, meaning things will maybe happen within an hour or so of when they are scheduled to happen. Fortunately this extends to the guests, and although signs might have you believe differently, checkout times are more of a suggestion, and nobody gets too worked up if you're not out of your room by 10 a.m. Guests are also allowed to use the hostel facilities after checkout until their ferry leaves, which is very important given the unpredictable whether and the tininess of the town. Free coffee and tea are also available at all hours to warm you up.

by Cam
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
February 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Kilronan Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
93%
93%
96%
99%
92%
90%
Hostels.com  
91%
90%
96%
100%
83%
90%
Gomio  
89%
89%
96%
88%
88%
85%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
91%
90%
94%
98%
87%
89%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Great place, friendly staff My friend and I stayed at Kilronan Hostel for one night only (4 bed, female only dorm.) and had a great time. The place if great value; staff are very friendly, helpful and are happy to fill you in with possible activities and places to see while on Inishmore (make sure to see The Black Fort just before sundown, 30 mins walk from Kilronan Hostel; then dine at Joe Watts Pub, where they serve great Guinness too and often have live, trad. music). We discovered Inishmore cycling and enjoyed it to the max. Zip up your best raincoat and don't let occasional showers discourage you -- it's well worth the effort! Also, make sure you stop by at Teach Nan Phaidí Café on your way back from Dún Angus, where they serve one of the best soup & scones I've tasted in Ireland in the past 9 years.  , age 31, France ()
4   Great location, nice friendly staff. Overall, we were really happy with our stay at Kilronan. The staff were friendly and helpful. The room was small for 4 but it was fine. The breakfast area was great -- plenty of room and plenty of space for storing food and cooking your own. There's a nice area for seating outside the breakfast room which is really handy. The only advice I'd give would be to give the entrance hall & walls leading up the stairs a good clean as they seemed a bit neglected compared to the cleanliness of the rooms. Great stay overall!  , age 30, Irish ()
5   I was very happy with my 3 nights stay & would recommend staying there It was very easy to find! A bit of a hike to the main door as the Hostel is situated on a hill! Great view from my room. The place was in need of a lick of paint but that's only a minor detail! The bed was comfortable and clean, always loads of hot water!! Plenty of facilities for cooking and breakfast was more than sufficent! It's a shame you have to go outside to get to the kitchen but it wasn't a big deal!The staff were very friendly and helpful! The Hostel has a detailed map of the Island which is very useful. Hiring a bike through the Hostel is a great facility to have and the use of their towels for free was great! Great to have a reading light on each bedside! Food is safely stored and it's great to have tea and coffee making facilities all day! It rained during my stay on the island bt it didn't ruin my holiday! Great sitting room to relax in and watch TV! Overall a pleasant stay! Thanks everyone for making it possible!!  , age 42, Ireland ()
5   Hostel was lovely Enjoyed our stay -- hostel was very clean, staff were friendly, all the facilities we needed were there. I definitely would recommend you stay there when you go to the island and if we go back we would definitely stay there again.  , age 27, Ireland ()
5   Great reception, good base for the exploration of the island great reception, good base for the exploration of the island. the manager Mark is a perfect (also for the nighttime life) guide; cheap, romantic position on the harbour; good common spaces (perfect the room TV and internet); always open, clean and with great atmosphere.  , italy ()
5  My girlfriend and I planned to stay one night in this hostel and then move on, we ended up staying for four days! enough said -- I will go again!  , United States ()
5  This hostel is just "savage." Verry cool and nice staff, great atmosphere, just brilliant -- and the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen in a hostel.  ()
5  It's good, but not as good as Claddagh Hostel. Its cheaper too. And all travelers know that is quite good!  ()
Kilronan Hostel Reviews from the Web

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