This hotel is trendy, beautiful, and affordable. I booked a "Superroom" and luckily got a corner room with stunning views! The room had a record player, beautiful art, a fully stocked mini fridge with - YES, FREE LIQUOR (you just pay for the tonic, etc.) - and all the snacks/espresso/amazing amenities. The upstairs restaurant is called Sophie's and is a cool, tasteful, dimly lit rooftop restaurant + bar that was crowded on a Friday night. I had some delicious seabass and people-watched for a bit. This was the perfect ending to my trip, even though I wasn't quite feeling 100% yet. For my Austin friends, I compare The Dean to a mix of Native Hostel & Hotel Van Zandt -- just plain cool, great design & branding, and perfect for young professionals like myself.
Day 8 + Wrapping Up
I headed back to the airport, dropped off the rental car (I almost miss driving on the left side now that I'm back in America!) and took off back to JFK.
Overall, I would say this was one of the best, most beautiful trips I've ever been on. The people I met, the experiences I had, and the beauty I saw were all much more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. I still pause to remember the salty wind on my face standing alone with no one in sight, and just instantly feel at peace.
Ireland is somewhere I will come back to explore more. But this ~7 day trip was a pretty perfect way to see a large part of the country with a limited budget and vacation time.
I would recommend, if you have the time, spend at least one more night somewhere along the Dingle Peninsula or the Ring of Kerry. That area is so gorgeous and I wish I could have stayed and explored (and hiked!) more around the area. Splitting up your driving with another person or by staying two nights in a couple locations would also be recommended because 2-3 hours of driving every day like I did is definitely doable, but gets a little tiring.
Thanks so much for following along and I hope you enjoyed reading all of my itinerary (if you made it this far, wow, you rock and obviously want to go to Ireland bad enough that you should just book a ticket right now)!
Now...onto Paris and London in March!!! *WHAT IS MY LIFE?!*