If you want to be in the heart of Slane, then the Conyngham Arms Hotel is a wonderful choice. Very near the center of town, the hotel is perfect for anyone getting on or off the bus—it’s just a few blocks away. The hotel is very up-to-date with luxurious bedding, ample towels, local Irish products, like Irish-made soaps and lotions. Its clean and tidy rooms are tastefully decorated, as well as light and airy. The staff is warm and friendly and greatly helpful if you need anything. You also get to keep your key the whole of your stay. I like that, some people may prefer to hand their key in, which I’m sure they will accommodate, but it’s not a requirement—something that I’ve found is a requirement in other hotels. Prices are reasonable, much cheaper than Dublin and it can be found on Priceline and other major booking sites.
Breakfast is wonderful, make sure you make time for it, or you’ll be disappointed. Anything you can imagine can be made or is laid out waiting for you in the hotels spacious and intimate dinning room. A chef is on hand to make hots breakfasts, which you can order directly. The continental spread is of mammoth proportions and self-served. Someone will be along to serve you tea or coffee, or any number of other things. I always try to make it to breakfast, for two reasons. No matter where the day takes me, having a large breakfast allows me to be flexible about my other meals of the day. Sometimes, if I know it will be a while until I can eat again, I’ll take fruit, yogurt or toast and cheese with me. It’s a great way to start, it can warm you up, and I figure with all the walking it’s not going to break the bank. I don’t normally eat that way, so why not on vacation. And often, for me, it saves stopping…and buying.
The second reason is that you can overhear the most interesting conversations and the most glorious accents that you’ll never hear on television. In Slane, at that very hotel I two hired farmhands talked all about the sheep they were working with for the week. They went on to talk about the appalling weather, for which I was quite surprised they would think the weather was bad. I thought it wasn’t great, but to hear them say it made me think I was doing quite well in it. You can catch bits of information about where the best places are to visit, because, for the most part, the other guests are traveling as well.
Another bed and breakfast is just down a little lane in Slane; it’s called Boyne House Slane. It is an impeccably kept Georgian house decorated in magazine-spread fashion. Further up from Slane, is The Old Mill Slane, an eye-watering Georgian mansion superbly decorated. It also has glamping options, which I’m still on the fence about that idea. The prices are a little higher, but nothing too shocking, just mildly shocking, unless you need to book at peak times.
One of the cheeriest and most exciting (to me) places to stay is the Slane Farm Hostel, which is just on the other side of Slane Castle. I almost thought about walking there from the bus stop in Slane to stay, but thought better of it because of the traffic. You would need a car for this stop, but it’s reasonably priced, fun and low-key. They also have cottages and camping, if you’re not keen on hostels, although there is a hierarchy in the hostel world and this is defiantly a nice one. If you are a farm enthusiast this is the place to be. If you love country walks, this is also the place to be. The farm has a dairy herd, sheep and chickens. There are several walks around the farm on offer. It’s a place to really get to know Ireland and its people.