The Red Door
Searching for the right accommodations based on your holiday destination is never easy and searching for a house with 5 bedrooms in a small town makes it even harder. When I was asked if I could help to find a suitable place in Westport, County Mayo (West of Ireland) to house 9 people, I wasn't even sure if Airbnb business went that far and time was running out so I quickly fired up my laptop and started searching for days. To be honest, I basically typed in google search, "Holiday house for rent in Westport" and several websites listed quite a number of houses for rent but unfortunately, nothing came up for 5 bedrooms until I came across a website called HomeAway. It narrowed down a house not faraway from town (10 minutes drive) and it was close to Croagh Patrick, just 15 minutes away called "The Red Door" (click on the image to be directed to their website).
To my surprise, houses in Westport seems to have very distinctive door colors. Red, Blue, Purple you name it and I found it rather amusing as this was clearly something which helped people to find their way around. After booking has been completed, the owner Tracy Kiernan emailed us with clear instructions on how to locate the house and it went something like this "Just before this on your right you will see a sign for Cogaula Sheeaune, then turn into this road and follow the road around for approximately 1.5 miles past the little school on the right. Keep going for a little way. The Red Door is the 2nd house on your right". Literally, jokes aside, there was no house number and don't even bother trying to search this place in google map (Satellite) as nothing comes up clearly as well.
So fingers crossed, we could only hope that the place turns out to be as exactly as those beautiful pictures posted in HomeAway website. The day came, we arrived in Dublin as scheduled around 10-ish in the morning and once we got into our rented car, off we went driving towards the west side of Ireland. I must say, driving from the East to the West is fairly difficult as not all roads were highway style, most were merely just 2 lanes and because of this, there was no way you could speed. Quite often, I thought it would dangerous to drive continuously as one might just dozed off. Oh well, I slept most of the time during the car ride so luckily, I was not the driver for this entire road trip (laugh). We drove past hundred acres of farmland with numerous cows, sheeps and horses, is no wonder folks in Ireland are often deemed to be peaceful, friendly and calm all the time.
With occasional stopover for lunch, lavatory breaks and short family visits over at Castlebar (another nice quiet small town - where my fiance grandparents were born and raised), we finally reached our destination, Westport after 7 hours of driving from the East to the West of Ireland! As we were driving along the road, closer to The Red Door, my heart pumped faster than usual hoping that the house turns out alright. Finally, we found it and as the car was turning into the driveway, I felt so relieved. The house, The Red Door looked spectacular on outside (at least it looks like the photos we have seen so far in the internet). Tracy left us the key (secret hiding place) and we saw ourselves in fairly quickly after getting out of the car.
First impression when we all first walked in was "Oh my god", this place looks stunning! All rooms, you name it, living, dining, kitchen, bedrooms and even the patio outside were nicely decorated with exquisite furniture settings and unique displays of artwork and paintings. I must say, the owner Tracy did a great job in designing the layout and maintaining this house. She even provided us with coffee, tea and milk! Shortly after we have all chosen our rooms and sort of settled in slightly, Tracy managed to pop in to say hi while we were all drinking tea and ensuring we have what we need! Apparently, her father built this house and it was the house she grew up in.
There are a total of 5 bedrooms in this house and somehow, we the youngsters decided to occupy the upper floor (2 bedrooms on the 2nd floor) while the rest of the older folks stayed on the ground floor. My fiance and I picked the "Sun Room" (the first picture with the couch) and it was fantastic. Great bedding support, huge room space, a couch to sleep on just in case I was kicked out of bed (joke), dressing table, cabinet, TV, spacious bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.
Although we have only spent 2 nights there, it felt almost like home (never 100%). When you are 7,071 miles away from home (between Singapore - Ireland) on holiday, naturally you would look for a comfortable place to stay in and I believed I was fortunate to have found The Red Door randomly based on my wide google search. If you are traveling over to Westport anytime soon and need a place to house your family and friends, don't forget to look for "The Red Door". Highly recommended!
Planning a trip to Ireland and need recommendations, feel free to drop me a message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.