In a new building, right on the pier where the boats arrive, Maura & Padraig Joyce run this large well-kept guesthouse on the Aran Islands. As you walk from the ferry you will be offered tours of the island (mini-bus or pony and trap) or invited to hire one of the thousand or so bikes available on the island.
Kilronan is the action centre of the island and Pier House (or Teach na Cheibhe) is around the corner from pubs, cafés, a supermarket and the local hall; the attractive beach is round the next corner.
While perhaps less characterful than some of the older houses, rooms are comfortable, with more facilities than most island accommodation (TV and phones as well as communal tea/coffee making facilities downstairs to use at any time) and views over sea and hills, and flag-stoned fields at the back.
There’s also a large residents’ lounge and the house generally is comfortable and well-run.
*Four attractive self-catering apartments are also offered.
As they are beside the ferry, the Joyces concentrate on mainstream food based mainly on good local ingredients, offering six hot food items and four really good salads and open sandwiches in the daytime. These could include traditional hot dishes such as the house chowder (about €6.50) and Irish stew (about €12.95) and perhaps a cold plate of mustard & honey glazed bacon served on seeded brown bread with small salad (about €8.95).
Lunch specials might include a good chicken & vegetable curry, served piping hot in a large deep plate (about €9.50).
Dinner menus offer classic starters like chicken liver paté, with melba toast & red onion marmalade (€8.95) and the seven main courses may include a Surf’n'Turf (6oz sirloin steak and king scallop, with pepper & brandy sauce, €22.50), along with fish choices (grilled salmon with peperonata & lemon butter sauce, perhaps) and a vegetarian dish such as a creamy risotto with parmesan shavings.
From a choice of four desserts, who could resist chocolate lava cake, vanilla ice-cream & raspberry coulis?