Located just 10 minutes walk east of the pier, on the way to the magnificent sparkling ‘green coast’ and sandy beaches of the picturesque East end village.
Our hotel is situated on the Cloonamore Looped Walk featuring dramatic cliffs and coves with spectacular views of the Mayo and Connemara coast.
About the Hotel
In 2000 islanders Pat Coyne and his sister Cathy opened the Dolphin Restaurant, which in 2006 became the Dolphin Hotel. The hotel is named after a nobbie fishing boat from the 1920s called the ‘The Dolphin’, owned by Pat Davis from Westquarter, Pat & Cathy’s grandfather. At that time about 10 of these boats fished out of Inishbofin, but as the fishing industry died out the boats were sold or left to rot. The original sail, lug lantern and compass can be seen in the Inishbofin Heritage Museum.
Designed to be in tune with nature, the lovely curved restaurant is faced with recycled local stone, combined with weathered cedar to give an organic feel to the building. There are 2 outdoor deck areas for summer dining. Energy efficient underfloor heating and solar panels respect the environment, and we have a small organic kitchen herb garden.
Our downstairs rooms have underfloor heating, and their own deck onto the landscaped garden.
About Your Host
When owner Pat Coyne left school and returned to the island in the 1980’s, times were hard but he saw the potential to develop self- catering accommodation on Inishbofin. His love of the island and desire to secure a future for his own family were the incentive for him to develop his tourism business by raising the standard of his accommodation to 4 star BordFailte rating and developing the Dolphin Hotel.
Pat has been involved with the Inishbofin Development Company and local community affairs for the past 20 years. He believes that sustainable tourism is vital to the future of the island community. He is proud of his island heritage and enjoys welcoming guests to this unique part of the west of Ireland.
Pat is involved in charity fundraising and through the Dolphin Hotel he runs an annual raffle to raise money for Down Syndrome Galway’s speech and language project.
Pat will welcome you at the pier, introduce you to the island and make sure your stay is a memorable one.
7 miles off the Connemara coast, and only 5 miles long by 3 wide, Inishbofin is an idyllic island getaway. Quiet roads are perfect for walking and cycling. Mountain trails lead you to rugged cliffs, sea stacks and sandy beaches with clean, clear waters, ideal for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Nature lovers can enjoy the bird life, sea colonies and wildflowers. Traditional farming methods have ensured the survival of rare flora and fauna, such as the corncrake.
InisBóFinne (Island of the White Cow) is an island steeped in history and legend. The magnificent mile long harbour has played a major role in the island’s history and survival. The island has been inhabited continuously for around 10,000 years. Today we can still see the remains of ancient Neolithic field systems, Bronze Age stone terraces and Iron Age promontory forts. The first recorded history states that St. Colman left Lindisfarne and arrived here in 665 and founded a monastery. Some 7th Century crosses and a bullaun stone still survive from the original monastery.
At the mouth of the harbour stands the impressive star shaped fort known as Cromwell’s Barracks. It was built around 1656 on the site of an earlier castle reputedly belonging to a Spanish pirate Don Bosco, an ally of pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. Together they controlled traffic in and out of the harbour.
Today, fishing, farming and tourism are the main industries. This welcoming island is small and friendly and waiting to be explored.