Reviews & Testimonials

Doon Cottage:

 Extraordinary Connemara experience.

I would return to this cottage in a heartbeat. The experience of staying there is even better than you would guess from the photos and description. Not only were wonderful Connemara experiences within easy driving distance, but you can do so much exploring right from the cottage that you don’t need to drive much at all (other than for groceries). We hiked, walked, explored the shore, and just enjoyed watching the ever-changing light on the bay from the enormous windows. For those interested in the history and culture of the area, the library available to all guests (in another building) is a wonderful resource — including the books authored by the owners.

Four friends stayed in Doon Cottage,  and four elsewhere, but all eight gathered here for breakfasts and dinners and long reminiscences of past experiences while enjoying excursions in the area. The house has everything you need, even if you want to cook for eight (maybe an additional frying pan would be useful). We could control the temperature easily and could have used the fireplace if we hadn’t been so lazy. Wifi assured that some of us even got some work done and we could check our emails and plan our trips easily. The view is just stunning, and the owners warm and friendly and very helpful. Definitely worth a stay, and whether you drive or just bike and walk in the area, there are enough things to do.

A spacious house situated in an ideal location to explore all that Connemara has to offer. The view from the house is beautiful in all weathers! The owners are on hand to offer advice etc if needed but they are never intrusive. There are vast white beaches, bustling towns, boat trips on loughs and the sea, stately homes all within easy travelling of the house as well as many excellent places to eat ranging from cafes to fine dining.

Nous avons passé en famille une semaine dans ce charmant cottage au coeur du Connemara. Calme absolu et vue magnifique. Le cottage est bien équipé, spacieux, lumineux car très ouvert sur l’extérieur. Les photos mises à disposition sur le site sont très fidèles à la réalité. Un point de chute très sympa pour explorer cette magnifique région.

 East Wing

We spent a very relaxing 14 days in the East wing of the converted barn. Despite 7 days of wet and windy weather we managed to enjoy the accommodation, the local area and the Connemara National Park. Access to the wing is very private and easy. We had a great view of the small mountain behind the property and even managed to climb it on a cold windy day for a fantastic view of the surrounding area. The unit is warm, the hosts (Lord & Lady Roden) friendly and the surrounding area is extensive but within easy reach. We even had a day out on Inis Mor by ferry. The local restaurants and pubs offer great food at reasonable prices. The internet was fast and stable and I loved the fact that we paid a price and it was all inclusive (no hidden energy costs). If you want to “do Connemara” then this is the place to stay. Highly recommended. If I had to raise any issue then it would be nice to have cable TV but maybe we did more because it wasn’t available .

This is the third time we have stayed in the cottage and it is an excellent base for sight-seeing within Connemara. The cottage is 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms and everything that you require is provided for you even down to washing line and pegs at the rear of the cottage. This is most useful especially since this time we had our 15 week old grandson with us. The owners are on site but are not intrusive but are there if you need them. I would thoroughly recommend this cottage and I can assure anyone who stays there they will have a wonderful time as well as enjoying the friendliness of the locals.

West Wing

I arrived in Doonreagan during one of the most severe weather alerts over the Christmas period. What a joy to pull up outside this beautiful stone building, the welcome light in the hall leading me to my sanctuary for the coming week. I had been looking for a quiet place to do some writing over the break and this fitted the bill perfectly. My morning walks up Cashel Hill or around Cashel Bay were particularly enjoyable and the sunsets were to die for. The accommodation was warm, comfortable, very well equipped and tastefully decorated – note, the bath is truly excellent! The fire and comfy couch in the living space made for an ideal spot for cosying up on the long winter evenings and the proximity to Cashel Bay Hotel (walking distance) was perfect for an afternoon coffee or sneaky pint. I wrote a lot in Doonreagan – much more than I anticipated. The place has a ‘creative energy’ and I can’t wait to go back. It is also an ideal base to discover that part of Connemara and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

My wife and I spent a wonderful, restorative week in the fantastic West Wing – the perfect base for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life in London, and absorbing the stunning surroundings of the Connemara coast and mountains. The property had everything we wanted and more for a truly relaxing, and luxurious break. The cosy fire, beautiful furnishings, super-comfortable bed and linens and the amazing bath tub made us feel truly spoilt! The peaceful location, with its uninterrupted views up to Cashel Hill (absolutely worth the bracing but rewarding climb for the unrivalled views across the bay and surroundings mountains!) and the ever-changing aspect of the sea a short walk away at the bottom if the drive, was simply magical. Having access to the reading room was a totally new experience for us and and an absolute joy – so many fascinating books to explore, and nowhere near enough time! We also made good use of the pool table. The charming town of Roundstone was a short and beautiful drive (or bike ride) away, and has some fabulous dining options. Our particular favourites were Vaughan’s and the Bog-Bean cafe. We also enjoyed some great live music in the Shamrock pub. In every respect we had a fantastic break at this gem of a property and can’t wait to return.

I would return to this cottage in a heartbeat. The experience of staying there is even better than you would guess from the photos and description. Not only were wonderful Connemara experiences within easy driving distance, but you can do so much exploring right from the cottage that you don’t need to drive much at all (other than for groceries). We hiked, walked, explored the shore, and just enjoyed watching the ever-changing light on the bay from the enormous windows. For those interested in the history and culture of the area, the library available to all guests (in another building) is a wonderful resource — including the books authored by the owners.

Margaret and I were absolutely delighted with Doon Cottage, the house met our every need and we had a view to dream about. Your very kind invitation to go sailing and fishing was especially welcoming and unexpected. Virgillio and Emilio will be talking about that day for a long time to come. For myself the hooker in your barn and the hooker race we saw at Kilkieran made my holiday special. A daily visit to the shore at the kelp house was a fond reminder of the days when we rented a croft in the West of Scotland some years ago. For Virgillio and Emilio it was private swimming in a glorious natural setting.

The calibre of the books we discovered in the cottage was excellent and I was able to learn a lot about Connemara before setting off on our daily drive. The book you kindly allowed me to read about the hookers stimulated an interest in Galway’s traditional boats and enabled me to better understand the magnificent new boat hoisted in the atrium of the Galway museum. I have sent for a book published by the Hookers Association as I intend to use the many photos and video clips I took to write an illustrated talk for West Wales Maritime Heritage and the Landshipping Boat owners Association, both of which I am a member of. Ann’s book I could not put down and I am sorry I did not get to meet her, she seems to be a wonderful person and I shall treasure her book. I have now read the book of your own writing and again it was a slice of real life, honestly told and moving and enjoyable, especially as I got to talk to you in person.
The invitation to visit your library was another totally unexpected bonus, so many of the books were the kind of books I crave to see as unfortunately both our county library and College library have virtually no books on Architecture or Landscape, as like all rural areas, they do not have the funds to stock such books. I could have spent every evening in your library, but thank you for that evenings opportunity.

The walk up to the wind generator and Cashel hill behind, the Old Cemetery, the Church , the quay, the Hotel Gardens all added to the magic of such an awe inspiring place. Add the villages and coast roads, the beaches, the hospitality and music in the pubs and the extraordinary weather we enjoyed made Connemara and Doon cottage a holiday we shall never forget, it is rare to get a perfect holiday, but that is our verdict on Doon cottage and its hosts your good selves.  We hope Ann is making good progress with her recovery from the broken ankle.

Regards Joe and Margaret Rielly

Dear Robert and Ann,
Doonreagan was top class we could not have picked a more perfect cottage and location to stay. We received a fabulous welcome. The views from the cottage are breathtaking, I find it hard to relax and unwind, I managed to read several books during our stay including Ann’s thought provoking works. We saw an otter, seals, we swam and toured all around. Local food was excellent and the locals warm and welcoming. I have already recommended Doonreagan to several friends. Great holiday we will return.
Best wishes
Sharron , virgilio and Emilio de abreu faria

We enjoyed our stay and interesting talks with you tremendously. Access to you library, garden and advise on walks at the back of Doonreagan and on the 12 Pins was much appreciated.
Your book on D.M. Kennedy gave a view of a past life full of adventure and courage tinged with great sadness of what might have been.  It also raised for me a question about the Kennedy family because they were, or had been, lawyers in Dublin.  My mother was a church of Ireland Kennedy and her father and his brother were both Lawyers in Dublin – a coincidence !!
Enjoy your sailing and a fine summer
Jane and Alan Mortimore

I am trying to source a book which might interest you, “Dust and Snow” by C.R.Cooke who climbed in the Himilaya with Hunt before the war.

Thanks for a delightful stay in your lovely West Wing. We are very grateful and pleased with the tips you gave us for walks and climbs. Also we enjoyed sailing with you, viewing Connemara from the sea. Once more, our heartfelt thanks, wishing you a continued lovely summer.
Jimmy and Pia Jour
“Just a short note to say how much we all enjoyed our stay at Doonreagan. The location was stunning, the property clean, spacious and well equipped.  We made the most of the excellent weather including climbing Cashel Hill on our first morning there to enjoy great views each way from the top, including views of all 12 Bens (?Pins) whose peaks were all seen miraculously without cloud during the drought. If the test of a good place is ‘would you return’, we certainly would.”  A.D.W.
“We stayed at Doonreagan in June. A beautiful and calm location and very comfortable accommodation. The owners were friendly and generous without being obtrusive. We felt very privileged to have access to the library and the grounds.  Would love to return.”  R.M.

January 18th, 2019.

Dear Ann and Robert,

This has been a most productive and enjoyable week. You have created a much-needed retreat for focus and considered thought free of distraction. We achieved more in our small working group in a week than we would separately achieve over a much longer time period. And it has all been thanks to your hospitality and preparations in making our stay exceptional in many regards, from an excellently facilitated conference room for inspiration and enjoyment, to the lovely accommodation and welcome we received.
Doonreagan is such a special place and we feel we’ve only experienced a smidgeon of the charm and beauty that surrounds it. We look forward to communicating our results (and hopefully the paper/s) in due course. I sincerely hope that others can experience the same and wish you the best with this.
Very best wishes and heartfelt thanks again for all you did to make our stay and work such a success.
Already looking forward to returning to beautiful Doonreagan.

Dr Cóilín Minto
Senior Researcher
Marine and Freshwater Research Centre
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Galway, Ireland.


“There’s no place like….Doonreagan! It is a place of silence and beauty. Last summer, we spent two glorious weeks in the West Wing, and fell in love with this spot of rural Connemara, positioned at the edge of a tranquil inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. We came back this year to spend four weeks in the East Wing. We loved it so much, that we are planning to move to Connemara next year!”
Marjol Flore, Singer, and Pieter Lambrechtsen, Artist

“At Doonreagan light falls as ink on a page and imagination dances.”
Máíre Holmes, Poet

“Over the years, poets, painters and every kind of creative artist have found inspiration in this lovely locality, where sea and sky melt into each other and you can almost hear the sound of perfect peacefulness.”
Penny Perrick, Author

“Built on a tiny piece of flat land where Cashel Hill pauses momentarily before dropping into Cashel Bay, Doonreagan embodies for me an absolute ideal location for imaginative reflection and inspiration. There is no direction in which the visitor may turn without being awed by the majesty of the area, one of the most beautiful places in the truly magnificent landscape that is Connemara.”
Rory McCormac, Author

“I spent two of my happiest and most productive winters ever living and writing in this stunningly beautiful region, and have set many of my bestselling novels there, including my latest series – The Lissamore Trilogy ( Robert and Ann Jocelyn have created a true haven in the heart of beautiful Connemara.”
Kate Thompson, Author

“Among my memories of Doonreagan and its unique surroundings, an overriding impression that I’ll never forget was a deep sense of respect for the gifts of nature…”
Kerstin Henning Magnusson, Author

“With its silence and constantly changing colours, Doonreagan, like its neighbour Scrahallia, is an artists’ haven.”
Rosemary Carr, Painter, ROI

“Doonreagan is an idyllic retreat for any artist or soul who needs some time away. Whether to write, paint or just be, it’s a beautiful, peaceful spot that brings you right back to nature and the slower rhythms of life.”
Lila Dupree, Actress

“Connemara is a beautiful, peaceful place far from the hustle and bustle of modern city life. Here you will find sparkling lakes, towering hills and white sandy beaches. Doonreagan will anchor you in the heart of this magical place and you will be forever seduced.”
Pat Mullan, Ireland Chair International Thriller Writers, Inc.

“’There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a perfect glow, and evening full of linnets wings’… (W B Yeats) . The light at Doonreagan has that magical quality that artists are always inspired by. I have never come away from this place without my heart restored and my head full of images and ideas to somehow transfer to canvas.”
Fionntán Gogarty, Painter

“I found Doon Cottage the perfect, soothing setting for a task which I had been dreading and which certainly did not involve the creative imagination – the compilation of an index to a 850-page edition of documents, bristling with proper names and with pitfalls of various kinds. The peace, the walks, the light, the views, all offered me the relaxation and the change of activity which I needed. What also matters a lot is that Doonreagan has been created by two people who understand the needs (and perhaps the little foibles) of writers, artists and the like.”
Dr Anthony Malcomson, Historian

“The peregrine swoops to blood the frosted bog
Where the spindrifting snows of winter
Blanket a mist-shrouded frozen land
Immobilized in leafless hibernation.
Snow-flurried gusts, biting into shivering marrow,
Exhaust all carefully-nurtured reserves,
Leading to a cloying, contagious lethargy
That fosters a universal mood of despair.
Decay seeps deeper into wooden sinews,
Limestone fissures and arthritic limbs.
Weather-crimped greetings, days and tempers
Shorten with seemingly no reprieve in sight.
Yet, jack-hammering through this unrelenting frigidity
There thrusts the snowdrop’s first frail lantern of purity.”
Robert Jocelyn

“An adoptee from far away,
I’ve spent nearly half my life
living in Connemara.

The place I was born to was quite different:
a park-like landscape dappled by the sun,
pretty and sheltered, neatly tended
through centuries of prosperity.
Trees sighing softly in a summer breeze;
tidy gravel paths for lakeside walks,
water lapping gently at your feet.

Those impressions dwindled to a wistful memory,
when I found myself exposed to the harsh conditions
of this extreme western edge of Europe.
A bleak wilderness of vast open spaces
bordered by a jagged mountain range.
Stony reaches pelted by heavy downpours,
ravaged by storms devastating
the little growth they yielded.

Today, the evidence of age-old poverty and starvation
has mercifully been eclipsed
by the advance of the Celtic tiger.
And as my eye wanders unrestricted
over bogs and meadows
that know no boundaries, no limits…
across the wide Atlantic Ocean
swelling with the tide
in an echo of my own pulse,
reaching for horizons ever shifting,
ever new…
I am in no doubt that here is my home.
My bedrock of complete security
and total freedom.

Where the heart is at peace
there is no need for shelter.”
Ann Henning Jocelyn

Ann and Robert, my young son and I clambered  the hills high above Doonreagan. We sat close together on the ‘moonrocks’ gazing at the breathtaking view spread out before us. This glorious scene is often revisited in my mind’s eye. The perfect retreat.”

Isla St. Clair, Singer

“Time in Doonreagan – – the new spiritual oasis in ancient Connemara – – must become the highlight of the year for every creative person in Europe & America!  Especially for the chosen few who long to connect with the ‘Gods of inspiration’, explore Irish history and trigger their muse without even trying.”

George Ganchev, Politician, Author, Director

 “This is a magnificent haven of inspiration overlooking Bertaghboy Bay, one of the wide variety of fascinating inlets from the wild Atlantic that make up the unique and beautiful coastline of Connemara. Doonreagan embraces this magical kaleidoscope of an ever-changing panorama  that each season brings.”

Rev. Anthony Previté, Author

 “Here at Doonreagan, soothed by the perpetual undulations of the sea beneath the infinite dome of the sky, you feel eternity within your reach.”

Gerd Riccius, Lecturer

 “Each step you take opens up a wonderful new vista to inspire you.”

Janette Makin, Photographer