Mrs. Patricia Darcy, proprietor of the Bunratty Heights, met us at the door when we jet-lagged travellers appeared at 9 am. Emails exchanged a few weeks prior assured us that we could check in as early as breakfast-time and we were ready to crash. She welcomed us, ushered us into the sitting room and went off to brew us a pot of tea. Meanwhile, she continued attending to the guests having breakfast one room over and somehow found time to straighten up a room for us. After a spot of warm tea and a biscuit we turned in for a few hours of sleep, the perfect way to get over our jet lag.
Bunratty Heights is easy to find, even for the sleep-deprived. From Shannon Airport head toward Limerick. Once in the Bunratty area, follow signs for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Turn left on the road between Bunratty Castle and Dirty Nellies Pub and look for Bunratty Heights on the left about 1 km down the road.
Our room was clean and quiet with a small private bath. The shower didn't have much water volume, but that's a characteristic of showers throughout the country.
The next morning we had a traditional Irish breakfast - sausage, bacon, eggs, juice, coffee, tea, toast, fruit, cereal, oatmeal - with as many refills of this artery-clogging conglomeration as we wished. Veteran travellers can calorie-load enough at breakfast to keep them going until dinner!
Bunratty Heights is convenient to Shannon Airport (10 minutes) so you might want to book a room here if you have an early morning flight out of Ireland as we did. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is 1 km down the road as are Dirty Nellie's Pub, Mac's Pub and the Creamery Pub, but the narrow road, no sidewalk, the speed of local drivers and the occasional confusion of jet-lagged tourists make it imperative that for your safety you drive rather than walk to these sites.