At some point in your life, you probably dreamed of being a princess or a knight; living in a castle surrounded by a beautiful lake, forest, or maybe even mountains. It’s a pretty daydream, and maybe one you still secretly harbour inside (no judgement here, trust me). Even if you have grown out of those daydreams, you have to admit; it would be pretty cool to stay in a castle. Well, in Ireland you can! There are dozens of beautifully restored castles that today serve as hotels across the country and the best part? Many of the castle hotels in Ireland are quite affordable.
Here are the best picks for castle hotels in Ireland, with options for all types of budgets!
The Best Irish Castle Hotels
Ashford Castle (County Mayo)
Ashford Castle is probably the best-known luxury Castle in Ireland. Located on a stunning 350-acre estate on the west coast of Ireland, not too far from Galway. Fine dining, a spa, sporting activities, and more make it the perfect destination for couples and families. Dozens of famous and notable guests have stayed here over the years including Oscar Wilde, The Beatles, Brad Pitt, and various royalty. If you are looking for the ultimate Irish Castle stay, then Ashford Castle is the perfect choice.
Of course, being Ireland’s most prestigious castle comes with a price tag that isn’t always in everyone’s budget. If the cost for a room in the castle doesn’t fit your wallet, consider staying in the Ashford Castle Lodge. While you aren’t staying in the castle itself, the lodge is still a beautiful luxury property located on the vast estate.
Ballynahinch Castle (County Galway)
Located in the beautiful and wild region of Connemara, Ballynahinch is a stunning castle hotel on a 450-acre estate. It’s a smaller Irish castle hotel, with a total of 48 elegant rooms, and is a popular pick for outdoor enthusiasts who are interested in exploring the surrounding area. Walking trails, fly fishing, and cycling.
Fun fact: The castle was once home to the notorious Irish pirate queen, Grace O’Malley.
Lough Eske Castle (Donegal Country)
Lough Eske Castle looks like it came straight from the pages of your favourite fairytale storybook. Located just outside Donegal town, this historic estate sites serenely on the shores of a lake, offering stunning views. Lough Eske Castle is the only 5-star castle hotel in Donegal County and has received several awards including luxury hotel of the year 2017. Whether you are interested in taking advantage of Country Donegal’s adventure activities, or looking for a quiet and relaxing break, Lough Eske is a perfect fairytale castle hotel.
Dromoland Castle (County Clare)
Another storybook castle hostel, Dromoland Castle as you see it today dates back to 1835. The estate is 400-acres and includes a luxurious spa, fine dining options, and plenty of recreational activities including golf, horseback riding, archery, and cycling. Plus, it’s close to two of Irelands most popular natural attractions; the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, making it a great place to base yourself for a night or two.
Waterford Castle (County Waterford)
Located on an island outside of Waterford City, Waterford Castle hotel is absolutely enchanting year round. This Irish castle hotel is steeped in centuries of history, but recent refurbishments have ensured that this luxury castle hotel meets the highest of standards. Escape the city and spend a night or two here enjoying fine dining, afternoon tea, and the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Ballyseede Castle (County Kerry)
Ballyseede Castle is County Kerry’s only castle hotel, but just because it doesn’t have any competition doesn’t mean it’s lacking. Ballyseede Castle hotel is one of the top 4-star luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Award-winning food, a relaxing and elegant atmosphere, and a high service level make it a great choice for families or couples looking to experience a stay in an elegant Irish castle.
Cabra Castle (County Cavan)
Cabra Castle is one of the best-known castle hotels in Ireland. It’s history dates back to 1699, and you can still find the ruins of the original castle on the property. Today, Cabra Castle is a gorgeous four-star hotel set in a picturesque parkland with beautiful gardens. There are 12 main rooms in the castle itself, with additional accommodation options in the courtyard area, gate lodge, and in six charming cottages on the property.
Kilkea Castle (Country Kildare)
Dating back to the 12th Century, Kilkea Castle hotel is one of the oldest castle hotels in Ireland. It recently went through major renovations, re-opening in March of 2017 to claim its place as one of the most elegant luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Like many other hotels on this list, Kilkea Castle offers a variety of activities such as horseback riding and falconry. An additional fun perk is the castle’s lazy river which guests are encouraged to enjoy with a glass of wine in hand. Fun, elegant, and relaxing, Kilkea Castle makes a perfect Irish castle hotel stay.
Clontarf Castle (County Dublin)
Located just outside of Dublin City Centre, Clontarf Castle is probably the most easily accessible castle on this list and perfect for travellers who would like to stay in an Irish castle hotel but don’t want to rent a car. This castle hotel near Dublin is ranked as one of the top ten hotels according to Conde Nast Reader’s choice and offers guest a luxurious royal experience close to the city.
Ballygally Castle (County Antrim)
Overlooking the sea, Ballygally Castle is located along one of the most beautiful routes on the island; the Causeway Coastal Route. The main building dates back to the 17th century, and while it has been restored and modernized, it still maintains historic charm; along with some ghosts. In fact, this Irish castle hotel is rumoured to be one of the most haunted places in Northern Ireland with at least two spirits who have a penchant for knocking on doors. Are you brave enough to spend the night?
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (County Galway)
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is a beautiful Irish Castle hotel that dates back to 1832. Located in Connemara, it’s a perfect place to spend a night or two for those who are making their way along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Abbeyglen Castle hotel is known for their award-winning cuisine (which includes complimentary tea and scones-yum!) and their friendly service. The rooms and suites are spacious and elegant enough to have you feeling like royalty.
Book your stay at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel here.
Wilton Castle Hotel (County Wexford)
If you dream of an Irish castle hotel surrounded by woods and parklands, with towering turrets and cozy rooms, then Wilton Castle Hotel is the pick for you. What makes this Irish castle hotel unique compared to the others on the list is that, while it’s not a typical hotel. There are only four suites available here that can be booked as a self-catering of B&B experience, making your Irish castle stay a little homier and private while still being able to live out your Irish fairytale dreams.
Belleek Castle (County Mayo)
Belleek Castle is a gorgeous historic manor located in County Mayo. It was built in the 1800s on the site of a former medieval abbey and home to a local family for more than 100 years before being acquired by Marshall Doran who restored it as a hotel in 1970. Marshall was a naval officer and had an avid interest in fossils and medieval armour; all of which can be seen in the décor and design of the hotel today. He was also a craftsman and did much of the recordation work himself, adding a unique personal touch to this Irish castle hotel.
Lough Rynn Castle Hotel (County Leitrim)
Majesty and sophistication are the two words used to describe this lovely Irish castle hotel. Compared to other castle hotels in Ireland, Lough Rynn Castle hotel is fairly modern as it was built in the 19thcentury. Despite the fact that it may not be one of the most historic castle hotels in Ireland, Lough Rynn Castle has certainly made a name for itself among Ireland’s castle hotels. The property is home to an award-winning kitchen and known for its stunning walled gardens.
Castle Leslie Estate (County Monaghan)
A great pick for a family-run historic Irish castle hotel is the Castle Leslie Estate. It’s been in the Leslie family since the 1600s and they have welcomed politicians, poets, ambassadors, celebrities, and castle lovers from around the world to their stunning 1000-acre estate. Original interiors, idyllic landscapes, and true Irish hospitality make it a perfect pick for those looking for a castle hotel in Ireland.
Kilronan Castle Hotel (County Roscommon)
Another stunning four-star Irish castle hotel pick is Kilronan Castle Hotel. Kilronan Castle Hotel is steeped in history; from a 6thcentury church to a royal home and today one of Ireland’s most prestigious castle hotels, a stay at Kilronan castle hotel is truly a fairytale experience. Modern luxurious paired with old-world design and the charm of a wild setting makes it a favourite Irish castle hotel.
Castlemartyr Resort (County Cork)
Ok so technically Castlemartyr Resort isn’t an Irish castle hotel (it’s a manor) but with a history dating back to the Templar Knights, it deserves a spot on this list. Castlemartyr Resort is a great pick for those looking for the Irish fairytale experience with more of a modern twice. The manor house dates back to the 18thcentury and offers five-star luxury with old world charm. There are 103 rooms as well as some self-catering options.
Being able to stay in a castle hotel is a dream for many, and while it may not be the cheapest accommodation option, it can be affordable. While some of the castles on this list are definitely high-end luxury, they don’t all have a massive price tag meaning you can live out your fairytale fantasy in a magical Irish castle hotel.
Which of these castle hotels in Ireland tops your list?
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