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The 20 Best Castle Hotels in Ireland to Add to Your Bucket List

If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, you can’t miss the chance to stay in a castle! Although you may assume that this would be a pricey experience, you can actually find a range of castle hotels in the country. With this in mind, we review the 20 best castle hotels in Ireland to add to your bucket list.

These Irish castles range from luxury five-star to more budget-friendly accommodations. So, there should be a great option on this list for just about everyone. Keep reading to discover famous castle hotels in Ireland, like Ashford Castle and Dromoland Castle. We also divulge hidden gems, such as Markree Castle in County Sligo and Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal.

At the end of this article, we’ve put together a map of castle hotels in Ireland so you can easily find them all. You’ll notice that there are historic castles to stay in near Dublin, Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way, and in other prime locations throughout the Emerald Isle.

Pro tip: If one of these Irish castle hotels catches your eye, we recommend booking as far in advance as possible to secure your particular dates. Remember that many of these properties serve as venues for weddings and conferences!

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you purchase a product or book a stay through these links at no extra cost to you.

Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo)

Aerial view of Ashford Castle Hotel in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland.

Photos courtesy of Ashford Castle.

Ashford Castle is part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and is one of the best luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Here’s a fun fact: the Guinness family previously owned this 800-year-old castle, making it one of the oldest castle hotels in Ireland, too. Nowadays, the property offers 83 elegant rooms and suites and the chance for guests to feel like royalty!

This 5-star hotel sits on a 350-acre estate in Cong, County Mayo, home to a 9-hole golf course, an award-winning spa, six restaurants, three bars, and a premiere cinema room. Plus, guests can participate in activities here such as horse riding, fishing, falconry, archery, tennis, and even boat trips on Lough Corrib!

One of my best travel tips is to attend this Irish castle’s famous afternoon tea in the Connaught Room. You can make a reservation for tea service here (for guests at the castle only).

Click here to book your stay at Ashford Castle Hotel!

Dromoland Castle Hotel (Co. Clare)

Aerial view of Dromoland Castle, located near Newmarket-on-Fergus in County Clare, Ireland.

Photos courtesy of Dromoland Castle.

Dromoland Castle is one of the finest luxury castle hotels in Ireland. It was originally built in the 16th century as the ancestral home of the O’Brien family (Barons of Inchiquin), one of the few royal Gaelic families. Subsequently, the castle was redesigned from 1800 to 1836 by the famous Pain brothers.

Located in County Clare, this Irish castle accommodation is only a 15-minute drive from the Shannon Airport. It’s also about an hour’s drive from the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. So, if you plan to travel to these top attractions in Ireland, Dromoland Castle Hotel would be a perfect place to stay!

The property features 97 spacious rooms, an 18-hole championship golf course, a full-service spa, and outdoor activities like falconry, fishing, and tennis. Moreover, you won’t want to miss the chance to dine at the award-winning Earl of Thomond Restaurant. Dromoland also serves afternoon tea for guests between 1-4 p.m. daily.

Click here to book your stay at Dromoland Castle!

Castle Leslie Estate (Co. Monaghan)

View of the front façade of Castle Leslie, in County Monaghan.

Photos courtesy of Castle Leslie Estate.

You can find Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan, near the village of Glaslough. It sits on 1,000 acres of the beautiful Irish countryside, home to both woodland and three lakes. Plus, the estate is conveniently located just 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast. Therefore, we’d consider it to be one of the best castle stays in Ireland!

The Leslie family has actually lived at Castle Leslie since the 1660s, making it one of the last Irish castles to remain in the hands of its founding family. Guests at the property can choose to stay in the Castle, the Lodge, the Old Stable Mews, or the Village Cottages. Moreover, some of the most popular outdoor activities to do here include hiking, fishing, falconry, archery, and picnics.

Click here to book your stay at Castle Leslie Estate!

Cabra Castle Hotel (Co. Cavan)

Aerial view of Cabra Castle, located in south-east County Cavan, Ireland.

Photos courtesy of Cabra Castle.

Cabra Castle Hotel is situated on 100 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands near Kingscourt and Dún a Rí Forest Park in County Cavan. Since this property is just over an hour away from Dublin, it’s very popular as a castle wedding venue in Ireland. Additionally, Cabra Castle is ideal for a weekend getaway from the city!

This castle in Ireland’s history dates all the way back to 1760. At present, the now 4-star hotel has expanded to include 105 uniquely-designed rooms, with accommodations available in the castle, the 17th-century courtyard, and six charming cottages.

Cabra Castle is an excellent option if you’re looking for one of the more affordable castle hotels in Ireland. Furthermore, it’s open to the public every day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. So, you can visit and explore the grounds even if you aren’t a guest here.

Click here to book your stay at Cabra Castle!

Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort (Co. Waterford)

View of the main façade of Waterford Castle, located on a private Island on the River Suir.

Photos courtesy of Waterford Castle Resort.

Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort sets itself apart from the other castle hotels in Ireland that we’ve mentioned thus far as it sits on its own private island. This 310-acre resort is ten minutes from Waterford City and a short 90-minute drive from the Dublin Airport. Additionally, the resort’s private car ferry runs every 15 minutes and only takes four minutes to cross.

Guests can choose to stay in one of the 19 bedrooms inside the 16th-century castle or one of the 45 island lodges, perfect for groups and families. Moreover, the private island offers family-friendly activities such as golf, croquet, tennis, picnics, etc. The resort’s scenic trails, where you can attempt to spot native wildlife and country fauna, are particularly beautiful.

With all of this in mind, we think Waterford Castle is one of the best castles to stay in Ireland for families.

Click here to book your stay at Waterford Castle!

Read More: Tips for Visiting the Cliffs of Moher

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel (Co. Galway)

Aerial view of Ballynahinch Castle, with Twelve Bens mountain range in the background.

Photos courtesy of Ballynahinch Castle.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is located on 700 acres of private woodland in the Connemara Region of County Galway. The three-story Irish country house was built in 1754 and has welcomed guests as a hotel since the 1940s. Additionally, one of this property’s highlights is that it sits along the Wild Atlantic Way in the West of Ireland against a backdrop of the beautiful Twelve Bens mountain range.

Currently, Ballynahinch Castle offers 48 guest rooms and suites with views of the grounds, courtyard, or mountains. During your Ireland castle stay at Ballynahinch, some of the top things to do include fly fishing, guided estate walks and hiking, and cycling Connemara. Plus, you can’t miss the opportunity to dine at the Owenmore Restaurant, which overlooks the estate’s salmon river.

Click here to book your stay at Ballynahinch Castle!

Kilkea Castle Hotel & Golf Resort (Co. Kildare)

View of the front façade of Kilkea Castle located northwest of Castledermot, County Kildare.

Photos courtesy of Kilkea Castle.

Kilkea Castle‘s history dates back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest inhabited Castles in Ireland. This luxury castle hotel was initially built as a medieval stronghold for the Fitzgerald family, the earls of Kildare.

However, it now welcomes visitors from all over the world as a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts L.V.X Collection. Kilkea Castle is located in County Kildare–just an hour’s drive from Dublin. Therefore, it’s the perfect destination for a romantic getaway in Ireland.

This historic castle hotel sits on 180 acres, featuring woodlands, gardens, and an 18-hole golf course. Regarding accommodations, the property offers Castle, Carriage, or Lodge Bedrooms. Moreover, if you’re looking to host an event or travel in a group, you can even rent out the entire 11-bedroom castle.

Click here to book your stay at Kilkea Castle!

Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa (Co. Roscommon)

Front facade of Kilronan Castle in County Roscommon.

Photos courtesy of Kilronan Castle.

Kilronan Castle Estate was originally built around 1820 as an ancestral home and then considerably expanded in the 1880s. Over a century later, Kilronan Castle opened as one of the most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland, featuring one of the best spas in the country.

This property is located in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, 1.2 miles from the village of Ballyfarnon and just a short drive from the Wild Atlantic Way. Guests at this four-star castle hotel can choose between various room types, ranging from classic rooms to castle-top suites.

Plus, Kilronan Castle is popular as a weekend getaway, featuring 40 acres of woodland with hiking trails and nature walks perfect for the whole family. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the fine dining at Douglas Hyde Restaurant or schedule a spa and beauty day at the world-class spa.

Click here to book your stay at Kilronan Castle!

Ballyseede Castle Hotel (Co. Kerry)

Side view of Ballyseede Castle, with an Irish wolfhound posing in front.

Photos courtesy of Ballyseede Castle.

Ballyseede Castle Hotel is located on the Wild Atlantic Way and is the only castle hotel in County Kerry. It’s also one of the more affordable Ireland castle hotels on this list. Therefore, it makes a great base to explore famous attractions like the Ring of Kerry and Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula.

Ballyseede sits on 30 acres of private gardens and woodland and is a member of the Romantic Castles of Ireland. It offers 44 rooms, a full Irish breakfast, the 2-star AA Rosette O’Connell Restaurant, and daily afternoon tea, among other amenities. Plus, you’ll likely see Molly, an adorable Irish wolfhound who lives on the grounds.

Apart from being the only castle hotel in Co. Kerry, Ballyseede Castle is also thought to be haunted! Don’t worry, though–the resident ghost, Hilda Blennerhassett, is friendly. She’s typically spotted near the upper floor bedrooms of the castle and the main staircase.

Click here to book your stay at Ballyseede Castle!

Markree Castle (Co. Sligo)

View of the front façade of Markree Castle, with an Irish wolfhound standing in front of the stairs.

Photos courtesy of Markree Castle.

Markree Castle is located in northwest Ireland, in County Sligo, a region best known for its beautiful beaches. It also sits along the route of the world-renowned Wild Atlantic Way. The current structure was first built in the 17th century as the ancestral seat of the Cooper family.

At present, the estate is made up of 500 acres, and the castle continues to be one of the largest privately-owned castles to stay at in Ireland. Markree Castle Hotel opened to guests in 1989 and has even hosted the famous Johnny Cash and June Carter!

In 2015, it became part of the Romantic Castles of Ireland collection alongside Ballyseede Castle in Co. Kerry, Bellingham Castle in Co. Louth, and Cabra Castle in Co. Cavan. If you’d like to stay at a castle in Ireland and have a more intimate experience, Markree Castle Hotel is perfect for you.

Click here to book your stay at Markree Castle!

Read More: Why Kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland?

Lismore Castle (Co. Waterford)

Aerial view of Lismore Castle in the countryside of Waterford.

Photos courtesy of Lismore Castle.

Lismore Castle (Caisleán an Leasa Mhóir) is unique as a castle hotel because it’s privately owned and only available on an exclusive hire basis. With 15 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, it makes the perfect venue for group events or intimate weddings, accommodating up to 27 invitees. During your castle stay in Ireland, guests are in great hands with a friendly staff led by the castle’s butler.

This Irish castle has a long and exciting history, dating all the way back to 1170. It originally began as an important monastery and was later transformed into a magnificent residence. For example, Sir Walter Raleigh, credited with bringing potatoes to Ireland, even owned Lismore Castle for a short period.

Famous guests such as Cecil Beaton, Lucian Freud, Fred Astaire, and JFK have all spent a night here. So, why not add your name to this list?

Click here to book your stay at Lismore Castle!

Kinnitty Castle Hotel (Co. Offaly)

View of the front façade of Kinnitty Castle at night, with outdoor landscape lighting.

Photos courtesy of Kinnitty Castle.

Kinnity Castle is a four-star hotel built in the 19th-century gothic revival style. It features 37 uniquely-styled guest bedrooms and is a popular venue for both weddings and conferences. Don’t miss some of the property’s highlights, such as the Library Bar, The Sli Dala Restaurant, and the Drawing Room.

Located in Kinnitty (Cionn Eitigh), County Offaly, this Irish castle hotel sits just north of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Therefore, guests can participate in all sorts of outdoor activities nearby, like horse riding, hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and more.

Click here to book your stay at Kinnitty Castle!

Belleek Castle (Co. Mayo)

Exterior view of Belleek Castle in County Mayo.

Photos courtesy of Belleek Castle.

Belleek Castle Hotel is situated on Ireland’s west coast in Ballina, County Mayo, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Therefore, it’s one of the best castles in Ireland from which to explore this tourism trail and the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway cycling route. This neo-gothic Country House, built between 1825 and 1831, first opened its doors to guests in 1970.

At present, Belleek Castle serves as a hotel and wedding venue and is home to a gourmet restaurant, cafe, and museum. Dining options include the Library Restaurant (every Friday & Saturday evening) and Jack Fenn’s, an award-winning restaurant in a 19th Century Coach House with a nautical theme.

Moreover, the Belleek Castle Museum features one of the finest collections of Jurassic fossils, medieval weapons, and medieval armor in the country. Although this property doesn’t offer golf on-site, you can find four links and eight parkland courses within an hour’s drive.

Click here to book your stay at Belleek Castle!

Ballygally Castle Hotel (Co. Antrim)

Photos courtesy of Ballygally Castle.

Ballygally Castle, dating back to 1625, is one of the best castle hotels in Northern Ireland. Additionally, it’s the only 17th-century building in Northern Ireland still being used as a residence today! Ballygally Castle Hotel offers several dining options, including Afternoon Tea in the Lounge, Sunday Lunch in the Kintyre Ballroom, and dinner in the Garden Restaurant.

This beautiful castle’s location in Country Antrim makes it the perfect base to explore attractions such as the Causeway Coastal Route, Bushmills Distillery, Carrickfergus Castle, the Royal Portrush Golf Course, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and the Carnfunnock Country Park. 

Thanks to its long history, this property is also ranked as one of the most haunted places in Northern Ireland. It even features a “Ghost Room,” which guests are allowed to visit; however, no one can stay in this particular room.

Click here to view rates at Ballygally Castle!

Clontarf Castle Hotel (Dublin)

Photos courtesy of Clontarf Castle.

Clontarf Castle is one of the best castle hotels in Dublin, Ireland, situated a short 15-minute drive from the city center. Therefore, if you’re looking to experience some of the capital’s top attractions, like the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College, Clontarf Castle Hotel puts you in an easily accessible location.

Historically speaking, multiple castles have been built at this particular site since 1172. The current Clontarf Castle was built in 1837 and has been functioning as a four-star hotel since 1997.

Guest rooms range from deluxe rooms to luxury suites, each with pillow-top mattresses, air conditioning and climate control, free wifi, and more. The property also offers delicious Irish cuisine at Fahrenheit Restaurant, the Indigo Lounge, and Knights Bar.

Click here to book your stay at Clontarf Castle!

Read More: The Best Books Set in Ireland

Castlemartyr Resort (Co. Cork)

Photos courtesy of Castlemartyr Resort.

Castlemartyr Resort Hotel includes a 17th-century manor house and the ruins of an 800-year-old-castle originally built by The Knights Templar. Located in County Cork, this property is a short 20-minute drive from Cork City or 30 minutes from Cork International Airport.

Castlemarytr Resort first opened its doors in 2008 and now has 108 guest rooms and suites, along with 36 luxury residences. Additionally, it’s one of the only castle hotels with pet-friendly rooms on site!

The resort is home to an 18-hole golf course and a spa featuring an indoor swimming pool, a steam room, and ten treatment rooms. Plus, Castlemartyr offers four dining options as well as Lady Fitzgerald’s afternoon tea, which is served from 1:30-2:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.

Click here to book your stay at Castlemartyr Resort!

Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (Co. Galway)

Photos courtesy of Abbeyglen Castle.

Abbeyglen Castle Hotel was built in 1832 and sits along the famous Sky Road, a popular road trip spot in the heart of Connemara. The property is a short one-hour drive from Galway, two and a half hours from the Shannon Airport, or four hours from the Dublin Airport.

This 4-star castle hotel is home to an award-winning restaurant serving local seafood and other traditional Irish dishes. Additionally, you can find a world-class wellness and relaxation center on-site. Or, if you’re looking for a lively experience, you won’t want to miss drinks at the piano bar, accompanied by some good ol’ Irish storytelling and song.

Note that Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is technically a manor house hotel instead of an actual castle. Nonetheless, we still think it looks like a fairytale come to life!

Click here to book your stay at Abbeyglen Castle!

Lough Eske Castle Hotel (Co. Donegal)

Photos courtesy of Lough Eske Castle.

Lough Eske Castle Hotel sits in County Donegal, northeast of Donegal Town, near the famous Blue Stack Mountains. It makes the perfect base to explore the Donegal area, including the Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) cliffs, Glenveagh National Park, Donegal Castle, and Donegal Golf Club. Plus, guests can also partake in activities on-site, such as fishing on Lough Eske, biking, and relaxing treatments at CARA Organic Beauty Spa.

The current Elizabethan-style Lough Eske Castle was built in 1861 on the site of the old Brooke family mansion. If you’d like to learn more about the history of this Irish Castle, we suggest attending the daily history tour, which begins at the reception area at 11 a.m.

The hotel features 97 rooms and suites, ranging from contemporary rooms near the castle gardens to more traditional rooms inside the castle. Regarding dining, this property offers the two AA Rosette Cedars Restaurant and two bars. Plus, guests love Lough Eske’s afternoon tea and Sunday lunch!

Click here to check the current rate at Lough Eske Castle!

Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens (Co. Leitrim)

Photos courtesy of Lough Rynn Castle.

Lough Rynn Castle is the ancestral home of the Clements family and one of the most budget-friendly castle hotels in Ireland. The estate comprises 300 acres, including the largest privately owned walled gardens in Ireland. Of course, the castle gardens are a popular spot for weddings and engagements!

Located in County Leitrim, Lough Rynn Castle & Estate & Gardens is approximately a two-hour drive from both Dublin and Galway. You can find outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, water sports, cycling, and horse riding all within a thirty-minute drive. Additionally, three of the best golf courses in Ireland are within an hour’s drive from the property.

If you’d just like to relax at this hotel castle in Ireland, there are tons of options for that! Delight in fine dining at Sandstone Restaurant, enjoy afternoon tea, or find the secret Dungeon Bar. Moreover, you won’t want to miss seeing the John McGahern Library or relaxing in the Baronial Hall.

Click here to book your stay at Lough Rynn Castle!

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel (Co. Dublin)

Photos courtesy of Fitzpatrick Castle.

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is an ideal option for those seeking castle hotels in Ireland near Dublin. In fact, it’s a short 35-minute drive from the city center and an hour from the Dublin Airport. So, this property is perfect if you want to stay in a castle in Ireland and explore the capital city.

This 18th-century castle has been renovated and updated to feature 113 en-suite bedrooms, two restaurants, and conference rooms for the business traveler. Additionally, the property is home to a fully-equipped gym, including an indoor swimming pool, an on-deck whirlpool spa, and a steam room.

Click here to check rates at Fitzpatrick Castle!

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Discover the 20 best castle hotels in Ireland, ranging from five-star luxury accommodations, like Ashford Castle and Dromoland Castle, to more budget-friendly options, such as Markree Castle in County Sligo and Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal. We've also put together a map of castle hotels in Ireland so you can easily find them all. | hotel castles in Ireland | Ireland castle stays | castle hotels near dublin

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Dalia

Monday 16th of May 2022

Did you do a tour or did you rent a car and drove around?

Leah Shoup

Monday 16th of May 2022

We rented car for 8 days!

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