If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, you can’t miss the chance to stay in a castle. Think castle accommodations are only for the elite? Think again! To prove our point, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of the 16 best castle hotels in Ireland, catering to every budget.
Prepare to be enchanted by famous Irish castles like Ashford Castle and Dromoland Castle. Or, for a more intimate experience, don’t miss hidden gems such as Wilton Castle and Lough Eske Castle.
Plus, with our handy map, you’ll easily locate these historic castles near Dublin, Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way, and other prime spots across the Emerald Isle. Pro tip: Don’t miss out on your dream castle stay–book ahead to secure your dates, as these Irish castle hotels are hotspots for weddings and other events!
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Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo)
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 our 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) to feel like you’re living in a real-life fairy tale.
Dromoland Castle Hotel (Co. Clare)
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.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel (Co. Galway)
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.
Lough Eske Castle Hotel (Co. Donegal)
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!
Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort (Co. Waterford)
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.
Kilkea Castle Hotel & Golf Resort (Co. Kildare)
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.
Cabra Castle Hotel (Co. Cavan)
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.
Wilton Castle (Co. Wexford)
Discover the magic of an Irish castle experience at Wilton Castle Hotel, located in the picturesque County Wexford countryside. This remarkable estate, once in ruins, was purchased by Sean Windsor, who grew up on the neighboring farm. Fueled by a vision to restore the castle to its former glory, he painstakingly revitalized the property.
Nowadays, it’s a popular wedding venue and an idyllic setting for holidays. Depending on the reason for your visit, you can reserve the entire castle for 14 guests or opt for one of the four spacious self-contained suites.
Each suite, including the elegant Butler, Furlong, Alcock, and Thornhill Suites, is tastefully decorated with delicate wallpaper, dark wooden floorboards, and heritage colors. With their own kitchens, cozy sitting rooms featuring working fireplaces, and luxurious furnishings, they offer a timeless appeal.
Castle Leslie Estate (Co. Monaghan)
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. We highly suggest a spa experience at the Victorian Treatment rooms, too!
Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa (Co. Roscommon)
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.
Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens (Co. Leitrim)
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 Hotel 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.
Clontarf Castle Hotel (Dublin)
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.
Ballyseede Castle Hotel (Co. Kerry)
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.
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (Co. Galway)
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!
Ballygally Castle Hotel (Co. Antrim)
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.
Belle Isle Estate (Co. Fermanagh)
Indulge in the perfect blend of natural beauty and authentic heritage with a stay at Belle Isle Estate, Castle & Cottages. Set on a private 400-acre estate designated a Special Area of Conservation, this enchanting destination offers various accommodation options, including castle rentals, luxury cottages, and self-catering apartments.
Whether you’re planning a wedding, a private event, or a relaxing weekend getaway with your furry friends, Belle Isle has something for everyone. Explore the rich history of this Northern Irish estate, which dates back to before the 15th century, and immerse yourself in the old-world charm of Belle Isle Castle.
The estate boasts stunning grounds, walking trails, fishing opportunities, and boating experiences on Lough Erne. With activities like archery and clay pigeon shooting, your stay at Belle Isle can be as adventurous as you desire. Discover the epitome of luxury and character at one of the finest castle accommodations in Ireland.
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This article was first published in May 2022 and has since been updated.