The Emerald Isle is a magical country to visit. A land of lush, green fields, stunning landscape as far as the eye can see, and legends that often involve kings, princes and maybe the odd leprechaun or two. And if you want to immerse yourself in the magic, you could choose a castle to stay in Ireland during your trip. Discover the best castle hotels in Ireland here and add one to your Ireland itinerary for a truly magical stay.
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Ireland is awash with castles. Some are ruins but some are among the best hotels in Ireland. If you want to make your visit to the Emerald Isle one to remember, then why not think about booking a few nights in a castle.
In this post, you’ll find a range of options across the country, including some of the best 5-star castle hotels in Ireland. A stay in one of these will make your time in Ireland unforgettable.
Some will have spas to unwind in and relax. Some have dining experiences to delight any taste bud. And some have golf courses on-site along with other activities for the more sporting types. All are set in stunning locations and will help make your trip a memorable one.
Map of castle hotels in Ireland
Comparison of the best castle hotels in Ireland
|Name||Stars||Location||Price Range||Book Now|
|Lough Eske Castle||5||Donegal||$$$||Click Here|
|Ashford Castle||5||Mayo||$$$$||Click Here|
|Kilronan Castle||4||Roscommon||$$||Click Here|
|Castlemartyr Resort||5||Cork||$$$||Click Here|
|Dromoland Castle||5||Clare||$$$$||Click Here|
|Waterford Castle||4||Waterford||$$$||Click Here|
|Kilkea Castle||5||Kildare||$$$||Click Here|
|Ballygally Castle||4||Antrim||$$||Click Here|
|Castle Leslie||5||Monaghan||$$$||Click Here|
|Ballyseede Castle||4||Kerry||$$||Click Here|
|Lough Rynn Castle||4||Leitrim||$$||Click Here|
|Ballynahinch Castle||4||Galway||$$$$||Click Here|
|Clontarf Castle||4||Dublin||$$$||Click Here|
Best Castle Hotels in Ireland
Lough Eske Castle, Donegal
When it comes to luxury castle hotels in Ireland, you won’t go wrong with Lough Eske Castle. Sitting on the shores of Lough Eske in County Donegal, this 5-star hotel was built in 1861 on the site of the old Brooke Mansion and is in the same location where the 14th-century clans of Donegal had their seats.
Lough Eske Castle Hotel is an award-winning resort, spa and wedding venue and is among the best castle hotels in Ireland. Its lakeside setting with the Blue Stack Mountains behind, and with it being only a 15-minutes’ drive from Donegal, makes it the perfect base for exploring the best of County Donegal.
This is also a pet-friendly hotel, making it a great Irish getaway for those who don’t want to leave the family pooch behind. There is a spa and wellness centre with a pool, plenty of dining options and on-site activities include bike hire and walking trails.
Accommodation – Lough Eske Castle has 97 5-star rooms and suites that complement the restoration of the castle. Each has a décor to suit its location within the castle and alongside the luxury décor, the use of natural light, materials and fabrics ensures both a luxurious and comfortable stay for guests.
Guests can choose from Courtyard Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Garden Suites, Family Rooms and even the Lake Lodge, a private hideaway on the castle grounds.
Dining – There are 3 dining options at Lough Eske Castle.
Cedars Restaurant offers breakfast and dinner as well as Sunday lunch. The Father Browne Bar offers more casual dining with bar food in a relaxed atmosphere.
The Gallery Bar and Lobby Lounge also offer casual dining in relaxed settings with a bistro-style menu including a children’s menu. Afternoon Tea is also available in the Lobby lounge between 12pm and 5pm.
Things to do nearby – Lough Eske Castle is located just a 15-minutes’ drive from Donegal, a great town to explore in Ireland. Not far from the town are the Slieve League cliffs, free to visit and just as spectacular as their more famous counterparts, the Cliffs of Moher.
One hour away is the beautiful Glenveagh National Park, one of the six National Parks of Ireland. And of course, Donegal is home to the start/endpoint of the Wild Atlantic Way. You can easily drive and explore part of this coastal driving route from the castle. See this post for some information on places to explore along the Donegal section of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Summary – If you are looking at castle stays, Ireland has plenty and you won’t go wrong with choosing Lough Eske Castle for a luxurious stay in a wonderful setting.
If you are thinking of staying in a castle in Ireland, one of the best to consider is Ashford Castle. Once owned by the Guinness family, it is a medieval and Victorian castle that originates from the 13th century and has over 800 years of history.
Located in County Mayo, the castle is set in a 350-acre estate with woodland and landscaped gardens on the banks of Lough Corrib. Regularly voted one of the top castle hotels in Ireland, Ashford Castle has stunning grounds, luxurious rooms and plenty of on-site dining and experiences to give guests a stay to remember.
The castle is located just 45-minutes’ from Galway City, making it a great base to explore the city and the entire county, including the Connemara National Park. There are on-site activities including golf, a spa, tennis courts, equestrian activities, cycling, kayaking, archery and clay-pigeon shooting. There is also falconry, boat trips on Lough Corrib, tree climbing and zip-lining. You won’t be short of things to do on the Ashford Castle Estate.
Accommodation – There are 83 rooms and suites to choose from, all traditionally and elegantly decorated. Modern luxuries have been intertwined with the castle’s original features and ensure a relaxing and luxurious stay for guests.
The different rooms include the Corrib and Corrib Lake View Rooms, Deluxe and Deluxe Lake View Rooms and Family Rooms. There are also suites and staterooms to choose from including presidential suites named after US presidents. The castle also has a Hideaway Cottage with private gardens and lake views which offers a truly private luxurious stay.
Dining – There are no less than six dining options at Ashford Castle, and three bars. The George V serves meals from breakfast to lunch and dinner and has children’s menus available. Note, a dinner jacket is required for gentlemen in the restaurant.
The Dungeon offers bistro-style evening dining and has children’s menus available. You’ll find relaxed, casual dining at Cullen’s at the Cottage for lunch and dinner with children’s menus available.
In the Drawing Room, where you can enjoy lunch or an early dinner from a bar menu, you’ll have your meals while overlooking the lawns that stretch to Lough Corrib.
Stanley’s is an American-style diner where you can enjoy the very best signature dishes for lunch or an early dinner. Note that this is a very small venue.
You can enjoy Afternoon Tea or private dining (on request) in the Connaught Room, again enjoying views across the lawns to the shores of Lough Corrib.
Some snacks are also served in the bars.
Things to do nearby – As mentioned, Ashford Castle is located less than one hour from Galway City, an amazing place in Ireland to visit. Connemara National Park is also just an hour away, where you can visit the famous Kylemore Abbey.
Summary – If you want luxury and plenty of things to do without needing to venture far, then book your Irish castle stay at Ashford Castle.
Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa, Roscommon
In a secluded corner of the West of Ireland, you will find great castle accommodation in Ireland in the form of the Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa. Entering medieval gates will give you a taste of what you are in for during your stay. Kilronan Castle is an 18th-century castle set in 50-acres of lush green estate with an ancient forest and lough.
Quiet surroundings with breathtaking views make this one of the best Ireland castle hotels to stay in. This castle hotel offers exceptional luxury stays with fine dining experiences and with one of Ireland’s best spa experiences on-site, you are in for an indulgent stay.
Located just 40 minutes from Sligo Town, Kilronan Castle is the perfect place for a getaway, whether as a couple or as a family. With 40-acres of woodland on the estate, you’ll find hidden trails to enjoy together outdoors in nature. You can also hire electric bikes from the castle.
Accommodation – Kilronan’s 84 rooms are filled with 21st-century luxuries seamlessly blended with the 18th-century elegance you come to expect from a medieval castle. Four-poster beds are not out of place in this hotel.
Guests can choose to stay in Classic Rooms, Family Rooms, Traditional Castle Suites, King Castle Rooms or Authentic Castle Suites. No matter what you choose, you will enjoy a luxuriously comfortable stay.
Dining – Whether you fancy fine dining or a more relaxed atmosphere, there is something for everyone at Kilronan. Fine dining takes place in the Douglas Hyde Restaurant while The Drawing Room is a more relaxed affair. Guests can also enjoy Afternoon Tea and private dining experiences are available upon request.
Things to do nearby – If you are looking for some extra things to do during your stay at Kilronan Castle, you will find golf nearby, fishing opportunities and also equestrian activities. Lough Allen, less than 25-minutes’ from Kilronan Castle offers fishing, kayaking and other water sports activities.
Summary – If you are looking for a quiet, yet luxurious castle stay in Ireland, book into Kilronan Castle and start relaxing right away.
Castlemartyr Resort, Cork
Halfway between Youghal and Cork City is the amazing Castlemartyr Resort. While you can’t technically stay in the castle, as it is a ruin, you do stay in the beautifully resorted Manor House on the Castlemartyr Resort Estate.
The castle on the grounds was originally built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, under the leadership of Strongbow, and the Manor house dates from the 18th century. The castle underwent several ownerships and fell into ruin in the late 17th century. Shortly after, the First Earl of Cork built the Manor House in which 11 of the hotel rooms are located, the rest are located in a modern building built alongside the manor.
Castlemartyr Resort is one of the finest 5-star resorts in Ireland. In a stunning setting and surrounded by woodland, Castlemartyr has something for everyone, including families who are well catered for at this resort. The resort has a spa, golf course and other on-site activities as well as being perfectly placed for exploring County Cork and even West Waterford. You can even take a carriage tour of the estate.
For families, there are children’s menus in the restaurants, a seasonal kids club, kids’ hours in the swimming pool, and seasonal events for kids during Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. And of course, the castle on-site can lend itself to a game of knights and princesses. Castlemartyr is also an Access for All hotel and pet-friendly too. It is a luxury hotel for everyone.
Accommodation – As mentioned, 11 of the 103 rooms are located within the Manor. Whether you are staying in a Manor Room or one of the rooms in the modern building, you will be met by elegant décor in a generously sized room with luxury linens and furnishings.
Guests can choose from Deluxe King Rooms, Family Rooms, Junior Suites and a Presidential Suite in the modern building. In the Manor House, guests can stay in a Manor State Room or a Grand Suite, all of which are just as luxurious as the others.
If you want a self-catering, home-away-from-home option, Castlemartyr also has Mews Houses, Walled Garden Lodges and Heron Gate Lodges, which are ideal for larger families or groups of friends.
Dining – There are three main dining options for guests at the Castlemartyr Resort.
In the Bell Tower, an elegant restaurant that overlooks the formal gardens, guests can enjoy breakfast, dinner and Sunday lunch. The Knight’s Bar offers a more relaxed atmosphere in an elegant setting for lunch and early dinner (select days only), while the Clubhouse offers more informal dining overlooking the golf course.
Private dining is available on request and guests can also partake of Afternoon Tea in the Bell Tower Restaurant.
Things to do nearby – As well as on-site activities, Castlemartyr is the perfect base for exploring parts of Cork and Waterford. Cork City is just a 30-minute drive, as is Cobh. Blarney and its famous castle and stone are just over 40-minutes away, while Waterford City is one and a half hours. Locally you can enjoy surfing, cliff walks, fishing, horse riding and you can also visit the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School or the Ballycotton Island Lighthouse via a tour.
Summary – Whether you are looking to stay in a castle in Ireland or not, the Castlemartyr Resort is one you should consider if you are going to be visiting County Cork for a relaxing yet luxurious stay.
If you are looking for one of the best castle stays in Ireland, then seek out the ancestral home of the O’Briens of Dromoland, descendants of one of the last High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. Dromoland Castle has been welcoming guests ever since it was first built. While the present structure was completed in the early 19th century, there has been a castle on the site since the 16th century.
This Gothic Revival castle has been preserved with little change since it was rebuilt and is a luxury hotel resort located in County Clare. Set on an estate of 450-acres, and with its own lake, Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Club is luxury personified.
Guests are well accommodated with a spa, golf course, dining options and many activities on-site. Activities include archery, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, boating and you can enjoy leisurely walks in nature throughout the estate. Families are welcome and kids can even enjoy go-karting.
Being located in Clare and just 15-minutes from Shannon Airport, Dromoland Castle is ideal for exploring the Burren National Park, the Cliffs of Moher and Limerick City.
Accommodation – Guests can choose to stay in a range of luxurious rooms, from Deluxe and Executive Deluxe Rooms, Family Deluxe Rooms, Staterooms, Suites and Queen Anne Courtyard Suites. All are elegantly decorated and spacious with luxury details including canopy beds (some rooms).
Rooms have views of the lake and/or gardens and the Staterooms and some Suites are located within the original castle walls. Inviting beds with luxurious linens will ensure a great night’s sleep for all. There are also a number of pet-friendly rooms should you wish to bring the family pet too.
Dining – Award-winning cuisine awaits guests at Dromoland Castle, and there is a range of dining options for guests.
Fine dining with silver service is available in the Earl of Thomond restaurant for dinner. In the Fig Tree Restaurant in the Golf & Country Club, guests can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with snacks, light lunches and casual dinners on offer. Guests can refuel during the day in The Gallery which has a reduced menu after 6pm.
The Cocktail Bar also has a snack menu and an extensive cocktail menu with signature cocktails. Guests can also request and enjoy a picnic for a private outdoors lunch, and the hotel also offers Afternoon Tea.
Things to do nearby – Aside from the on-site activities, Dromoland Castle is ideally located for enjoying this part of the West Coast of Ireland. As mentioned, the Burren National Park and the Cliff of Moher are within an hours’ drive from the castle. Limerick City is 35-minutes away where you can visit King John’s Castle. If you fancy another castle pop into Bunratty on your way to/from Limerick and see the castle and Folk Park. And, you can also enjoy drives along the Wild Atlantic Way from Dromoland Castle.
Summary – If you are looking for the best castle to stay in Ireland to combine luxury with sightseeing, then Dromoland Castle may be the one for you.
Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, Waterford
One of the best castles to stay in Ireland is Waterford Castle. Situated on a private island in the River Suir, the estate is a luxury hotel and golf resort. Waterford Castle has been in existence since the 16th century as a medieval tower house once owned by the powerful Fitzgerald family, and the current castle, built in the late 1800s, incorporates parts of the original medieval tower house and other later buildings.
The island upon Waterford Castle lies is a 310-acre private island that is only accessible by ferry boat. Once you reach the island you will be greeted by a wonderful woodland setting, complete with an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and the castle itself. You may also be lucky enough to spot the resident deer on the edge of the golf course, driving range or in the woodlands through which you can enjoy walks in nature.
Located just 10-minutes from Waterford City, it is an ideal base for exploring the city and surrounding areas while combining sightseeing with a relaxing, yet luxurious breakaway.
Accommodation – There are two accommodation options for guests at Waterford Castle. There are 19 rooms within the castle itself of varying sizes. There are Classic and Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Suites and a Presidential Suite. Each is elegantly decorated with all the luxuries you come to expect in a castle.
There are also 45 lodges comprising three or four bedrooms which offer self-catering, home-away-from-home options with all the modern conveniences you will need as a family or larger party. We have personally stayed in one of the three-bedroom lodges and can highly recommend them.
Dining – There are two dining options at Waterford Castle Resort. In the Munster Room Restaurant in the castle, guests can enjoy award-winning cuisine of both traditional and contemporary Irish dishes.
The King’s Channel Clubhouse is a more informal setting, located at the first tee of the golf course. Guests can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with casual dining including light snacks to evening meals and even take-away pizza, perfect if you are staying in one of the castle lodges.
Things to do nearby – Waterford Castle, as mentioned, is ideally located for exploring Waterford City and the surrounding areas. The Hook Head Lighthouse is a 45-minute drive from the castle and guests could also visit the John F Kennedy Arboretum. One of the best beaches in Ireland, Dunmore East is just a 35-minute drive from the castle.
Summary – If you are looking for a memorable castle stay in Ireland in the southeast, then Waterford Castle is a must.
Kilkea Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, Kildare
One of the best castle hotels Ireland has to offer is located only one hours’ drive from Dublin. Kilkea Castle in County Kildare is a former medieval stronghold of the Fitzgerald’s, Earls of Kildare. In the 12th century, there was a moat and bailey on the site and the current castle dates from the 15th century.
Set in 180-acres with woodland, gardens and a golf course, this castle hotel in Ireland’s Ancient East welcomes guests for a luxurious retreat not far from the Irish capital. It is also a popular venue for weddings in which couples can marry in the castle.
As well as a golf course, there is a spa, tennis courts, equestrian experiences, archery and falconry available at Kilkea Castle. Guests can enjoy walks in nature or venture outside of the resort and explore County Kildare, Carlow and even Dublin.
Accommodation – There are a total of 140 rooms at Kilkea Castle. Within the castle, there are 11 bedrooms that can be exclusively booked. There are also Carriage Rooms, self-catering Lodges and Lodge Rooms available to guests.
Castle Rooms are each uniquely designed and there are Deluxe, Luxury and Suite rooms available. Carriage Rooms in the castle courtyard are sumptuously designed. The Lodges come as 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom accommodations overlooking the golf course. Each has full kitchen facilities and modern conveniences to great a luxury home-away-from-home break for families or groups of friends.
Dining – Kilkea Castle has several dining options available to guests. Restaurant 1180 offers fine dining to guests in the evenings as well as breakfast.
For drinks and light snacks during the day, The Keep on the ground floor of the castle is ideal. Hermione’s Restaurant at the Clubhouse is another dining option with casual dining set in a newly remodelled restaurant overlooking the 9th hole.
Alfresco dining is available, weather permitting, and guests can also enjoy Afternoon Tea in Hermione’s Restaurant on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Things to do nearby – If guests want to venture outside the castle grounds, Kilkea is ideally located for visiting the Irish National Stud and Newbridge Silverware, both within 30-minutes’ of Kilkea Castle. Guests could also enjoy boat tours from Athy, visit the ruined Duckett’s Grove nearby, or Blessington Lakes, less than a 40-minutes’ drive from Kilkea Castle.
Summary – If you are looking for an Irish castle to stay in not far from the capital, then Kilkea Castle is the ideal location.
Ballygally Castle Hotel, Antrim
One of the best castle hotels in Northern Ireland is located just 3 miles (5km) from Larne in County Antrim and is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Ulster. Built in the 17th century by a Scotsman, James Shaw, it remained in his family for generations. It is reputed to have several ghosts including Lady Shaw, wife of James.
Located along the Causeway Coastal Route, the castle sits overlooking golden sands and has stunning views out to the Irish Sea. Its location at the tip of the Causeway Coastal Route offers guests a luxury stay within easy reach of some of Northern Ireland’s best attractions.
Ballygally Castle is located just 35-minutes’ from Belfast and 1 hour and 10 minutes from the Giant’s Causeway.
Accommodation – There are 54 beautifully decorated rooms in Ballygally Castle, some of which have original beamed ceilings, while some have panoramic views of the Garden wing.
Guests can choose from Superior, Coastal Deluxe and Tower Rooms (located within the castle building itself), or Junior Suites. Each has luxurious king beds ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep
Dining – There are a number of dining options available at Ballygally Castle. The Garden Restaurant, with its beautiful views across the grounds, offers both an Irish breakfast and table d’hôte dinner menu including daily specials.
Casual dining including light snacks and freshly baked treats are available in The Lounge, and there are a number of Afternoon Tea experiences available at Ballygally Castle.
Things to do nearby – As mentioned, Ballygally is located at the tip of the Causeway Coastal Route meaning places of interest including the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Dark Hedges are within easy reach. Belfast, a great city to visit, is also close by with plenty of sightseeing opportunities.
Summary – If you want to chance staying in a haunted castle in Ireland, then book yourself into the old part of Ballygally Castle!
Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan
Somewhere that is often thought of as the best castle hotel in Ireland is Castle Leslie. Situated on the banks of Glaslough in County Monaghan, Castle Leslie is a grand country house built in the late 19th century on the site of an earlier castle.
The 1000-acre estate has three lakes, the biggest being Glaslough. There are also forests, streams and parklands. The Castle is also one of Ireland’s last which remains in the hands of the founding family.
The extensively restored estate and the castle is just 1 hour and 20 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast, making it extremely accessible. Guests at Castle Leslie can enjoy an enchanting stay and take part in activities including archery, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, riding, walking and enjoy the on-site spa.
Accommodation – Castle Leslie offers different accommodation for guests to choose from. Guests can stay in one of the 21 Castle Bedrooms, each of which is uniquely designed with opulent styling and furnishing.
Lodge Bedrooms in the country house hotel include a Classic, Superior and Jigsaw Superior Room, all luxurious and spacious rooms for a thoroughly relaxing stay.
Or for a home-away-from-home stay in a quiet part of the estate, guests can choose to stay in the two-bedroom Old Stable Mews Accommodation.
Dining – Guests have a number of dining options available. The Snaffles Restaurant is an award-winning restaurant set on the mezzanine floor of The Lodge. A contemporary décor welcomes guests for delicious meals served alongside an extensive drink and gin menu.
Conor’s Lounge is the ideal place to relax after a walk in the estate. A relaxed atmosphere welcomes guests who can enjoy a pint of Guinness with wholesome country home cooking.
Private dining for special occasions are also available on request and if it is Afternoon Tea you want, you can enjoy it between 1 and 4pm in The Lodge.
Things to do nearby – If the 1000-acre estate doesn’t keep you busy, then venture out and explore the local area. There is golfing nearby and lots of trails for walking, hiking and cycling. Glaslough Village is a pretty little village, and Castle Leslie lies on the edge of Ireland’s Ancient East, a haven for discovering Ireland’s past history.
Summary – If you are looking for Irish castles you can stay in for a luxurious and comfortable stay, Castle Leslie is the perfect location for it.
Ballyseede Castle Hotel, Kerry
If you are looking to sleep in a castle in Ireland that has a history dating back to the late 16th century, then choose to stay in Ballyseede Castle in County Kerry. This is also the county’s only castle hotel and the main castle was built in the late 18th century by the family. Originally a garrison for the Earl of Desmond, it was handed to the Blennerhassett family following the eventual fall of the 16th Earl of Desmond in 1590. Their rent was a nominal single red rose to be handed over on Midsummer’s Night.
Set on 30-acres of ancient woodland and gardens just a few kilometres from Tralee, Ballyseede is reputed to be haunted by a ghost. The ghost is said to be preceded by the scent of roses, indicating the ‘possible’ presence of the ghost of Hilda Blennerhassett, the last of the family to inhabit the castle until her death in 1965.
At Ballyseede Castle, guests will be greeted by luxury décor, a grand staircase, impressive rooms and marble fireplaces. Guests can enjoy leisurely walks in the estate alongside miniature ponies and donkeys.
Accommodation – There are 39 rooms within the castle itself and a newly built Lodge which offers an additional five bedrooms, ideal for families and groups of friends. Castle rooms include Superior, Family, Double and Cosy Castle Doubles.
A two-minute walk from the castle is where you will find The Lodge with five hotel-style bedrooms luxuriously designed and furnished.
Dining – Guests staying at Ballyseede Castle can enjoy a variety of dining options. The O’Connell Restaurant offers beautiful Irish cuisine for dinner in magnificent surroundings. This restaurant has a smart casual dress code.
Guests will enjoy breakfast in the Stone Room Restaurant, which is also used for private functions. Pappy’s Bar offers all-day casual dining and is the ideal place for families to relax together.
And finally, Afternoon Tea is available in the afternoons between 2 and 5pm.
Things to do nearby – Ballyseede Castle is located close to Tralee and is ideally situated for exploring County Kerry. The beautiful fishing harbour town of Dingle is just a 50-minutes’ drive from Ballyseede, while Killarney and the associated National Park are just over 30-minutes’ from Ballyseede. If you want to explore one of the most picturesque areas of Ireland, then drive the Ring of Kerry. This 179km long circular route is a must-visit if you are in County Kerry.
Locally there are also surfing options, golf, boating and angling, and other attractions for guests to enjoy while staying at Ballyseede Castle.
Summary – If you are looking for affordable castle hotels in Ireland, Ballyseede is one of the best, and is ideally located for exploring the beautiful County Kerry.
Lough Rynn Castle Estate and Gardens, Leitrim
When it comes to Irish castle hotels, Lough Rynn is one of the best. Located on a narrow piece of land between Lough Rynn and Lough Erril, Lough Rynn Castle is situated on the historic grounds of a medieval castle and estate that once belonged to the Mac Raghnaill family. The ruins of the Mac Raghnaill castle lie a few hundred metres from the current castle, thought to date from the 15th century.
Sitting on 300-acres of land, guests can enjoy walled gardens, lakeside walks and discover a Bronze Age tomb alongside a 400-year-old oak tree. Other features on the estate include a crannog, stables, an arboretum and other structures.
Accommodation – There are 44 bedrooms and suites that welcome guests for a comfortable stay. Guests can choose from Classic Bedrooms, Suites and Eastern Range Bedrooms. All are well-appointed with luxury design and furnishing throughout.
The Eastern Range Bedrooms, of which there are 16, are located in a separate building just a few minutes from the castle in what was the former residence and stables of the Estate Manager.
For those who would like a self-catering option, just 3-minutes from the castle are a number of three-bedroomed cottages, perfect for families and groups of friends.
Dining – Guests of Lough Rynn Castle can dine on dishes from the award-winning kitchens. In the Sandstone Restaurant, lunch and dinner are available for fine dining experiences.
A more casual dining experience can be enjoyed in the Drawing Room and Afternoon Tea is available in the main reception room with uninterrupted views of Lough Rynn.
Things to do nearby – There are plenty of other activities available to guests in the local area. Carrick-on-Shannon is just a 20-minute drive away from where you can enjoy boating experiences. The Arigna Mining Experience is 40-minutes’ drive, while Strokestown House and the National Famine Museum are less than 40-minutes’ from Lough Rynn Castle.
Summary – For one of the best castle stays in Ireland, consider booking into Lough Rynn Castle to explore County Leitrim and the wider area.
One of the best castles in Ireland to stay in is located in County Galway. Overlooked by Benlettery, one of the Twelve Bens Mountains in Connemara, Ballynahinch Castle is a former country house and estate on the site of a former castle. This private estate is now home to one of the finest castle hotels in Ireland and has a history dating to the 16th century.
The castle is located on the shores of Ballynahinch Lake and dates from the mid-18th century. The large 700-acre estate also has a river and woodland, perfect for exploring by those who love being in nature.
Regularly voted in the top 10 resort hotels in Ireland, guests can enjoy getting closer to nature as well as fishing, shooting, walking and hiking.
Accommodation – Guests at Ballynahinch Castle can choose from a number of rooms to stay in. There are Classic, Classic Riverside, Superior and Luxury Rooms, as well as Riverside Suites, the Lettery Lodge and Owenmore Cottage.
Some rooms are located in the original house, with views across the lakes, river and estate grounds. Each is beautifully decorated and with luxury furnishings and linens for a comfortable stay. Some rooms also feature four-poster beds for a truly luxurious stay.
The Lettery Lodge is a five-bedroom, self-catering option for families or groups of friends, while the Owenmore Cottage is a six-bedroom, self-catering accommodation option just a short walk from the main castle building.
Dining – At Ballynahinch, guests can choose to dine in style or in a more casual setting.
In the Owenmore Restaurant, with its stunning views across the salmon river, guests can enjoy a fine-dining experience that is relaxed, yet elegant.
The Fisherman’s Pub and Ranji Room offer a more informal setting for diners. Lunch and dinner are available here as well as light night time snacks.
Guests can also request a picnic hamper to enjoy on the estate. There are 4 to choose from which must be requested 24-hours in advance.
Things to do nearby – Ballynahinch is ideally located for exploring the Connemara Region of Galway, as well as the Galway section of the Wild Atlantic Way. Connemara National Park is half an hour away and Galway City is just over an hours’ drive from the castle. Horse riding can be enjoyed nearby and guests can enjoy a lobster and island experience during the months of April to September (reception can help organise this for you).
Summary – For a wonderful castle stay in the West of Ireland, check into the Ballynahinch Castle Resort and start exploring the wilds of Connemara.
Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin
One of the top castles to stay in Ireland is located in Clontarf, Dublin. Although a castle has sat on the site since the late 12th century, the current castle is quite modern, dating from 1837. The Clontarf area of Dublin is famous thanks to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 in which one of the last High Kings of Ireland, Brian Boru and his forces battled the Viking Norse leader, Sigtrygg Silkbeard and his forces, eventually defeating the Vikings.
Once a sprawling estate, much of the estate lands were sold for housing, but there still remains modest grounds with an ornamental greenhouse. The castle is perfectly located for exploring the Irish capital which many guests do during their stay.
Accommodation – There are four different types of rooms available for guests to choose from. All are well decorated with modern conveniences for a luxury stay in a castle just 15 minutes from the very heart of Dublin City Centre.
Guests can stay in Deluxe Rooms which include bold fabrics and wall coverings in themes including country heritage and contemporary design. Executive Rooms ooze luxury and glamour with some also having four-poster beds.
Boutique Queens Rooms are fit for a queen with dreamy tones and fabrics, while the Luxury Suites offer a blend of contemporary and classic for the ultimate in castle luxury.
Dining – The Fahrenheit Restaurant, set in the original 12th-century walls of Clontarf Castle, offers contemporary fine dining for guests in an opulent setting.
Carvery lunch is available in the Indigo Lounge from Sunday to Friday, while guests can enjoy Gastro-pub dining in the Knights Bar. Afternoon Tea is also available at Clontarf Castle, served in the Atrium lobby.
Things to do nearby – With Clontarf Castle located just a 15-minutes’ drive from the very heart of Dublin, guests are ideally located for exploring the Irish capital. Book into Clontarf Castle and follow my 3-day Dublin itinerary for discovering the best the city has to offer.
Summary – If you are looking for an Irish castle hotel close to Dublin, you cannot find one better located than Clontarf Castle.
If one of your Ireland bucket list items is to stay in a castle in Ireland, you are sure to find one among this list of the best castle hotels in Ireland. These are located throughout the country including in Dublin and Northern Ireland, and each offer a luxurious stay in stunning settings and with plenty to do both on-site and in the surrounding areas.
Cath is an Irish expat now living in Portugal. She regularly returns to Ireland to explore more of the wonderful island with her family.