Ireland’s historical castles, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people make it a true Emerald Isle that everyone should visit at least once.
You might not know it, but Ireland boasts some of the most breath-taking castles that are now open to the public as hotels, so you can feel like royalty for a night or two. At each of these castles to stay at in Ireland you can expect luxury accommodation, impeccable service, and gorgeous grounds.
Here are some of the best castle accommodations you’ll find in Ireland, where you can spend the night and enjoy everything that comes with staying in a palace while exploring Ireland.
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Best Castle Hotels in Ireland
If you’ve ever wanted to live out your very own fairy tale, booking a room in one of these Irish castles for the night might just be the experience you’re looking for. From simple luxury vacations to glorious wedding venues, these castles are ideal. Many of them have won awards, proving just how spectacular they are.
Book in for a weekend – or a week – and relish in graceful rooms with period furniture, large and lavish dining rooms, and astonishing outdoor spaces for strolls and picnics. In no particular order, here are some of the top choices for castle accommodation on the Emerald Isle.
Location: Ashford Castle Dr, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Galway
This real-life Victorian palace is one of the most popular 5-star castle hotels Ireland has to offer. There are 83 separate spaces to sleep here, ranging from a simple yet luxurious Corrib room to a splendid Presidential Suite. And then there is the Hideaway Cottage which provides a more intimate space on the banks of the Lough Corrib.
The 800-year-old castle also boasts a spa and wellness center, seven restaurants, and three bars. Plus, there are a number of activities to enjoy on the grounds of the castle, including clay shooting, golf, and fishing.
Location: Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare
Once home to the direct descendants of Irish King Brian Boru, this castle in Ireland has kept all of its regalness and combined it with luxury hospitality. The castle hosts several events and festivals in the spring and summer seasons, and it’s completely child-friendly too.
You can’t go wrong with any of the castle’s rooms on offer, whether you choose a classic, courtyard, deluxe, or executive deluxe room. There are also staterooms and suites for those looking for the ultimate luxury stay.
The castle offers guests a wide variety of dining options, ranging from a table at one of the on-site restaurants to a packed picnic lunch. In-room service is also available for those not wanting to leave their cozy quarters.
Location: Recess, Connemara, Recess, Co. Galway
Ballynahinch Castle, located along the Wild Atlantic Way, gives visitors the chance to experience life in an 18th-century castle while still offering 4-star modern luxury accommodation. The castle sits on a 700-acre estate of woodland and provides one of the most tranquil settings you’ll find in the area.
Guests can choose their rooms based on availability, budget, and desire. There are classic, superior, and luxury rooms, ranging in size and offering views of either the river, Ben Lettery mountains, or the stunning gardens.
If you are looking for more space or a bit more independence and privacy, the six-bedroom Owenmore Cottage and five-bedroom Lettery Lodge are self-catering spaces for large groups. These still come with impeccable service and gorgeous castle ground surroundings.
Lough Eske Castle Hotel
Location: Lough Eske, Co. Donegal
Closely linked to the founding fathers of Donegal, the O’Donnells, this castle is steeped in history and heritage. Lough Eske’s location is perfect for those in the mood to discover Donegal during the day and sleep like a king (or queen) by night.
The hotel has 97 rooms and suites in a range of styles. Some of these are found in the original part of the castle, while the courtyard rooms and garden suites have direct access to the castle grounds.
For a truly intimate experience, the two-story Lake Lodge is separated from the castle, with views out on the lake, but provides the same comfort and luxury as the rooms.
Guests have access to free bike hire to explore the surrounding area, and the on-site spa will be waiting to pamper you afterward. There is also fishing on the lake and history tours of the castle itself.
Location: Tralee, Ballyseede, Tralee, Co. Kerry
This is the only castle hotel in County Kerry, which makes it special already. But even when compared to all of the other castle stays in Ireland, Ballyseede has its own appeal. The castle is owned and run by Marnie and Rory O’Sullivan and their Irish wolfhound, Molly.
When the O’Sullivans took the hotel over in 2005, they extended the castle (carefully preserving the building’s heritage), and it now offers 45 magnificent rooms. Each of these is luxurious in its own way, with many offering stunning views of the manicured gardens, four-poster beds, and elegant en-suite bathrooms.
Each meal at this castle is an occasion, but the Afternoon Tea is especially enjoyable, so if you’ve booked a stay, be sure to make it back to the hotel in time for this.
Cabra Castle Hotel
Location: Carrickmacross Rd, Mullantra, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan
Definitely one of the most romantic castles of Ireland, Cabra Castle is a popular wedding venue in County Cavan. The 4-star castle hotel has 105 bedrooms in total, ranging from clean, budget-friendly Cottage Rooms all the way up to medieval-style Castle Rooms and artisan-style Courtyard Rooms.
With its backdrop of the Dún a Rí Forest Park and 100 acres of land, Cabra Castle offers guests plenty of fresh Irish air to enjoy. While inside, the period furnishing and cozy atmosphere create a welcoming space for all.
The castle has the Derby Bar, which serves light meals all day, either in the Drawing Room or on the Terrace. But The Courtroom Restaurant is where you can indulge in a dinner fit for royalty. It’s also the best place to have a traditional Irish Sunday lunch.
Location: Castle View, Kilkea Demesne, Castledermot, Co. Kildare
The 12th-century Kilkea Castle is an important landmark in Ireland’s history, and it’s found just an hour away from Dublin. The castle’s history dates back all the way to 1180, but today the impressive grounds have been turned into a regal resort.
This 180-acre property boasts 140 bedrooms in total, with options to suit everyone. There are 11 bedrooms within the castle itself, as well as a number of carriage rooms in the courtyard. Then just a short distance from the castle are the self-catering lodges, coming in one-, two-, or three-bedroom options.
The resort estate also has a spa, tennis courts, conference center, clubhouse, bar, and two restaurants. And even with the multiple eateries available, in-room dining is still a luxury offer to all guests.
Lismore, Co. Waterford
What’s better than booking into an Irish castle hotel? Having the entire castle to yourself, of course!
Lismore Castle is available for exclusive hires only, meaning you and a party of between eight and 27 people can ‘move in’ to the castle for your stay. There are 15 bedrooms to accommodate guests, each as comfortable and lavish as the next.
The castle also has a library, playroom for the kids, drawing-room, grand hall, and two sitting rooms. There is a kitchen where the staff will prepare your meals and serve you in the dining room or the banqueting hall. The experience is completely tailored to you and your special occasion, making it even more magical.
Location: Wilton, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
Slightly different from the other castles in Ireland on this list, Wilton Castle offers a more self-catering vacation experience. The 19th-century castle is split up into four suites – each named after one of the four families that once occupied the castle. The suites all have fully equipped kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms.
This allows guests their own space while still offering attentive staff and help where needed. There is a bed and breakfast option, or you can go fully self-catering and cook up a storm in your suite kitchen.
Wilton is a great place to bring family reunions, birthday parties, and -of course – weddings. The entire seven-bedroom castle can be rented out just for you and your group. The castle is a short distance from Wexford, which promises plenty of activities and fun to keep you occupied while here.
Stay in a Castle in Ireland
Wherever you are based on your trip to Ireland, you’ll most likely find a grand palace ready and waiting to welcome you into its luxury rooms. While hotels and B&Bs in the country can be just as luxurious and comfortable, Irish castle hotels offer a unique experience.
These hotels are perfect for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or even a solo trip. Elegant bedrooms, lavish living rooms, and vast grounds to explore are all things you can look forward to when arriving at your Ireland castle hotel.
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.