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9 Best Castle Hotels in Ireland

9 Best Castle Hotels in Ireland

A beautiful country to travel around, Ireland is a fascinating place to explore. Everywhere you go, you’ll come across these spectacular old Irish castles dotted about the landscape. There are remarkably over 3,000 castles in Ireland for you to visit! There are also some amazing castle hotels in Ireland you can spend the night at.

While some of the castles are now crumbling ruins, others are very well-preserved; many have even been turned into 5-star castle hotels. Indeed, no trip to Ireland can ever be complete without having seen at least a couple of its amazing castles.

The ‘Emerald Isle’ has a long and interesting history of conquest and war, so the Irish castles all date back to different periods. This means that there are lots of different architectural styles on show. Some of the castles look very simple and understated, while others look very grand and impressive. Nearly all of them, however, are set in the most beautiful locations imaginable!

Whether you’re traveling along the wet and wild Irish coastline, through its valleys and glens, or even just driving along a road in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to see at least a castle or two!

One of the best ways to see all of Ireland’s amazing sights is to actually stay in a castle hotel in Ireland, and there are now quite a few castle hotels hidden around the country. All the castle hotels in Ireland have been fantastically renovated and are often just a stone’s throw away from some beautiful countryside or amazing historical attraction (other than the castle itself).

Staying in a castle really does make for a memorable stay, and many of the castles host weddings and ceremonies if you have something special to celebrate coming up. If not, they are still worth visiting, even if it’s ‘just’ for a family vacation! To help give you an idea of what’s available, here are the nine best castle hotels in Ireland for you to check out.

Related Article: Fairytale Castles in Germany

Ireland Castle Hotel Drone Photo

Ashford Castle Hotel in Ireland

1. Ashford Castle

One of the best castle hotels in Ireland, if not the world, Ashford Castle is a delight to visit and is breathtakingly beautiful. A mishmash of architectural styles, the castle has Victorian and neo-gothic features, among others. It’s fair to say that it has changed a lot from when it was first built back in 1288.

Nowadays, it is a 5-star luxury hotel with its own cinema, wine cellars, and spa, among other things. It is the place to go if you want to indulge yourself! Everything about Ashford Castle is perfect – from the look of the castle to the manicured lawns and professional, welcoming staff. It is an amazing place to get married – if you can afford it!

Located in County Mayo, the castle lies on the shores of the scenic Lough Corrib, and Lough Mask is just a short distance away. Consequently, there are lots of great watersport activities to be had here. You can enjoy anything from fishing and falconry to tennis and strolling around its beautiful gardens.

If you ever manage to tear yourself away from this incredible castle, the ruins of Aughanure Castle are the nearest attraction to visit. Offering quite the package, Ashford Castle suits all guests, so families, honeymooners, and couples will enjoy visiting.

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2. Cabra Castle Hotel

Prepare to be amazed! Not only is Cabra Castle Hotel incredible to behold but it is also located on 100 acres of picturesque parklands and gorgeous gardens. This means that there is lots of lovely countryside for you to explore, and the magical Dun a Ri Forest Park is just next door.

In addition to its delightful setting, the interior of this 4-Star castle hotel looks elegant and grand, so it comes as no surprise that it is one of the top-rated castle hotels in Ireland. Make sure to have dinner at least once at the lavish Courtroom Restaurant; its arched windows look simply amazing!

Built in the 17th century, the castle is in the scenic County Cavan. It is only an hour away from Dublin airport, with the capital being the largest major city near to it. There are lots of fun activities for guests to try out, such as horse riding, archery, and fishing. It’s also not far from Roodstown Castle and Guard Castle if you want to see some more impressive structures.

With its medieval grandeur and the fantastic service on offer, Cabra Castle Hotel is a favorite place to host a wedding if you want to celebrate in style. All in all, it really is the complete package!

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3. Waterford Castle Hotel

Set on its own private island, Waterford Castle Hotel is a charming place to head, with a very elegant feel and look to it. Covering 310 acres, there are lots of outdoor activities for you to indulge in; however, simply walking around the amazing scenery makes for a lovely experience in itself.

The 16th-century castle is surrounded by beautiful lawns and woods and is ideal for a romantic getaway. It even boasts a massive golf course for visitors to enjoy, as well as an award-winning restaurant.

The island is in the southeast of Ireland, just ten minutes from Waterford; you can take a private car ferry to get there. There are a lot of castles in the surrounding area if you want to explore the country’s historic sites further. While the ruined castles of Kilmurry and Gorteens are the nearest, Slade Castle is the most impressive.

In addition to all the fantastic facilities that Waterford Castle Hotel boasts, it is also a delightful place to get married – the ceremony room is stunning. Having said that, it isn’t a bad place to go on your honeymoon either!

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4. Kinnitty Castle Hotel

Located right in the center of Ireland, Kinnity Castle Hotel is built in a gothic revival style; as such, it looks quite dramatic from the outside. The rooms are very cozy and inviting, and the hotel is ideal if you’re looking for a quiet vacation as it is set in some lovely countryside, miles away from anything.

In fact, it is almost equal distance away from Dublin, Limerick, and Galway, with each of the major cities being over an hour away. As it lies at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, a lot of hikers head here to enjoy the pristine scenery.

The castle has a long and troubled history; it has been attacked, burned, and destroyed at various times throughout the centuries. The current version dates to the 19th century, although the original was built sometime before the 1200s.

If you’re doing a tour of Ireland’s castles, then Leap Castle and Birr Castle are just two nearby sites that are well worth visiting; they both have some lovely architecture to explore.

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5. Wilton Castle

Built in 1247, Wilton Castle in County Wexford has been around for a long time, so it’s no surprise that it looks so at home amongst its surroundings. Rolling, forest-covered hills lie around it, and it has some of the most well-kept lawns you’ll ever see!

Inside, the rooms manage to be modern but retain their traditional look and feel; there are four different suites for visitors to choose from. It’s popular for weddings, and with the beautiful castle and grounds around you, you’re definitely in for a memorable time!

Lying on the Boro River, the castle is just a stone’s throw away from the town of Enniscorthy, which itself has a beautiful castle for you to check out. Other than that, Wexford is the nearest largest city to Wilton Castle – it too has numerous castles for you to visit.

Although it is ideal for a quiet or romantic getaway, there are lots of fun activities to try out in the surrounding area, such as golf, horse riding, and karting. Wexford hosts a number of festivals over the year if you want to get a taste of local life. With so much to see and do, it is no wonder that Wilton Castle is among the best castle hotels in Ireland.

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6. Ballyseede Castle

With its lovely decorations, marble fireplaces, and beautiful furniture, everything about this 4-star hotel screams luxury. Ballyseede Castle is a fantastic place to head if you want a refined experience or even a picture-perfect wedding. The ceremony room is just as nicely put together as the rest of the castle rooms, so it really will make for some unforgettable memories – it’s not every day you can get married in a 16th-century castle!

Located just outside of Tralee on the west coast of Ireland, Ballyseede Castle is a great base from which to explore the delights of this scenic part of the Emerald Isle. There is lots to see and do nearby. You can take a tour of County Kerry, enjoy some watersports, or even take a boat trip to the remote yet awe-inspiring Skellig Islands.

From Tralee, you can also head off to visit some of the other castles that are dotted about the Irish landscape; Ballyheigue Castle is certainly worth a visit, as it is perched on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic.

Dromoland Castle Hotel in Ireland

7. Dromoland Castle

If you’re after a bit of pampering and feel like a luxury vacation, then Dromoland may just be the place for you. The 5-star hotel has everything you could dream of. Guests can take horse-drawn carriage rides around the vast estate, enjoy a luxurious spa experience, or simply play as much golf as possible.

The hotel tries to tailor everything to your desires, and there are lots of different packages and offers for you to choose from. As such, families are just as welcome at the castle as honeymooners and wedding guests.

Set in a sprawling 410-acre estate, Dromoland Castle is located in County Clare, not too far away from Limerick and Shannon Airport. While the present building only dates to 1835, the earliest part of it was built around the 15th century.

Over the years, lots of famous guests have stayed here, such as Nelson Mandela, George W. Bush, and John Travolta! As you can imagine, it’s a pretty incredible place to visit and certainly deserves its ranking amongst the best castle hotels in Ireland.

If you finally manage to exhaust all of the endless activities that Dromoland Castle has to entertain guests with, then Bunratty Castle and Knappogue Castle are both just down the road.

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8. Ballynahinch Castle

With lochs and lakes sprinkled around the surrounding countryside, Ballynahinch Castle is set in a beautiful part of Ireland and makes for a perfect base from which to explore the stunning scenery.

The enormous estate covers more than 700 acres. Amongst all the lovely rivers and woodlands, there are lots of fun outdoor activities for you to try. While its remote location means that it is quite far from the nearest big city of Galway, the amazing landscapes and impressive castle more than make up for it.

Built in 1754, the hotel looks out over its famous salmon fishery, and the landscaped gardens only add to the idyllic scene. While the beautiful scenery and setting is what many people come for, there are a number of interesting historical sites nearby, such as Aughanure Castle and the spectacular Ashford Castle.

As it has so much for guests to see and do, Ballynahinch Castle is perfect for couples, families and honeymooners alike, while many people organize weddings here or even work retreats.

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9. Fitzpatrick Castle

If you’re only in Ireland for a short period and don’t really have time to head out of Dublin, fear not; you can always stay at the lovely Fitzpatrick Castle. Located in the suburbs to the south of the city center, the 4-star hotel is painted an alluring blue and really stands out against the woods that surround it.

Looking out over Dublin Bay, the hotel’s location is fantastic and means that you can be off exploring all of Dublin’s sights in no time at all. Consequently, it is ideal for people short on time but who still want to stay in an amazing old castle.

Due to its proximity to the capital, the 18th-century castle is a popular place to hold weddings and conferences, so it is a good idea to book in advance. The hotel also attracts its fair share of families who come to visit Dublin’s lively streets before returning to the relaxing and peaceful Fitzpatrick Castle in the evening.

Among the most popular tourist attractions that people come to see is the impressive Dublin Castle, which is a 30-minute drive away. Offering the perfect combination of city life and historic site, Fitzpatrick is one of the best castle hotels in Ireland and is definitely worth checking out when in Dublin.

No matter what castle hotel in Ireland you stay at it’s definitely a unique accommodation and one you’ll remember.