Maybe it’s just me and my taste for all things royal and luxurious, but when I think about Ireland, one of the first things I imagine is an old, beautiful castle. Of course, that beautiful castle is surrounded by all of that green that Ireland is famous for – but mostly I’m fantasizing about the castle.
For a girl like me, no trip to Ireland would be complete without a night spent in an authentic castle. Fortunately, there are plenty of castle hotels in the area to choose from!
4 Castle Hotels In Ireland
1. Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort - Limerick
Voted the Number One European Resort by Conde Nast Traveller in 2002, this 5-star deluxe hotel was once the family seat of the Earls of Dunraven. I imagine I would spend my entire stay saying “the Earls of Dunraven” over and over again in what I lovingly refer to as “my royal accent”. Aside from the it’s a castle feature, Adare Manor also offers a golf course (hence the “& Golf Resort” part), indoor heated swimming pool, saunas, fitness room with state of the art equipment and a range of massage therapies.
2. Ashford Castle – Mayo
This castle dates back to 1228 and was once the home of the Guinness family. Is there anything more Irish than Guinness? Now a luxury resort, Ashford Castle sits on 350 acres along the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong. Guests enjoy complementary golf and other various leisure facilities, including cruising and falconry. Let me tell you how much money I would pay to watch my husband do falconry: lots.
3. Dromoland Castle - Clare
Sister hotel to Ashford Castle, Dromoland is yet another luxury hotel housed in a castle. This castle offers 100 rooms, including turret suites. Turrets! The special fancy tower part of the castle! For no extra charge, you can let down your hair outside your room’s window and wait to see if a fair prince attempts to climb your ponytail.
4. Waterford Castle - Waterford
What’s more luxurious than a castle hotel? How about a castle hotel on a private island. Waterford Castle is reached by private ferry. Once you arrive on the island, you’ll travel through a tree-lined entrance to the 800 year old castle – just like in the movies. *Le sigh* Waterford Castle also specializes in castle weddings, and I suddenly find myself longing to buy a new white dress.
There are literally dozens more castles that allow you to live the life of a real princess – or, er, queen, king, whatever – all over Ireland. There are even a few 3 star castles that offer the authentic castle experience for a little less gold, but I would appreciate if no one mentions that to my husband.
Photos courtesy of: Trip Advisor, Ashford Castle, Dromoland Castle, Waterford Castle,