If you’re thinking of getting away for St. Patrick’s Day you should consider staying in one of the amazing castle hotels in Ireland!
Chances are you’ve seen a few castles in ruins, or castles that are not able to be toured various reasons – but did you know that there are some that have been turned into “castle hotels” (preserving much, if not all, of the authentic charm and decor of the original castle) that you can actually stay in?
My top choice would be to stay at Ashford Castle – a five star hotel in County Mayo, Ireland. It’s the top castle hotel in Ireland for good reason. Boasting activities on the estate such as a world class spa, falconry, archery, horse riding, golfing and boat trips.
In addition to activities on the estate there are many unique experiences that take you off the beaten path for an afternoon of exploration:
- “Meet the Makers” – Meet Irish Craftsmen: blacksmith, stone carver and tile designer.
- “Taste of the west of Ireland” – Making Irish soda bread, meet a shellfish farmer, bee keeper and cheese maker.
- “Ireland’s Ancient Music and Story” – Listen to a Uilleann piper, harpist and storyteller.
- “The Real Connemara” – board a traditional Galway hooker sailing boat, visit intimate bays and beaches, or accompany an historian on walking tours of glens mountains, visiting ancient and sacred sites.
This castle hotel offers Corrib Rooms, State Rooms, Suites and a luxurious “Hideaway Cottage” that comes with many special gifts and treats.
This 800 year old castle, once home to the Guinness family, preserves the antiquity of an ancient castle while also providing modern amenities of any luxury hotel; Wi-Fi, Egyptian Cotton linens, fresh flowers, turn down service, in-room bar, and more.
Kilkea Castle Hotel is a bit more remote, but the staff arranges transportation to and from Dublin Airport to make it easy to visit.
There are three types rooms to choose from. You can stay at Kilkea Castle itself – individual rooms are available or you can rent the whole castle, 11 bedrooms plus common areas, for your stay or event. For something a bit more modern stay in one of the Carriage Rooms – located in the courtyard. If you would like private lodge-style living, some with their own kitchens, stay in one of the Lodges at Kilkea – individual private dwellings overlooking the golf course.
Experiences at this castle hotel include a Spa (including a hydrotherapy pool and couples suite), golf, horse riding, archery, falconry, whiskey tasting and fishing.
Nearby activities include outdoor hiking tours: Burtown House & Gardens, Mondello Park, Irish National Stud and Gardens, The Curragh Racecourse, Punchestown Racecourse and Castletown House & Gardens.
If a more quaint but still royally elegant getaway is what you’re looking for Kilkea is the castle hotel for you!
Lough Rynn Castle
Third on the list, this 2AA Rosette Award Sandstone Restaurant is the standout feature at this hotel.
Activities offered are more simplified that the first two castles, but still capture the culture of the Irish countryside. Within 30 minutes of the castle estate you can enjoy golf, fishing, horse riding, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, and a spa.
The Lough Rynn Castle Hotel also has many offers and discounts available! If you’re traveling on a budget or just like to grab a good deal, this castle hotel is a good bet.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to be royalty to enjoy living in a castle – for a short time that is! And if you can’t make it to Ireland there are amazing castles in the US to visit as well.
To read about all 10 of the best castle hotels visit this article.
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