castle hotels in ireland castle leslie
Travel Tips,  Where to Stay

Best Castle Hotels in Ireland: 13 Hotels You Must Visit

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Many people think of castles when they imagine Ireland, but what if I told you there are castle hotels in Ireland that you can stay at? That’s a dream come true for many people, so I’ve compiled a list of some of the most unique places to stay during your trip.

When I drove around Ireland several years ago, I stayed in a new place every night for almost a week so I could experience the different types of accommodations they had, including Irish country homes. However, my favorites were definitely the Irish castle hotels due to how one-of-a-kind they were.

While there are dozens of castle hotels in Ireland, these are 13 of the best Ireland castle hotels to help you narrow down your search.

1. Castle Leslie Hotel

Location: Glaslough, County Monaghan

Castle Leslie is one of the largest castles on this list as it sits on a whopping 1,000-acre estate. The Leslie family founded the castle in the 1660s and still retains control of it, and they’ve lived in the castle for under 400 years.

If you’re traveling from Belfast, it will take an hour to get to Castle Leslie. Traveling from Dublin will add 20 minutes to your travel time, making it an 80-minute journey.

This was the first Irish castle hotel I stayed at and I was taken aback by how larger-than-life it seemed. Thanks to its sheer size, Castle Leslie offers several lodging options.

The castle hotel has 20 castle rooms to choose from, and they have no TVs or radios. These rooms are perfect for disconnecting from technology for a while, and mine made me feel like a princess.

However, there’s Wi-Fi in the public areas, so you can still contact people “on the outside.” It’s also a great thing to do in Ireland with kids to get the experience of staying in a real castle.

Those who value being “plugged in” can stay in the country-style lodges with everything a tech-savvy traveler needs. You’ll find smart TVs in the rooms and luxurious Victorian roll-top baths, and I think you’ll love the walk-in showers that are also there.

You can rent the Village Cottages and Old Stable Mews for family gatherings or an outing with your friends.

A relaxing thing to do is explore the grounds on foot and fish in the nearby lakes. It’s an excellent opportunity to get in touch with nature. Horse lovers can choose to explore the estate on a horseback run.

Tip: There are several exciting day trips from Belfast you can take after your time at Castle Leslie Hotel. Once you’ve enjoyed your stay at Castle Leslie, head to Belfast and explore the different day trips you can take from the bustling city.

Book your room on Hotels.com

2. Ashford Castle Hotel

Ashford Castle castle hotels in ireland
Photo by Ashford Castle in Ireland on Facebook

Location: Cong, County Mayo

Ashford Castle has a colorful history spanning over 700 years. The de Burgo family built it in the 13th century, and many families occupied it in the centuries that followed.

One of these families is the famous Guinness family. They lived in the castle for 78 years — from 1852 until 1930. The family is said to have spent a tremendous amount of money maintaining and renovating the castle.

Surrounding the grand 83-room castle is its 350-acre estate. The five-star hotel is frequently ranked one of the best castle hotels in Ireland, and it’s not hard to see why.

Guests are treated to the exceptionally warm hospitality that Ireland is known for while enjoying the wealth of bygone eras and Irish culture. The richly decorated interior is evidence of the centuries of love and care in crafting its furniture.

Perfectly manicured lawns adorn 350 acres of this hotel, and this magnificent castle boasts a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts. Other amenities include a spa located in the conservatory, an indoor pool, and a dining room. In addition, you’ll find a billiards room and private cinema to watch movies in and snack on some warm popcorn.

Their spacious and beautiful rooms are furnished with antique rosewood furniture, and you’ll find it difficult to get out of its luxurious canopy bed. You won’t want to leave its warmth and comfort. While reminiscent of past Irish wealth, the rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.

Book your room on Hotels.com

3. Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Ballynahinch Castle
Photo by Ballynahinch Castle Hotel on Facebook

Location: Connemara, County Galway

Those looking for a romantic getaway will appreciate staying at Ballynahinch Castle. I think you’ll low how intimate and private the hotel is and find its charm and aura quite whimsical. Its appeal can be traced back to the castle, built in the 18th century and located on the riverfront.

I’m not surprised that the castle hotel is considered the “jewel in the crown of Connemara.” It’s undoubtedly one of the most luxurious and opulent hotels you’ll ever stay in if you decide to.

The castle is situated on a perfectly lawned 450-acre estate. You will enjoy glorious views of the Twelve Bens Mountain range as Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is at the lower part of the mountain range.

You can find 48 country-style guest rooms uniquely decorated in this magnificent castle. In addition, all guest rooms had fireplaces and comfortable canopy beds from which one could see the river.

One of your favorite things to do here will be to walk to the Owenmore River and go salmon river fishing in the quiet of the morning. You can also hike the mountains nearby or go biking. Like Ashford Castle, you can also play tennis here.

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4. Cabra Castle Hotel

Cabra Castle
Photo by Cabra Castle on Facebook

Location: Kingscourt, County Cavan

Cabra Castle has a rich and fascinating history, and its roots date as far back as 1760, with its first owner being Colonel Thomas Cooch. Upon walking onto the grounds, I felt its mature and cultured ambiance.

This is a castle. It feels like being in a Disney movie; sweeping emerald grounds surround Cabra Castle. The hotel boasts extravagant architecture and elegant decor. Keeping up with the Disney-like theme are the incredible natural attractions. If you thought “hotels in castles” never made sense, you’d feel so after spending time here.

In addition to its stunning exterior, the castle also boasts an interior reminiscent of the past. The small stone towers adjacent to the castle are covered with ivy, and a magnificent stairway leads to the hotel’s doors.

Cabra Castle has a range of amenities and great activities to partake in. The 98 en-suite bedrooms are tastefully decorated with elegant furnishings and matching calm hues on the walls and furniture.

Visitors can play fun sports such as horse riding, fishing, and golf on the emerald-green lawns. Enjoy spectacular views of the gardens and countryside when dining in the Court Room. You’ll find it on the first floor of this magical place.

Tip: The castle is only an hour-long drive away from Dublin Airport, so it’s the perfect castle hotel to relax in after a flight into Ireland. You can look at my guide on how to spend three days in Dublin before or after your visit here.

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5. Wilton Castle Hotel

Image via Hotels.com

Location: Enniscorthy, County Wexford

William De Dene initially inhabited this luxury castle. Numerous families lived in the castle for over four hundred years after the 1200s, before the Alcock family called it home. Each apartment site is named after these families, which I think adds a personal touch.

Wilton Castle had its first fortified tower built on its grounds as far back as 1247, making this the oldest castle hotel I believe some will ever visit. A local farmer named Sean Windsor meticulously renovated Wilton Castle after being ruined in a fire in 1923 during the Civil War.

The castle is located close to the Boro River and can be found in the heart of County Wexford’s enchanting countryside, making it one of the best castle hotels in Ireland. It is southwest of Dublin and will take two hours to travel to the castle, and you can drive to Wilton Castle to get some rest after spending a day in Dublin.

The 13th-century castle hotel has four spacious self-contained apartments that a maximum of 14 guests can book. This allows visitors to enjoy privacy on group holidays and special occasions.

The four apartments are the Butler Suite, the Furlong Suite, the Alcock Suite, and the Thornhill Suite. The first two apartments sleep two guests, while the remaining houses sleep four and six guests.

Each apartment has a living room and fully-equipped kitchens. I recommend you enjoy the stunning views of your surroundings as you lounge in your apartment. 

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6. Dromoland Castle Hotel

Dromoland Castle
Photo by Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Club on Facebook

Location: Newmarket on Fergus, County Clare

Dromoland Castle was built in the 16th-century palace of the Dromoland O’Briens. They were the Kings of Thomond, and this castle hotel in Ireland is considered their ancestral home because of this. 

Another interesting fact is that the Kings of Thomond claimed Brian Boru, Ireland’s only High King, as their ancestor.

Dromoland is located on Ireland’s western coast and is surrounded by the enviably beautiful countryside. In addition, the castle features a tranquil lake nearby where you can go for a boat ride.

Dromoland Castle is rated five stars, and you’ll learn why in a moment. The glamorous castle boasts antique chandeliers, elegant fireplaces, and a magnificent sweeping staircase. It’s no surprise it’s considered “one of the most desired locations in Europe.”

Amenities include the Library Bar, where you can have drinks, and the famed Earl of Thomond restaurant, where you can savor delicious Irish meals. This is undoubtedly one of the best castles to stay in Ireland.

If you’re looking for a more adrenaline-pumping activity, why not try your hand at archery and falconry? It’s guaranteed to have you experiencing how people from centuries ago lived in the area.

Book your room on Booking.com

7. Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf Castle
Photo by Clontarf Castle Hotel on Facebook

Location: Clontarf, County Dublin

This luxury Irish castle is located where the 1014 Battle of Clontarf took place. The High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, successfully fought the Viking and Leinster armies. Formerly a fortified tower, the renovated castle was built in 1837.

Clontarf Castle, a four-star deluxe hotel, is only ten minutes away from Dublin’s city center. It’s also only 5 miles from Dublin Airport, making it convenient to reach once you’ve landed at the airport.

Beautiful golf courses flank the 111-room castle hotel. I think you’ll enjoy the sound of the Irish Sea’s lapping waves as you stroll the grounds in the morning.

Clontarf Castle Hotel shows how nobility lived in the old world while still maintaining close ties to the bustling cosmopolitan city of Dublin.

Its exteriors are lovely and historical, and its interior design is luxurious. You’ll receive excellent service once you’ve stepped into the doors of this lavish hotel.

Luxurious, air-conditioned rooms, a lovely lobby with quiet lounges, and a variety of bars and restaurants are some of the best features of the Clontarf Castle Hotel. These bars and lounges are warm and friendly and are often packed with locals.

Speaking of bars, the Knights Bar in Clontarf Castle Hotel serves guests tasty contemporary Irish meals. The bar has well-polished wooden floors and elegant ceilings. Chat away with your friends on the leather seats in the exquisitely upholstered booths while drinking Irish beer.

Book your room on Hotels.com

8. Kilkea Castle Hotel

Kilkea Castle
Photo by Kilkea Castle on Facebook

Location: Castledermot, County Kildare

The majestic Kilkea Castle was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland. It was once inhabited by the Fitzgerald family and is considered “a jewel of ancient Irish history.” It’s been recently renovated so that guests can enjoy a comfortable modern stay.

Kilkea Castle is more affordable than other Ireland castle hotels despite its rich history. It’s the best castle hotel for a traveler on a budget while still being one of the best in Ireland.

The castle is only an hour’s drive from Dublin, making for a great Ireland road trip to its location. I recommend you take a minute to admire its spectacularly towering walls as you drive through its 180 acres of woodland. You’ll get to park your car in its free parking space once you arrive.

Kilkea Castle can host 22 guests and features 11 separate bedrooms with luxurious linens and beautifully marble-finished bathrooms. In addition, you can take a short walk to the newly renovated Carriage Rooms.

This castle also boasts 3-bedroom self-catering lodges that overlook the 18-hole golf course. It’s perfect for small families or groups of golf enthusiasts. Groups who don’t play golf will still benefit from staying in the spacious lodges.

The castle hotel in Ireland provides free Wi-Fi, a bar, and a restaurant. Stay active during your stay on its tennis court and take it easy at the wellness center at the end of the day.

Book your room on Hotels.com

9. Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel

Fitzpatrick Castle
Photo by Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel on Facebook

Location: Killiney, County Dublin

Fitzpatrick Castle has its roots dating back to the 18th century and is family-owned and run. Located in the posh suburbs of Killiney, the castle is approximately 9 miles from central Dublin and is one of the fanciest castle stays Ireland offers. It will take around 20 minutes to get to the magical four-star castle.

Noted for being one of the best castle hotels for business travelers, Fitzpatrick Castle is easily accessible via the DART train, and its executive rooms are ideal for business travelers. 

The hotel features a contemporary design with tastefully furnished rooms. Overlooking the tranquil Dublin Bay, I think you’ll find this castle hotel charming and elegant.

It features 113 en-suite bedrooms, which have been designed for optimal comfort. Guest will particularly enjoy dining at both of Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel’s restaurants, and these are PJ’s Fine Dining Restaurant and The Dungeon Bar and Grill. In addition, there’s the Library Cocktail Bar, where you can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea.

PJ’s Fine Dining serves traditional Irish cuisine in a warm, casual setting, whereas The Dungeon Bar and Grill serves freshly grilled local vegetables in a contemporary setting. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and parking, an indoor pool to splash in, and a wellness center to relax after an extended business trip. 

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10. Ballygally Castle Hotel

Ballygally Castle
Photo by Ballygally Castle Hotel on Facebook

Location: Larne, County Antrim

Ballygally Castle has an exciting history that dates back to 1625. The northern Ireland medieval 17th-century castle allows for views across the Irish Sea. You’ll also enjoy stunning views overlooking Ballygally Bay’s golden dunes.

The castle has a somewhat spooky feel, with people saying that a friendly ghost haunts it. This is compounded by the fact that it has a ghost room in one of the towers! If you’re the bold ghost-busting type, why not visit the ghost room to check it out?

The enchanting castle hotel is located along the Antrim Coast, which provides the ideal location for experiencing stunning sites. These include the Causeway Coastal Route and the legendary Bushmills Distillery. It’s worth noting that the famed Games of Thrones tour is nearby.

Go on fun hikes in Carnfunnock Country Park, only a few minutes away from the castle. Alternatively, you can take a stroll on the sandy beach opposite Ballygally Castle.

The fantastic castle hotel also features 54 beautifully decorated bedrooms, some of which have ancient beamed ceilings. 

Ballygally Castle Hotel is brimming with suites steeped in history and elegance. The exquisite Antrim Suite is the perfect choice if you’d like to view the Irish Sea, whereas the Garden Suite offers panoramic views of the hotel’s private walled gardens.

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11. Waterford Castle Hotel

Waterford Castle
Photo by Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort on Facebook

Location: Ballinakill, County Waterford

This is one of the best castle hotels in Ireland. It’s a restored Gothic-style castle hotel, initially built for Gerald Purcell-Fitzgerald (hence the name) in 1895. He was a member of Ireland’s Fitzgerald dynasty, with noble roots dating back to the 14th century.

The castle is home to a treasure trove of rare artifacts from an Aubusson Louis XVI-style chair to authentic oil paintings and George III-style carved mahogany cabinets.

The 19-room Waterford Castle Hotel is located on a small 310-acre island surrounded by River Suir in southeastern Ireland and can be accessed by taking a ferry. The castle hotel also has a Golf and Country Estate you can join.

Amenities included are flat-screen TVs and coffee and tea makers. Sip on a cup of delicious hot tea while taking a relaxing bath in their claw-foot tubs. Waterford Castle has standard and deluxe suites available and many dining options. 

Outside the hotel, you’ll find The Munster Room. It’s a Michelin-star restaurant located on the picturesque hotel’s 18-hole champion golf course. If golf isn’t your thing, you can look at falconry or clay pigeon shooting. Unwind with a picnic on the hotel grounds after playing sports.

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12. Huntington Castle Hotel

Location: Clonegall, County Carlow

Like many castles on this list, Huntington Castle has a rich and exciting history. It was constructed in 1625 as a fortification on the vital Wexford-Dublin route. The soldiers left after 50 years, and the Esmonde family began the process of converting it into a family home.

The castle has a few old guest rooms with original period items such as four-poster beds. Oak panels adorn the castle’s bedroom walls.

Huntington Castle has three self-catering apartments within its grounds that accommodate four to five people. Head to the conservatory or old dining room to feast on their award-winning breakfast. Those who value sustainable farming will appreciate that the breakfasts are produced with fresh local produce.

Sha-Roe Bistro — recipient of Georgina Campbell’s Best Chef Award for Ireland — is close to Osbornes, a traditional Irish pub nearby. Both are within walking distance of the castle, and I recommend heading there to interact with more locals during your stay.

Huntington Castle features a magnificent 17th-century barn that’s used as a theater. It’s considered Ireland’s oldest barn theater, which is quite fascinating. The theater can handle requests for catering and entertainment, and it’s an ideal location for parties, family get-togethers, and business functions.

13. The Black Castle Hotel

Location: Lisquillibeen, County Tipperary

The Black Castle got its name thanks to the dark ivy that formerly covered its building. Notably, it’s a Gaelic tower house from the 16th century and one of the best hotel castles in Ireland.

The beautiful, crystal clear Ballycolliton River runs alongside this towering four-story tower, which stands upon a rock in the heart of an ancient bog. It’s in a quiet and serene setting surrounded by farms, woodlands, and forestry. 

Black Castle is only a mile from the shores of the breathtaking Lough Derg Lakelands, so you’ll have the opportunity to take a stroll at the lake any time you like.

The restored Black Castle provides a distinct rural experience without electricity or Wi-Fi. It accomplishes this by leaving the Great Hall as a simple room without power or plumbing. 

You won’t be “left in the dark,” as the hotel gives guests candles and a supply of firewood to recreate the experience of a 16th-century castle. Your experience will be more comfortable when lying on the handmade oak king-size bed wrapped up in luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets.

Black Castle’s hotel accommodation features a small fridge/freezer and hot and cold water sink. In addition, you’ll get a 2-ring induction cooker. Hot drink lovers will be delighted to be provided with a selection of delicious teas and a Nespresso machine with pods. These are all available in the kitchenette located below the Great Hall.

Which of these castle hotels in Ireland do you plan on visiting?

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