When you’re looking for a truly unique place to stay in Ireland, you don’t want to stay at any old hotel. The country has plenty of history and beautiful places to stay, so check out some of these country house hotels in Ireland. I’ve been to Ireland multiple times and always stayed in regular hotels, but my experience completely changed when I stayed in these unique country house hotels on my last visit.
Staying at an Irish country house forces you to slow down and take time to relax during your Ireland road trip. You’ll love eating fresh, local food every day and feeling rested from a good night’s sleep each morning.
This guide will explain more about what Irish country hotels are, why you should stay at them, and give you some of my personal favorites based on my stays there.
What Are Irish Country House Hotels?
Staying at one of these hotels has a similar feel to a bed and breakfast. There’s a homey feel to them and all the staff members are very hospitable. They catered to my dietary restrictions with no problem and were always happy to get me a cup of coffee or tea at any time. After spending some long days on my Ireland road trip, this was greatly appreciated.
Many of the country house hotels in Ireland have a sitting room where all the guests go before dinner. It’s a nice way to start off an evening of dining with a glass of wine and chatting with the other people staying there.
Too many people rush through the dining experience in general, so I loved that it was the opposite at these places. As someone who travels solo often, it was nice to connect with other people in a natural setting and not be on my phone at dinner.
You’ll have a three to six-course meal depending on where you stay in addition to fresh bread to start the meal off. There’s an assortment of appetizers to start with, such as soup, and a main entree such as local beef or fish, potatoes, and vegetables. If you have enough room in your stomach, they’ll also tempt you with amazing dessert each night (and they’re hard to turn down, believe me!).
Every morning you’ll have a small menu to choose from for breakfast to fuel up before you get on with your day. I was pretty tired each night from my Ireland road trip, but slept amazingly at all the country house hotels in Ireland and woke up refreshed each morning.
These do tend to be away from large cities, so you’ll want to read my tips for driving in Ireland if you’ll be renting a car.
Beautiful Country House Hotels in Ireland to Stay At
While there are many impressive Irish country house hotels, here are six I personally stayed at and can recommend.
1. Viewmount House
The first stop on my Ireland road trip was Viewmount House. This country house hotel in Ireland was in the central part of Ireland in Longford, which is only 1.5 hours away and easily accessible after spending a day in Dublin. There are 12 bedrooms in the house, so it’s a good-sized hotel.
This 17th-century manor house in Ireland has four acres with a Japanese garden and an apple orchard to walk around. I loved strolling around them in the morning after breakfast to have a relaxing start to the day.
Breakfast is offered in the house each morning, and there’s also a delicious restaurant, VM Restaurant, on-site for dinner. You’ll go to the lounge area first for a drink and then be led to the candlelit restaurant for your meal.
2. Enniscoe House
Located in Ballina, Enniscoe House is a unique Irish country house because it’s a six-bedroom house, so it’s very intimate (in a good way). Since there are only six rooms, it’s very quiet and good for resting during your trip (I ended up sleeping for 11 hours!).
This Georgian property was built in the 1790s and has a historic feel to it. This is one of the more intimate country house hotels in Ireland, as you feel like you’re in someone’s home with the family portraits that line the walls.
Make sure to add walking shoes to your packing list for Ireland to explore the trails around the property that lead into the forest and the garden. You can go for a short walk through the woods or stop to see the garden.
You’ll walk through the forest and then come upon a gate that leads to the walled gardens on the property. It felt very much like I was in The Secret Garden when I discovered this.
3. Rathmullan House
One of the larger country house hotels in Ireland on this list is Rathmullan House with 32 rooms. It was built in Donegal in the 1760s and is a great place to stay if you’re exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
This was originally made to be a bathing house and then was built on to double in size to become the main residence of a wealthy family.
As this is one of the bigger country houses in Ireland, there are multiple places to eat at. The Cook and Gardener is their main restaurant and has won multiple awards. I loved that they change their menu based on what’s in season so you’ll get fresh, local vegetables and seafood in your meals. You can also visit The Tap Room for Irish beer and stone-baked pizza. There’s also a small bar to have a drink at where you can relax by the fireplace.
I recommend asking for a room that has a view of the lake and doors that open to let the fresh country air in. I loved the scenery from my room each morning. You should also bring your swimsuit, as they have a pool you can enjoy.
While you’re in the area, check out the list of things to do in Donegal to fill up your time during the day.
4. Castle Grove
Castle Grove is an Irish castle hotel that was built in 1695 and has changed owners over the year but is now a luxurious four-star hotel. It’s one of the few private estates that are left in northwest Ireland. You can request a room with a view of the lake to have something beautiful to look at when you wake up at your Irish country hotel.
This was one of the country house hotels in Ireland that really made me feel like I was at home when I walked on. The local game was on in one room and a fire was burning in another room, which would make it fun for a group to stay here. I also loved their beautiful but quaint dining room for all my meals during my stay.
Castle Grove is a good place to stay on your road trip if you’re exploring famous Irish landmarks around Donegal. You’ll also love this location if you’re a golfer, as there are more than a dozen different golf courses nearby.
5. Castle Leslie
Castle Leslie is a must when booking country house hotels in Ireland and a place you’ll want to put on your Ireland bucket list. You can stay in The Lodge, which has 50 bedrooms, or you can splurge and book a room in the castle down the road. This was built in 1870 in a Scottish Baronial style for the Leslie family. There are family heirlooms and antique furniture throughout the castle.
Three lakes are on the property and there are plenty of trails to walk around. If Castle Leslie sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because Paul McCartney got married here in 2002. You can feel like a rock star yourself and book your own event here.
You’ll feel like you’ve walked straight into a fairytale when you stay at this castle hotel in Ireland. I loved the ambiance at Castle Leslie, with long candles burning everywhere and tall windows throughout the castle.
Since Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite movies growing up (and I thought I was Belle with my dark hair), I felt like a child again exploring my spacious room complete with a claw tub and a giant vanity mirror with brushes.
I was so excited to be here that I woke up early the next morning to walk through the castle and explore rooms such as the long dining room and the library. The expansive grounds had trails to walk around that led down to the lake and horses grazing in the field.
There’s a restaurant for breakfast in the castle, and a shuttle will take you to Snuffles, the 2 AA Rosette award-winning restaurant in the main building.
You could easily stay at this castle hotel in Ireland for a few days without leaving. A spa is available to book a massage or other relaxing treatment during your stay. It’s also one of the best equestrian playgrounds in Europe with over 1,000 acres of private land, an indoor area that has fences, and a virtual horse simulator.
6. Newforge House
Newforge House is a beautiful, ivy-covered house with six bedrooms in the country. This is located in Northern Ireland and is a family-run hotel that focuses on hospitality. There are only six bedrooms in this country house hotel, which makes it intimate and peaceful.
There’s a small orchard on the property where they get their fruit for preserves and desserts. They also have chickens that provide fresh eggs for your breakfast. If you’re looking to try local alcohol, they have plenty in the way of vodka, gin, beer, and cider.
After a rainy day of driving on the Antrim Coast, I was greeted with hot coffee and shortbread when I arrived. I took a relaxing bath in my room and then headed down to the sitting room.
I enjoyed a delicious dinner of red pepper soup, halibut, chives mashed potatoes, and cheesecake at this northern Ireland country house hotel. There was a variety of books and movies to choose from for entertainment for the night. My comfortable experience made it even harder to say goodbye to Ireland the next day.
There you have it – some of the most beautiful and unique country house hotels in Ireland! Leave a comment and let me know which one you’re planning on staying at.