Hotels water sky outdoor Lake reflection Nature River tree landform geographical feature wilderness body of water plant autumn season leaf morning woody plant landscape loch mountain rural area pond reservoir surrounded waterway cattle flower

7 Best Castle Hotels in Ireland

Many of Ireland's countryside castles now lie in ruins, but a handful that survived have been transformed into elegant hotels—sprawling, multi-acre estates that offer a refined taste of bygone county life. Itching to live like a king (or queen) for the day? Experience the royal lifestyle during a stay at one of the best castle hotels in Ireland.

See recent posts by Meredith Bethune

Hotels tree outdoor Nature yellow leaf plant autumn light season park night sunlight Forest woody plant morning woodland branch evening poplar maidenhair tree
Hotels tree outdoor building sky flower City estate tourism château Garden old palace castle Courtyard stone surrounded crowd castle hotel Ireland
Hotels indoor Living room floor living room property ceiling estate home dining room interior design furniture mansion decorated Suite cottage real estate Villa farmhouse area

Photos courtesy of Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort


Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, County Waterford

Antiques lovers, rejoice: this Gothic-style castle hotel, on a private island on the River Suir accessible only by ferry, contains a treasure trove of priceless artifacts, from a Aubusson Louis XVI–style chair to original oil paintings and pair of George III-style carved mahogany cabinets. Originally built in 1895 for Gerald Purcell-Fitzgerald (part of Ireland’s FitzGerald dynasty, whose noble roots extend as far back as the 14th century), the castle recently got a refresh—each of the 19 elegant rooms and suites now have chintz armchairs, canopied beds, and spacious claw foot tubs where guests can luxuriate after a round of golf on the 18-hole course.

Hotels grass outdoor aerial photography bird's eye view Nature structure field hill sport venue plant Garden green landscape River rural area reservoir Lake mountain golf course mountain range valley grassy lush overlooking hillside highland
Hotels indoor table chair room meal function hall restaurant palace ballroom interior design estate wedding reception set several
Hotels grass sky outdoor building castle landmark château stately home estate palace

Dromoland Castle Hotel, County Clare

A castle has occupied this site near Newmarket-on-Fergus since at least the 16th century (though the current building was completed in 1835). When it comes to sheer glamour, Dromoland pulls out all the stops: think antique chandeliers, grand staircases, and plush sofas carefully arranged around flickering fireplaces. It’s an ideal base for visiting Ireland’s iconic Cliffs of Moher—though you’ll find as much natural beauty on the property’s 400-acre grounds, where activities range from archery to falconry. After a soothing massage at the spa, head to the hotel’s Earl of Thomond Restaurant for a multi-course tasting menu (halibut with eggplant caviar; grilled fillet of Irish beef with Savoy cabbage, foie gras, and port sauce) that spotlights native ingredients.

Hotels water sky outdoor Lake reflection Nature River tree landform geographical feature wilderness body of water plant autumn season leaf morning woody plant landscape loch mountain rural area pond reservoir surrounded waterway cattle flower
Hotels indoor room restaurant home house interior design wood estate Bar cottage dining room furniture dining table
Hotels indoor room floor window bed property living room hotel estate Bedroom home cottage interior design real estate Suite farmhouse furniture Villa mansion decorated
Hotels mountain outdoor grass sky highland road mountainous landforms Nature mountain range mountain pass hill fell ridge highway infrastructure rural area loch plateau road trip valley walking alps
Hotels tree outdoor sky estate meal backyard Garden flower restaurant
Hotels Living floor indoor room ceiling wall sofa living room property furniture estate home Fireplace house interior design real estate mansion hardwood dining room farmhouse Villa cottage area

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, County Galway

Hiking and angling enthusiasts will love this 250-year-old riverfront manor, just an hour west of Galway. It sits on a 450-acre estate in Connemara’s beautiful countryside, at the foot of the Twelve Bens mountain range, and has access to its own salmon fishery. After a day near the water or exploring the property’s walking paths, feast on local Connemara lamb, fish, or game at The Owenmore. Then, retire to one of the castle’s 48 country-style guest rooms, many of which come outfitted with four-poster beds, decorative fireplaces, lots of silk and plaid fabrics, and views of the river.

Hotels outdoor grass tree flower sky house Garden flora yard plant botany lawn backyard estate meadow shrub cottage landscaping botanical garden surrounded stone bushes
Hotels plate food table dish fork piece meal produce breakfast slice dishware cuisine eaten sliced

Gregans Castle Hotel, County Clare

For a more intimate experience, book a stay at this 18th-century family-run manor house, which overlooks the dramatic landscape of Burren National Park. Rumor has it the hotel once served as inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien, who stayed here during his writing of The Lord of the Rings. It’s not hard to understand why. Each of the 21 cozy rooms or suites are tastefully decorated with handpicked furniture and antiques—some even have private gardens and views of the nearby mountains and Galway Bay. After exploring the monuments, views, and villages of Burren on foot, tuck into a hearty Irish dinner that leans heavily on local ingredients in innovative dishes like seared scallops with white asparagus, wild garlic gnocchi, and anchovy.

Hotels Trip Ideas tree ground Dog outdoor habitat Nature walking green wilderness Forest woodland path leaf trail sunlight autumn Adventure Jungle dirt
Hotels tree grass outdoor sky tourism eventing english riding equestrianism tours carriage horse like mammal park statue stallion monument
Hotels grass outdoor tree person archery target archery sports Sport recreation outdoor recreation individual sports bow and arrow
Hotels room property furniture living room estate table interior design home wood floor dining room mansion window porch window covering
Hotels indoor room house property living room home estate mansion interior design cottage porch furniture Villa farmhouse decorated Bedroom
Hotels indoor building restaurant interior design palace

Ashford Castle, County Mayo

Live like royalty at Ashford Castle, a five-star castle hotel in Ireland whose royal guests over the years have included Grace Kelly and King George V. (The hotel restaurant still bears the king’s name.) A castle has existed on this site on the Mayo-Galway border since 1228, and, after a $75 million refresh, the property is back in the luxury spotlight. There’s now a pool, gym, and dreamy spa, and the 83 rooms and suites perfectly complement the castle’s historic details, thanks to their antique furniture, custom carpets, and sumptuous beds dressed in rich colors. The setting, on a 350-acre estate, is spectacular, and offers quintessential country pursuits (falconry, clay shooting, archery) along with a few surprises like zip-lining and tree climbing.

RELATED: The World’s Best Castle Hotels

Hotels indoor floor wall room property bed estate house home living room real estate hardwood interior design cottage Suite condominium wood loft Villa farmhouse Design apartment wood flooring Bedroom area furniture several
Hotels tree grass bird's eye view aerial photography outdoor structure residential area estate neighbourhood sport venue suburb rural area landscape mansion lawn Farm stadium Resort lush
Hotels indoor wall floor room Living property estate living room ceiling dining room Lobby mansion interior design home hall Suite palace Villa decorated furniture

Castlemartyr Resort, County Cork

You’d never know this 18th-century manor house hotel, surrounded by 220 acres of fields and close to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle, is just 40 miles from the city of Cork. But the rural vibe ends once you step inside the lobby. The interiors are decidedly more contemporary, with 103 spacious rooms featuring hardwood floors, sophisticated neutral hues of yellow and taupe, and Nespresso coffee machines. Play a round of golf on the 18-hole course, or schedule a massage and body treatment at the spa. Then, choose from one of the four dining options. We recommend the Bell Tower restaurant, whose seasonal menu might include dishes like seared sea bass with barley and asparagus or venison shepherd’s pie with carrot and artichoke.

Hotels indoor wall floor room ceiling Living property window living room Bedroom home Suite estate interior design furniture real estate hotel cottage hardwood condominium apartment decorated area
Hotels indoor wall floor bathroom room window property bathtub estate interior design home Suite real estate plumbing fixture tub Bath furniture stone
Hotels window building house home estate backyard interior design
Hotels grass outdoor sky tree green building estate property neighbourhood stately home mansion château vacation town square residential area palace home plaza castle

Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal

Despite its Tudor-baronial façade, this 17th-century castle outside Donegal offers a modern take on five-star luxury. Each of the 96 guest rooms and suites are sleek and bright, with neutral tones, dark wood furniture, and spa-like bathrooms that feature marble tiling and double vanities—though we prefer the real spa, where you can get a 60-minute massage that incorporates volcanic thermal stones. The nearby lake, surrounded by the Blue Stack and Tawnawully Mountains, is an idyllic spot to spend an afternoon; hire a boat to catch brown trout and salmon, then head back to the hotel where staff can show you how to properly smoke and cure your catch.

What to Pack

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Want more?



All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.