It’s been ages since I took the time to make on of these, but here we go, the Castle Hotels of the Irish province of Munster. The included counties are:
- Waterford (1 Castle)
- Tipperary (1 Castles)
- Cork (
4 Castles) (1 Castle hotel and 3 honorary mentions)
- Kerry (1 Castle)
- Limerick (1 Castle)
- Clare (
4 Castles) (1 Castle hotel, 1 honorary mention, 2 imposters)
Waterford Castle, County Waterford
“The current castle is a Gothic-style house in built 1895 for Gerald Purcell-Fitzgerald (1865-1946) which incorporates the fabric of an earlier (pre-1845) house, and parts of the medieval (pre-1645) tower-house. The designs were prepared by Romayne Walker and supervised by Albert Murrary (1849 – 1924). The construction is in unrefined rubble stone with fine cut-stone quoins and window frames and topped with Irish-style battlements.” – (Wikipedia)
Facilities & Features
“With a beautiful setting on the River Suir, the luxurious Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort is on a private island completely detached from the mainland. The castle boasts elegant rooms and suites with stunning views. These individually designed rooms offer also offer free WiFi, goose-down quilts and complimentary tea and coffee delivered to your room. Contemporary lodges are also available and include three and four-bedroom semi detached properties with a spacious open-plan kitchen/dining area and adjoining living room. Access to the island is by a private car ferry which operates throughout the day. Ferry crossing takes 3 minutes, and can be arranged at the hotel. Drive up the beech-lined drive to reach the castle and its 800 years of history. Local activities include golfing on an 18-hole course, clay-target shooting, a driving range, archery, tennis and croquet. There are also several nature trails and walking paths to explore.” (Booking.com)
Lisheen Castle, County Tipperary
“The castle is owned by the Everard family who have spent 5 years painstakingly restoring this historic castle from total ruin. After being totally destroyed by fire in 1921 during the final phases of the war of independence, Lisheen Castle once again now stands proudly as a luxurious castle thanks to the care, dedication and hard work bestowed on the building by the Everard family. Lisheen Castle offers its guests a unique visitor experience; a taste of Ireland’s past, a traditional Irish welcome and the luxury of a high-end self catering vacation home. The castle has nine bedrooms in total, 6 double rooms all with bathroom, 2 singles room and a twin room which has 2 single beds.” (Lisheencastle.com)
Castlemartyr Resort, County Cork
“The castle from which the village of Castlemartyr takes its name was first built in 1210 by The Knights Templar, who were one of the most famous of the Christian military orders under the leadership of Richard Earl de Clare, more commonly known as Strongbow.” – Official Homepage
Facilities & Features
“Set adjacent to the ruins of 800-year-old castle, this 220-acre estate has a 17th-century manor house where guests can enjoy far-reaching countryside views and a stylish spa centre which includes an indoor swimming pool, 10 treatment rooms and a fitness studio. Cork International Airport is 23 miles away. The spacious rooms feature free Wi-Fi, an en suite bathroom, luxurious furniture and a flat-screen TV. Some rooms have stunning views of the resort. The award-winning restaurant The Bell Tower offers gourmet dining as well as a traditional afternoon tea menu including Smoked Salmon on Irish Soda Bread and home-made scones made with fresh, locally sourced produce. The Castlemartyr Resort includes an 18-hole, link-style golf course. Guest can also enjoy a carriage tour of the estate, including a visit to the historic chapel, the tomb of the 4th Earl of Shannon and Mitchell’s Woods.” (Booking.com)
Blarney Castle Hotel, County Cork (honorary mention)
This one is sadly a bust, but get’s an honorary mention because it has “Blarney Castle” in the name. It has that because it is located near the famous Blarney Castle … you know, the one you kiss to obtain the gift of eloquence (locally known as “the gift of the gab”) … it looks like a wonderful hotel and seems like a great option to stay near the famous castle; but is not actually a castle itself.
Blackwater Castle, County Cork (honorary mention)
This castle is unique, in the sense that it offers accommodation for private hire of the whole castle. It is not a hotel, but it getting an honorary mention on this list, because it is a castle and it does offer accommodation, just not of the hotel variety. As stated on their official website: “While the Castle is generally let as a private rental on an exclusive basis when availability permits we are happy to take groups who would like a Guesthouse or B&B experience in a Medieval Castle. Contact us with your particular requirements and we will try to work something out with you.”
In case you’re ever looking to book a whole castle (wedding perhaps?) this might just be the place to go!
Castle Townshend, County Cork (B&B, honorary mention)
Honorary mention number 3 for County Cork is Castle Townshend. According to the official website: “The Castle (pictured left) has always remained the home of the Townshend family, as it has been passed down through the generations. The present family who live here are the Cochrane-Townshends, Mrs Cochrane-Townshend being a descendant of the original Townshends who came here in 1649.”
With the owners still living here, they have reserved “7 guest bedrooms that are let out for bed and breakfast. These are all ensuite with bathroom or shower room and most of them have lovely sea views.”
Discover more on their official website (linked in the title).
Ballyseede Castle Hotel, County Kerry
“Ballyseede Castle, one of the best known Castle Hotels in Ireland, has a history dating back to the 1590’s. Set in 30 acres of native woodland Ballyseede has been wonderfully transformed into a luxury hotel for you to enjoy. One of the most unique & special luxury Tralee Hotels, this Castle Hotel offers you formal and casual dining, 23 en-suite bedrooms and 3 beautiful private rooms complimented by enchanting formal gardens.” – Official Website
Facilities & Features
“Take a step back in time with a hotel steeped in history that offers luxurious surroundings within 30 acres of private gardens and woodland. The Doric columns that lead to an elegant oak staircase in the lobby are indicative of the grand decoration throughout the hotel. Impressive drawing rooms with ornate cornices, adorned with marble fireplaces provide an ideal setting for afternoon tea or morning coffee. Elegant accommodation, fine dining with traditional Irish cuisine, rooms that tell a story and the picturesque natural setting, will all comprise make your stay at Ballyseede Castle an unforgettable one.” – Booking.com
Adare Manor, County Limerick
“The Manor Hotel Ireland bedrooms all whisper a hint of Caroline and her penchant for luxury and splendour. All of the bedrooms in this 5 Star Hotel Limerick are individually designed – each with its own personality and proportion – many featuring the little details and additions lovingly added by Lord and Lady Dunraven in the 1800’s. Expect carved headboards, expansive adjoining bathrooms and original fireplaces – each room telling its own version of a story. Guests can choose to dine in the comfort of their own rooms with our in-room menu appealing to any time of day. Boudoir seating and ample table space mean that one need not leave their room at all!” – Official Website
“Situated in the heart of Adare Village in County Limerick, Adare Manor is a luxury 5-star hotel and golf resort steeped in history and surrounded by medieval ruins. Set in an 840-acre estate, the hotel offers unique rooms with ornate, luxurious furnishings and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy the best of contemporary food in the 2 restaurants at Adare Manor, and the Tack Room pub has an open fire and live piano music. The estate is home to a championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior and offers superb trout fishing on the River Maigue. Guests can stroll through the stonewalled gardens and winding woodland paths, discover the colourful history of Adare Manor and its story-filled walls. ” – Booking.com
Dromoland Castle, County Clare
“The present building was completed in 1835. However, the first building constructed here seems to have been a tower house built in the 15th or early 16th century and is recorded as being erected by Thomas, the son of Shane Mac Anerheny. There were at least three houses on the site, at various times, called Dromoland. While Dromoland later became residence of eight generations of the O’Brien family, early records suggest that the area was also occupied by other local Gaelic families, such as the McInerney family during the 16th century. According to the historian James Frost, Dromoland translates as the “Hill of Litigation”.” – Wikipedia
Facilities & Features
“A pretty lake, championship golf course, and sweeping grounds surround this magnificent 5-star castle. It dates back to the 5th century, and guests can dine in an elegant restaurant with high ceilings, relax in the spa, or try falconry and archery in awe-inspiring surroundings. Approached by a long drive that winds through acres of pretty lawns, Dromoland Castle was originally home to Gaelic royalty. Now guests can stay in large, traditionally furnished rooms that boast modern features like a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. Afternoon tea is served with freshly baked pastries and bread, and the old library has been converted into a cocktail bar where guests can sit beside an open fire and take in picturesque lake views. There are restaurants for formal and informal dining, with wide-ranging and innovative menus. Dromoland Castle Hotel is only 20 minutes’ drive from Shannon Airport, and the city of Limerick can be reached in 30 minutes by car. The rugged Cliffs of Moher are one of the most striking sights in Ireland, and are less than an hour’s drive from the castle.” – Booking.com
Bunratty Castle Hotel, County Clare (honorary mention)
Just like its cousin the Blarney Castle Hotel, this hotel is situated very near a famous Irish castle; in this case Bunratty Castle & Folkpark (where they serve a magnificen medieval banquet) but the hotel itself is not part of the castle. As such, it earns its honorary mention.
You can discover more about this castle on it’s official website (linked in the title above).
Both Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel and Gregan’s Castle Hotel have castle in the name, but nothing about the building suggest that they had anything to do with castles at any given point. Don’t get me wrong, they are both gorgeous and charming in their own ways, and certainly worth a visit but I think the title of castle is woefully misleading and inappropriate.
I hope that you enjoyed this instalment of Castle Hotels of Ireland. Next time we will look at the final province; Connacht.
If you’ve ever stayed in any of these magnificent accommodations, or have any thoughts to share, please let me know in the comments! 😀
As always, thanks for reading and take care. xoxo