While many of them now lie in ruins, there are quite a few fairytale castles to stay in Ireland. Transformed into elegant hotels, they will make you feel like royalty!
Discover the best castle hotels in Ireland for a one-night stay. After all, we deserve a little splurge, don’t we?
Castle hotels in Ireland were one of the things we wanted to experience on our first trip to the Emerald isle. The idea of sleeping in a castle like royalty for a night or two made me feel all giddy. Blame it on Merida and Rapunzel! While the best castles to stay in Ireland can be expensive, I firmly believe that splurging a bit every now and then should be mandatory!
I handpicked the best Irish castles to stay in: they are spread throughout the Irish countryside so you won’t have to worry about the location! You’ll find castle hotels near Dublin, on the Wild Atlantic Way and even near Cork!
While some are very luxurious, there are others that can be considered “affordable“. I made sure to indicate the rates so you can pick one according to your budget.
Don’t give up on your dream of sleeping in a castle just yet!
Now onto the difficult question: which one of the following castle hotels in Ireland would you choose for an unforgettable vacation?
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Affordable Castle Hotels in Ireland (up to 120€/140$)
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (Co. Galway)
It’s the perfect castle in Ireland to spend at least one night, whether you are road tripping on the Wild Atlantic Way or just driving the Connemara loop.
This hotel is known for their award-winning cuisine (including mouth-watering scones served with local tea) and for their friendly staff members.
The rooms are pretty big and with a classic en suite bathroom.
A few of the Superior Rooms and Luxury Suites also have four poster beds, open fires and claw baths.
What else do you need to feel like royalty?
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel can be considered an affordable hotel in Ireland, especially if you book it well in advance. They often have interesting offers!
Clontarf Castle (Co. Dublin)
One of the best castles to stay in Ireland, that you can easily get to on your own, is Clontarf Castle.
It’s one of the castles near Dublin, at about two miles from the city center and five miles from Dublin Airport.
This Dublin castle hotel dates back to 1172 (yet the “modern” version of the castle was built in 1837) and has seen a lot of Irish history.
My mom has been studying the history of Knights Templar for years and was quite excited to see Clontarf castle, as it played an important role in Ireland’s past!
Which is why it’s one of the best known castles in Dublin to stay in.
The gorgeous, luxury castle hotel comes with quite a few amenities that I’m sure you’d love.
A golf course, a huge fitness center, multilingual staff and a concierge service that will take care of everything, from finding a babysitter to doing your laundry.
Clontarf Castle suites feature four poster beds, with gorgeous views on Wicklow mountains.
Being so close to Dublin, it’s the perfect place to stay if you haven’t rented a car and just want to explore the area on your own.
Clontarf Castle is one of the top 10 Irish hotels when it comes to hospitality, according to Conde Nast Reader’s choice!
You will get real royal experience, even if you decide to stay just for one night.
Fitzpatrick Castle (Co. Dublin)
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is a 18th century luxury castle hotel located in the suburbs of Killiney, South Dublin.
This Irish castle is considered one of the top 10 hotels in Ireland for families. So if you are visiting with the whole bunch, kids included, you might want to check this place out!
The original Fitzpatrick Castle building dates back to 1770 and overlooks Dublin Bay, at about 6 miles from Dublin’s city center. It’s thus another option for those looking for a castle hotel near Dublin.
They have a free parking lot for their guests, so if you have rented a car, you won’t need to pay an extra fee!
Every room in this unique castle hotel features an en suite bathroom.
Guests can also use the leisure centre with whirlpool spa, Scandinavian wood sauna, steam room and gym.
In case you don’t feel like splurging too much, just book a standard room. They are pretty spacious and very comfy. No need to get a luxury suite!
Ballyseede Castle (Co. Kerry)
Another one of the amazing Irish castle hotels you should consider for your next vacation is Ballyseede Castle.
Being located near Tralee, it’s perfect for the travellers who want to explore the Ring of Kerry.
Ballyseede Castle is the only castle hotel at County Kerry. But it is unique in yet another way.
Set on 30 acres of Irish woodland there are 44 rooms… and a ghost!
Yes, Ballyseede Castle is one of the haunted castle hotels in Ireland that many people sleep in! They all hope to see the ghost on the property.
The ghostly legend of Ballyseede isn’t linked to any kind of negative or upsetting experience in this castle hotel.
Apparently, many people can smell an eerie scent of roses and then see the ghost of Hilda Blennerhasset, roaming around the main staircase or the upper floor bedrooms.
According to the tales, Hilda never interacts with anyone. She’s just an occasional visitor who seems to remember the fact that Ballyseede Castle was known for its amazing rose collection. Hence why the lovely scent.
If you are looking for unique castle hotels in Ireland to stay in, Ballyseede is just what you need!
Rooms are decorated in Old World elegance and the on site restaurant, O’Connell, has won several Irish awards for its local ingredients, atmosphere and great wine.
While being family friendly, Ballyseede Castle also makes for a perfect romantic getaway, and is a distinguished wedding venue.
Booking well in advance is the best way to get a room!
Kinnitty Castle Hotel (Co. Offalay)
Kinnitty Castle is one of the luxury castle hotels in Ireland with affordable prices.
This iconic Irish castle has been destroyed and burned down several times since 1213.
The building as we see it now was built in 1928.
This gothic revival castle hotel is set in the stunning Slieve Bloom Mountains, just outside of Kinnitty (County Offaly).
It is a great castle to stay in if you are roadtripping Ireland, because it’s in between Dublin and Galway.
Perfect for a one-night stay!
There are 37 bedrooms that will make you feel like stepping into a different era.
At Kinnitty Castle you can relax by one of the open fireplaces, enjoy a delicious meal or grab a drink at the Library Bar.
The 4-star luxury castle hotel has affordable rates, and offers a lot of interesting activities. Like archery lessons, horseback riding and even bycicle rental.
Mid-range Irish castle hotels (up to 200€/235$)
Castlemartyr Resort (Co. Cork)
Castlemartyr Resort is a 18th-century classic manor house in old-world style.
The original fortified structure was built in 1210 by Knights Templar.
In the centuries that followed, the land changed hands many times.
The Manor House you see today has been restored to its original grandeur, becoming the centerpiece of Castlemartyr Resort.
At the Golf Club you can still see a unique Templar Cross and the tomb of the third Earl of Cork can be also be found on the estate.
While renovated, this incredibly beautiful castle hotel in Ireland hasn’t lost its roots.
Castlemartyr Resort is one of the castle hotels near Cork. Which means that at night you can drink a great pint of beer at one of the many pubs in Cork if you feel like it. Or plan a day trip to the colorful Cobh.
While being a family-oriented resort, many couples choose Castlemartyr for a unique vacation, as one of the most beautiful castle hotels in the Irish countryside. It’s in fact a popular honeymoon destination.
Even Kanye West and Kim Kardashian stayed at this hotel!
Wilton Castle (Co. Wexford)
Wilton Castle, is a popular wedding venue in the Irish countryside.
It is located on the banks of Boro River, in the heart of County Wexford. Just a 60 minute drive from Kilkenny.
This fairytale castle in Ireland is absolutely stunning, with its two wings, chimney stacks and turrets. It’s the perfect off-the-beaten track place to sleep in if you’re looking to stay off the grid and cater.
Surrounded by woods and parklands, it can only sleep up to 14 guests.
Basically with only four suites available, this is a great place to consider if you are visiting with a bunch of friends or with your extended family.
You can in fact rent a castle in Ireland, I mean… the whole thing.
Are you ready to feel like royalty?
Kilkea Castle (Co. Kildare)
Among all the castle hotels in Ireland, Kilkea Castle is probably the oldest one.
It once belonged to the Fitzgerald family.
Kilkea Castle is one of the castle hotels near Dublin, in County Kildare. One hour’s drive away from Dublin city center.
This gorgeous countryside castle dates back to 1180. It was renovated and reopened in 2017. Now it’s one of the classiest luxury castles in Ireland you can stay in with accessible rates.
There are 11 suites available, all steeped in history, set on 180 acres of woodlands and gardens.
Guests can choose to sleep in the castle, in the carriage rooms or in one of the cozy lodges.
Many celebrities have been drinking at Moone High Cross, from Clint Eastwood to Sandra Bullock. It might have something to do with the charming atmosphere and the friendly staff!
Among the many experiences available, you can take golf lessons, archery lessons, or go for a horseback ride. Falconry is yet another thing that you can try at this medieval castle hotel in Ireland. It’s not something you see everywhere.
At Kilkea Castle you can also plan a boat tour on the Grand Canal or the River Barrow. The tour is super romantic and very relaxing. Once you book they’ll also ask if you want to have lunch on the boat or on the river bank.
Cabra Castle (Co. Cavan)
Cabra Castle is one of the best-known castle hotels in Ireland, and a wedding venue, straight out of a fairytale.
It dates back to 1699 and is set in the Dun a Ri National Forest park.
On 100 acres of parkland and gardens, in County Cavan.
This means that, should you plan to stay here on your next trip to Ireland, you’ll have plenty to do.
Not only hiking, but also horseback riding, fishing and, of course, golfing.
Thanks to the idyllic location, Cabra Castle is also one of the most popular wedding venue in Ireland.
The wedding planners on site assist the couple every step of the way. The lucky ones who are getting married at this charming Irish castle hotel won’t have to worry about any setbacks!
Cabra Castle Hotel has 105 bedrooms appointed with 4-star facilities and six charming cottages for up to 10 guests.
The authentic medieval-style castle rooms (all with four poster beds) and the artisan-style accommodations of the Courtyard are perfect for those who wish to relax.
No matter which room you’re booking, you’ll love the time spent at one of the most famous Irish castles!
Waterford Castle Hotel (Co. Waterford)
Waterford Castle is a famous castle in Ireland that is located on a 310-acre private island, in County Waterford.
The perfect place to stay in if you’re looking for a little escape from the world.
Once a fortified house, it has then turned into a gorgeous gothic-style castle hotel. This secluded Ireland castle is only accessible by the hodel’s private ferry, which runs on a 24-hour service.
Voted the 7th of the 50 best hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, it has been awarded several prizes. Including a Michelin star for its restaurant, the Munster Room.
Guests will be served tea in the Fitzgerald Room, the Leinster Room or the Conservatory.
Rest assured that it will be a unique experience. At Waterford Castle they take pride in serving one of the best afternoon tea in Ireland!
Treat yourself to luxury and romance by sleeping in this charming castle hotel!
Lough Eske Castle Hotel (Co. Donegal)
Lough Eske is yet another one of the fairytale castle hotels in Ireland that you will absolutely love. Surrounded by a dense forest of pristine beauty, it is located just outside Donegal.
It’s the ideal base from which you can explore one of the wildest and lesser touristy parts of Ireland.
Once linked to the O’Donnell clan, it has been restored and reopened in 2007. The original castle, dating back to the 14-th century, was destroyed by a fire in 1939.
This award-winning castle hotel is popular for its amazing Spa. You can treat yourself by stopping here for one night while roadtripping the Wild Atlantic Way.
Christmas at Lough Eske Castle Hotel is a great deal. So much so that there’s even a four night Christmas Festive Package, which includes dinner, Christmas lunch and lots of complimentary activities.
Book well in advance to make sure you find an available room for the holidays!
Castle Leslie (Co. Monaghan)
Castle Leslie is one of the castle hotels in Dublin that you can stay at if you are roadtripping Ireland. It’s in fact in between Dublin and Belfast. The perfect stop for those driving to Northern Ireland.
The 1,000 acre estate in County Monaghan includes 3 lakes, a world-famous Equestrian Center and a spa.
Many travellers who plan to visit the Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland decide to stay at this gorgeous castle hotel for one or two nights.
The unique 17-century castle has an austere Scottish Baronial style. But the Old Stable Mews, a former stone stable-courtyard, is more of a “home away from home” in the Irish countryside.
Luxury castles to stay in Ireland (from 210€/250$)
Dromoland Castle (Co. Clare)
Dromoland Castle is one of the castle hotels you can stay at if you are interested in driving along the the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s only 15 minutes away from Shannon Airport and pretty close to the stunning Cliffs of Moher.
Built in 1835, this Irish castle is surrounded by a lush 400-acres area, which includes a luxury spa, fine dining restaurants, an equestrian centre and a golf course, among other things.
Dromoland Castle is also one of the best hotels in Ireland according to the celebs!
Among the famous guests there are Nelson Mandela, Jack Nicholson, Bill Clinton and Johnny Cash.
The 5-star hotel pulls all the stops: turrets, ancient relics, grand staircases and damask wall coverings.
It’s an authentic fairytale castle!
Ballynahinch Castle (Co. Galway)
Ballynahinch Castle is one of the castle hotels near Galway, set in 700 acres of woodlands, rivers and trails. In the heart of Connemara.
The Irish castle was built in a fairytale scenery, with the Twelve Bens Mountains as a backdrop and a salmon fishery right in front of the property.
Voted #1 among the best Irish castle hotels by the readers of Condé Nast, it has been given a series of awards, including the best breakfast in Ireland, in 2017.
Once inhabited by the pirate queen Grace O’Malley, and then by author Margaret Atwood, among others, Ballynahinch Castle has a rich history dating back to the end of the 18th century.
Guests can sleep in one of the 48 guest rooms, outfitted with four-poster beds, decorative fireplaces and gorgeous views of the river.
Among the most popular activities in this luxury hotel in the Irish countyside there are fishing, hiking, bike riding and even exploring Roundstone Bay on a boat trip.
Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo)
Ashford Castle is the one place we kept finding everywhere when we were researching castle hotels in Ireland for our trip.
This is possibly the best-known luxury castle hotel in Ireland, and of course it’s quite exclusive (aka: pretty expensive).
Despite being over 800 years old, Ashford Castle offers his guests all the modern and exclusive luxury experiences. There’s enough to make you feel like royalty!
From spa treatments to golfing, horseback riding, falconry, delicious cuisine, cocktail lounges. Nobody could ever get bored in a place like this!
The Ashford Castle Hotel is another one of the celebritie’s favorite places in Ireland.
The Beatles, royals, but also actors like Brad Pitt have stayed here.
While staying at the main castle hotel is quite expensive, there’s a more affordable option on the same grounds.
Try the 4 star hotel Lodge at Ashford Castle!
Castles in Ireland – FAQ
How much does it cost to stay the night in a castle hotel in Ireland?
It really depends on where you are staying. Some castle hotels are very luxurious, others a little less.
This reflects on their fare.
What is the oldest castle in Ireland? Can you sleep there?
The Rock of Cashel seems to be the oldest castle in Ireland. According to historic data the first stronghold was built in the 4th century. It is considered the “high king of Irish monuments“
Sadly you can’t sleep there!
Where should I sleep to visit the Game of Thrones sets? Can it be a castle?
Can I stay in a castle in Dublin?
There are quite a few castles near Dublin. The most accessible ones are Clontarf and Fitzpatrick castles.
Do I need a car to explore the castles in Ireland?
You can rent a car to explore the Irish countryside or you can book a tour.
Personally I’d suggest getting a car because you’ll be able to go wherever you want.
A flexible itinerary will also help you to plan this trip to Ireland on a budget!
What are the castle hotels in Ireland with a spa?
You can find a spa at:
- Ashford Castle
- Dromoland Castle
- Castle Leslie
- Lough Eske Castle
- Kilkea Castle
- Castlemartyr Resort
- Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
Are there castle hotels in Ireland with horseback riding?
Absolutely yes! The 3 most popular ones are:
- Dromoland Castle
- Castle Leslie
- Kinnitty Castle
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The best fairytale castle hotels in Ireland
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Travelling Dany – Danila Caputo
Danila Caputo is a bilingual travel writer living in between Naples and the Amalfi Coast (Italy), graduating from the University of Naples Suor Orsola Benincasa in Foreign Languages and Literature. She travels and works with her husband Aldo, photographer and videographer. Their blog chronicles their adventures around the world, their love for the USA (where they have family), Italian/European culture and tips on how to be responsible travelers. You can find out more about their latest trips and their life on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.