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11 Best Castles to Stay in Ireland

Irish history is dotted with remarkable events- from the Vikings to the Norman Invasion. The remnants of such striking history remain. Ireland is home to some of the world’s most picturesque castles you can stay in.

Irish castles range from Medieval to late-nineteenth-century buildings, and each of them is just about as interesting as the other. Some have fallen into ruins, others are available to people in general, while some are in private proprietorship or have been transformed into extravagant 5-star lodging hotels.

Here are the best castles to stay in Ireland-

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle, Ireland
Ashford Castle, Ireland”, by Larry Koester, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Ireland’s one and only Forbes Five Star Hotel and the former abode of the Guinness Family, Ashford Castle is a rare experience. It is an archaic Victorian castle that has been expanded over time and transformed into a lavish five-star inn close to Cong on the Mayo-Galway line, on the Galway side of Lough Corrib in Ireland.

The lodging at present has 83 rooms, six of which are suites. Each one of the 83 rooms, suites, and Hideaway Cottage at Ashford Castle displays a conventional artistic finesse. Following restoration, large numbers of the rooms and suites have been independently and affectionately planned, showcasing a unique blend of traditional castle features with modern architectural trends.

  • Feature beds
  • Exquisite chandeliers
  • Egyptian cotton bed linen
  • Custom-designed carpet

The Ashford is one of the best castles in Ireland to stay in, thanks to the plethora of luxurious services and amenities available to its guests.

Ballynahinch Castle

Ballynahinch Castle
Ballynahinch Castle”, by Dennis Wilkinson, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Located in one of the most beautiful areas of West Ireland, the charming Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is an ivy-clad structure straight out of the pages of a fairytale. This Irish castle hotel was home to Ranjitsinhji, Maharaja of Nawanagar. He was the first head of state to visit the Irish Free State and adored fly fishing. The latter persuaded him to purchase Ballynahinch to keep up with his favourite leisure activity.

Today, Ballynahinch is one of the finest castles in Ireland to stay in, with several awards to its name: Top 10 Resort Hotels in the UK and Ireland” by Travel + Leisure in 2020, “Top Hotels in Ireland: Readers’ Choice Awards 2019” by Condé Nast Traveler, and many more.

The castle hotel is famous for its large spacious rooms packed with exclusive modern amenities and three exquisite dining locations that serve lip-smacking dishes.

Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle
Dromoland Castle”, by daves_archive_1, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most luxurious castles to stay in Ireland, Dromoland Castle has hosted notable figures including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Juan Carlos I of Spain, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Richard Branson, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Cash, Michael Flatley, Bono, and John Travolta.

From the splendid baronial façade to the splendidly gorgeous interior, you’ll observe a universe of notable historical magnificence amidst the best-in-class modern luxuries. With a sumptuous stylistic theme, great dining experience, grand rooms, the castle hotel is a home away from home.

Clontarf Castle

Clontarf Castle Hotel
Clontarf Castle Hotel”, by Cailín Sásta, is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Formerly an eleventh-century castle, Clontarf Hotel is a beautiful amalgamation of antique architecture with a 21st-century touch. The castle was re-opened to the common people as a four-star, 111-room lodging in June 1997.
The current structure is dated to 1837 and was planned by the Irish architect William Vitruvius Morrison for John Edward Venables Vernon, the then proprietor of the castle hotel.
The amazing turrets and sparkling lights of Clontarf Castle Hotel signal numerous things to fatigued explorers.

From the Gastropub in the cherished Knights Bar to the indulging treat of Fusion Tea served in the Atrium Lobby and the contemporary high-end food experience at the rosette-winning Fahrenheit Restaurant, an eating experience at the castle is one that should not be missed.

Ballyfin Demesne Castle

Located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, a little more than an hour drive from Dublin, Ballyfin has for quite some time been appreciated as the most luxurious Regency chateau and the top castles to stay in Ireland.

The 600-acre land on which Ballyfin Demesne Castle stands is a haven of serenity and the finest natural beauty. Constructed for over 400 years with its forests, lake, caverns, and walled gardens, it gives a pure private world to the visitors to discover. The Georgian House stands at the centre of the property and has been reestablished to provide the guests with a peaceful stay amidst all the luxurious amenities available in the grand castle hotel.

Lough Eske Castle

Lough Eske Castle has a long history that encompasses the tale of Co. Donegal and Ireland. It is an account of being built piece by piece from neighbourhood stone transported back and forth by Clydesdale horses. Strong fourteenth-century factions of Donegal, the O’Donnells had their seat here, rich landowners governed from here, and Edwardian richness was its staple. Lough Eske Castle was constructed on the site of an old Brooke Mansion in 1861.

The castle hotel has consistently received multiple notable awards. Recent noteworthy awards include being named Ireland’s Castle Wedding Venue of the Year 2021, two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence in Cedars Restaurant, Ulster Spa of the Year 2019 by Irish Tatler Magazine, Luxury Wellness Spa, and Luxury Countryside Spa 2018 at the World Luxury Spa Awards, Conde Nast’s Top Ten Luxury Hotels 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 in Ireland, and many more.

Belleek Castle

Belleek Castle bar
Belleek Castle bar”, by Chris Brooks, is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Built on 1000 acres of land surrounded by the lush green forest, on the banks of the River Moy, the Belleek is perhaps the most famous place to visit in County Mayo and a fine example of how beautiful castle hotels are in Ireland.

Belleek Castle is one of the most romantic places to be in and stretches out a warm greeting to explorers and guests looking forward to indulging in the grandeur of the ancestral home of Earl of Arran.

The Celtic Castle is comfortable and amicable, rich in traditional decor with numerous incredible fireplaces.

An ideal location for dream weddings in Ireland, Belleek Castle can work with every one of your prerequisites to make the big day a grand success.

Cabra Castle

County Cavan - Cabra Castle
County Cavan – Cabra Castle”, by Colette Gemmell, is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cabra Castle is the name given to two buildings, one currently demolished, the other now utilized as an extravagant castle hotel to stay in Ireland.
The current Cabra Castle is the perfect example of the “neo-Norman-style” and the “Gothick-style” confluence. A large part of the exterior of the castle hotel is designed in the “neo-Norman-style”, while the inside remains “Gothic”.

Being centrally located and possessing superior accommodation facilities, Cabra Castle is one of the top castles to stay in Ireland and one of the ideal locations to get married. It has been the favoured place of wedlock for several celebrity weddings.

Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa

Kilronan Castle is the familial home of the Tenison family. The castle boasts of its connection to illustrious royal families.

This isolated castle hotel was built on the shores of Lough Meelagh in Roscommon, on forty acres of land amidst the stunning Irish landscape, lavish green fields, old picturesque forests, and a rich historical backdrop.

Being a guest at Kilronan Castle Hotel is a rare chance to partake in a serene Irish experience, surrounded by the splendid Castle estate.

Lough Rynn Castle

Lough Rynn Castle
Lough Rynn Castle”, by Olivier Bruchez, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The serenity and magnificence of Leitrim are Ireland’s tricks of the trade. Along the picturesque banks of the most beautiful lough in Ireland lies the splendid Lough Rynn Castle Estate and Gardens at its southern end. It is located on the grounds of the middle age castle and the legacy of the Mac Raghnaill clan of Muintir Eolais. It has turned into a highly extraordinary spot that exemplifies the fame of Ireland as a worldwide hotspot for travelling.

This extravagant castle lodging in Ireland offers award-winning eating choices and lovely rooms.

Luttrellstown Castle

Luttrelestown estate entrance near Liffey
Luttrelestown estate entrance near Liffey”, by Laurel Lodged, is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Luttrellstown Castle, dating from the mid-fifteenth century, is situated in Clonsilla on the edges of Dublin, Ireland. It has had several owners- eponymous Luttrell family, by the book retailer Luke White and his relatives Baron Annaly, by the Guinness family, the Primwest Group, and starting around 2006, by JP McManus, John Magnier, and Aidan Brooks.

Queen Victoria visited the castle hotel in 1844 and 1900, and its media profile was raised when Victoria Adams tied the knot with David Beckham on the castle grounds on 4 July 1999.

The grand rooms of the castle hotel are well-known for their intricate ornate craftsmanship and soft pastel colours that allow the sun rays to light up the whole room beautifully.


Some of the best castle hotels in Ireland feel unreal, almost like a figment of your imagination, or right out of the pages of a fantasy novel. With its rich history, extravagant architecture, soothing lush green surroundings, and the perfect blend of the old with the modern, Irish castle hotels have successfully drawn the attention of millions of tourists around the world.

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