Castles are one of the best things about Ireland, and when it comes to planning a dream Irish vacation, the idea of sleeping in one for a night or two is on many people’s must-do list. But while the idea may be dreamy, staying at a castle hotel in Ireland is definitely a bit of a splurge.
Probably the most well-known castle hotel in Ireland is Ashford Castle; a luxury 13th century castle complete with spa, 350 acres of woodland, elegant dining experiences, and a school of Falconry. However, it also comes with a hefty price tag that, unless you have been saving for a long time or have deep pockets, probably doesn’t fit into your holiday budget.
But, while Ashford Castle may be the most prestigious castle hotel in Ireland, it certainly isn’t the only one. Here are eight more affordable castle hotels in Ireland where you can live out your Irish fairytale dreams without breaking the bank.
Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara
So you believe in magic?🌟 I’ll be honest: anything to do with myths, magic and legends has me hooked. My love for fairytales is part of why I love Ireland so much. ☘️Not only is the country steeped in myths but it looks like it belongs on the pages on a storybook. 📖Don’t believe me? Check out my latest blog for Huffington Post: 14 Photos to Prove Ireland is a Real Life Fairytale. Link in profile 👆 What country or city reminds you of a fairytale? ✨ #Ireland #LoveIreland #castle #hotel #luxurytravel #adventure #green #fairytale #europe #Connemara #magic #love #girlslovetravel #Irlanda #ireland_gram #Irish #wanderess #explore #exploremore #wanderlust #traveller #travelmore #traveloften #luxury #girlslovetravel #girlsborntotravel #womenwhoexplore #bbctravel #natgeotravel #fodorsonthego
With a rich history dating back to the end of the 18th century, Ballynahinch Castle has been rated as one of the finest luxury hotels in Ireland. The castle has a rich history; inhabited over the years by the pirate queen Grace O’Malley, the famous criketer Ranji, and author Margaret Atwood. Set in a private estate with over 450 acres of woodland with a backdrop of the Twelve Bens, Ballynahinch Castle is the perfect spot for visitors looking to experience the beauty of Connemara. Book at stay at Ballynahinch Castle
Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin
The original Clontarf Castle dates back to 1172. While the building currently occupying the title is significantly more modern (built in 1837), the area has seen a lot of Irish history. From Templar Knights to the Irish Rebellion to the Cromweillian conquest and more, the area has played an important role in Ireland’s past. The property opened to the public in 1997 as a luxury castle hotel only 15 minutes from Dublin. Book a stay at Clontarf Castle.
Cabra Castle Hotel, Cavan
About 1.5 hours outside of Dublin city is Cabra Castle Hotel. Set in the Dun a Ri National Forest Park of Cavan, Cabra Castle Hotel is a beautiful boutique castle hotel with only 22 rooms. The original Cabra Castle ruins, dating back to 1699, can still be seen by the Wishing Well. The castle hotel as you see today dates back to 1808. Book a stay at Carba Castle.
Waterford Castle Hotel, Waterford
Perhaps one of the most fairytale like castle hotels in Ireland, Waterford Castle Hotel is located on its own 310-acre private island. The 16th century castle has been transformed to a luxurious hotel that combines the elegant past with modern comfort. The private island location is perfect for a little escape from the world, and indulging in luxury and beautiful nature. Book a stay at Waterford Castle.
Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal
This lakeside estate, located just outside Donegal town, has a history dating back to the 1400s. The castle has been linked to the O’Donnell clan; the founding fathers of Donegal. The castle has been lovingly restored to become an award winning hotel that embraces both contemporary elegance and country charm. Book a Stay at Lough Eske Castle.
Kinnitty Castle Hotel, Kinnitty
Kinnitty Castle hotel is a gothic revival castle that, like so many of Ireland’s castles, has a turbulent history. The castle has been destroyed and burned down since 1213, though the castle as we see it today was built in 1928. It is a beautiful luxury hotel with 37 bedrooms set in the stunning Slieve Bloom Mountains. Book a stay at Kinnitty Castle.
Ballyseede Castle Hotel, Tralee
Set on 30 acres of Irish woodland, close to the famous Ring of Kerry, Ballyseede Castle offers luxury accommodation across 23 bedrooms. While history, luxury, and comfort all add to the draw of Ballyseede Castle, it’s also known for its resident ghost. The spirit of a woman called Hilda is said to haunt the castle, but don’t worry; she’s known to be friendly with reports of only one couple ever fleeing in fear. Book a stay at Ballyseede Castle.
Lough Inagh Lodge, Connemara
This is Lough Inagh Lodge, a beautiful lake house up in Connemara Ireland. ☘️It used to be a gatehouse for Ballynahinch castle but today is a hotel on its own. 🏰It manages combine elegance and comfort and I lived every minute of my stay. Definitely a favourite! ❤️ What is your favourite place to stay? #Ireland #LoveIreland #Irish #mountains #luxurytravel #Connemara #ireland_gram #failteireland #traveler #adventure #igtravel #wanderlust #bucketlist #passionpassport #beautifuldestinations #travelstoke #livetravelchannel #travelling #travelgram #hello_worldpics #wanderwisely #expediapic #traveldeeper #CNtraveler #bbctravel #instatravel #traveltheworld #mytinyatlas #ontopoftheworld #hotel
Ok, so Lough Inagh Lodge isn’t exactly a castle, but this beautiful lake-side manor set in the wild landscape of Connemara offered just as much a fairytale experience as staying in a proper castle. Located on the shores of Lough Inagh overlooking the mountains, it’s a stunning and tranquil getaway. The building dates back to 1880 when it was used as a fishing lodge. It has since been updated in a luxurious manor that hints at old world charm and elegance. Book a stay at Lough Inagh Lodge.
Psst: Looking for more tips for your Ireland travels? Check out my new Ireland-specific blog, Ireland Stole My Heart, for planning guides, advice, and more!