Castles are one of the best things about Ireland, and when it comes to planning a dream Irish vacation, the idea of sleeping in an Irish for a night or two is on many people’s must-do list. While the idea may be dreamy, staying at a castle hotel in Ireland is definitely a bit of a splurge. But, it doesn’t have to leave a hole in your wallet. Here are nine affordable castle hotels in Ireland where you can live out your Irish fairytale dreams without breaking the bank.
Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara
With a rich history dating back to the end of the 18th century, Ballynahinch Castle has been rated as one of the finest luxury castle 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 Irish 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 Irish castle hotel with only 22 rooms. The original Cabra Castle ruins, dating back to 1699, can still be seen by the Wishing Well. This Irish castle hotel, as you see it today, dates back to 1808. Book a stay at Cabra 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 into 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. This Irish castle has been linked to the O’Donnell clan; the founding fathers of Donegal. The castle hotel 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 castle 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
Ok, so Lough Inagh Lodge isn’t exactly an Irish 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.
The Lodge at Ashford Castle
If you’ve researched castle hotels in Ireland no doubt you have stumbled across the stunning Ashford Castle; Ireland’s premier luxury castle hotel. While staying in the castle itself may be way over budget, there is an alternative: the Lodge at Ashford Castle. It’s a beautiful hotel, though definitely modern. However, you get to explore the castle grounds and still have that fairytale experience. Check out my review about my experience at the Ashford Castle Estate.
For More on Ireland & Irish Castles
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*This post was updated June 2018