The exterior and grounds of Ashford Castle Hotel
Ashford is a five star castle hotel that sits on a sprawling 350 acre estate.

5 Castle Stays in Ireland That Inspire the Imagination & Enchant the Soul

Experience History and Live Like Royalty

Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a castle at one time or another? If you’d like to make it a reality, even if it’s only temporarily, Ireland may be the world’s very best place to experience it.

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury or more authentic, budget-friendly options, these castles to stay in Ireland are sure to provide you with a magical experience.

Ashford Castle Hotel, Cong

Ashford is a five-star castle hotel that sits on a sprawling 350-acre estate overlooking the glistening waters of Lough Corrib in County Mayo. Originally built in the early 13th century, it’s gone through multiple owners over the decades, including the Guinness family.

The castle has also had a number of additions and restorations since, now making it one of the best castles in Ireland to stay overnight in. In the 1940s it doubled in size and became the internationally acclaimed hotel it is today, noted not only for its lavish, upscale accommodation, but activities like golf, archery, cruises on the lake and horseback riding.

It also includes a world-class spa and award-winning gourmet cuisine in its onsite restaurants. The rooms and suites are all uniquely designed, some boasting open fireplaces and four-poster beds as well as claw-foot bath tubs. The beauty and romance of the grounds makes it one of the best destination wedding locations.

While you’re there, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of more than a few big name celebrities and royals who’ve stayed here, including Princess Grace, Mary Queen of Scots, President Ronald Reagan and Brad Pitt.

Outside Dromoland Castle on a cloudy dayDromoland Castle is the ancestral home of one of the few true Irish royal families.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Debra Millet

Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus

The “Hotel of Dreams,” as Drumoland is sometimes called, is located just minutes from Shannon Airport and dates all the way back to the fifth century. It’s only been a castle hotel for a little over 50 years, though it certainly knows how to do it right.

From the minute you step onto the immaculately groomed estate, you’ll feel as if you’re in a dream. This is the ancestral home of one of the few true Irish royal families, direct descendants of the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, who ruled in the early 11th century.

It remained in the family all the way through to the 1960s, when it was transformed into the very upscale hotel it is today. Its facade and towers are reminiscent of knights and dragons, and visitors not only enjoy staying in luxurious rooms, but indulging in spa treatments, playing rounds of golf and partaking in activities such as fishing, clay shooting, archery and horseback riding.

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Fountain outside Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, ClifdenAbbeyglen Castle Hotel is tucked into the heart of the gorgeous Connemara region and enjoys a spectacular mountain backdrop.Photo Credit: Abbeyglen

Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, Clifden

Abbeyglen is considered one of the best places to visit in Ireland and is ideal for those who are on a tighter budget and want to stay in a castle in Ireland without the high price. The castle hotel is tucked into the heart of the gorgeous Connemara region and enjoys a spectacular mountain backdrop of the Twelve Bens.

Cozy, intimate and elegant, guests enjoy a champagne welcome reception: with all the champagne you can drink in 30 minutes and the opportunity to dine at the award-winning restaurant that specializes in Connemara lamb and local seafood.

Not to mention the beautiful rooms, some of which include fireplaces, four-poster beds and Jacuzzi’s. Service is exceptional, with the warm, friendly staff (which includes Gilbert the bird) who go out of their way to ensure an amazing stay from the moment you arrive.

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