Irish Castles & Manor Houses

Staying in an Irish castle or manor house can be the ultimate accommodation for travelers. For many, the very words Irish castle conjures up images of luxurious evenings spent sipping cordials by a peat fire in a great room while ordering turn-down service and chocolates for your room. You certainly can find these activities, but you can also find low-key rustic castle experiences.

Irish Castle and hotel at sunny day in Ashford, Mayo, Ireland

Four or Five-Star Irish Castle Hotel:

With their defending days behind them, many Irish castles have been repurposed into hotels.  Owners try their best to keep the castle-like charm inside and out while ensuring twenty-first century-necessities like indoor plumbing and heat.

A four or five-star Irish castle usually has every luxury you’ve ever dreamed of at your fingertips. The service is usually top-notch making you feel like a Lord or Lady every time you visit. Among the many indulgences include slippers and robes next to four-poster beds with marble bathrooms with clawfoot tubs, country stables and horseback riding lessons, and of course extravagant restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

To name a few:

Ballyseede Castle County Kerry

Adare Manor County Limerick

Dromoland Castle County Clare

Abbey Glen County Galway

Ballynahinch Castle County Galway

Ashford Castle County Mayo

Belleek Castle County Mayo

Lough Eske Castle County Donegal

Lough Rynn Castle County Leitrim

Cabra Castle County Cavan

Kilronan Castle County Roscommon

Kinnitty Castle Count Offaly

Castle Durrow County Laois

Clontarf Castle County Dublin

Barberstown Castle County Kildare

Irish Manor Houses

Cahernane House Exterior
The beauty of manor houses. Cahernane House, Killarney, Co. Kerry

While not as grandiose as a true castle, for many visitors of Ireland, an Irish manor house is the perfect balance of luxury and intimacy. These once country estates have been transformed into beautiful boutique hotels. With fewer beds and smaller staff than a castle, the manor house can be a more intimate experience.

Delicious breakfasts are made to order. Think freshly squeezed orange juice and crepes with just-picked berries from the garden. Some manor houses have full-service restaurants, but most will at least offer to pack you a picnic lunch for exploring the area or dinner by request.

Irish manor houses may be most appealing because they are often as lavish but less expensive than their castle counterparts. There are many, many to choose from. Ireland’s Blue Book is a good place to start.

Castle Bed & Breakfasts

Castle B&B’s allow you to have a more intimate castle experience with less than a dozen rooms and big breakfasts to get you well on your way for the day.

Ross Castle County Meath

Castle Townshend County Cork

Killian Castle County Wexford

Rent a Castle/Castle Self-catering

If you wish, you may rent an entire castle. This is a popular option for those traveling with a large group or even those wishing to celebrate their nuptials in Ireland. It can get expensive, but if you have a large enough group or money isn’t an object, renting a castle is a fantastic way to experience Ireland.

A great website to begin searching is Castle Rentals Ireland, which will let you select a castle, manor house or tower by rental type and location. It is not a booking site, but it will let you see the variety of options available and tell you how to book with the owners directly like Blackwater Castle in County Cork.

See also Irish Landmark Trust for castles other unique accommodation options like lighthouses, tower houses Georgian houses, etc.

You can also find some amazing castles to rent on Airbnb (but many of them book up well in advance). 

Booking

The best way to book an Ireland castle is directly from the owner’s website. Be to check their special offers page to see if you can get a better deal. Of course, feel free to phone the castle to talk to the booking manager in person. They may be willing to beat the online offer if you just simply ask.  As always, the more nights you stay, the more likely you will be able to get a discount.

A credit card will be required for a down payment. Some will even charge a small portion of the total room cost for security purposes.

Be sure to check their cancellation policy.  If there is some reason you need to change your plans, it is always best to know in advance what charges you may be facing. All of the 4 and 5-star castles and most manor houses will accept major credit cards. Smaller establishments might want payment in cash (Euros).

Other Helpful Tips for Staying in an Irish Castle or Manor Home

Some castles in Ireland aren’t really castles at all. It is not to say that they aren’t lovely properties to stay in, but you should be aware that marketing can be deceiving. “Castle”  may be in its name just because an abbey or historic ruin is nearby.  Others built recently are constructed to look like a traditional castle, yet have little or no authentic structures.

A few properties have multiple lodging options, such as modern additions, to accommodate more guest rooms, amenities, etc. Be sure to indicate the particular room type you want, especially if you would like to stay in a historic area of the castle and not in a modern addition or a cottage nearby. By simply paying attention, you can avoid a disappointing arrival.

Take advantage of all the services that your Irish castle provides. Hiking or walking tours, fishing, shooting, or falconry. Led by local experts, these opportunities are well-organized and are exceptional memory makers. They may even be free to you as a paying guest.

Staying in an Irish castle or manor house can be the ultimate accommodation for travelers. For many, the very words Irish castle conjures up images of luxurious evenings spent sipping cordials by a peat fire in a great room while ordering turn down service and chocolates for your room. You certainly can find these activities, but you can also find low-key rustic castle experiences too.

Irish Castle and hotel at sunny day in Ashford, Mayo, Ireland

Four or Five-Star Irish Castle Hotel:

With their defending days behind them, many Irish castles have been repurposed into hotels.  Owners try their best to keep the castle-like charm inside and out while ensuring twenty-first century necessities like indoor plumping and heat.

A four or five-star Irish castle usually has every luxury you’ve ever dreamed of at your fingertips. The service is usually top-notch making you feel like a Lord or Lady every time you visit. Among the many indulgences include slippers and robes next to four-poster beds with marble bathrooms with claw foot tubs, country stables and horseback riding lessons, and of course extravagant restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

To name a few:

Ballyseede Castle County Kerry

Adare Manor County Limerick

Dromoland Castle County Clare

Abbey Glen County Galway

Ballynahinch Castle County Galway

Ashford Castle County Mayo

Belleek Castle County Mayo

Lough Eske Castle County Donegal

Lough Rynn Castle County Leitrim

Cabra Castle County Cavan

Kilronan Castle County Roscommon

Kinnitty Castle Count Offaly

Castle Durrow County Laois

Clontarf Castle County Dublin

Barberstown Castle County Kildare

Irish Manor Houses

Cahernane House Exterior
The beauty of manor houses. Cahernane House, Killarney, Co. Kerry

While not as grandiose as a true castle, for many visitors of Ireland, an Irish manor house is the perfect balance of luxury and intimacy. These once country estates have been transformed into beautiful boutique hotels. With fewer beds and smaller staff than a castle, the manor house can be a more intimate experience.

Delicious breakfasts are made to order. Think freshly squeezed orange juice and crepes with just picked berries from the garden. Some manor houses have full service restaurants, but most will at least offer to pack you a picnic lunch for exploring the area or dinner by request.

Irish manor houses may be most appealing because they are often as lavish but less expensive than their castle counterparts. There are many, many to choose from. Ireland’s Blue Book is a good place to start.

Castle Bed & Breakfasts

Castle B&B’s give you an opportunity to have a more intimate castle experience with less than a dozen rooms and big breakfasts to get you well on your way for the day.

Ross Castle County Meath

Castle Townshend County Cork

Killian Castle County Wexford

Rent a Castle/Castle Self-catering

If you wish, you may rent an entire castle. This is a popular option for those traveling with a large group or even those wishing to celebrate their nuptials in Ireland. It can get expensive, but if you have a large enough group or money isn’t an object, renting a castle is a fantastic way to experience Ireland.

A great website to begin searching is Castle Rentals Ireland, which will let you select a castle, manor house or tower by rental type and location. It is not a booking site, but will let you see the variety of options available and tell you how to book with the owners directly like Blackwater Castle in County Cork.

See also Irish Landmark Trust for castles other unique accommodation options like lighthouses, tower houses Georgian houses, etc.

You can also find some amazing castles to rent on AirBnB (but many of them book up well in advance). 

Booking

The best way to book an Ireland castle is directly from the owner’s website. Be to check their special offers page to see if you can get a better deal. Of course, feel free to phone the castle to talk to the booking manager in person. They may be willing to beat the online offer if you just simply ask.  As always, the more nights you stay, the more likely you will be able to get a discount.

A credit card will be required for down payment. Some will even charge a small portion of the total room cost for security purposes.

Be sure to check their cancellation policy.  If there is some reason you need to change your plans, it is always best to know in advance what charges you may be facing. All of the 4 and 5 star castles and most manor houses will accept major credit cards. Smaller establishments might want payment in cash (Euros).

Other Helpful Tips for Staying in an Irish Castle or Manor Home

Some castles in Ireland aren’t really castles at all. It is not to say that they aren’t lovely properties to stay in, but you should be aware that marketing can be deceiving. “Castle”  may be in its name just because an abbey or historic ruin is nearby.  Others built recently are constructed to look like a traditional castles, yet have little or no authentic structures.

A few properties have multiple lodging options, such as modern additions, to accommodate more guest rooms, amenities, etc. Be sure to indicate the particular room type you want, especially if you would like to stay in a historic area of the castle and not in a modern addition or a cottage nearby. By simply paying attention, you can avoid a disappointing arrival.

Take advantage of all the services that your Irish castle provides. Hiking or walking tours, fishing, shooting, or falconry. Led by local experts, these opportunities are well-organized and are exceptional memory makers. They may even be free to you as a paying guest.