Dromoland Castle

  • Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Ireland
  • 75 Rooms

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Dromoland Castle

  • Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Ireland
  • 75 Rooms

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Verified guests have rated this hotel out of a possible score of 20

Dromoland Castle, located in the west of Ireland (quite near the present-day Shannon Airport), was the traditional home of the O'Brien clan, Ireland’s rulers from the tenth century on. The present castle is not so old as that — first built in the 17th century, it was torn down and rebuilt in its present Gothic style, from cut stone and asphalt, in the 19th century. The castle was renovated in 1962, transformed into a hotel, and is more picturesque than ever, though perhaps less fit to withstand a Viking invasion, should another one occur.

The surroundings are as breathtaking as the castle itself, with spectacular views of lush, wooded parkland and the Shannon river. All manner of rugged, outdoorsy activities are available, to take full advantage of the environment, from a walk through the gardens, to a round of golf or a tennis match, or even a bit of shooting, whether with a bow or a shotgun (perhaps explaining the popularity of Irish castles among Americans, as we are unlikely to get our hands on our beloved firearms at most overseas hotels).

Dromoland Castle’s interiors are no less majestic than its surroundings; the owners managed to resist the temptation to divide the castle into smallish rooms, perhaps one for every window, slit, or arrow loop in the castle wall. Instead the rooms are vast, larger than a traditional hotel room and even many city apartments. The décor is pleasantly old-fashioned, rather than stodgy, but with modern functional necessities, such as the inevitable satellite television.

Castle hotel enthusiasts know to expect more than a drumstick and a hunk of bread, and Dromoland’s Earl of Thomond Restaurant does not disappoint. Executive Chef David McCann serves traditionally Irish fare, but with a cosmopolitan flair perhaps owing to his days in some of London's top restaurants. The atmosphere is formal, fine dining, complete with resident harpist — for a more casual meal try the Fig Tree, or take advantage of the room service, available 24 hours a day.

All in all, a remarkable experience, a heavy dose of Irish history with a dash of aristocratic fantasy and just enough of the modern world to prevent total culture shock. In a nutshell, this is a modern luxury hotel in ancient castle style, and the only Tablet hotel whose state-of-the-art conference room is named for a king killed by Vikings in the eleventh century.

How to get there:
Dromoland Castle is approximately a 20 minute drive from Shannon Airport or 3 hours from Dublin.

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Facilities & services

  • Gym
  • Air conditioning
  • Cribs (subject to availability)
  • Tennis court


Restaurants near the hotel