Castle hotels in Ireland offer a unique chance for visitors to enjoy the history of the country and take a step back in time. Castle hotels are a unique luxury to Ireland and guarantee a stay like no other hotel around the world. Visitors will feel like royalty as they gaze out their regal windows at Ireland's green rolling hills and off cliffs into the sweeping sea while also being treated to classic Irish hospitality. Here are our top five picks for fabulous castle hotels in Ireland.

Gregans Castle Hotel

Gregans Castle Hotelhttp://www.irelands-blue-book.ie/cmsGallery/listings/48/original/gregans_castle_hotel_7.jpg

With breathtaking views out over Galway Bay, stunning service and surrounded by unique Burren landscape, Gregans Castle Hotel is the ultimate luxury hideaway in Ireland. The bedrooms at Gregans are free from the distraction of television, lit by turf fires and candlelight, decorated with a unique smattering of modern art and antiques all while being enhanced by freshly cut garden flowers. This castle hotel is the perfect spot to indulge in a relaxing and romantic atmosphere while getting away from it all. During the day, visitors can explore the Burren landscape, walk along the cliffs of Moher and horseback ride through the surf. During the evening, guests can enjoy each other's company or read a book by the light of the fire. Visitors to Gregans Castle Hotel will not even have to leave the building to find innovative and award winning gourmet meals either. All of this is combined with owners Simon and Frederieke's dedication to making their establishment an oasis of comfort and hospitality which makes Gregans a can't-miss stay while in Ireland.

Ashford Castle Hotel

Ashford Castle HotelWikipedia

Ashford Castle has sat along its lovely forested spot on the Lough Corrib in Ireland for the past 700 years, so when visitors come looking for their own slice of Irish history, they are likely to find it here. Ashford Castle Hotel is considered one of the finest in luxury accommodations in Ireland, offering excellent service and plush rooms. Visitors can enjoy the award winning cuisine at either of Ashford's two restaurants, The George V Room or the Connaught Room. However, the cuisine pales in comparison with the rooms at Ashford. Each guest is treated to their own individually designed room that provides personal comforts, marble bathrooms and soft fabrics and furnishings. Each room at Ashford allows plenty of space for visitors to lounge in comfort overlooking the water, beautifully manicured grounds or the forest beyond. Outside, visitors can walk the grounds, enjoying the gardens and waterfront all while marveling at this aged beautiful stone behemoth from antiquity.

Dromoland Castle Hotel

Dromoland Castle HotelWikipedia

Castle Dromoland is a magnificent 16th Century Renaissance structure that once served as the seat of the powerful O'Brien clan. Today, the Dromoland Castle Hotel has garnered an international reputation of excellence for its luxurious accommodations and beautiful setting. Located just fifteen minutes from Shannon Airport, this particular castle hotel surprises most visitors by being so close to civilization yet seeming so isolated from it. This wonderful hotel still retains many of its past trappings including splendid woodcarvings, stone statuary, hand-carved panelling and antique furnishings. However, it has also been updated with all the amenities that modern travellers need. Visitors can enjoy rooms stocked with uncommon amounts of comfort during the evening and partake in hunting, fishing and horseback riding across Dromoland's extensive estate during the day. Essentially, visitors feel as if they have been inducted into part of the gentry during their stay at this luxurious castle hotel.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Ballynahinch Castle Hotelhttp://www.ballynahinch-castle.com/gallery

Standing proud over the Ballynahinch Salmon River is the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. This hotel, nestled in the loving ridges of the Twelve Bens Mountain Range, offers a comforting stay without all the pretense and pomp that accompanies the other castle hotels in Ireland. The proprietors of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel want visitors to have a comfortable stay, but more so hope that their establishment serves as a base for them to explore the rugged and mystical land that lays west of Galway City. Visitors can rest in rooms adorned with soft colour schemes that harmonize with the natural charm of the surroundings, relax by the glow of open log fires and explore the idyllic mountainous area outside of the castle. While not the most luxurious castle hotel in the country, it is easily the most beautiful. The aged stone of the castle practically glows in the sunlight and the rough patch of green that the castle is carved into seems like an oasis surrounded by intimidating peaks of Twelve Bens.

Ballyseede Castle Hotel

Ballyseede Castle Hotelhttp://www.ballyseedecastle.com

The staff at Ballyseede Castle Hotel invite guests to come down to their beautiful Southwest Ireland castle and enjoy their history while getting away from the stresses of everyday life. Hotel guests who spend a night in this castle's luxurious, richly designed rooms can experience the unique history of this great fortress and may even get a chance to see their resident ghost--Hilda. Aside from ghost spotting, guests are treated to fine Irish fare and wine in the hotel Dining Room, enthralled by stories from the bartender in the Library Bar and urged to explore the many gardens and woodlands of the Ballyseede estate. Of course, the main attractions of Ballyseede are the bedrooms. Each is individually designed and has been completely refurbished into modern luxury surrounded by an old setting. The rooms are decorated with taste and imagination, but still keep true to that Irish charm that so many visitors seek from a castle hotel.

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