Ways to make your castle hotel visit truly romantic

If you aren't sure how to spend your romantic weekend in one of the castle-hotels in Ireland, there are always lots of ways to make it an unforgettable experience.

While city bustling usually leaves you with little chance of spending a few quiet hours enjoying wonders and beauty of nature, a trip to almost any castle hotel will guarantee that you may enjoy beautifully landscaped gardens and trail walks on castle grounds.

Your weekend in a castle – hotel will allow you to break the working day/week routine and instead enjoy a picnic in the woods, do casual bird watching or a horseback riding.

If gourmet food or exquisite drink is your thing, most castle hotels will offer a vast array of wines and whiskeys and will usually have a great restaurant available for you as a guest.

It seems like there is nothing more romantic than a picnic in the woods with someone you love. Such a snack with champagne will give you the opportunity to become closer to each other and enjoy each other’s company. Besides, it's quite an original event.

If you love animals we can offer you horseback riding. You can feel the harmony with nature and enjoy the beauty of these noble animals. If fishing is your hobby, please ask for it at the reception as most likely there will be options for you to spend a few hours fishing in nearby rivers or lakes.

Each castle hotel offers so many things to do that you may not even get a chance to try them all on your shirt stay, so you will probably want to be back soon!

The Last but not least option is probably a romantic walk. With plenty of hiking trails and panoramic viewpoints, almost any place in Ireland would have a local attraction or two for you to explore.

If your preference is slow and quiet walks, you will probably enjoy public parks or luxury hotel grounds, just ask for a map at the reception.

Once the main activities of your day are done, top the day's impressions with a romantic dinner. It doesn't even have to be candlelight – just the experience of treating yourself and your loved one to a 5-course dinner in a luxury restaurant will become one of the most romantic and memorable moments of your holiday.

Some hotels have beautiful halls with natural fireplaces, so if you are not too tired it may be a great idea to have a drink or two before you go.


Castle Hotels Are Perfect For Honeymooners

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

When it comes to planning a wedding, most brides focus on finding the perfect dress, the perfect wedding venue, and having a delicious wedding cake. But another important aspect of any wedding that needs plenty of consideration is where to go for the perfect honeymoon. The honeymoon gives every happy couple a chance to relax, unwind, and reminisce about their big day. It’s important to get it right! The average wedding now costs around £18,000 with a whopping £3,582 of that budget going to the honeymoon.  With such a generous budget at your disposal, when it comes to choosing your honeymoon you’ll be spoilt for choice. You could lounge on a far flung beach or gamble in Las Vegas. But if you’re looking for true luxury and romance then a stay in one of Ireland’s fabulous castle hotels is the perfect way to spend your honeymoon. Here are a few tips and hints to help you choose the perfect castle hotel for you:

Location, Location, Location

The first thing you need to thing about is whereabouts in the country you’d like to be based; are there any particular sites and attractions you’d like to see during your trip to Ireland? If you’ve always wanted to see how Waterford crystal is made, for example, and are planning to take some home as a souvenir then maybe the Waterford Castle is the best choice for you.  If it’s important to you not to have too far to drive once you arrive at your destination airport then Adare Manor is only around a 25 mile drive from Shannon airport. Whatever your destination preferences, you need to discuss them together before you book your dream hotel. It’s worth noting that the nature of castle hotels means they are all in reasonably remote locations, making hiring a car a must! There are car hire facilities in or close by to all of Ireland’s airports to make this process easier for you. Just remember to bring your driver’s license and relevant insurance policies with you to make the car hire process go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Car insurance NI can have different requirements to car insurance in other parts of the world, so ensure your policy is valid and that you will be protected should anything happen to you or your car whilst you’re driving on Ireland’s remote country roads.

Picking Your Castle

Pick your castle hotel wisely: there are a host that cater specifically for weddings and honeymoons, meaning you can be sure you will receive the best possible service and attention to detail. Ashford Castle is a five star hotel located within acres of stunningly beautiful countryside in the heart of County Mayo. Dozens of happy couples choose to get married here every year, and with their opulent reception rooms and a host of fine dining options it’s easy to see why. But even if you’re getting married elsewhere. Ashford Castle makes the perfect honeymoon destination. They offer a relaxing  a health and beauty centre where you can indulge in a couples’ massage or a facial: the perfect way to unwind after the stress of planning and hosting a wedding! If you find the idea of world class spa and leisure facilities appealing then you should also check out the Kilronan Castle Hotel. Their opulent spa facilities have opened very recently, meaning their shiny and new! You can choose to lounge by the pool or opt for an indulgent couples treatment: either way, you’ll be glad you chose a spa hotel.

Spoilt For Choice?

If you’re struggling to choose which castle hotel you prefer then why not consider taking a tour of some of Ireland’s finest castle hotels for an unusual twist on the traditional castle hotel honeymoon? There’s nothing more romantic that sharing a road trip through some of Ireland’s truly stunning countryside with the one you love. And by booking more than one castle hotel in more than one destination you get to compare the splendour of several old Irish castles whilst also seeing a lot more of the country. A castle hotel tour is the most decadent way to travel around Ireland: and as it’s your honeymoon, you deserve it!

A Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles. Day 5

Waterford Castle

Waterford Castle

Read the first part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Days 1 and 2

Read the second part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Days 3 and 4

Day 5: Waterford Castle and County Waterford

The final day of our historic journey takes us 100 miles east into County Waterford. After a three-hour journey on the road, you will be relaxing on a 310-acre private island on the River Suir that serves as a home to the sixteenth century Waterford Castle.

If you’re a golf lover, you will enjoy playing a round on the estate’s eighteen-hole golf course set amidst scenic woodlands.

After settling into the castle, you can board the daily ferry for exploration in Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland. Home of the infamous Waterford Crystal, the city is a blend of ancient and modern featuring a collection of pubs, restaurants, and boutiques set within medieval city walls and cobbled back streets. The historic town is an impressive display of eighteenth century architecture including the Bishop’s Palace, Christ Church Cathedral, and the City Hall.

A night in Waterford Castle is the perfect way to end your royal road trip being one of the most affordable castles in the country.

Be Ready for a Memorable Road Trip

Our journey draws to a close in the city of Waterford where you can drop off your rental car and board a flight back to the United Kingdom from Waterford Airport. You could also extend your trip to a full week and head north to Dublin or south to Cork where you can indulge in more Irish culture and attractions while gaining access to a much larger selection of flights. If you prefer to drive rather than fly, Ireland is well connected by a number of ferries operating from Liverpool, Wales, and France. Our five-day itinerary covers nearly 400 miles. Whether you choose to hire a car or bring your own, it is important to ensure that all your paperwork, licenses and insurance policies are in order and that your vehicle is prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that could happen in the remote Irish countryside. It is also wise to ensure that you carry maps or an updated SatNav to ensure that you do not get lost along the way.

Ireland as a nation is known for its welcoming culture heeding to the expression, “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes” and the castles of Ireland are no exception. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this beautiful island nation is to experience it from a castle. Don’t be surprised if you discover that a royal retreat can be enjoyed at a royal bargain.

A Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles. Days 3 and 4

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

Read the first part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Days 1 and 2

Day 3: Ashford Castle and County Mayo

Our third day takes us 112 miles south on a two and a half hour journey to Ashford Castle in Cong County Mayo, known as Ireland’s Lake District.

Ashford Castle is a strikingly impressive thirteenth century stronghold that is built within 350 acres of woodland resting upon the River Cong with Lough Corrib in the backdrop. Founded by the De Burgo family in 1228, it is a wonderful example of a magnificent castle enveloped in nature.

Visitors can enjoy falconry, wooden boat tours, equestrian activities, archery, fishing, and golfing on the estate’s 9-hole course. John Wayne film lovers will be delighted to know that the 1951 film, “The Quiet Man” was filmed in the nearby village of Cong starring the Duke and Maureen O’Hara. The Quiet Man Cottage Museum located by the river is a tribute to the film filled with costumes and artifacts to make the visitor feel as if they were actually ‘on-set.’

Also located in this quaint village is the Royal Abbey of Cong, one of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland founded in the early twelfth century. Be sure to return to Ashford Castle for the night where you will be treated to a night in another era complete with authentic staterooms featuring four poster beds and original fireplaces.

Day 4: Dromoland Castle and County Clare

The fourth day of our royal road journey takes us approximately 70 miles south on a one hour and forty-five minute trip to Dromoland Castle, located at Newmarket-On-Fergus in County Clare.

The 375-acre estate rests on Dromoland Lake featuring one of Ireland’s finest parkland 18-hole golf courses. Set in the midst of a natural amphitheatre, the castle belonged to the O’Brien Family, descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. The castle is full of unique activities including luxurious spa treatments, pony rides around the historic estate, and genealogical interviews to help retrace your Irish roots.

No trip to County Clare is complete without visiting the famous Cliffs of Moher, located less than an hour from the castle approximately 30 miles northwest. Known as one of the country’s top tourist attractions, the Cliffs range eight kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean with the highest peak reaching 214 metres. Visitors can indulge in magnificent views of the Aran Islands, The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains, and Galway Bay.

If you have planned to spend the night at Dromoland Castle, be sure to reserve a guest room in the tower for a more exclusive experience.

Read the last part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Day 5

A Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles – Days 1 and 2

A Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles – Days 1 and 2
Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle

If televisions programs like Game of Thrones have got you dreaming of life as a royal, the idea of enjoying the royal treatment may not be as farfetched as you would think at least for just a holiday. When it comes to Irish castles, they are the home of legends. If you have ever dreamed of gazing across a moat or looking out from a turret, the inner aristocrat dwelling within is likely to awaken visiting one of these magnificent estates.

This is a 5-day tour highlighting some of the best castles in Ireland, hope you enjoy it!

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Ashford Castle Sold for €20 million

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle, the magnificent five star castle hotel in Cong, Co. Mayo, Ireland, has just been sold to the UK based Red Carnation Hotels group.

Red Carnation group is a closely held hotelier that runs 14 four-and five-star properties. Red Carnation Hotels is an award-winning collection of five and four star family-run boutique hotels in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Florida, South Africa and now Ireland.

The landmark castle property was sold on behalf of receiver Ernst & Young Ltd. through broker Savills Plc.

Commenting on the purchase, Ashford Castle’s new owner Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder of Red Carnation Hotels, said:

We are thrilled to have Ashford Castle as part of our collection and welcome the whole team to the Red Carnation family. Like the rest of our hotels, Ashford Castle is an iconic property, in a unique location and with a reputation for luxury and excellence, and we are delighted that we will be bringing some of Red Carnation’s signature touches to it.

Ashford Castle has 83 luxury bedroom suites, the main dining room with a number of private dining rooms, a drawing room, bar and a spa.

Joint receiver and manager Luke Charleton (of Ernst & Young) commented:

 In what has been a very challenging time and volatile climate for the hotel industry, it is particularly pleasing to have exсhanged contracts for the sale of Ashford Castle, maintaining 160 jobs in the Western region.