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

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!

[Read more…]

Ross Castle news – Summer 2012

I’ve recently been contacted and asked to share some really good news about Ross Castle:

In order to better communicate with our customers and the world from the shores of Lough Sheelin, Ross Castle had high-speed internet installed in its historic walls in the fall of 2011. So, from now on guests will be able to keep communicating with their friends and family globally in real time and with the speed of (Irish) lightning! This improvement comes to Ross Castle exactly 500 years after the Black Baron dispatched couriers on horseback for his weekly communications with Dublin Castle. What a difference 500 years make !

Proving that we do listen to suggestions from our guests, we tackled some bricks-and-mortar renovations this spring: We finally dared to renovate the lower tower bathroom. After 50 years of climbing over toilets and jumping into an oversized bathtub, the scary task was tackled to tear the old bathroom from its 500-year old footings to replace it with contemporary new fixtures, offering all of the modern bathroom comforts in a historic setting. To our surprise, not only was the base from which we had to rebuild sound, but the concrete had hardened over the past decades and centuries to the point, where hammer and chisel could hardly scratch it. Hats off to our plumber, who fitted the new services effortlessly into the old walls without taking away any of the old charm and history.

This “small” renovation project fits into the larger scheme, where we want to proceed to continuously upgrade the services of Ross Castle over the coming years. However, we want to do this carefully and cautiously, realising fully that we are moving within many-century-old walls, which deserves special care and consideration.

One more thing: Ross Castle was recently featured in an article of the Irish Times – you may enjoy it if you’re into ghosts stories: Things that go Bump in the night.

More on Ross Castle

Most Popular Castle Hotels: April 2012

It will take just a few more weeks to implement the most popular castle hotels indicator for one of the sidebars on the Castle Hotel Ireland website, so I thought it would make sense to share with you the list of most popular castle hotels in April 2012. This list is generated based on the number of sales facilitated through Castle Hotels Ireland for each castle hotel.

Most Popular Castle Hotel in April 2012

Waterford Castle Hotel

Waterford Castle

4 star hotel

Waterford, Co. Waterford

Website: Waterford Castle

Ashford Castle Hotel

Second Most Popular Castle Hotel in April 2012

Ashford Castle

5 star hotel

Cong, Co. Mayo

Website: Ashford Castle

Adare Castle Hotel

Third Most Popular Castle Hotel in April 2012

Adare Manor

5 star hotel

Adare, Co. Limerick
Website: Adare Manor

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Falconry Hawk Walks at Ashford Castle

Are you thinking of staying at Ashford Castle anytime soon? Then make sure to book a hawk walk with the Ireland’s School of Falconry!

School of Falconry is  open every day of the year. The earliest time for a booking is 10.00am and the latest time is about 3.30pm. Any time within that timeframe is  usually bookable. All you need to make a booking is to call the school of falconry up and leave your contact number.

It’s very easy to find the falconry: just park at Ashford Caslte and follow the signposts, it should take you about 10 min.

Private Hawk Walks at Ashford

The costs for the one hour private Hawk Walk are as follows:

  • 70 Euro for one participant
  • 60 Euro each for two participants
  • 55 Euro each for three participants
  • 50 Euro each for four to ten participants

There is no cost for spectators who are accompanying participants.

Full details of everything that goes on at the Falconry School are available on our website at:  www.falconry.ie