Magical Castle Hotels in Ireland (That You Can Actually Afford!)

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As  child I used to dream of being a princess who lived in a castle. As an adult, I’m not so interested in being a princess but my castle dreams have come true thanks to some of the magical castle hotels in Ireland. If you too had princess (or prince!) dreams growing up then I highly recommend planning a stay in an Irish castle hotel during your visit.  

Of course, staying at an Irish castle hotel isn’t exactly cheap. Irish castle hotels are luxury experiences often offering top-of-the-line services, gourmet meals, and unique things to do. However, luxury doesn’t doesn’t necessarily mean it comes with an over-the-top price. There are plenty of Irish castle hotels that won’t break the bank. So, if you are ready for a royal Irish experience, then this list is for you.

Here are some of the more affordable castles to stay in Ireland. Ready to find the Irish castle hotel of your dreams? Read on to learn a little more about my favourite Irish castle hotels, their history, and what the perks and amenities they have on offer. 

Headed to Ireland? I’ve created a couple of super detailed Ireland itineraries based on my favourite routes, places, accommodations, restaurants, and more. You can find them for sale here.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

ballynahinch Castle Ireland

With a rich history dating back to the end of the 18th century, Ballynahinch Castle has been rated as one of the finest luxury castle hotels in Ireland. It was voted the #1 Ireland Luxury hotel by Conde Naste readers and has been awarded the best breakfast in Ireland 2017 by Georgina Campbell. This Irish castle hotel has a rich history and has been inhabited over the years by the pirate queen Grace O’Malley, the famous cricketer Ranji, and author Margaret Atwood. Set in a private estate with over 450 acres of woodland with a backdrop of the Twelve Bens mountain range, Ballynahinch Castle is the perfect spot for visitors looking to experience the beauty of Connemara.

Guests at this stunning Irish castle hotel can take part in clay shooting, fishing, hiking, and cycling. Or just enjoy Ballynahinch’s many amenities including fine dining, a pub, and an afternoon tea service. For those travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way, Ballynahinch offers is a perfect choice for a stay at a castle hotel in Ireland.

Check prices for Ballynahinch Castle on

Check prices for Ballynahinch Castle Hotel on here

Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf Castle Hotel, Ireland

The original Clontarf Castle dates back to 1172. While the building currently occupying the title is significantly more modern (built in 1837), the area has seen a lot of Irish history: from Templar Knights to the Irish Rebellion to the Cromwellian conquest and more, the area surrounding Clontarf Castle has played an important role in Ireland’s past.

This Irish castle hotel opened to the public in 1997. Only 10 minutes away from Dublin, and 25 minutes from Potmarnock championship golf course, Clontarf Castle is one of the most popular castle hotels in Ireland. It manages to combine sophistication with historic charm and is easily accessible year round. Try modern cuisine in the Knight’s Bar, relax with an eclectic afternoon tea service in the lobby, or enjoy a summer BBQ on the Terrace. Without a doubt, Clontarf Castle Hotel is a great choice for those looking to indulge in a stay at a castle hotel in Ireland.

Check prices for Clontarf Castle on here

Check prices for Clontarf Castle on here

psst: staying in Dublin? Check out my list of the best pubs in Dublin

Cabra Castle Hotel

Cabra Castle Hotel, Ireland

Clontarf Castle truly looks like a fairytale, and it is one of the best-known castle hotels in Ireland. This Irish castle hotel is located about 1.5 hours outside of Dublin making it a popular choice for travellers who don’t have plenty of time to spend in the country. The original Cabra Castle ruins, dating back to 1699, can still be seen by the Wishing Well. This Irish castle hotel, as you see it today, dates back to 1808.

Set in the Dun a Ri National Forest Park of Cavan, Cabra Castle Hotel is a storybook Irish castle hotel with 105 bedrooms, each featuring modern 4-star facilities combined with historic old world charm including beautiful four-poster beds. There are also six cottages on the estate as well, perfect for larger groups.

Guests can explore the historic castle, roam around the manicured grounds, or just relax and enjoy the romantic and relaxing atmosphere of this truly stunning castle hotel in Ireland.

Check prices for Cabra Castle on here

Check prices for Cabra Castle Hotel on here

Waterford Castle Hotel

Waterford Castle Hotel, Ireland

Perhaps one of the most fairytale-like castle hotels in Ireland, Waterford Castle Hotel and golf resort is a favourite for all types of travellers including couples looking for a romantic getaway and families looking for a special experience.

Waterford Castle is the only castle hotel located on its private island. This 16th-century castle is surrounded by the river Suir and has been transformed into a luxurious hotel that manages to perfectly combine its elegant past with modern comfort. Rooms are available both in the castle itself, or families can book one of the on-site lodges. There are plenty of activities available as well including golfing, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, picnics, children’s activities, and more.

This castle hotel in Ireland located on a private island is perfect for a little escape from the world and indulging in luxury and beautiful nature.

Check prices for Waterford Castle Hotel on here

Planning to visit Waterford? Take a peek at this Waterford guide. 

Lough Eske Castle Hotel

Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Ireland

Lough Eske Castle is another firm favourite when it comes to castle hotels in Ireland. The castle is actually a lakeside estate, located just outside Donegal town, and has a history dating back to the 1400s which includes being linked to the O’Donnell clan; the founding fathers of Donegal. This Irish castle hotel has been lovingly restored to become an award-winning hotel that embraces both contemporary elegance and country charm.

Lough Eske Castle is a 5-star Irish castle hotel is located in one of the wildest, and prettiest parts of the country, making it an ideal base from which to explore by foot, car, or even horseback riding thanks to the nearby equestrian centre. Rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated with marble bathroom features and there are several dining options available onsite. Plus, Lough Eske Castle has an added bonus of being a renowned spa with a steam room, sauna, and multiple treatment options making it the perfect Irish castle to also indulge and relax. 

If you are planning on exploring Donegal, then a stay at this castle hotel in Ireland is a must.

Check rices for  Lough Eske Castle on here

Check prices for Lough Eske Castle Hotel on 

Kinnitty Castle Hotel

Kinitty Castle Hotel, Ireland

Kinnitty Castle Hotel in county Mayo is a gothic revival castle that, like so many of Ireland’s castles, has a turbulent history. The castle has been destroyed and burned down since 1213, though the castle as we see it today was built in 1928. Despite the violent past, Kinnitty Castle is now considered to be one of the most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland.

Set in the stunning Slieve Bloom Mountains, about an hour away from Limerick, this Irish castle hotel offers 4-star luxury at a reasonable price. There are 37 bedrooms all modernly equipped but reminiscent of the castles medieval history. Relax by one of the many open fireplaces, enjoy a meal cooked by Mark Conneely who was voted the best chef in Offaly in 2015, or grab a drink in the Library Bar or play a game at the on-site tennis court.

Without a doubt, Kinnitty Castle is one of the most regal castle hotels in Ireland.

Check prices for Kinnitty Castle on here

Check prices for Kinnitty Castle on here

Ballyseede Castle Hotel

Ballyseede Castle Hotel, Ireland

Travellers looking for a castle hotel in Ireland near Killarney the Ring of Kerry, look no further than Ballyseede Castle. Set on 30 acres of Irish woodland in Tralee, Ballyseede Castle is a boutique Irish castle hotel with 44 rooms, a resident Irish Wolfhound, and a ghost. Yes, Ballyseede Castle hotel is haunted by the ghost of a woman known as Hilda; but don’t worry, she’s supposed to be quite friendly.

Those brave (or curious) enough to sleep in this haunted castle will be rewarded with four-star luxury. Rooms are spacious and lavishly decorated, the grounds are peaceful and perfect for exploring, and the food is award-winning. Ballyseede Castle Hotel prides itself on being family friendly, but also makes for a perfect romantic getaway as well.

For those looking for a stunning castle hotel in Ireland with a unique twist, Ballyseede Castle hotel is a great choice.

Check prices for Ballyseede Castle on here

Check prices for Ballyseede Castle Hotel on here

The Lodge at Ashford Castle 

The Lodge at Ashford Castle

If you’ve researched castle hotels in Ireland no doubt you have stumbled across the stunning Ashford Castle; Ireland’s premier luxury castle hotel. While staying in the castle itself may be way over budget, there is an alternative: the Lodge at Ashford Castle.

The Lodge at Ashford Castle is a modern hotel, closer to a manor house rather than a castle. However, it is still located on the grounds which means that you get to explore and have the fairytale experience. If you like, you can book dinner, afternoon tea, or spa treatment which includes in the actual castle itself. Check out my review about my experience at the Ashford Castle Estate.

Book a stay at the Lodge at Ashford Castle here

Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Castle Hotels in Ireland

This list of castle hotels in Ireland was selected based on the most affordable options. However, if you want to stay in an Irish castle hotel, you’ll need to do a bit of advance planning. Many of  these castles are small boutique type hotels with only a few rooms and they can book up pretty quickly. 

Your best bet to ensure that you get a room and get the best deal on your room is to book in advance. Both and, which I used in the price comparisons above, frequently have deals for those who book early. I also love using these sites because they usually have great cancellation policies. Again though, even if you can’t get an amazing deal it is always better to book early to avoid disappointment if you really have your heart set on staying at a specific castle hotel in Ireland. 

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Castle Hotels in Ireland

Staying in a castle hotel in Ireland is a dream come true, but before you book you do need to take note that the majority of Irish castle hotels are located in the countryside and, therefore, are only accessible to those who plan on renting a car in Ireland. So please keep this in mind before you book! If you don’t plan on renting a car, but still want to find a castle to stay in Ireland, then your best bet is Clontarf Castle which is just outside the heart of Dublin but accessible by public transit.

Sleeping in an Irish castle hotel is a once in a lifetime experience, and while it still is a splurge, these affordable Irish castle hotels will help you turn your dreams into a reality. 

Ready to Book Your Trip?

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  1. Edu on July 1, 2017 at 7:36 am

    the castles look absolutely fabulous

    • Hannah Logan on July 4, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      I’ve personally stayed in two: Ballynahinch and Lough Inagh Lodge, both were amazing!

      • Yolanda Staats on January 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm

        Are there any that you stay “in” a original castle room/bedroom or are most added rooms that are modern? Thanks

        • Hannah Logan on January 11, 2018 at 4:03 pm

          Hi Yolanda,
          Since castle hotels are luxury accommodation all the ones the I know of have been modernized to include plumbing, more comfortable furnishings etc. Many of the buildings, though updated, are still original and you can stay in there. I know Ballynahinch has rooms in the original building- I stayed there and it was lovely.

  2. Francis S. O'Brien on February 2, 2018 at 12:48 am

    It all looks great. Planning a trip this summer. Narrowing it down to Clontarf in Dublin or Ballynahinch in Connemara.

    • Hannah Logan on February 2, 2018 at 12:54 am

      I can only speak from experience for Ballynahinch (it’s amazing) though Clontarf does look pretty fabulous as well!

  3. Joelle Schmidt on February 6, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    We stayed in Kinnitty Castle a few years ago. From the looks of the picture, they have done some updating. The grounds are beautiful, and there is a great walking path. It was nice, but you have to remember the buildings are old, and so is the furniture and fixtures. It was a wonderful stay and we had a really nice time there.

    • Hannah Logan on February 6, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      I think the old furniture and buildings adds to the charm. You are staying in a historic building after all! I’m glad you enjoyed your time there!

  4. Online flight Booking on February 7, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for sharing this information with us and I would like to spend some of my days in any of these castle. They looks like the same that we have seems in the stories of my english book in my childhood.

  5. […] Affordable Castle Hotels in Ireland […]

  6. […] Affordable Irish Castle Hotels  […]

  7. Ali on March 28, 2018 at 3:07 am

    I am dying to stay at a castle, any castle, and will be heading to Ireland this summer, with another family as well, so we are 8. Challenge is finding a castle hotel under $300 seems impossible. SO far only the Cabra seems close, but is only available the night before departing Dublin. Anyone have any other suggested castles, near Kerry, Killarney or in the direction of the cliffs?

    • Hannah Logan on March 28, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Hey Ali, I think the only castle hotel in that area is Ballyseede Castle which is on this list. Have you considered that one?

      • Micki Doherty on April 21, 2018 at 2:51 pm

        We stayed at Ballyseede last time. Beautiful and quaint (small). We are going again in October. Looking for another Castle stay experience.

        • Hannah Logan on April 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

          Haha well, you sure have plenty to choose from! 🙂 Glad to hear you enjoyed Ballyseede!

  8. Sandra on March 31, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    HI there. Thanks for your great list! We’re planning a visit to Ireland this July. Ballyseede Castle looked interesting… but we are concerned that it might have the feel of a ‘wedding venue’ and not be a peaceful experience. We want it quiet – any suggestions?

    • Hannah Logan on March 31, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      I loved Ballynahinch castle for a quiet/relaxing stay. Its small and more secluded- definitely had the peaceful vibe going for it.

  9. […] Affordable Castle Hotels in Ireland […]

  10. […] could pop by to explore. It was an exclusive luxury hotel; the best-known property when it comes to castle hotels in Ireland. I still remember feeling a small pang of disappointment, never imagining that nearly seven years […]

  11. […] Want to stay in a castle in Ireland? Read Hannah Logan’s post – > 9 Affordable Castles in Ireland. […]

  12. […] whether you are looking to splash out on a luxurious Irish castle hotel, take a girls trip to NYC with your best friends, or just want to save as much as you can so you […]

  13. Roxanne Andrew on July 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Stayed at Contarf Castle in Dublin, one brief night last May. Due to a departure snafu at the airport! Beautiful!!! Wish it could have been longer!

    • Hannah Logan on July 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      haha not often you get a good experience from an airport issue! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  14. […] Ireland has its fair share of beautiful luxury hotels, but the real draw are the Irish castle hotels which offer a truly unique experience. However, you will need to rent a car for this experience as […]

  15. Deanna T. on April 3, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I am not picky and would jump at the chance to stay at ANY of these spots. Have you been to all of these personally, Hannah? Because, if so, my jealous is boundless.

    • Hannah Logan on April 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      I haven’t stayed in them all but I have stayed in a few- the rest are on my list 😀

    • Lori balue on May 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Hannah ,
      My family if 5 is planning an ancestry trip late may early June 2020 for two weeks circling Ireland. We are staying in Belfast, galway, kilarney and Dublin. Would we be able to get castle stays under $200 a night?
      Thanks Lori

      • Hannah Logan on May 28, 2019 at 10:40 am

        Hi Lori,
        These are definitely the more affordable ones but for a family of 5 you would probably need a bigger room or multiple rooms so not sure. To get the best deals, book well in advance!

  16. […] aren’t my normal go-to. It’s not that I don’t like them, because trust me I do (fairytale Irish castle hotels are my favourite) but, more so that I’m, well, cheap. At the end of the day I spend most of […]

  17. […] it comes to castle hotels, Ireland and Scotland tend to get most of the attention. However, while both of those countries […]

  18. […] Luxor when in Egypt, I’ve camped under the stars in the Sahara Desert, and I even stayed at a castle in Ireland. These were all incredible experiences that were worth every […]

  19. Seema jain on April 21, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Nice options. I would think seriously about them for my daughter’s wedding.

    • Hannah Logan on April 22, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      They would all be stunning wedding venues

  20. Lesa Angleton on August 18, 2020 at 12:07 am

    I am planning a solo trip next year to Ireland and Wales I could really use your help and guidance. I have so many questions, like the best time to go where to stay. I have been in the past but it was with a group but I want a little more time where I can actually not be rushed

    • Hannah Logan on August 18, 2020 at 7:31 am

      Hi Lesa,
      So my favourite time of year to go is Spring (love around April-May), not busy season yet but weather is nicer and things have opened up again after the winter). I actually have a second blog that is all about ireland. It’s I have city guides, accommodation guides, and lots more. You may want to take a look over there! I also recently created 2 super-detailed Ireland itineraries that I sell for $4.99 each in my shop. They break down my suggested route, where to stay and eat, what to see and do, and have some insider tips as well.

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