Winding up the drive to the ivy-strewn entrance of Dromoland Castle, an audible gasp can be heard from the backseat as my sons notice the bagpipe player emerge, musically welcoming us to our royal home for the evening. The setting couldn’t be more perfect.
Majestically set on the shores of Dromoland, the 16th-century luxury castle hotel is surrounded by over 450 acres of breathtaking scenery. And, as you’d expect, Dromoland Castle offers the utmost in luxury, blending old-world elegance with modern-day amenities.
The castle’s 97 guest rooms combine comfort with 21st-century essentials, including the recent addition of air conditioning. All the rooms are furnished to a high standard with generously sized beds, separate seating areas, large plasma TVs, and, my personal favorite, large soaking tubs.
Guestrooms reflect a soothing, contemporary palette updated with modern Irish fabrics, custom lime-washed furnishings, original artworks, and pillows embossed with Lord Inchiquin’s coat of arms.
With golf, rowing, falconry, clay shooting, archery, tennis, and a trip to the spa on our list of activities, we didn’t spend much time in our luxury accommodations during daylight hours.
Top on our list of activities was falconry. The chance to enjoy magnificent wildlife and ancient woodlands, falconry is an unmissable part of the Dromoland Castle experience. This was truly one of our most-loved experiences: getting up close and personal with falcons, hawks, and owls on the castle grounds.
Most hotels and resorts encourage guests to relax, far away from the stress of daily life, but what Dromoland Castle specializes in are those “When will I ever get to do this again?” moments. And, more importantly, they get an A+ in the hospitality department.
The simple truth is that every guest is treated like royalty. The staff does more than provide exceptional service and execute topnotch activities; they pride themselves in delivering whatever is desired by those calling the castle their temporary home. From the award-winning restaurant’s culinary masterpieces to the daily afternoon tea to the impeccably groomed gardens, Dromoland Castle is a haven of refined yet relaxed luxury.
Steeped in Irish history, the property recently completed the final phase of its full-scale €20 million refurbishment. The focus was to preserve the historic charm while enhancing the legacy for generations to come.
Managing Director Mark Nolan explains, “We’ve been refurbishing the property for over a year, ensuring the finest comforts while staying true to our noble roots. Given the impressive scale of the space, we’ve successfully mixed patterns and textures to create harmonious and luxurious rooms. Natural light from generous windows allows the rich color scheme to work by day, while antique chandeliers ensure the rooms are just as cozy and welcoming in the evening. We embraced change while honoring and protecting the symbols of legacy.”
Although the castle has been upgraded for today’s traveler, it doesn’t take away from the charm and elegance that make it an iconic destination. Dromoland Castle will leave you feeling like you’ve traveled back in time—but with the comforts of a five-star resort.
For our family, it was the experience of living like royalty, surrounded by luxury, beauty, and exceptional service. We left feeling completely disconnected from our hectic lives and brought home memories for a lifetime.