Step back in time to the era of the High Kings of Ireland with a stay at Dromoland Castle. Dating back to the 16th-century, history is in the walls here with each corner of the grand estate telling its part of the tale. Through the 97 immaculately restored rooms and suites and across the expansive 450-acre estate, there is a truly inescapable sense of grandeur. But there’s also an authentic Irish warmth with a zest for the great outdoors and the beauty of your surroundings. Discover it all with a host of country pursuits, ranging from archery and falconry to cycling and riding, before retiring to the subterranean spa and the fine dining of the Earl of Thomond.
Sprawled across a corner of County Clare, Dromoland offers the perfect base for exploration. Step off the 450 acres and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the iconic Wild Atlantic Way, with both the Cliffs of Moher and the lunarlike Burren nearby. Cosmopolitan charm is there to be found too in Limerick and Galway. With so much to explore at Dromoland itself, however, we wouldn’t blame you if you never left. The grounds share a designer with the Gardens of Versailles, there’s an 18-hole par 72 golf course and a Lough which accounts for 10-acres alone. All this, and it’s only a mere 15-minute drive from Shannon airport, with its direct flights from New York and London.
Sumptuously adorned and overlooking the lake and grounds, the 97 rooms and suites at Dromoland Castle offer a taste of noble living. Like the castle itself, the rooms trace history with original architectural features side by side with modern comforts. We particularly loved the State Rooms for this reason, set within the original castle walls yet with none of the assumed darkness, there’s an inescapable sense of occasion to them. For families, extra touches such as mini dressing gowns and slippers as well as a stack of board games and movies, make children feel at home.
Why we like it
Dromoland is more than just a place to stay, it is a journey – through both their story and yours. The castle employs its own historian who will lead you on a guided walking tour to reveal long-kept secrets. But before you even arrive, there’s a chance too to connect with the hotel’s resident genealogist. A pre-trip consultation sets the scene for those looking to trace their Irish heritage, then, on arrival, afternoon tea offers a relaxed environment in which to unearth family roots, with the option to visit nearby sites that might relate to your background too.
A 16th-century castle may not be the first place you think of when it comes to sustainability, but Dromoland more than proves its modern outlook in this regard. On the inside, there is a conscious effort to eliminate single use plastics and conserve water and energy, with a new reservoir going a long way to help this. Whilst outside there are rewilding initiatives that have seen every member of staff here plant their own tree. Add to that a nominated ‘Green Champion’ to build awareness and the Castle is here to ensure a pristine environment for centuries to come.