Emerald Isle

Ireland’s Dromoland Castle pairs historic significance with royal experiences

Ireland is nothing if not known for its iconic scenery. Lush greenery, rolling hills and sweeping vistas—punctuated by historic homes and castles—provide a sense of bucolic charm, while coastal cliffs and rugged shorelines have become local attractions for visitors hailing from across the globe. It’s a setting that feels almost too magical to be real, and the best way to soak it all in is via an authentically Irish experience at one of the region’s most historic residences. 

For a stay that’s as luxurious as it is authentic, look no further than the recently renovated Dromoland Castle. Nestled on more than 450 sprawling acres in Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, Dromoland offers all the history of a circa-16th century residence and the comfort of a five-star hotel. 

As a guest at Dromoland, your views will include the sparkling shores of Lough Dromoland and an 18-hole golf course. And as soon as you set down your bags, expect to be treated like royalty by the accommodating staff. 

The hotel’s €20 million restoration project was completed in summer of 2018, in partnership with the the Irish Georgian Society to preserve the castle’s historical integrity. Guest rooms offer present-day amenities—Nespresso machines, interactive televisions and fully stocked minibars—in a classic setting, boasting canopied beds, lime-washed furnishings, Irish fabrics, and artwork by acclaimed Irish painter John Brennan. The rest of the hotel showcases elegant touches such as Waterford Crystal chandeliers, hand-woven Venetian silk wall coverings, stained glass, oil paintings and hunting mounts. 

In addition to playing a round of golf at Dromoland Castle Golf and Country Club or strolling the castle’s grounds and hiking trails (don’t miss the enchanting fairy garden), outdoor recreational activities abound. Guests are welcome to engage in everything from archery, falconry and horseback riding to tennis and clay shooting. Downstairs, the Spa at Dromoland Castle offers facials, body treatments and massages, including the unique golf ball massage, which uses a golf ball to target trigger points. 

Dromoland also offers easy access to an abundance of must-see attractions, including the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and the Burren Food Trail. For insider tips and local recommendations, Dromoland’s friendly staff is always on hand to offer assistance. 

It’s this level of hospitality that makes it obvious that the estate has been welcoming visitors since the 16th century. And while Dromoland has hosted everyone from kings to international celebrities, all guests receive the royal treatment.