Bébé Voyage Rating: 9/10
If you want to experience a stay in a real castle, but still enjoy utmost luxury, a stay at Dromoland Castle Hotel should be at the top of your list. Is it practical? No. Is it one of the most amazing hotels stays you’ll have? Yes, absolutely! As this hotel is in the countryside, don’t expect to walk to town, but trust me, you won’t want to leave anyway!
As this is a very upscale fancy hotel, you would not immediately expect Dromoland Castle Hotel to be family friendly. However, we found it to be extremely family friendly from the moment they greeted us at our car! At check-in, they welcomed our very busy 6-year-old son as if he was the most important person. They gave him a coloring set with colored pencils and he loved it. Every time we passed through the lobby, everyone knew him by name and would chat with him. All of the activity specialists were really great with him. Not once did we feel out of place. Instead, we felt welcomed, almost like family.
The hotel is located in County Clare, a few hours’ drive from Dublin. If you’re already touring around Ireland, it’s really not a bad drive. Otherwise, I’d recommend flying into the Shannon Airport which is only 20 minutes away. It does feel like the hotel is in the middle of nowhere. However, since the purpose is to enjoy the hotel and its amenities, you won’t want to leave the grounds.
We could not have asked for a lovelier room! We are so used to small hotel rooms that we were quite pleased when we walked through the door. There was a wall full of built-in storage and a television with a seating area directly in front. Our room was a double queen. Thus, we had two beds which was perfect for the three of us. Our room was right behind the lobby with a lovely view of the pond. Finally, the best part was the bathroom. It was huge! It had a large walk-in shower as well as a very deep soaking tub. My only complaint was the mirror. I’m only five feet tall and I couldn’t see myself. My family thought that was hilarious!
Style & Character
The style in the Dromoland Castle Hotel is very charming. The decorating was very ornate with lots of red; yet, we felt right at home. Fancy, but not overwhelming. The main spaces were absolutely stunning with beautiful chandeliers and furniture, not to mention the gorgeous flower arrangements everywhere!
Service & Facilities
This hotel offers everything you could want in a luxury hotel. There are several restaurants to choose from, all the way from five-star to casual dining. They offer afternoon tea which looked amazing, as well as room service if you choose to not leave your room. We had dinner in the Gallery where we sat in big comfy chairs and sipped our drinks while our son played on the floor. The drinks and food were fantastic.
The Dromoland also has a spa and golf facilities, neither of which did we have time to use, unfortunately. We’ll just have to go back!
There are so many different activities to choose from! We did the falconry program, archery, go-karts, and a pony and trap ride through the beautiful grounds. Each experience is at an additional cost, except for the go-karts which are free. However, the added cost is worth it.
The falcons and hawks are so beautiful and having one fly to land on our fists was just about the most unique experience we’ve ever had. The guide was patient with our son, answering all of his questions and helping him hold the falcon and an owl. We even got to see baby owls!
Archery was fun–they even have a set for children to use! The expert showed us exactly what to do, how to hold the bow and pull back the arrow and aim. Our son hit the target each time, and my husband even managed a bullseye.
The pony and trap ride was very relaxing and fun. As we were there in April, it was a bit chilly and a little cloudy, but luckily no rain. The driver allowed our son to sit in front with him and even hold the reins for the pony! We were told many stories about the land and the history of the Dromoland while getting to see all of the castle grounds. It was very informative, yet fun!
One of our favorite activities, however, was the go-karts. These aren’t motorized–they are powered by pedaling! We had so many laughs while racing around in circles. Our son was tall enough to drive his own, but if you have a little one in tow they have a couple that have smaller seats attached to the back. This way, everyone can join in the fun.
Those are just a few of the many activities available at the Dromoland Castle Hotel. As we were only there one night, we didn’t have time to experience everything they have to offer.
Food & Drink
The dining options in the hotel are plentiful. What I love is that they use locally sourced ingredients so you know that your food is going to be extremely fresh. Breakfast was included in our package and wonderful. They had a buffet table with assorted cereals and pastries. You order your “main” breakfast course. We enjoyed dinner in the Gallery which is quite relaxed. My husband ordered the lamb stew and I had the rigatoni pasta. Both were equally delicious. Meanwhile, our son had the fish and chips which were perfect. He devoured everything on his plate. The drink menu is wonderful as well. They specially made chocolate milk for our son which absolutely made his night. I had champagne and my husband had a mixed drink which was delightful.
There are several other restaurant options including in-room dining. However, we did not have a chance to experience it all as we were there for such a short period of time.
Value for Money
The hotel is very expensive, especially when you clock in the cost for all of the additional activities you’ll want to experience. However, I feel it was worth every bit of money we spent. We have so many wonderful memories. We couldn’t stop smiling from the minute we arrived. I nearly cried when it was time to leave! I would go back in a heartbeat and spend the money all over again if I had the chance.
Hotel Contact Information
Dromoland Castle Hotel
Newmarket – On – Fergus, Co. Clare, Ireland
+353 61 368144
1800 346 7007 (USA)
Low season approximately $350+ per night for 3 people in a Deluxe room
High season (July) approximately $900+ per night for 3 people in a Deluxe room