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Accommodation Spotlight: Dromoland Castle Hotel

By Dawn Rainbolt
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Welcome to County Clare

County Clare is habitually one of the most popular regions in Ireland to visit and for good reason. The Cliffs of Moher are an irresistible draw for most visitors to Ireland – dramatic and jaw-dropping geological features on a backdrop of swirling Atlantic waves. Further inland, the wild Burren landscapes are reminiscent of a fantasy or sci-fi film.

At the heart of County Clare, the 5 star Dromoland Castle Hotel is a fairy-tale pile of pillars, turrets and crinolines set amongst rolling golf greens and screened by lush woodlands. Expect old-world charm combined with a high level of service, elegance and a secluded location with plenty of activities on-site.

Located in the middle of the county near the charming town of Ennis, Dromoland Castle is an excellent base for those looking to explore the wilds of the west coast of Ireland while retiring in stunning and luxurious surroundings.

Learn more about Dromoland Castle Hotel and why you should include it on your next itinerary below.

Dromoland Castle Hotel

Reception at Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle sits on a 450-acre estate framed by manicured grounds, complete with a golf course, secluded forests and picturesque panoramas.

As you arrive at the immense castle door overlooked by stone turrets, a grand Gothic exterior greets you. Romantically charming, the castle exudes a fairy-tale atmosphere or perhaps a portal to another time. Inside, expect further lavishness from the lounge to the halls, breakfast room and cosy corners.

The rooms themselves are the epitome of comfort. From lakeside look-outs to sumptuous suites, canopied beds to breakfast-in-bed, each room at Dromoland Castle has been thoughtfully designed to meet royal approval. Enjoy luxurious furnishings, exquisite bathrooms, inviting beds, bubble baths, and beautiful views – each room is meticulously designed and furnished for ultimate luxury.

The History

Exterior of Dromoland Castle

Starting life as a stronghold of the powerful O’Brien clan in the 11th century, a branch of the O’Briens lived and ruled from Dromoland Castle for the following 900 years – a truly impressive feat. Eventually pledging loyalty to the King of England and becoming the Earl of Thomond in the 1600s, his descendant, Red Mary O’Brien, married an officer in Cromwell’s army to save her family and the estate, thus keeping the castle in the family.

The present Dromoland Castle, with its high Gothic-styled grey stone walls, was rebuilt in the early 1800s at colossal expense. Though the land was eventually released to the tenants, the castle survived the revolutionary war intact, preserving the historic building and grandeur that modern-day guests still experience to this day.

Dromoland Castle Services

Earl of Thomond Restaurant

Dromoland’s landmark restaurant offers a fine dining experience in the capable hands of head chef David McCann, who has been impressing guests’ palates for over 20 years.

The Gallery

Looking for a more relaxed dining experience? Settle into the cosy fireside sofas in the Gallery for a delicious meal that offers a more casual experience without compromising on quality.

Afternoon Tea

A must-have experience in Ireland, indulge yourself in a sumptuous afternoon tea fit for royalty at Dromoland Castle.


Thermal Suite & Pool

Located just outside the castle, a well-established thermal suite offers a fantastic steam room, sauna and gym. Whether you want to get in those morning laps or want a quick dip, Dromoland’s glittering pool beckons.

Cocktail Bar

We recommend you make your way to Dromoland’s library. Beyond books and exquisite decor, you’ll find a well-stocked cocktail bar where you can try a plethora of drinks made from Ireland’s many spirits, including famed Irish whiskey, as well as its newest beloved liquor: Irish gin. Cocktails not your cup of tea? Plenty of beers are also on tap – the perfect chance to taste a creamy Guinness or perhaps a local Irish craft beer.

Spa Treatments

Tucked away in a dedicated space within the castle, indulge in Dromoland’s menu of luxurious treatments, including facials, massages and signature packages all fit for royalty—the perfect way to relax after a day exploring Ireland’s great outdoors.

On-Site Activities

Golfing at Dromoland

Golf Course

With an 18-hole golf course on the castle’s threshold, this 6,824 yards par 72 championship course combines gentle hills, ancient trees and unexpected water hazards, it is rated one of the finest parkland courses in Ireland, with a superb clubhouse experience and state-of-the-art practice facilities.

Archery at Dromoland Castle


Archery is an ancient sport that has been practised for hundreds of years. Set against the backdrop of Dromoland Castle, your clients have the opportunity to receive expert advice and guidance to ensure your arrows are on target.

Horse Riding or Horse-drawn Carriage

Enjoy a jaunt around the breathtaking Castle grounds while being regaled about tales of royalty, drama and intrigue from the Castle’s past. Dromoland Castle can arrange alternative riding experiences through green pastures if you’d prefer a more energetic activity.


Falconry is an unmissable part of the Dromoland Castle experience, getting up close and personal with magnificent falcons, hawks and owls against the backdrop of the Castle estate. A favourite of guests staying at Dromoland Castle.


Fishing, or angling as it’s called here, is a popular pastime in Ireland. Lough Dromoland offers some excellent trout and perch fishing. For novice fishers, they offer ghillies to guide and assist in casting, placing bait, and landing a catch.

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Clay shooting, a favourite sport of nobility, offers the chance to shoot flying targets in the air. This activity runs year-round and is suitable for all ages and abilities. All that’s needed is calm concentration and a keen eye.

Getting There

Dromoland Castle Hotel is located in County Clare, about 20 minutes from Shannon Airport and 30 minutes from Limerick City.

A stay at Dromoland Castle is a great addition to any luxury itinerary. It’s the perfect location for those travelling to see the Cliffs of Moher or to explore the Burren.

Local Activities

Cliffs of Moher

Iconic and unmissable, the Cliffs of Moher are perhaps Ireland’s most recognisable and visited landmark. While most visitors simply start at the visitor centre, we recommend a guided clifftop walk from Liscanoor or Doolin. While the cliffs can get busy in the centre near the visitor centre, by hiking the cliffs from north to south (or vice versa), you’ll enjoy many of the vistas and paths to yourself.

Hiking in the Burren National Park

Wild, weird and wonderful, the Burren may seem barren at first glance. But head out into these rocky lunar-like landscapes and you’ll find it teeming with life. A vibrant natural bouquet of flowers burst from between the crags each spring lasting through summer, with flowers native from the Arctic to the Mediterranean jostling for space, offering one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in Ireland.

Bunratty Castle

If you haven’t had your fill of castles yet, head to Buratty Castle – another O’Brien stronghold like Dromoland – to dive into the history of Ireland. Circled by an impressive folk park, time travel through Ireland’s past as you explore cottages, shops and businesses from another time before exploring the castle itself.


Discover Clare from a new perspective – the water. Head to the shores for a guided kayak experience, paddling along wild shores and ducking into quiet coves and hidden beaches. Spot marine wildlife and whip the binoculars out for a chance to spot the coastal birds.

The Aran Islands

Inspired by the beauty of the coastal-scapes of the Banshees of Inisheerin? Include island hopping on your client’s itinerary. Depart from the cheerful village of Doolin on a small boat for the Aran Islands. From Doolin, the boat takes you to Inisheer, the smallest of the three islands. Stunning island panoramas await, along with a lighthouse, picturesque beaches and the famed Plassey Shipwreck.

Meet the Author: Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture, intriguing history, ancient castles, cheery locals and sweeping landscapes of Ireland.

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