Hi, does anyone have recommendations for an authentic and rural castle that 4 single ladies could stay in? ( We like 4 beds) We are covering the southern part of Ireland this summer. I've read all the main Castle web sites and note that some are very expensive. Are they worth the cost? Thanks for any tips.
Readers may think you want 4 beds in one room, so maybe that's why you've received few replies.
Yes, castles are worth it, IF you stay in the right castle hotel. If you are not familiar with www.tripadvisor.com,
take a look at it, entering different castle hotels into the search bar, so you can read what others who have stayed there think.
Top-rated hotels are: Dromoland Castle and Ashford Castle. While not castles, Adare Manor and the Juliet Hotel also receive fabulous reviews. I only have experience with Dromoland and Ashford. Of the two, Ashford is definitely the more the typical castle. Both are top-notch in every way. Both have activities on the grounds, and both offer specials from time to time (or ask when you inquire).
I walked thru the Adare Manor lobby and gardens, and it looks fabulous, but it is more of a large major house vs. castle.
Castles worth the cost? In my opinion, YES (if you stay at a top-rated one). The way we look at it, life is short and how often will you have the chance to stay in a real castle. We have wonderful memories of our stays last year.
But, you would need two rooms (with two beds each) regardless of where you stay.
Agree with previous poster, don't know where you will find a castle with 4 single beds in one room, so you'd need 2 separate double rooms, as most suites that accommodate 4 would likely only have a queen or king size bed and a sofa bed so you would have to share.
Naturally, castle hotels can be expensive. You aren't staying at a Best Western. You are paying for the experience of being able to stay in a castle and the service and amenities at some places (like Ashford Castle for example where you can do things like take a falconry lesson, horseback ride or fish if you are a registered guest) are pretty swanky, so the experience is not going to come cheap.
Check the policy on the websites of whatever castle you might be interested in. Some of them have restaurants or pubs on-site that are open to the general public. If all you want is to poke your head inside the castle, sometimes a simple detour to have a drink, lunch or dinner at the castle can be enough as you can also then walk around some of the common areas of the castle and also outside to see the gardens and grounds. This might be enough for you if you are trying to keep costs to a minimum.
My husband and I did a 14 day Ireland tour with TAUCK Tours, in 2012. We loved every minute of the tour. We particularly loved staying at the Ashford Castle for two nights. The castle was awesome and the grounds and views were spectacular. It used to be the former summer home for the Guinness Beer Family. All of the 12 couples wished we could have stayed longer than two nights.