While castles are a pretty common sight across the continent, many of us non-Europeans still dream of staying in one. Adare Manor, in county Limerick, Ireland, is the perfect place to play out your Lord and Lady of the Manor fantasies.
We’ve written several posts on our travels in Ireland this year; from our visit to the Cliffs of Moher to the castles of Shannon Heritage and Bunratty Folk Park. What we haven’t mentioned yet was where we stayed. One of our trip highlights was spending two nights at Adare Manor, as part of a prize package I won through Passports with a Purpose, last year.
Adare – Ireland’s Prettiest Village
Adare Manor is located in the village of Adare, known as ‘Ireland’s Prettiest Village.’ The main road is dotted with colourful houses and thatched-roof cottages. Many of these are gift shops catering to the busloads of tourists that descend on the village for an hour at a time. In between tour-groups though, the village is quaint and cosy feeling.
The cosiness is replaced by an imposing feeling, when you drive up to the gatehouse of Adare Manor. Once you are admitted by the gate-keeper, you enter the Adare Manor Golf Resort. In addition to the castle and golf course, the property includes town houses, villas, the golf club house and several restaurants.
Staying in Luxury at Adare Manor
As we pulled up to the manor house itself, we knew this would not be like our typical hotel stays. Holiday Inn Express, this was not.
The interior of Adare Manor was everything you would expect: dark wood panelling, a cathedral ceiling complete with chandeliers, rich oriental carpets contrasting with the grey stone walls and, of course, a helpful and courteous staff to check us in and guide us to our room.
The room itself was huge, especially by European standards. It was tastefully decorated but we felt it was rather generic looking. While I wasn’t expecting the castle theme to extend to the bedrooms, it did seem a bit like a chain hotel, albeit an expensive one.
Certainly we had no complaints as far as the comfort of bed and luxuriousness of the bathroom was concerned. Everything met, if not exceeded, my hotel requirement standards.
Because we weren’t paying for the hotel stay, we decided to splurge and indulge ourselves with the eight course tasting menu at The Oakroom Restaurant, located in the Manor. The setting was beautiful and the food was excellent and featured local ingredients and specialties.
Breakfast in the morning was also served in The Oakroom, where we could overlook the Maigue River and the lovely French formal gardens in front of the Manor.
While wandering the Manor grounds, after breakfast, we discovered the ruins of the Franciscan Friary, on the edge of the golf course. It was built in 1464, by the Earl of Kildare and attacked and burned in 1646 by parliamentary forces. It would be an inspiring place to play golf and the grounds are lovely for a stroll, with or without clubs.
Adare Manor also has a spa and fitness centre but unfortunately we didn’t have time (or budget) to try them out.
Room rates certainly aren’t for the budget traveller and far exceed what we would normally spend per night, while travelling. High season rates for a standard room are over €400. You can half this cost by visiting in the off-season and Adare Manor often runs promotions.
However, if you are looking for a splurge and to indulge your castle fantasies, this is certainly the perfect place to do it. Not only is the setting lovely, but it is very centrally located to explore other areas of Ireland.
Visiting Adare from Belgium
Car rentals are available at Dublin airport from most international companies. While driving ourselves, was our preferred option for reaching Adare there are public transportation alternatives:
- Irish Rail has daily train services from Dublin to Limerick. You can then take a bus to Adare.
- See the Adare Manor website for more information on transportation.
Love castles, palaces, and ruins like in this article? Us too! Don’t miss the full listing of Castles we’ve visited in Europe and beyond. Looking for more of our favourite hotels in Belgium and beyond? Visit our Hotel Reviews page to find out where we’ve been sleeping.
Have you ever splurged on a really fabulous hotel? Tell us about it in the comments.
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