Ireland Luxury Lodging: Where to Stay in Ireland • McCool Travel

On our recent 24 day trip around Ireland, we stayed at a dozen different properties. Each place exhibits its own distinct luxury travel characteristics. These Ireland luxury lodging properties range from inns, to large hotels, to medieval castles.

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Killarney Park Hotel

Ireland’s #1 luxury hotel rated by TripAdvisor is Killarney Park Hotel. Shall I repeat that? Killarney Park Hotel is the #1 luxury hotel in Ireland. Wow. Killarney Park Hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and holds a AA 2 Rosette designation for culinary excellence. The vibrant and cute town of Killarney is right outside the front gate of Killarney Park Hotel. It is a super convenient location. One of my favorite Killarney spots is Murphy’s.

Please click the below image to see a video of our amazing suite at Killarney Park Hotel.

Killarney Park Hotel: Town Centre, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Kilkea Castle

Recently completed modernized and renovated, Kilkea Castle is a 12th century castle in County Kildare. Parts of Kilkea Castle (pronounced Kill-Kee) date to 1180, making it one of Ireland’s oldest inhabited castles. Of course I asked if Kilkea Castle is haunted. I loved the response of, “what great castle is not haunted?” The ultra-luxury castle rooms are scheduled to open for public bookings at end of October 2017. The 180 acre grounds include a homage to Ernest Shackleton, the Antartica explorer, who was from the area. McCool Travel tip: the Sir Walter de Riddlesford room overlooks the magnificent gardens and is definitely not haunted (at least while I stayed there).

Kilkea Castle: Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Harvey’s Point

Selected as Ireland’s #1 hotel for 5 straight years by TripAdvisor, Harvey’s Point in County Donegal is magnificent. Recently awarded the AA Red Star, an elite designation as one of the best hotels in the British Isles. The “Swiss made in Ireland” focus of Harvey’s Point encompasses the luxury spa and activities, renowned cuisine, and palatial lodging.

Harvey’s Point: Lough Eske, County Donegal, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Shelbourne

Dublin’s largest five star luxury hotel is also one of Ireland’s most historic places. The Shelbourne played a prominent role in the 1916 uprising and Michael Collins led the drafting of the Irish Constitution here. The 193 year old Heritage rooms facing St. Stephens Green underwent a complete refurbishment and modernization three months ago. Conde Nast readers rank The Shelbourne as the #5 hotel in Ireland. Restaurant Association of Ireland named The Saddle Room as the Best Hotel Restaurant in Dublin. Visit separate websites for Shelbourne Dining and Shelbourne Spa. McCool Travel tip: take a ride on Ireland’s first elevator.

The Shelbourne: 27 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Castle Leslie Estate

Only a few Irish castles remain owned by the original family and Castle Leslie in County Monaghan is one. It is in a great location, about an hour from Dublin and Belfast. Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, granted the Leslie family 50,000 acres for saving her life. The current 1,000 acres surrounds Glaslough, a preserved Irish lake popular for pike fishing. Miles of trails — designed for equestrian activity but great for hiking also — meander through the magnificent woods. In 2002, Castle Leslie hosted the wedding of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Request the Red room, where Sir Paul stayed, also historic for being the first place in Ireland with indoor plumbing.

Castle Leslie Estate: Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Newforge House

Located only 30 minutes from Belfast, Newforge House is a five star country guest house offering luxurious rooms and cuisine in a tranquil setting. Operated by a young, passionate couple — John and Lou Mathers — Newforge House counts Best Country House in Ireland and Culinary Haven of the Year among their many awards. Onsite gardens, orchard, and chickens means super fresh and organic food all year round. With only six rooms, Newforge House is the smallest Ireland luxury lodging property on this list but also the one with the most individualized attention. Great place!

Newforge House: Magheralin, County Armagh, Northern Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Bushmills Inn

Parts of the large Bushmills Inn date to around 1608, the year that Ireland’s oldest distillery (Old Bushmill’s Distillery) was founded. A massive renovation in 2009 added a conference center, cinema, and more rooms. Current awards for Bushmill’s Inn include Hotel of the Year in Northern Ireland and Best Boutique Golf Hotel in Ireland. Ask about the Secret Library and Flag Room. Two miles away is Giant’s Causeway (“built” by my cousin Finn McCool) and closer than that, in the village of Bushmills, is a tavern called Finn McCool’s. This is McCool country! McCool Travel tip: notice the two flags, one changes every day to honor the guest living the furthest away (it was us during our stay!).

The Bushmills Inn: 9 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ghan House

Located an hour from Dublin and Belfast, Ghan House sits next to the castle in the medieval walled seaside village of Carlingford, County Louth. The cuisine is top notch; Ghan House annually earns 2 AA Rosettes (since 2012) and leads the Good Food Ireland movement. The Georgian style manor built in 1727, now has 12 rooms for guests, elegant gardens, and is capable of hosting weddings and events for 150 people. Walking the grounds, I imagined the property looks about the same as when people traveled by horse and carriage. Very cool!

Ghan House: Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Adare Manor

Located in the gorgeous village of Adare in County Limerick — home to some must-see thatched roof houses — is the amazing Adare Manor. The new owners bought Adare Manor three years ago and set out to create the most luxurious destination in Ireland. Everything is being restored, every tile removed and remodeled. Minstrel’s Gallery is the second longest hall room in Ireland (132 feet). The main house has 365 stained glass windows, 75 fireplaces, and the only La Mer spa in UK and 9th in the world). Adare Manor is 30 minutes from Shannon airport and 2.5 hours from Dublin; their motto is Beyond Everything.

Adare Manor: Adare, County Limerick, Ireland | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

For more information on Ireland luxury lodging:

Ireland’s Blue Book represents 48 unique and distinctive properties: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Leading Hotels of the World: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Discover Ireland: website | Facebook | Twitter

Discover Northern Ireland: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tourism Ireland: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

AA Rosette recognizes exceptionally high standards in culinary excellence across Ireland and the UK: website

For more information on what to do in Ireland:

Fun Things To Do in Dublin

Cool Things To Do in Donegal Ireland

Visit Donegal, Ireland for a lot of Craic

What are your favorite Ireland luxury lodging properties? Can you suggest other places to stay in Ireland?

While Failte Ireland, Ireland’s Blue Book, and various properties hosted us and picked up the tab for much of this glorious trip, please be certain that my message is carefully crafted for my awesome audience so that you can make informed decisions in order to Travel Happy on future trips. Failte Ireland introduced us to many great places in Ireland in addition to these amazing Ireland luxury lodging properties.

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Ireland Luxury Lodging: Where to Stay in Ireland first published on 19 October 2017 on

Originally published at on October 19, 2017.