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Dromoland Castle in Ireland [In-Depth Hotel Review]

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Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

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Countries Visited: 40U.S. States Visited: 27

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in...
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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Imagine spending a night in a majestic castle. It has all the elements of a captivating tale, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, turning this dream into a reality is possible.

Many breathtaking castles worldwide have been converted into luxury hotels, providing visitors with enchanting and unforgettable stays. It’s estimated that there are around 30,000 castles in Ireland. Dromoland Castle stands out among the vast array of Irish castles as a genuinely enchanting destination that captivates all who visit.

For centuries, Dromoland Castle has opened its doors to visitors, but it wasn’t until 1962 that this historic ancestral home of the O’Brien family transformed into an extravagant resort hotel ready to welcome guests. This castle has hosted dignitaries, world leaders, and celebrities, including John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Bono, John Travolta, and Bill Clinton.

Even more impressive is that Dromoland Castle is part of Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program. This meant that I could enjoy many extraordinary perks during my stay.

When organizing a family vacation to Ireland in November 2023, my main objective was to create an unforgettable experience for my wife and daughters. I was absolutely set on booking a stay at this magnificent castle, where we could immerse ourselves in the opulence of royalty for a night or 2!

Read on to explore the captivating experience of staying at this luxurious 5-star castle and find out how to book your stay.

Location

Situated on a sprawling 450-acre estate in County Clare, Ireland, Dromoland Castle is conveniently located within a 2-hour drive from the popular cities of Cork, Galway, Killarney, and Limerick.

The drive from Dublin Airport (DUB) to Dromoland Castle is around 150 miles and takes approximately 3 hours. Shannon Airport (SNN) is only 8 miles away and an easy 15-minute drive from the castle.

Dromoland Castle view from lawn
Dromoland Castle is about a 3-hour drive from Dublin and only a 15-minute drive from Shannon Airport (SNN).

If you’re considering visiting Ireland and want to immerse yourself in the countryside’s breathtaking scenery along the west coast, Shannon Airport (SNN) would be a more convenient option.

If you’re considering a broader road trip, flying in and out of Dublin (DUB) could offer a more flexible alternative. By choosing this option, you’ll have ample time to fully experience and appreciate the stunning scenic drives and a wider range of Aer Lingus flight options to and from the U.S.

The castle hotel is an ideal base for seeing the famed Cliffs of Moher and the breathtaking scenery of The Burren. It took us less than an hour to drive from the castle to the Cliffs of Moher, and the trip was enjoyable.

Booking

When I was ready to book my regal castle stay, I headed directly to the Dromoland Castle website to check nightly rates. Since I knew the resort was part of the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program, I also checked the nightly rates on AmexTravel.com.

Considering the similar rates on both sites, I decided to book my stay through AmexTravel.com. I was particularly drawn to this choice because I knew I would benefit from the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program.

The Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program is available to cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Dromoland FHR Benefits
Guests who book their stay through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program enjoy extra perks.

Elite Benefits

Guests who book a stay at Dromoland Castle through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program receive the following benefits:

  • 12 p.m. check-in (upon availability)
  • Room upgrade at check-in (upon availability)
  • Daily breakfast for 2
  • $100 food and beverage credit to be used during your stay
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 4 p.m. checkout guaranteed

When booking through AmexTravel.com, the cost for my 2-night stay in a Queen Anne Classic room, the entry-level room at the castle, was approximately $451 per night, including taxes and fees.

Dromoland Amex FHR Screenshot
As is typical in Europe, large families will probably need to book 2 hotel rooms (or more). Image Credit: Amex

Because our family consists of 2 adults, 2 children, and 1 toddler, I needed to book 2 Queen Anne Classic rooms to accommodate us all, totaling $1,804.

Amex FHR Dromoland Booking Cost Screenshot
I paid $1,804 for 2 rooms for 2 nights at Dromoland Castle. Image Credit: Amex

After securing our rooms, I reached out to the hotel in advance to inquire about the possibility of securing connected rooms, and they were more than happy to accommodate our request.

Knowing it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for my family and me, I felt at ease spending that much money on something special.

Hot Tip:

Amex Platinum cardholders who book via Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts earn 5x Membership Rewards points on their stay and can utilize the card’s prepaid hotel credit of up to $200.

Checking In

With a generous 9-day trip to Ireland, we embarked on a road trip from Dublin to the island’s captivating and untamed west coast. Departing from the charming town of Killarney in southwest Ireland, a popular starting point for the breathtaking Ring of Kerry scenic route, we took off on a leisurely drive to Dromoland Castle, which took us approximately 2 hours.

We spotted a beautiful castle waiting for us within the castle’s outer walls.

Dromoland Castle Entrance From Outer Wall
We were all filled with excitement as we made our way up to the castle.

Upon driving up to the castle, a roundabout leads to the castle’s side door (which serves as the main entrance for guests).

Dromoland Castle Fountain and Valet Roundabout
Guests navigate a roundabout where they can leave their car before arriving at the castle’s entrance.

A kind, elderly gentleman offered to park my vehicle and assisted us with our luggage.

Dromoland Castle Entrance Stairs
Upon arrival, a castle associate will promptly assist you with valet parking and carrying your luggage up the stairs.

The Lobby

Once you’ve climbed the stairs, you’ll find the lobby area beyond these sturdy oak double doors.

Dromoland Castle Doors Entrance
I loved how grand the oak-filled doors looked.

As you enter the lobby, a wooden dining table catches your eye. It showcases area information and a guestbook for visitors to sign. The elegant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling add a touch of sophistication.

Dromoland Castle Lobby Area
The lobby was adorned with visually captivating elements, showcasing impressive castle-themed decorations in every direction.

The reception area was beautifully decorated with a festive Christmas tree and ample seating for guests.

Dromoland Castle Lobby Christmas Tree
I loved how cozy and welcoming the Christmas tree looked with the couch and chairs around it.

Personally, I was drawn to the coats of armor.

Dromoland Castle Coats of Armor
I found the coats of armor quite intriguing.

Upgraded Rooms

After handing over my photo ID and credit card, the associate checking me in had some exciting news. Thanks to booking my stay through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program, both rooms were upgraded to Deluxe rooms!

Dromoland Castle Check-in Desk
There were 2 check-in desks available, 1 on each side of the lobby.

These rooms were an upgrade from the Queen Anne Classic rooms I initially booked. Out of curiosity, I checked the cash cost per night for each room during our stay and discovered that the room rate was €1,200 (approximately $1,313 per night) per room.

Dromoland Rates Screenshot
Both of our rooms were upgraded thanks to booking through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program. Image Credit: Dromoland Castle

Furthermore, the rooms were interconnected, allowing my family to stay together easily.

The check-in associate was very helpful, giving me a booklet about Dromoland Castle’s history and providing detailed information about the perks I’d receive since I booked through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts.

Dromoland Check in packet
We were given a booklet with all the historical details of Dromoland Castle.

She also handed me a packet containing a map of the property, details about the amenities and dining, and my room keys inside.

Dromoland check in information booklet
We received a folder containing information on the resort, restaurants, and room keys.

After a quick check-in, we swiftly went to our upgraded rooms, excited to explore the castle.

Amenities

While Dromoland Castle is an ideal base for seeing the Cliffs of Moher and the numerous jewels of Ireland’s west coast, tourists staying at the castle will most likely want to spend a few days taking advantage of the many amenities that the 500-acre estate has to offer.

Dromoland Castle Amenities Sign
Most on-site amenities are in or beside the castle’s golf and country club.

Leisure Center

The leisure center of the castle is part of the Dromoland Golf & Country Club and is open to all castle guests. It consists of a 55-foot indoor pool, a sauna, a steam room, and a Jacuzzi.

Dromoland Pool
The sprawling indoor pool is located inside the Leisure Center.

In addition to the pool, guests can use the sauna room before or after their swim or workout.

Dromoland Sauna Room
A sauna is available to use before or after a workout.

Or enjoy a relaxing session in the steam room to eliminate toxins from your body.

Dromoland Castle Steam Room
Alternatively, a steam room is also available for guests to use.

The gym is also located in the Leisure Center.

Dromoland Fitness Center
The pool, sauna, and steam room are just a few feet from the castle’s fitness center.

The fitness center is equipped with a variety of equipment, such as ellipticals, treadmills, free weights, and a home gym machine.

Dromoland Gym
The fitness center features plenty of cardio machines and other equipment to get a good workout in.

If you’re staying at Dromoland Castle and looking to get some exercise, the gym is more than sufficient for a complete workout.

Dromoland Gym Free Weights
A nice weight rack is in front of the floor-to-glass ceiling glass mirror.

Guests can also easily rent free tennis racquets, fishing poles, and bicycles at the Leisure Center counter.

Dromoland Castle Leisure Center Counter
Guests can borrow complimentary fishing poles, tennis racquets, or bicycles from the Leisure Center counter.

The Leisure Center is open to castle guests from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Golfing

Located on the premises, the castle features an impressive 18-hole, 6,824-yard, par-72 championship golf course.

Dromoland Golf Clubhouse Sign
The golf clubhouse and pro shop are in the same building as the Leisure Center.

The course’s hilly terrain and lovely water features will captivate you when you arrive at the estate.

Dromoland Golf Course
The 18-hole golf course is a 6,824-yard, par-72 championship golf course.

Additionally, there is a putting green and a designated space for chipping practice. Green fees to play 18 holes range from €75 (~$82) to €195 (~$214), depending on the season. Guests without clubs can conveniently rent them from the pro shop.

Dromoland Pro Shop Golf
As expected, the pro shop was very expensive, though we purchased a few branded items for mementos.

I bought a few items at the pro shop to take home as a souvenir, but unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to play a round of golf.

Archery

Archery has a rich history dating back to the late Paleolithic period, and there is a unique thrill in the act of drawing a bow and releasing an arrow at Dromoland Castle. Furthermore, archery is a fantastic family activity that everyone in your group can enjoy.

Dromoland Archery
Archery is one of the more popular activities guests get to enjoy at Dromoland Castle.

At Dromoland Castle, the price for archery is €45 (~$48) for a single person, €40 (~$43) for 2 individuals, and €35 (~$37) for 3 or more participants. Reservations are required.

Falconry

The falconry experience was one of the highlights of our time at Dromoland Castle. In my view, this is an essential element of the Dromoland Castle experience.

I booked a reservation in advance for this activity since I had read that it was a favorite among the castle’s guests. On the first day, we met Dave, the head of the Falconry School at Dromoland Castle and handler of the castle’s captivating falcons, hawks, and owls.

Dromoland School of Falconry
We were blown away by the School of Falconry experience at Dromoland Castle.

We were absolutely amazed by this experience. We had the opportunity to experience hands-on learning with these birds, as we were each given gloves to hold them and watch them fly to and from our arms on Dave’s command.

Dromoland Falconry Arm
The kids, especially, couldn’t stop raving about it!

Next, Dave kindly took us to the area where the birds are kept. His team provided us with a thorough explanation of the unique characteristics of each bird.

Falconry activity at Dromoland Castle
This experience was truly fun for the whole family!

This activity is a must-do if you’re visiting Dromoland Castle. The price for participating in the falconry experience varies depending on the number of people in your group.

For 1 person, you can expect to pay €120 (~$130); €160 (~$172) per person for 2 people, €75 (~$80) per person for 3 people, €70 per person for 4 people (~$75), and for 5 or more people, it comes out to €60 (~$64) per person.

Fishing

Guests may cast their reels off at Dromoland Loug, a picturesque lake on the castle’s premises. The lake has trout, perch, and other types of fish, making it a peaceful pastime to enjoy at the hotel.

Dromoland Castle Fishing and Boating
The weather was a bit too chilly for a fishing excursion on Dromoland’s lake.

Fishing and the rental of a rod and reel are complimentary for castle guests and can be obtained from the leisure center. However, if you’re new to fishing, you can hire a guide for €100 (~$108) for 3 hours. The guide will assist you with casting, setting bait, and reeling in fish (if you need it).

Clay Shooting

Clay pigeon shooting is a popular activity that allows you to take aim at flying targets. This fun-filled, year-round activity can be found on the lush grounds of Dromoland Castle.

Dromoland Clay Pigeon Shooting
No, shooting clay targets doesn’t include birds. Image Credit: Dromoland Castle

Hotel guests who enjoy a bit of friendly competition can have fun honing their aim, timing, and “kills.” Rest assured, clay pigeons provide enjoyment for people of all ages and skill levels, as they are not actual birds.

The clay pigeon sessions usually last 1 hour and come with 30 clays, depending on how many people are in your party. The cost of clay shooting is €75 (~$81) for 1 person, €72 (~$78) for 2 people, and €35 (~$38) for 3 or more people.

Spa

At the Castle Spa in Dromoland, you can indulge in various relaxing therapies, such as rejuvenating facials, invigorating massages, and unique signature treatments.

Dromoland Castle Spa
The on-site spa is located downstairs, only a few feet from the lobby.

The spa offers 6 treatment rooms, including a twin suite, an Amber and Quartz Crystal bed, and a serene relaxation space called The Whisper Room.

To ensure a smooth experience, making a reservation in advance through the spa’s website is recommended. You can also browse the spa menu to explore the available services before your arrival.

Horseback Riding

In partnership with top local equestrian centers, Dromoland Castle offers horseback riding on Irish fields and lush meadows.

Dromoland Horseback Riding
We didn’t go horseback riding during our brief time, but the castle grounds would probably be an idyllic spot for enjoying this activity. Image Credit: Dromoland Castle

These equestrian facilities provide indoor venues for all ages and abilities. Prices vary by time and location but start at €100 (~$108) per person.

Pony and Trap Rides

If horseback riding seems a bit daunting, you can elect to be transported around the estate in a 2-wheeled pony trap ride while exploring the intriguing history of the castle and its former occupants.

Dromoland Castle Horse and Carriage
Fancy a horse and carriage ride? The hotel can facilitate this for you. Image Credit: Dromoland Castle

Guests can choose between a 30-minute (€80) or 60-minute (€100) ride, and the castle will arrange it for you.

Estate Walks

Getting up early before everyone else and exploring the hotel grounds is one of my favorite things to do on vacation. This is a fascinating activity at Dromoland Castle!

Dromoland Castle Grounds
You could spend hours walking around the 450-acre estate.

On the 450 acres of land surrounding the castle, there is an estate walking path through rolling land and woods where many deer can be seen. There is even a marked deer path where guests can get close to these animals (be prepared for them to run away!).

Dromoland Deer trail
I followed the deer trail and saw a herd of deer quite easily.

I went for a walk each morning during my stay and saw a herd of deer on the deer walking path, which was only a few steps from the castle.

Go Karts

One of the standout features of this castle hotel is the wide range of activities available for guests of all ages, including the adrenaline-pumping thrill of go-karting.

Dromoland Go-Karts
Besides the falconry experience, my kids loved go-karting on the tennis courts of Dromoland.

There are 3 pedaling go-karts on the tennis courts available on a first-come, first-served basis, providing a fun and exciting experience for both kids and fun-loving adults. One afternoon, my daughters had an absolute blast chasing after me and attempting to bump their go-kart into mine. It was such a fun and exciting experience for all of us.

On-Site Guest Transportation

Golf carts are available to transport guests around the property, a convenient amenity offered by Dromoland.

Dromoland Golf Carts
Golf carts are always available to take guests to/from the amenities at the Leisure Center and golf club.

Additionally, the castle hotel provides a house car for guest transportation. Moreover, the guest car happens to be a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Getting around the property on foot is a breeze, but when the weather is bad, it becomes more of a challenge.

Dromoland Personal Car
I love a good house car. The castle uses a Mercedes-Benz to shuttle guests around the grounds.

The house car and golf carts at Dromoland Castle are fantastic amenities that guests will find incredibly convenient. We made the most of this benefit by frequently traveling between the castle entrance and The Fig Tree Restaurant at Dromoland Golf & Country Club when going to and from dinner.

Charlotte & Co. Boutique

The boutique store offers a variety of clothing and handcrafted items created by talented local artists.

Charlotte & Co Boutique
Charlotte & Co. Boutique is the castle’s store.

It was named after Lady Charlotte, who established an embroidery school in the county where Dromoland Castle is situated and married Edward O’Brien, whose family lived in Dromoland Castle.

We had the pleasure of finding some lovely Christmas tree ornaments and gifts for our loved ones at this charming store.

Business Center

The business center is just a few steps away from the welcome desk.

Dromoland Business Center
The business center is open 24/7.

In the small room, guests will discover a desk with a desktop and printer for use if they need to work while on vacation.

Dromoland Business Center Desk
Guests needing to use a computer or print something can visit the business center.

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi occasionally experienced some spotty connectivity issues. The Wi-Fi speed in the room was strong. However, when strolling through the castle grounds, I occasionally observed that the service was a tad slower than usual. That’s understandable, considering the castle’s somewhat remote location.

Parking

At Dromoland Castle, self-parking is not available. However, valet parking is complimentary. Whenever I returned to the castle from venturing out, my rental car would be quickly whisked away upon arrival. In the same respect, we never waited more than 2 minutes for our car when we called the front desk to retrieve it.

The Rooms

The castle has 97 bedrooms that combine modern style with opulent elegance, all while providing plenty of space and comfort. Our upgraded Deluxe rooms were located on the wing nearest to the steps of the hotel’s main entrance, along a corridor past the front desk and the Charlotte & Co. boutique.

Dromoland Castle Carpet
The castle features red carpeting throughout.

It’s worth noting that our interconnected rooms were located inside the castle’s original walls.

Dromoland Castle Rooms
Our rooms were interconnected, perfect for families with young children.

The original castle was converted into a hotel, and a second building attached to the castle and facing the main entrance was built. Given my interest in history, I was delighted our rooms were in the castle’s original structure, even if the second building had equally lovely accommodations.

Despite the ancient nature of the castle, the rooms were anything but.

Dromoland Castle Bedroom Door
Rooms feature blue wallpaper with flower decor.

Bedroom

Upon entering both rooms, we immediately noticed the spaciousness and modernity. The contemporary design seamlessly blended with classic elements, creating a comfortable yet stylish atmosphere.

I really liked the color scheme, with a mix of blue and white wallpaper, cream-toned carpet, and a variety of soft tones complemented by pops of color to enhance the room decor.

Dromoland Castle Bedroom
The room was warm and inviting.

Both rooms were the same size, 34 square meters (about 365 square feet) each. However, my twins’ room was configured with 2 double beds, while the other room for my wife, our toddler, and I had 1 king bed and a crib.

Dromoland Beds Comfortable
The beds were extremely comfortable.

Our king bed was incredibly spacious, and the mattress provided the perfect balance of support and comfort. My twins mentioned that they also slept soundly on their twin beds. We enjoyed staying at 2 other 5-star properties during our weeklong trip to Ireland. However, the beds at Dromoland Castle stood out as our absolute favorites.

A stuffed animal puppy with a Dromoland Castle ribbon wrapped around its neck was placed in the baby’s crib, which was a sweet gesture.

Dromoland Castle Baby Crib
I was pleased the castle had a full-size crib for our toddler daughter instead of a cot or Pack ‘n Play.

Likewise, there were 2 more stuffed puppies on each of the twins’ beds.

Dromoland Castle stuffed animal
Sweet pups!

There were 2 nightstands on each side of the bed, equipped with international plug outlets, a complimentary bottle of water, an in-room phone, and a notepad with a pen.

Dromoland Castle room nightstand
The nightstand on each side of the bed featured several power outlets.

Although our room didn’t have a view of the lake, it did overlook a courtyard. In the warmer months, this courtyard features a lovely garden. Unfortunately, there was no garden due to our late November visit and the chilly weather. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful views of the castle from our bedroom window.

Dromoland Castle room view
We had views of the courtyard.

The room had a Type G power socket, popular in Ireland and the U.K. Fortunately, the room had an American plug socket, so I didn’t need to take out my converters.

Dromoland Castle power outlets
The American plug socket was a nice surprise.

A wooden desk with a glass top bordered the bathroom’s shared wall, complete with a lamp, a mirror, and a booklet with property information.

Dromoland Deluxe Stateroom Desk
A desk and chair were against the wall with booklets featuring information on the castle.

Each room featured a Nespresso coffee machine and complimentary biscuits for snacking.

Dromoland castle nespresso
I love my Nespresso in the morning!

Additional in-room goodies and wine were available for purchase and were situated just behind the complimentary shortbread cookies.

Dromoland Deluxe Stateroom Snacks
Snacks (and wine) were available for purchase.

The wall unit’s designated center section housed a well-sized TV and offered an abundance of drawers and cupboards to accommodate our belongings.

Dromoland castle room wall unit
There was no shortage of compartments within the wall unit.

In addition to the numerous drawers in the wall unit, a spacious closet was available for hanging clothes or storing luggage discreetly.

Dromoland castle closet
The closet was spacious, with an umbrella, iron, and ironing board inside.

The room also had all contemporary comforts, such as a hair dryer (located inside the drawer below the TV), iron, and ironing board.

Dromoland drawer
More storage space and a blow dryer.

Inside the wall unit was also a handy mini-fridge equipped with various refreshments and alcoholic beverages available for purchase. There were also a couple of glassware sets available for our use.

Dromoland castle minifridge
A mini-fridge was available to store cool items or purchase refreshments.

The TV had over 50 channels, along with on-demand movies and music we could stream from our own devices.

Dromoland castle tv
The smart TV offered a wide range of entertainment options.

A small center table facing the TV was flanked by 2 mustard-colored leather chairs, perfect for snacking and watching TV.

Dromoland Deluxe Stateroom seating
I loved the mustard-tone chairs.

And finally, a personal safe was positioned atop the TV compartment to protect our valuables.

Dromoland room safe
A safe was located above the TV to keep our items secured.

Bathroom

The marble bathroom was roomy and equipped with a bathtub and shower combo.

Dromoland Deluxe Stateroom Shower
The bathroom was tiled with marble on the floor and walls.

The bathtub/shower combo was perfect for our family with young children and a sight that parents will appreciate when staying at a hotel.

Dromoland bathtub
A shower/tub combo is always clutch for families with young kids.

In addition to being roomy, the shower had a rainfall showerhead, which I have always valued in a hotel shower.

Dromoland shower
We could use either a rainfall showerhead or the handle when showering.

Behind the bathroom door hung a cozy bathrobe and plush slippers.

Dromoland castle bathrobe
A bathrobe and slippers were hanging behind the bathroom door!

The shower, sink, and bathtub were stocked with Voya toiletries.

Dromoland castle voya bathroom toiletries
Bathroom toiletries were from Voya, an Irish luxury skincare line.

Voya is an Irish skincare company renowned for its organic luxury skincare line.

Dromoland castle voya bathroom products
The products smelled great!

Additionally, a set of bathroom amenities for kids was supplied, including shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion. Once again, this was a thoughtful and appreciated detail by the castle hotel.

Dromoland castle kid set bathroom products
On the sink was a cute little toiletry set for my toddler.

Overall, our bedroom and bathroom were incredibly comfortable, and we all raved about the quality of the beds and inviting ambiance with plenty of room to relax.

Food and Beverage

Although a short drive to the small town of Ennis is an option for grabbing a bite to eat, it may not be the most appealing choice. That’s because Dromoland offers its guests a limited but outstanding selection of dining options.

Earl of Thomond

People who love food adore Earl of Thomond, the castle’s main restaurant. This is the “fancy” restaurant at the castle for dinner. With Venetian silk, glittering lights, and a view of the whole estate, the area has the sense of an opulent castle dining hall.

This is where guests could enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea, or dinner.

Every morning, we ate breakfast here from an extensive breakfast menu, including a buffet option and à la carte made-to-order items we could order from. Breakfast was served from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Earl of Thomond dining room
The Earl of Thomond dining room.

I ordered The Castle Breakfast Omelette with ham and cheddar cheese on both days.

Earl of Thomond omelet
My omelet was delicious!

My girls loved their Cinnamon French Brioche Toast.

Earl of Thomond french toast
My twins loved their French toast at breakfast time!

By booking our stay via Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, we could take advantage of the buffet along with ordering an entrée from the main menu for breakfast. The buffet is also available to guests who’ve paid a rate that includes breakfast.

We picked up a variety of baked goods, including scones and croissants, along with an assortment of marmalades.

Earl of Thomond breakfast buffet baked goods
Baked goods at the breakfast buffet of the Earl of Thomond.

Chia seeds, puddings, and abundant components to create your own granola bowl were available.

Earl of Thomond breakfast buffet oatmeal and granola
You can make your own granola with a plethora of toppings or enjoy steel-cut oatmeal.

There was also a kids’ area where youngsters could choose from numerous Kellogg’s cereal products.

The Earl of Thomond cereal
Cereal for the kiddos!

Cold cuts of all kinds rounded out the buffet selection.

The Earl of Thomond cold cuts
A wide selection of cheeses and cold cuts were available at breakfast.

Because I booked 2 rooms through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, we received 4 comped breakfasts each morning, which saved me hundreds of dollars in food costs.

We also enjoyed Mrs. White’s Afternoon Tea at Earl of Thomond (served daily from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).

Dromoland Castle Mrs. White's Afternoon Tea
Dromoland Castle Mrs. White’s Afternoon Tea was a hit with our family.

It was a great time for the whole family, as my girls had never tried tea.

Dromoland Castle Mrs. White's Afternoon Tea flavor
We could order as many tea flavors as we wanted, and the staff was more than happy to accommodate.

We enjoyed a variety of finger sandwiches and savory delights.

Dromoland Castle Mrs. White's Afternoon Tea sandwiches
These sandwiches were to die for!

Plus, we indulged in some tasty sweet treats, including freshly baked fruit scones served with cream and raspberry preserves, along with mouthwatering desserts.

Dromoland Castle Mrs. White's Afternoon Tea desserts
The presentation of the desserts was impressive.

The afternoon tea cost €49 (~$53) per person. That wasn’t cheap, but we thought it was well worth it because who knows when we’ll be able to have afternoon tea in a real castle again.

Dromoland Castle Mrs. White's Afternoon Tea dessert
I’m a sucker for French macarons.

At Dromoland Castle, guests can stroll up to breakfast without reservations. However, reservations are a must if you wish to indulge in afternoon tea or dinner at The Earl of Thomond.

The Fig Tree

We absolutely loved The Fig Tree. After dining there the first night, we couldn’t resist going back the next day for dinner. It was just that delicious.

Dromoland Fig Tree Restaurant Bar
The Fig Tree is located in the Leisure Center building on the castle grounds.

The restaurant is in the castle’s Golf & Country Club area and provides a warm and relaxed atmosphere for golfers, locals, and hotel guests to enjoy lunch or dinner.

The Fig Tree Restaurant Dromoland Castle
The atmosphere looked like a country club, but the vibes were much more casual.

It offered various dishes, from sandwiches and steaks to salads, fish and chips, and chowder. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it at The Fig Tree.

The restaurant featured a kids’ menu with various pastas, burgers, and fish and chips.

The Fish and Chips, which cost €24 (~$26), and the Grilled Irish Angus Beef Burger, which cost €25 (~$27), were the 2 best things I ate.

The Fig Tree Restaurant Dromoland Castle burger
My Irish Angus Burger was scrumptious.

We were impressed by the variety of menu options and the extensive wine list. The service we received during both of our dinner visits was exceptional.

If you don’t make a dinner reservation in advance at Earl of Thomond, chances are you’ll end up dining at The Fig Tree if you stay at the castle.

The Fig Tree Restaurant Dromoland Castle seating
The restaurant was never full, but a steady stream of castle guests and golfers came for a meal.

The restaurant is conveniently located within a short walking distance from the castle doors.

The Fig Tree Restaurant Dromoland Castle Front Door
We had some stellar meals at The Fig Tree Restaurant.

In case of inclement weather or if you don’t feel like walking to or from the restaurant, the hotel and restaurant staff will happily arrange a complimentary golf cart or the castle’s house car to give you a ride.

The Fig Tree Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Gallery is a relaxed open space located near the Earl of Thomond restaurant, featuring cozy fire-side sofas and multiple seating areas.

Dromoland Castle The Gallery
The Gallery is the castle’s casual, informal eatery with seats in various rooms and the hallway outside Earl of Thomond.

Guests can enjoy light bites at any time or opt for a morning tea or coffee accompanied by various pastries instead of a complete sit-down meal.

Dromoland Castle The Gallery Seating
You can choose where you want to sit in The Gallery.

I appreciated the flexibility of The Gallery’s seating arrangements, allowing guests to order from the menu and choose their spot in the hallway or the room with the Christmas tree.

Dromoland Castle The Gallery Hallway
All of these various seating configurations are part of The Gallery.

The Gallery menu is served from 12 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. each day.

The Cocktail Bar at Dromoland

The Cocktail Bar at Dromoland is a charming, small, and intimate space that was formerly the magnificent library of the O’Brien family.

Dromoland Castle Cocktail Bar
The cocktail bar serves adult beverages in an eclectic setting.

In addition to a large selection of handcrafted signature cocktails, the bar serves beers, wines, and spirits and sells cigars.

In-Room Dining

We really enjoyed the 2 main restaurants at the castle so much that we never got room service. The castle hotel does, however, offer a full in-room dining menu available 24 hours a day. So, whether you wish to have breakfast in bed or keep warm inside your relaxing room, you can call for room service anytime.

Service

Most of the time, when I stay in a hotel, I think the staff provides good service if they are at least nice and friendly. At Dromoland Castle, the service goes beyond being nice and friendly. Every staff member we came across was genuinely helpful and showed a sincere concern for our happiness. From the very beginning, engaging with numerous staff members from various departments revealed that the service went beyond being merely satisfactory — it was meticulously tailored to cater to our needs.

Final Thoughts

Staying in a castle for 2 nights was an incredibly memorable experience for my family. Dromoland Castle surpassed all expectations for a truly enchanting castle hotel experience.

Dromoland Castle Exterior at night
A visit to Dromoland is a marvelous experience you will never forget.

Booking this castle hotel through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program provided us with valuable on-site benefits such as complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade, and late checkout. Our time spent at Dromoland Castle was unforgettable.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Dromoland Castle built?

Dromoland Castle was finished in 1835, although its original construction dates back to the 16th century.

 

How many rooms does Dromoland Castle have?

The estate features 97 spacious guestrooms, including 14 suites. 

Where is Dromoland Castle located?

Dromoland Castle is in southwest Ireland, near Newmarket-on-Fergus in County Clare. It has been called “Ireland’s most magical address.” The castle is only 15 minutes from Shannon Airport and less than a 2-hour drive from the cities of Cork, Galway, Killarney, and Limerick.

Have any celebrities stayed at Dromoland Castle?

Throughout its history, Dromoland Castle has hosted an impressive array of guests, including John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Bono, John Travolta, Juan Carlos I of Spain, Johnny Cash, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Richard Branson, and Jack Nicholson.

What is the history behind Dromoland Castle?

Dromoland Castle was the ancestral home of the O’Brien family, one of the few native Gaelic families of royal lineage. This dynasty was descended from Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, and dates back more than 1,000 years.

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About Juan Ruiz

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in-Chief at Money Under 30.

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