Located near the famous (not to mention beautiful) Ring of Kerry, Ballyseede Castle is the only Castle Hotel in Kerry.
Ballyseede is pronounced “Ballysheedy” (Bail ó Sioda = O’Sheedy’s Town)
The History of Ballyseede Castle
A Long and Bloody History
In the 1500’s it was the chief garrison for the Fitzgerald family a.k.a. the Earls of Desmond. They were infamous for their refusal to swear allegiance to the Crown which resulted in the Desmond Rebellions by the Earl and his followers the Geraldines. The 15th Earl of Desmond was eventually captured and beheaded and his head sent to Queen Elizabeth I as a gift. She displayed it on London Bridge.
A Red Rose Each Year
The estate was forfeit to the Crown but eventually the Castle and 3,000 acres of land was given on lease to Robert Blennerhassett. He was required to present a red rose (symbol of the House of Tudor) each year at the Festival of John the Baptist. The Blennerhasset family occupied the castle until 1966.
Today the hotel offers elegance and luxury in a setting of 30 acres of woodland and manicured gardens. You’ll be greeted by Mr Higgins, the Irish Wolfhound, and his buddy Einstein the rock catcher.
What’s it Rated?
4 stars of cozy luxury
Get Me There Now!
Located along the Wild Atlantic Way coastal touring route
The closest airport is Shannon which is 1 hour 30 minutes away
The Castle is 3 hours 20 minutes from Dublin
For a Hauntingly Good Time
Not all the other guests you may encounter here are of this world.
Ballyseede Castle is rated as one of the most haunted hotels in the world (TripAdvisor)!
The Phantom Monk of Kinnitty is the castle’s most famous ghost and – reportedly – its most chatty. He’s been known to communicate with staff and visitors and often appears in solid form….so much so that some people mistake him for a living person.
There are also two haunted rooms in the hotel – the Geraldine Room and the Elizabeth Room – as well as other parts of the hotel where presences have been seen and sensed.
But fear not. Much like Casper, all the ghosts here appear to be friendly.
Rooms at Ballyseede Castle
Luxury awaits you in a range of rooms that offer old world elegance with modern comforts. There is wi-fi throughout the hotel.
Superior Castle Rooms
- Spacious and tastefully decorated
- Luxury touches like cotton robes and slippers
- Located on all floors of the Castle
Family Castle Rooms
- Larger rooms with bedding for families
- Babysitting service is available – either in-room or entertained in the hotel
Double Castle Rooms
- Decorated to retain the character and charm of Castle living
- Located on all floors of the Castle
Cozy Castle Double Rooms
- Offer a unique Castle experience at an affordable price
- All the features and comfort of the standard rooms….just in a smaller space
The Lodge Rooms
The Lodge is a 2 minute walk from the main castle and is a great spot to relax with family and friends
- A different experience to that of the Castle
- All the comforts of the Castle in a private accommodation
Dining at Ballyseede Castle
The O’Connell Restaurant
- 2 star AA Rosette awarded
- Irish cuisine using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients
- Excellent wine selection
The Stone Room Restaurant
- Enjoy breakfast here each morning
- Locally sourced produce of eggs and bacon, Irish cheeses, pastries and meats as well as a wide variety of fruits and juices
- All-day dining with an extensive menu
- A relaxed spot in the evening where you can sit by the fire and listen while Tim the barman entertains you with his tall tales
What else can I do here?
- Learn to surf. Yes, you did read that correctly. This is the only Level 2 surf school in Kerry.
- Also check out the Water Trampolines and Slides, Canoeing, Paddle Boats, Banana Boat rides, sea safaris and Stand-Up Paddleboarding
- Championship golf courses nearby include Ballybunion and Killarney
- The first course in Europe designed by Arnold Palmer is at Barrow, 9 miles from Tralee
Boating and Fishing
- Fenit, just 8 miles from Tralee, offers a 100-berth marina and is home to the Tralee Sailing Club
- The rehabilitated Tralee & Fenit ship canal
- Fenit, Banna and Ballyheigue Blue Flag beaches are also within easy reach of Tralee
- Deep –sea fishing or fly fishing
Folk Theatre Experience
- Tralee is home to the Siamsa Tire – Ireland’s National Folk Theatre
- Experience traditional song, dance and movement
- Horse riding
- Walking – the Dingle Way and North Kerry Way routes start in Tralee as well as lots of local walks
- Tralee Aqua Dome for indoor water activities
- Greyhound racing at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium
- Visit nearby Skellig Islands – a World Heritage Site and location of Star Wars “The Force Awakens”
- Tour the Ring of Kerry
- Visit Tralee Town Park