Castle HotelsCo. Clare

Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate


Dromoland Castle is a luxury castle hotel in County Clare. Frequented by the (very) rich and (very) famous this is the perfect place to relax and soak up the first class service in opulent and historic surroundings.

The History of Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle, with its baronial or Gothic Revival style architecture, has a history that stretches back 1,000 years. It was the ancestral home of the O’Briens, Barons of Inchiquin – direct descendants of the 11th Century High King of Ireland. They are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and a branch of the O’Briens lived and ruled from here for 900 years.

Betting the House…..Literally

Early in the 11th Century, Dromoland was a defensive stronghold and was rebuilt during the 1500’s. It was rebuilt again in the early 1700’s becoming more residential in appearance with a design of the Queen Anne period.  Around this time, the 2nd Baronet – a well-known racehorse owner and trainer – bet the entire estate on a horse race. Fortunately his horse won and the estate remained in the family.


Rebuilding and Financial Challenges

In the early 1800’s, the then Lord of Dromoland had the main building of the castle redesigned and rebuilt at great expense. By the early 1900’s the family wealth was dwindling due to Land Acts that compelled landlords to sell their tenanted farmlands,  which were the main source of income for the family.

In 1921, during the IRA’s war against the British, IRA leaders earmarked Dromoland for destruction. However, the castle was saved at the last minute by local County Clare IRA leaders who argued that the Inchiquin Lords had been fair in dealing with tenant farmers.

As the 20th Century wore on, the loss of income from the tenant farms created significant financial challenges and the Castle, along with 330 acres of surrounding land, was finally sold to an American industrialist in 1962. The 18th baron O’Brien and his family live in Thomond House and still farm and run part of the estate for sport and leisure.

A Luxury Hotel is Born

From 1962 major renovations have transformed the castle from an ancestral home into a luxury hotel, however the baronial country house atmosphere has been retained. The Castle changed hands again in 1987 and is now owned by a consortium of mainly Irish American investors.

Curious Fact

The pedigree of the Dromoland O’Briens is housed in a vault at Lloyds of London and is 36 feet in length!

What’s it Rated?

5 star LUXURY

Get Me There Now!

Co. Clare

2 hours 30 minutes from Dublin

10 minutes from Shannon Airport

Famous Guests Before Me

You’re going to be in good company…

President Nelson Mandela
Mohammed Ali
Johnny Cash
President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton
Michael Winner
President Mary Robinson
Prince Albert of Monaco
Francis Rossi, Status Quo
Brooke Shields
President George Bush Jnr
Pierce Brosnan
Richard Harris
John Hume
Quentin Tarrantino
Ozzie & Sharon Osbourne
The Beatles
Crown Prince of Japan
Robert Redford
John Travolta
Xi Jinping, President of China

In the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Dromoland was  voted No. 4 Resort in Europe

Rooms at Dromoland Castle

Call room service and order some pre-dinner champagne and canapés. Or perhaps you’d like some fresh flowers and handmade chocolates?  The name of the game here is relaxation and indulgence. And there are a range of rooms to choose from. All the rooms have been refurbished to offer modern conveniences while retaining a feel for the heritage of the hotel.

Whatever your room choice, you’ll be able to snuggle up in the bathrobes and slippers while you surf the net or binge watch on-demand movies. As you sip your champagne of course!

champagne bottle

Queen Anne

  • A quadrangle of 28 guest rooms built in 1736
  • Designed to offer modern conveniences while retaining a feel for the heritage of the hotel
  • Osborne & Little wallpapers, bespoke woven wool carpets and complementary fabrics from Europe’s leading design houses
  • 350 sq ft rooms with Twin or King beds
  • Nespresso coffee makers and stocked minibar

Deluxe Rooms

  • Located throughout the hotel overlooking the lake and gardens
  • Each room is individually designed and decorated
  • Furniture styles range from 19th Century Empire style to Louis XV
  • Specially commissioned wall fabric by Canovas
  • 424 sq ft room with 2 Doubles or 1 King bed

Staterooms and Suites

  • Located within the original castle walls
  • Each room is unique in design and dimension and includes a sitting and dining area
  • A range of design styles, Louis XV furniture and specially commissioned fabrics by Colefax and Fowler
  • Lighting with crystal and nickel lamp bases
  • Beautifully appointed bathrooms with luxury marble and painted furniture
  • Room sizes start at 520 sq ft

Dining at Dromoland Castle

When you stay at Dromoland Castle you can enjoy a wide selection of gourmet delights served with welcoming but discreet service. Better pack the elasticized pants…..

  • Internationally renowned and award-winning, the Earl of Thomond Restaurant offers an elegant dining experience in beautiful surroundings. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients and, for the perfect pairing, a sommelier can assist with the best wine choices.
  • A more casual dining experience can be found at the Fig Tree Restaurant in the Golf & Country Club. With the claret coloured wallpaper, beamed ceiling and open fire the mood is warm and rich.
  • If you’re here between February and November you can indulge your taste buds with Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room
  • The Gallery offers a place to sink into deep, soft couches beside an open fire while enjoying a coffee or light snack
  • If the mood strikes for an al fresco meal, the Chef can prepare a picnic basket complete with champagne

What else can I do here?


Dromoland has its own golf course which is widely regarded as one of the finest 18 hole parkland courses in the country.

It has been described as an experience never to be forgotten, presenting a challenge to both professionals and amateurs.

The Spa

How about immersing yourself in a haven of scented fresh flowers and candles, warm mood lighting and the relaxing sounds of soft music….all within the walls of a 16th Century Castle?

Count. Me. In!

The hotel’s luxurious spa has six treatment rooms, two dedicated manicure and pedicure rooms and a gazebo covered outdoor hydro pool.

Leave calm, refreshed and invigorated.

Essential Oils

Other Activities

  • Clay pigeon shooting
  • Fishing
  • Archery
  • Falconry
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and cycling
  • Pony and Trap rides
  • Indoor Swimming Pool, Sauna, Steam room, Jacuzzi
  • Fully equipped Gymnasium

What about the kids?

The hotel is perfect for small guests too….with a kids club during certain vacation periods and plenty of activities throughout the year. Children will head off to dreamland with luxury cookies and milk at bed time and babysitting can be arranged.





  • Hi there,
    Being an Aussie with Irish blood I found this article and hotel quite amazing. Dripping in history the hotel and its standards are quite luring. I plan on visiting Ireland for St. pats this year and am quite interested in a stay. Although my time is limited I want to take the time to get in 18 holes of what sounds like a gorgeous course. Could you give me some idea of what temperature I am likely to experience during the middle of March in Ireland?
    Cheers and thanks

    • Hi Paul,

      Nice to hear from you. It is a gorgeous hotel isn’t it? In mid-March you can expect temperatures to be between about 5C (low) and 10C (high). I hope you enjoy St Pat’s in Ireland!!

  • This sounds like a nice place to stay. I would had never thought about staying inside an actual castle. I would like to go to Ireland someday, and staying in a castle would be ideal. Quite a bit of history this castle had through the years. Looks like a lot of influential people stayed there. Maybe someday…

Leave a Reply to Paul Cancel reply