Best Hotels in Ireland: Top 5 Places To Stay, According To Experts

The Emerald Isle is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world and with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, now is the perfect time to explore some of the best hotels in Ireland. Known for its lush green landscapes, friendly people and wonderful hospitality, it’s no wonder Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, is considered the #1 European destination.

In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is often used as an excuse to chug green beer and don tacky “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” merch. But in Dublin, the holiday is a more restrained and family-friendly celebration of Ireland and its patron saint—except maybe in the crowded Temple Bar district, which temporarily resembles Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Ireland is home to one of the oldest pubs in the world. Historic Seán’s Bar has been around since 900 AD. According to Irish Central, “those stepping inside Seán’s feel like they’re stepping back in time as the walls are graced with the photos of all the other visitors who have stepped over the threshold in centuries past.”

To mark March 17 like a Dubliner, pop into a traditional pub with live music or, if you’re really interested in Ireland’s contributions to the field of booze, tour the Guinness Storehouse or Old Jameson Distillery. Dublin’s five-day St. Patrick’s Festival features all sorts of events on Irish history, art, music, and literature, culminating in a jolly parade on the big day that starts at Parnell Square and ends, naturally, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Whether you want to treat yourself to rich history and culture or some of the best beer and lagers, Ireland has it all. If you’re looking for the best hotels in Ireland, that’s exactly what we have for you! Study Finds did the research, consulting 10 expert review sites to find the best places to stay in Ireland. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below!

Ireland buildings and water
(Photo by Kristel Hayes on Unsplash)

The List: Best Hotels in Ireland Most Recommended By Travel Experts

1. Ashford Castle – Cong, County Mayo

This is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most well-known five-star hotels. Telegraph says, “With a peerless Lough Corrib setting and innate grandeur, centuries-old Ashford Castle has long been known as one of Ireland’s best hotels. Extensive renovations have imbued the property with sufficient modern comforts to ensure it can stake a claim as one of the most characterful and successful hotels in Europe,

Many famous visitors have called this 13th-century castle their home-away-from-home! “The 800-year-old castle — built by an Anglo-Norman family in 1228 — draws a prestigious clientele that has included British royalty and U.S. presidents. Several readers praised the stately grounds, calling the setting “absolutely lovely” and “magnificent,” says Travel&Leisure.

Country Living Magazine writes: “The former home of the Guinness family on the banks of Lough Corrib is moments from Cong, the rural village where the 1952 film The Quiet Man was set and makes a good base for exploring Connemara. From the emerald green marble from Connemara to Waterford crystal chandeliers, the hotel champions all of Ireland’s bounty. Statement rooms swathed in rich velvets and gilt-framed oil paintings are fit for royalty.”

2. Adare Manor – Adare, County Limerick

With its idyllic location and opulent design, this alluring castle hotel will entice and charm you. “A picturesque castle offering activities like fishing, horse riding, cycling and even a golf course on the grounds, guests will love spending time in the great outdoors. There’s also a cinema and a spa for rainy day stays,” says ThePointsGuy.

“The interior of Adare Manor is filled with antiques and original trimmings including stone fireplaces and stained glass windows. Walking through the manor makes you feel like you are in a bygone era which extends to the accommodations,” adds FollowMeAway.

Limerick has a rich history and custom ingrained in its very being. Explore a Viking colony or venture into the modern metropolis for dinner and a show. “Some of the favorites are the Woodland Walk across the entire estate and The Padel Club—named after Padel tennis, the fastest growing sport in Europe. And to top it all off, there’s the food. No one would like to miss dinner at The Oak Room, a Michelin-star restaurant that shows off Ireland’s produce and other culinary gems,” writes Architectural Digest.

3. Ballyfin, County Laois

This is one of Ireland’s most opulent hotels. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian spent their honeymoon here, as well as many other prestigious guests since 2011 when it opened as a hotel. The Times mentions it was “purchased in 2001 by the late American billionaire Frederick Krehbiel and his Irish wife Kay, it’s now a series of exquisite period-style interiors (including an 80ft library with a secret bookshelf door to a conservatory), all furnished with a spectacular collection of Irish art. After a day spent hiking or rowing on the lake, dinner is courtesy of Sam Moody, who was formerly at the Michelin-starred Bath Priory Hotel.”

“For the sybarite, the house is a place of comfort and grandeur, not least in the Gold Drawing Room where walls are hung with lustrous silk and vast windows frame views of the 28-acre lake. The grounds are made for strolling in the complimentary wellies, with grottoes and rockeries, a folly and a fernery, a rose garden, and an aviary. There is no finer Irish-country house experience,” adds CN Traveler.

Built in the early 1800s, each room still resembles the elaborate interior design of the day it was built. “Beautifully appointed with individual touches for a truly personal experience, the spacious rooms, suites, and even private cottage all feature marble bathrooms, fabrics and furnishings as befits the personality and Ballyfin’s ethos of luxury and style, no feature too grand, no detail too small,” comments The Irish Road Trip. Moreover, you can’t beat the location! You can attend one of the many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Laois, take part in pub crawling activities held all over the city, or celebrate on a cruise ship down the Green River.

4. The Shelbourne – St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

The Shelbourne on St. Stephen’s Green, one of Dublin’s oldest hotels, is so highly esteemed by its famous visitors that it has been dubbed an Irish national treasure. “It first opened its doors in 1824 and has seen everyone from Hollywood greats, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, stay within its hallowed halls. The rooms and suites are suitably opulent, many feature roaring fireplaces and glittering chandeliers. You can relax in the fancy spa, which has an 18-metre indoor pool, or treat yourself to afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge,” says Country Living Magazine.

In addition to its location to the Guinness Storehouse, the most visited landmark in Ireland, the hotel itself contains many historical features you don’t want to miss! “ The Saddle Room restaurant’s open kitchen, golden booths and oyster bar provide a buzzy fine-dining experience, while The Horseshoe Bar’s original 1957 Sam Stephenson design, complete with shining brass fixtures, is an intimate Old World nook, created solely for strong drinks and long conversations,” writes Forbes Travel Guide.

“The landmark hotel, which dates back over 200 years, is home to the Horseshoe Bar, which hosted famed musical acts like the Rolling Stones and the Chieftains. You can also visit the room where the Constitution of the Irish Free State was written. Now known as the Constitution Suite, the space still contains the original table and chairs used during the momentous event,” adds ThePointsGuy.

5. The Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Top 4 hotels not to your taste? This Georgian-style mansion is certain to satisfy! “Because the property used to be a series of homes, the interior speaks to this by maintaining a comfortable, welcoming feeling. Of course, numerous plush couches, roaring fireplaces and not-too-big common spaces help with this vibe as well,” says Forbes Travel Guide. “The walls are hung with art, the tables laden with fresh-cut flowers, and you can get superb food and drink in all sorts of unexpected places throughout the property. Given the luxury hotel manages to strike such a balance of comforting, high-end service and dedication to Ireland, it’s easy to fall in love with Dublin within the Merrion’s walls.”

In addition to the quaint-but-luxurious rooms, the location is ideal, especially for St. Paddy’s day. Merrion Square is transformed into a funfair with carnival attractions, street drama, music, art, and Irish cultural activities for all to enjoy. According to Telegraph: “Gracious, elegant and with standards of hospitality that are second to none, The Merrion exudes period charm from its prime position in the heart of Dublin. The hotel lies in the heart of Georgian Dublin, with a host of the city’s cultural, shopping and entertainment attractions, including the National Gallery and National Museum, within a five-minute stroll.”

“It is also home to Ireland’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant (Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud), a noteworthy collection of 19th- and 20th-century Irish and European art, and a spa with a beautiful swimming pool. The art-themed afternoon tea in the firelit drawing room is another highlight, as are walking and cycling tours of the city with Merrion raincoats and picnics,” adds The Times.

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