Gregans Castle Hotel

Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare

This ‘epitome of Irish country house hospitality’ overlooks Galway Bay, in the dramatic Burren landscape, said to have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

This ‘epitome of Irish country house hospitality’ overlooks Galway Bay, in the dramatic Burren landscape, said to have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Owned and managed by Simon Haden and Frederieke McMurray, the 18th-century manor house exudes ‘style and comfort’, with thoughtful touches that include ‘candles lit in public spaces as dusk falls’. Bedrooms are ‘ample and comfortable’, decorated in a neutral palette enlivened by splashes of green, blue and turquoise. Rooms overlook the garden, the bay or the mountains; some have a private garden. All have a selection of books, original artwork and Bamford toiletries, plus bathtub and shower. Chef Robbie McCauley’s cooking is thought ‘first rate’; one reviewer called dinner ‘outstanding – culminating in the best grouse I have eaten’. Other dishes might include East Clare venison or wild Irish halibut. The extensive wine list includes ‘very acceptable wine by the glass’. Breakfast brings a good choice of hot and cold options, with almost everything sourced from local suppliers. (Richard Parish)

Hotel details

Address

Gragan East
Ballyvaughan
Co. Clare
H91C F60
Ireland

Telephone

00 353 65 707 700

Bedrooms

21. 7 on ground floor, 
1 suitable for disabled.

Open

mid-Feb–early Dec, restaurant closed Mon, Thurs (bistro food available).

Facilities

drawing room, bar, dining room, 15-acre grounds (ornamental pool, croquet), wedding facilities, public areas wheelchair accessible, no adapted toilet.

Background music

all day in bar, mealtimes in dining room.

Children

all ages welcomed.

Dogs

allowed in some ground-floor bedrooms, not in public rooms.

Credit cards

Amex, MC, Visa.

Prices

per room B&B €240–€515, D,B&B €389–€655. Set menu and à la carte €79, tasting menu €100. 1-night bookings sometimes refused Sat, bank holidays.

Special offers

10% discount voucher

This hotel accepts discount vouchers which entitle readers to a 10% discount off their normal B&B rate for a single night’s stay. To take advantage of this offer, you must present the voucher at the time of booking.

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