Good Hotel Guide Review
A ‘splendidly labyrinthine’ Victorian pile overlooking a lake, this castle in name only is Ireland’s brilliant riposte to the corporate blandness of many modern hotels. In the care of Samantha Leslie, it goes from strength to strength (self-catering cottages in the estate village were added this year). Castle rooms come with a story. Sir John’s, reclaimed from the cellars by the late Sir Jack Leslie, fourth baronet, has a glitter ball in the bathroom. Shane’s Room has a Gothic bath in a curtained alcove. Theatrical Aggie’s room, with four-poster and in-room bath, recalls wartime secret agent and cabaret star Agnes Bernelle, ‘Ireland’s oldest punk’. ‘Very smart’ Lodge rooms have a boutique feel. Public rooms are a feast for the eyes, with panelling, oil portraits, a grand piano. Locals and residents chat in Conor’s bar with its brick arches and open fire, where ‘simple country fare’ includes beef and Guinness casserole; fish and chips. In Snaffles restaurant Philip Brazil creates such dishes as roast loin of estate venison, venison burger, crispy kale, celeriac, chestnuts, fermented blackberries. The service is ‘polite and attentive’; breakfast is as lavish as everything else.
00 353 47 88100
50 bedrooms. 29 in Lodge (2 suitable for disabled); self-catering cottages, mews.
all year except 16–27 Dec.
drawing rooms, bar, breakfast room, restaurant, conservatory, billiard room, library, cinema, free Wi-Fi, some in-room TV, wedding facilities, spa, equestrian centre, 14-acre gardens on 1,000-acre estate, public areas wheelchair accessible.
in public areas of Lodge.
all ages welcomed.
allowed on estate, not in Castle, Lodge.
Amex, MC, Visa.
per room B&B €140–€290. Set dinner €65. 1-night bookings sometimes refused.