Ireland will forever be a core memory of mine. It’s STUNNING, truly. Hopefully another trip to Ireland is in my future, but in the meantime, I’m here to help you plan yours. There are plenty of places to stay in Ireland, one being the Ballyseede Castle Hotel in Tralee County Kerry. They have great amenities, dining options and a beautiful garden that is perfect for exploring and taking a relaxing walk.
Reviewing Our Stay at Ballyseede Castle Hotel in Ireland
Why We Chose To Stay At Ballyseede Castle
While planning out our Ireland road trip adventure, we knew we wanted to spend at least one night in a castle hotel in Ireland. This was pretty much a non-negotiable for me. Once our general driving route was outlined, we could start researching castle hotels throughout Ireland near the different places we planned to stop in. We found this guide to Ireland castle hotels extremely helpful to pick out a few castle hotels and see if they had the right availability for us.
We ended up staying at Ballyseede Castle in County Kerry, Ireland by process of elimination through availability and price point. While planning a trip to Ireland can be done on short notice, it does make booking hotels a bit tricky.
Ballyseede Castle Amenities
The Ballyseede Castle has free Wi-Fi and plenty of free on site parking for guests. There is bag storage on site if needed. In your room you will have a coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, TV and water. There are restaurants and bars on site, as well as room service. Breakfast is complimentary in the mornings.
There are also book and DVD libraries on the bottom floor, should you want to watch a movie in your room or read a book in the garden. You can also golf during your stay, but there is an additional charge for this.
Ballyseede Castle Garden
There’s a beautiful garden on the 30 acre private property, which we highly recommend spending time exploring. It’s a peaceful spot to spend time exploring by yourself for some alone time or with your partner for a romantic walk. There is also a courtyard area where kids were playing during our stay.
The lush greens, delicate flowers and backdrop of the castle make for an incredible backdrop for the perfect destination wedding.
Dining at the Castle Hotel
One of the great things about staying at this castle hotel near Kerry is that you have the option to take a quick drive into town, or stay on the castle property to dine. Included in the room package is an Irish Breakfast. You can also book packages that include tasting menus and afternoon tea.
Ballyseede Castle Hotel Breakfast Menu
In the morning from 8-10am you can visit The Stone Room Restaurant for an Irish Breakfast. There are juices, yogurt, cold meats, cereal and pastries on a buffet for you to serve yourself. There is also a menu of items that you can order to your table. The menu includes locally-sourced produce, eggs and bacon, Irish cheeses, pastries and meats.
Keep in mind that breakfast is included in the cost of your room, so it would be silly to not take advantage of it. If you’re not much of a breakfast eater, try to go towards the end of the window.
Pappy’s Bar and Patio Area
If you’re looking for lunch, happy hour and dinner options on property, Pappy’s Bar has you covered! The dress code is casual, you don’t need a reservation and it’s family friendly.
Early evenings are the best time to stop by for a relaxing drink on the patio and then head inside for a delicious dinner. Food is served from 12:30-8:30pm. Be sure to check out the Ballyseede restaurant menu and cocktail menu for more.
O’Connell Restaurant at Ballyseede Castle
The O’Connell Restaurant at Ballyseede Castle is known for its Irish cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. For more info, check out the O’Connell Restaurant dinner menu.
Keep in mind, this restaurant is a little fancier than shorts and a tee shirt – it’s smart casual, which means pants and collared shirts for men. You must make a reservation to dine here. You can do so at check in, pending availability, and it’s family friendly. It’s open every day from 6-8:30pm.
Our Ballyseede Castle Review
Overall, my husband and I both enjoyed the stay at Ballyseede Castle. However, it wasn’t quite what we expected it to be going into our stay. Could our idea of what to expect be totally wrong? Absolutely. But we based it off what we had seen online, in media, etc, and it wasn’t quite like that. With that said, we absolutely don’t regret our stay at the castle hotel, and we’re curious to stay at more castle hotels in the future to compare our experiences!
Location and Parking
Getting to the hotel is very easy with the signage and using your car’s GPS. There is plenty of parking right in front of the castle and it’s a short walk to get inside. Note, there are steps to get inside the castle and then steps to get to the check in area inside. Most of the rooms also require stairs to get to, which is something to be mindful of with your mobility and with luggage. The staff was very friendly at check in and throughout our stay.
Castle Hotel and Garden
We explored the castle inside and outside during our stay. The garden was incredibly peaceful, even in the light rain, and gorgeous to look at. There were kids playing in the courtyard and other families sitting at the covered patio enjoying drinks and conversation. They also had lots of seating that was in an uncovered space. This is the perfect area to bring a book outside to enjoy some reading while taking in the beauty of the relaxing space.
There are a few rooms on the main floor inside the castle that you can spend some time in. Each space gives you the feeling of elegance yet relaxing, from the marble fireplace in the lobby as you walk into the cozy room with a piano and couches to enjoy. There is also lots of art on display in the castle hotel. Be sure to give yourself time to soak in the beauty around you in this Irish castle.
Our room was down another set of stairs and ended up being right under what we assume was the bar area. Unfortunately we could hear everything happening above us and it didn’t get quiet until late into the night. The room itself was very spacious with plenty of room to spread out, which was a treat after some smaller rooms we had previously stayed in during the Ireland road trip. Our bathroom was also a pretty spacious room, but the towels were pretty meh. Another “pro” for this stay was the later check out time which gave us time to enjoy breakfast and pack up without feeling rushed.
One night was the perfect length of stay for us to enjoy the castle and some slower pace time together on our honeymoon. If we were staying any longer, it would have been more of a “home base” than somewhere we spent a lot of time at. You are near quite a few things to explore when staying at Ballyseede Castle hotel near Kerry, but in our opinion some of what you’re paying for with this stay is the ambience and being at the castle…. This is why this was the perfect one night stop on our Ireland road trip vs staying there for the week and traveling in and out of the castle every day.
What’s Near the Castle
Ballyseede Castle is the only castle hotel in County Kerry. As you might have guessed, it’s located near the town of Kerry (about a 15 minute drive). If you’re staying at the castle for a few days, make it a point to venture into Kerry to explore a bit. For the water lovers, Kerry has a surf school, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing and swimming on the lakes of Kerry. You can find out more about the water activities in Kerry here and some rainy day activities here.
If you’re doing an Ireland road trip like we did, it’s about 40 minutes to the Dingle Peninsula and 1 1/2 hours from Limerick. It was the perfect stop between these areas for us.
How Far is Ballyseede Castle From the Airport
As far as airports go, Kerry Airport is a 15 minute drive, Dublin Airport is a 3 1/2 hour drive and Shannon Airport is a 1 1/2 hour drive from the castle.
Hotels Near Ballyseede
In case you’re traveling with a big group or going to Ballyseede for a wedding and there isn’t availability to stay at the castle, you can also at one of the hotels near Ballyseede.
Learn More About Ballyseede Castle in County Kerry
Who owns Ballyseede Castle?
Ballyseede Castle is owned by Marnie and Rory O’Sullivan. They purchased Ballyseede Castle in 2005 and restored it to what it is today.
Ballyseede Castle History
The estate originally belonged to the Fitzgerald family who had a reputation of being rebellious against the Crown of England. In 1583 Gerald Fitzgerald was beheaded for treason to the Crown. The castle was then rebuilt to what we see today by William Blennerhassatt. It was passed onto Arthur and then to Hilda, who died in the castle in 1965 and was buried nearby. It is said that Hilda haunts the castle still to this day.
After her death, the castle was auctioned off and turned into a hotel.
How Old Is Ballyseede Castle?
The Ballyseede Castle Estate has been occupied since 1590. The main castle was then built in 1721. It was extended in the 1700s. I cannot find an exact year the lodge was built. Since we didn’t stay there, I don’t know too much about it.
Follow Ballyseede Castle On Social Media
Book Your Stay at Ballyseede Castle Hotel in Ireland
There are a few options to book this castle hotel in Ireland near the Ring of Kerry. You can typically find the lowest rates to book your stay using sites such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com. If you want to contact the hotel directly, you can email them at email@example.com or call at +353 66 712 5799. If you know you want to enjoy an activity like afternoon tea, be sure to check out the packages offered.
How Many Bedrooms Are In Ballyseede Castle?
Ballyseede Castle is considered a boutique Irish castle hotel near Kerry with 45 spacious rooms to stay in. They range by how many people they sleep and where they are located within the property.
The Family Castle Rooms offer the most space for family-friendly stays. Double Castle Rooms are the most authentic to the old castle rooms. The Superior Castle Rooms are the most luxurious of the castle rooms. The Cosy Castle Double is the most affordable way to stay in the castle. They are also the smallest layouts.
Make sure you pay attention to the room type when booking your stay at Ballyseede Castle. When it says “the lodge” this is a building on the property, not the castle itself. If you’re okay staying outside of the hotel, the lodge was a bit cheaper and you still have access to the castle, garden and restaurants. It’s a few minute walk to the castle from the lodge.
Explore Other Castle Hotels in Ireland
Looking for more castle hotels in Ireland to stay at during your trip? Here are a few others that we had our eye on but it didn’t work out for us to stay at.
Wilton Castle | Wexford Ireland
Located near the banks of Boro River, Wilton Castle has been around since 1247 when the first tower was built. This Irish castle hotel is located in County Wexford. You can book 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments for your stay here. Each apartment suite has a kitchen and sitting room with a working fireplace. They are named after the families who have resided at Wilton over the years, the Butler Suite, Furlong suite, Alcock Suite and the Thornhill Suite. They are decorated with delicate wallpaper, dark wooden floorboards and heritage colors throughout. It looks like a dream!
Cabra Castle | Caven Ireland
This Irish Castle has over 100 rooms, which makes it one of the largest castle hotels in Ireland. It’s on 100 acres of gardens and parkland, near the Set on 100 acres of parkland and gardens, with the magnificent backdrop of Dún a Rí Forest Park. The photos both inside and outside look remarkable. The Cabra Castle would be a fabulous spot to get married! The inside of the castle has period features and furnishings which add an old-world charm to your stay.