Staying in a castle has been high on The Husband’s bucket list. On our four-day western Ireland trip from Dublin (separate post on that to come), we found Ballyseede Castle Hotel in Tralee and decided on a whim to book it.
You’re immediately transported to a different time as soon as you pull up to the castle. The current castle is a 1721 rebuild by William Blennerhassett of a castle built hundreds of years earlier that fell into ruin. The castle stayed in the Blennerhassett family until the last heir, Hilda, died. They say her ghost still wanders the corridors, holding onto a red rose. Fortunately for the ghost-hating Husband, we didn’t come across Hilda.
The ground floor is a beautiful combination of antique decor and modern amenities. When you walk through the front doors you are greeted by a grand staircase. I could picture women in beautiful gowns walking slowly down the stairs, suitors in their finest clothes eagerly awaiting them at the bottom.
There are two sitting rooms, along with a large room that holds the acclaimed onsite restaurant, where they serve a two- or five-course dinner, and included breakfast for guests every morning. The five-course dinner is a selection of dishes made with local ingredients and sounds delightful. At €56.50 per person, it also sounded like a fantastic deal. We arrived late, so we opted for a more casual meal at the bar.
In the back of the castle, there is a beautiful bar with a large patio overlooking the grounds and gazebo. The inside of the bar has a glass ceiling with beautiful hot air balloon decorations, a theme we noticed throughout the castle. We sat outside and had dinner and drinks, fish and chips for me and wings for The Husband. Everything was delicious.
We booked a castle superior double bed room. It was on the third floor (if you’re American, second floor if you’re European) and there isn’t an elevator, but we left most of our stuff in the Dublin Airbnb so it wasn’t a problem. The stairs were just as beautiful as you climbed them. There was a cute little seating area between the first and second floor, with knights guarding each side.
Our room was very spacious, with a large king size bed (actual American king sized!), a comfy couch, and two window seats! The adorable window seats alone were enough to make me fall in love with the castle. There was also a little wooden horse, and it was so cute! The bathroom was fully equipped and had a pull chain toilet, which I think is so quaint.
The room had a beautiful view of the grounds. At night, you could see the lights from the bar and it was so pretty.
The castle hotel is run by a family, which includes two wolfhounds and two smaller dogs. I didn’t get pictures of the smaller dogs, but I did get pictures of the wolfhounds, Molly and Joe. Wolfhounds are one of my favorite kinds of dogs so I was super excited to see them.
We loved our stay at Ballyseede Castle. It felt like old world luxury, every detail was done with love and appreciation for the splendor of the castle. At €292/night it’s not a cheap option, but it is absolutely worth the price. I would love to return for more than one night someday.
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