When I was planning our family trip to Ireland, my kids were excited to see a real castle. Researching hotels, I came across the Clontarf Castle Hotel. When I told my kids that we had a chance to sleep in one, they hooted and hollered and became even more excited about our trip! Who wouldn’t want to sleep in an Irish castle in Dublin?
The Castle’s History
Clontarf was the site of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, a battle between the Vikings and Brian Boru. There has been a castle on this piece of land since 1172, although the current castle was built in 1837. Since then, it has passed through many families and religious groups. It was longest-held (300 years) by the Vernon Family. The family sold it in 1933, then was a popular cabaret from 1972-1998. Fortunately for us in the 1990s it was turned into a hotel.
Our Stay in the Castle
Located a 15-minute bus ride outside of downtown Dublin, The Clontarf Castle Hotel was the perfect place for my family to stay on our two-day visit to Dublin. Its close proximity to the city made for an easy commute but also afforded access to Dublin’s beautiful shoreline. While they slept in one morning, I was able to take a taxi ride down to Howth, which was a highlight of my time in Ireland.
The castle was originally a Norman castle. It has been beautifully restored so that one feels they are sleeping and eating at a castle, but with modern conveniences. The rooms were small but sufficient. They are clean, and everything worked well.
The hotel has a friendly pub where we made friends with travelers and locals. The pub downstairs is rowdy and fun with a good selection. The woodwork of the bar was gorgeous!
There is also an upscale restaurant, Fahrenheit Restaurant. Our rate included a complete Irish breakfast buffet in the restaurant. Be sure to make a reservation if you would like to dine there for dinner, as it is a very popular Dublin restaurant.
My trip was not sponsored, so I have no reason to recommend this hotel over any other hotel (not that I would anyway). I chose to stay here and loved it! It honestly is one of the parts of my trip that my kids loved the best and still is one of their favorites parts of our European vacation.
Book your room at Clontarf Castle here. This is an affiliate link, which means that I make a small commission if you make your reservation through this link.