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Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club - Stay & Play in Ireland

My heart skipped a beat the moment I entered the sprawling grounds of Dromoland Castle. As the winding tree-lined drive through a fairytale forest, flanked by the majestic golf course, gave way to the grand façade of Dromoland Castle a sense of impending excitement hit home.

I’d always dreamed of staying in a historic 5-star castle, living a life of grandeur and playing world-class golf in Ireland and it was finally happening!

Golf

Home of the 2023 Women’s Irish Open, this championship course designed by Ron Kirby and JB Carr, is an impressive 18-hole, par 72, set on the magnificent 450-acre estate of Dromoland Castle. Combining gentle hills, ancient trees and unexpected water hazards, the immaculately maintained course presents challenges and thrills for golfers of all abilities.

The par-3 7th hole is widely recognised as the signature hole. Here, golfers hit from an elevated tee box to a green that offers a backdrop of the stunning castle. With a water hazard left of the green and a shamrock-shaped bunker slightly to the right, visually, it is one of the most impressive spots on the golf course.

The pace of play during my mid-afternoon round was relaxed and unhurried. It was sometimes tricky to focus on the task at hand (y’know golfing) as I was often distracted by the stupendous beauty of the castle grounds.

Travel tip: the clubhouse is by far one of the loveliest places in the entire estate to enjoy a gourmet long lunch. Pick a table at the beautiful Fig Tree Restaurant and enjoy a stroll through the whimsical adjacent walled garden.

Accommodation Offerings

Professionalism and personalisation is at the forefront of guest services here. Checking in is a breeze and staff are ready and willing to attend to any/all of your needs. The roll call of celebrity guests who have graced the halls over the years includes John Lennon, Bono, John Travolta, Jack Nicholson, Richard Branson and Hillary Clinton. Suffice to say, receiving the royal treatment is guaranteed here.

Choose from an array of gorgeous state rooms and dreamlike suites that suit solo, group and/or travel with family. Note: ensuites are equipped with the notable and natural Irish beauty and skincare brand, VOYA, (based in County Sligo).

The Castle Spa

This is where sensory serenity, history and luxury combine. Nestled deep within the stone walls of this iconic 16th-century estate, the Castle Spa promises and delivers restful therapies, soothing treatments and invigorating beauty rituals - all inspired by one of Dromoland Castle’s most revered guardians, Lady Ethel.

There are six treatment rooms including a twin suite, an Amber and Quartz Crystal bed, and their sublime relaxation space, aptly named, ‘The Whisper Room’. A handpicked collection of premier spa brands sits alongside natural ingredients and botanicals sourced from Dromoland’s 500-acre estate.

I selected the Seabody Signature treatment which consists of a deep back massage and a deluxe facial that harnesses the power of marine bioactives. Lush!

Dining at Dromoland

Dress elegantly for your fine dining experience at the Earl of Thomond (celebrated in culinary circles for its panache and innovation) and prepare to be wowed by Executive Head Chef David McCann’s delectable menus that embrace classic cooking techniques with fresh Irish produce from the farm and the sea. Each dish is truly memorable – even now I can instantly recall the remarkable taste of every gastronomic sensation perfectly plated and promptly polished off. 

Prefer a more relaxed yet equally magical setting? Pop into The Galley, sink into a velvet lounge beside a gilded fireplace to devour coffee, cakes and lighter lunch options throughout the day.

The Cocktail Bar was a favourite haunt of mine too, an ornately decorated octagonal room (once the O’Brien family library) overlooking the castle grounds. To do: peruse the 'Tuatha Dé Danann and Other Celtic Deities' - a book showcasing cocktail creations by head mixologist, Alex Beyou, that pays homage to Ireland's rich heritage of ancient gods and goddesses.

Non-Golfing Activities

Falconry, fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting, jogging tracks, a horse and carriage tour and, my favourite, the Woodland Fairy Trail are just some of the guest activities available here. To do: find time between bouts of playing world-class golf and indulgent fine dining to try them out.

Getting There

Fly into Dublin International Airport and enjoy a scenic 2.5-hour drive to Dromoland Castle Estate or fly into the nearby Shannon Airport (check which airlines fly there) and Dromoland is only 20 minutes down the road.

Words by Roxanne Andrews

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