Collected by AFAR Explorer
Shelbourne St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
If a hotel has a swank spa that administers treatments using ultra-expensive (and effective) Sisley products, it’s probably something special. And if those treatments come in a Victorian manse overlooking the placid waters of Kenmare Bay in...
Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
With its lanes of thatched-roof, old-Irish bungalows fronted by flowering gardens, lovely little Adare is beloved by a certain subset of Irish grannies as the prettiest village in Ireland. It’s easy to see why: An hour south of Shannon...
Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, D02 CK38, Ireland
There’s a rooftop bar that feels straight out of Miami (albeit a colder, damper Miami), an out-there checkerboard facade, and futuristic interiors like an all-white honeycomb. Needless to say, the Marker is like nothing Dublin had seen...
Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Georgian grand dame just off St. Stephens Green in downtown Dublin, the Merrion has been around in one form or another since 1760, when it was a set of four stately homes owned by English nobility. Today, it is elegance incarnate. An excellent...
Ockanaroe, Ballyfin, Co. Laois, Ireland
For people who lament that they weren’t born into Downton Abbey–style gentility, Ballyfin, which opened in 2010 after nearly a decade-long restoration, is a fast track to 1820s-era refinement from the moment guests pull up to the front...
Lougheask Demesne, Lough Eske, Co. Donegal, Ireland
While some castle hotels can feel a bit dusty—with all those heavy curtains and canopy beds—the Lough Eske Castle Hotel feels more airy and contemporary than you’d expect from a 150-year-old castle. Located near Donegal Town in...
Parknasilla, Sneem, Co. Kerry, Ireland
A former railway hotel that first opened in 1895, this 500-acre property on Kenmare Bay hosted Charles de Gaulle and Irish hero Eamon de Valera in its heyday. Those two would be surprised at Parknasilla Resort’s current iteration, which...
Middle Road, Dysert, Ardmore, Co. Waterford, Ireland
In some ways, the Cliff House Hotel is just a resting place for people looking to eat in its highly regarded Michelin-starred restaurant, but the hotel’s loft-style bedrooms are also among the most modern and stylish anywhere in this...
Newmarket, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare, Ireland
Among the best of Ireland’s castle hotels for its ambience and location—convenient to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren’s dreamy landscapes in county Clare—the 1830s-era Dromoland Castle was the home of the O’Brien...
Perrott Ave, College Rd, The Lough, Cork, Ireland
Hidden down a side street beside University College Cork, this Georgian hotel feels like a fancy family home with its vine-swathed, redbrick exterior, wood-paneled library furnished in deep chesterfield sofas, and lots of fire-warmed corners to...
Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Quirky is the word for Castle Leslie Estate in Monaghan—near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland—where rooms are arranged at the end of higgledy-piggledy corridors and long flights of stairs. The winding...
Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Myrtle Allen is Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters: The centenarian chef has lobbied the Irish parliament for better food policies, earned some Michelin stars, and, 50 years ago, opened a restaurant called the Yeats Room in the town of...
Ashford Castle Estate, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
What trip to Ireland is complete without a stay in a castle hotel? Ashford fulfills even the wildest castle fantasies with its crenellated towers, medieval-looking canopy beds, and esteemed falconry program that lets guests explore its 350...
31 Leeson Cl, Dublin 2, D02 CP70, Ireland
Ask someone who’s stayed at Number 31, a downtown Dublin house-hotel, what it’s like and he or she likely won’t get past the breakfast: the pears poached in vanilla syrup, Wexford strawberries, eggs scrambled with smoked salmon...
Letterfrack, Co. Galway, Ireland
The bleak, windswept landscape of Connemara in the West of Ireland is characterized by bogs, lakes, mountains, and miles of stone walls. Connemara National Park is one of the best places to appreciate this unique landscape, with more than 7,000...
Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
The town of Dingle is by far the most colorful, lively corner in Dingle. The streets are lined with every type of restaurant, bar and shop. Irish music flows through the streets nightly and the people are very welcoming. It is easy to navigate the...
College Green, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
The Book of Kells is an illustrated Latin manuscript of the four Gospels, probably written in the early ninth century. It's on display, along with other beautifully ornate manuscripts, in the Old Library of Trinity College, Dublin. The display is...
Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin, Ireland
The Ha'penny Bridge, officially the Liffey Bridge, was built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin. For over 100 years it had cost between half a penny and a penny and a half to cross the pedestrian bridge but today it is free. I found myself...
47-48 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
On Saturday nights most of the streets are pedestrian-only, live music spills into the streets, and the frothy stout flows free. Locals are spoiled in that they can revel on these ancient cobbled streets as frequently as they like, while the rest...
Kildare St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Just down the road from its more popular neighbor, the National Gallery of Ireland, the NLE has interesting shows and fewer crowds. I recently saw an exhibition on Yeats and one on the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Even if you only have a short time, this...
Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Founded in 1028 and built overlooking a Viking settlement, this incredible cathedral is nearly 1,000 years old and is Dublin's oldest building. The 12th century crypt is one of the largest in Ireland or Britain and here you can check out the...
Ballynaraha South, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Many people pass up visiting the Dingle Peninsula in favor for the famous "Ring of Kerry" drive in Ireland. However, this beautiful place packs a big punch. The town itself has plenty to do including a beautiful harbor and an aquarium, not to...
Dunquin, Ballynaraha North, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
The Blasket Centre or Blascaoid Centre is a must-do if you are on the Dingle Peninsula. It is easily found on the Slea Head Drive. The centre tells all about the history of the Blasket Islands and the famous writers who came from there....
The Queenstown Story @ Cobh Heritage Centre Deepwater Quay, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co. Cork, P24 CY67, Ireland
Cobh (formally known as Queenstown) is just a short drive from Cork, and it's definitely worth it to see the Titanic's last port of call. It's also the place from which the first Irish family departed—for Ellis Island—in the 1800s. Beautiful...
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