"STATELY AND TIMELESS DROMOLAND"
My wife and I stayed for three nights in May 2019. This was at least our 21st visit to Dromoland; perhaps even more. As always, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We have stayed in many luxury properties in Ireland including Adare Manor and Ashford Castle, however I truly believe that Dromoland Castle Hotel is the finest property in the country.
Obviously, Dromoland Castle is a gorgeous hotel surrounded by 450 acres of sheer beauty. However, one of the best things about staying at Dromoland is the wonderful staff led by General Manager Mark Nolan. Upon arrival the porters are so welcoming and that really sets a very positive tone for the entire stay. They all possess wonderful personalities and their humor is always on full display. They also tell some delightful stories. Additionally, they are very helpful be it transporting your luggage or parking your car. The Reception staff is top notch all the way; always willing to assist in any way possible. All employees we have encountered during our many visits have been genuinely nice and extremely competent. There is nothing they would not do for their guests.
You have many dining options at the Castle and whatever venue you choose all are fantastic. If you are looking for sheer elegance and formality one can dine at the Earl of Thomond Restaurant. The ambience and fare are truly wonderful. The Executive Chef is super talented. I would remind gentlemen that a jacket is required in the formal dining room. We opted to dine at the Fig Tree Restaurant located near the golf clubhouse this trip. We dined there twice and both meals were delicious. The wait staff were fabulous as well. It is less formal; however, the food is great. We ordered steaks, burgers, and roast beef that were delicious. One can also dine at The Gallery (pub) and eat right outside of the bar in the massive hallway. The food quality is awesome; not your traditional pub food. We always have high dining expectations and have never been disappointed in any of the venues. Breakfast is a great event that I look forward to every morning. The menu is quite diverse so finding something you like will definitely not be a problem. I generally go with the traditional Irish fare; however, my wife samples different items such as porridge or French toast, etc. The food is all excellent and is locally sourced. The breakfast area is led by a truly wonderful person named Pauline. She is extremely competent and genuinely nice. The wait staff are tremendous as well.
On a side note, it was our pleasure to see Tony Frisby who was formerly the dining room manager. Tony recently retired after nearly 30-years of service. He now greets guests on occasion. We look forward to seeing Tony on each visit. He is the consummate professional and gentlemen.
Another aside - Dromoland just opened a lovely woollen mills shop on the property. The merchandise is top of the line (of course) and the prices are quite reasonable.
We always enjoy having a drink at The Gallery. The product offerings are top notch. I believe Frank is the manager and he is a wonderful engaging man. He even sings some old Sinatra songs every once in a while. Live entertainment is provided most evenings and just adds to the overall great experience. The musicians are very talented, including notable singer Kate Purcell.
Our room was nice, equipped with all of the modern amenities (of course). General Manager Nolan always takes good care of us. Of course, all of the rooms are fabulous and some have personalities of their own. Dromoland recently completed a multi-million euro renovation and the entire property is gorgeous.
There is a myriad of outdoor activities one can avail themselves of including a professional golf course; fishing; clay shooting; falconry; and pony trap & ride; etc. I believe equestrian activities are near the estate and the proprietors will even come to the hotel and pick you up. If you prefer not to explore the expansive estate on foot bicycles and golf carts are available for your use.
Dromoland is located strategically so one can explore the Burren; Cliffs of Moher; Aran Islands; visit Bunratty Castle and perhaps even participate in the really enjoyable Medieval Banquet. We have participated in all of the aforementioned and really enjoyed ourselves. Bunratty Woollen Mills is directly across from the Bunratty Castle and is a great place to pick up some quality merchandise. Durty Nelly's is also in the area and is a great place to have a pint of Guinness and partake in some lunch. The atmosphere is charming and is a lot of fun. When time permits we have also taken day excursions to Doonbeg, Lahinch, Lisdoonvarna, Kilrush, Kilkee, Doolin, Ennis, and other locations along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Dromoland also has a first-class Spa. My wife has participated in a few sessions with the professionals and loved every minute of it. If interested book well in advance.
Dromoland Castle is a short distance from Shannon Airport; approximately 14-minutes or 10 kilometers. Procuring a rental car at the airport is painless as well. We normally return our rental car one day prior to leaving Ireland and take a taxi back to Dromoland. The taxi will pick us up the next morning and drive us to Shannon Airport for our departure back to the USA. This works well and allows one to focus only on the air travel.
To recap - we highly recommend a stay at Dromoland Castle. I assure you it will be an experience you will cherish forever. The property is truly exceptional. However, the best part of each stay for us is interacting with the wonderful staff. It is an absolute delight! We will be returning in October (hopefully) for a two-night stay and can't wait!