Who has not, at one time or another, dreamed of being royalty? Though you may not receive an official title, a stay at the majestic Kilkea Castle in Ireland’s Ancient East will leave you feeling like king or queen. Guests will discover over 800 years of history as the destination holds the title of being Ireland’s oldest continuously inhabited castle. Erected in 1180, it was inhabited by the Fitzgerald family, earls of Kildare, for over 700 years and boasts its very own legend, the Wizard Earl, who is said to visit the castle once every seven years.
Located in Castledermot, County Kildare, near the village of Kilkea, it is approxinately an hour from Dublin via Irish Rail train, bus, taxi, town car, private vehicle or Uber Dublin. Upon arriving, the beech-lined entryway the Castle’s 180 acres of wooded grounds, rose-filled gardens, serene river, and golf resort transform and transport from ordinary to extraordinary.
Kilkea Castle was purchased in 2012 by Americans Jay and Christy Cashman, who embarked on a five-year project to transform it into a 5-star resort castle/hotel. According to Jay Cashman:
Owning Kilkea Castle is an experience that has three parts for me: One being an amazingly fun project that allows me to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places on the planet (that just so happens to be smack dab in the middle of horse country). Two being, it is a business and there are challenges in making “a go of it”… And three being, I think we have one of the most unique responsibilities as hoteliers with the history of the property and the amazing structure of Kilkea that existed long before we ever came around…
Kilkea boasts 140 rooms including a deluxe or luxury castle bedroom, the incredible Fitzgerald Suite at the top of Round Tower, or the elegant Lady Elizabeth Suite. Carriage Rooms in the courtyard are modern in style and come with luxury amenities. The newly-refurbished Lodges overlooking the golf course are available as deluxe or superior bedroom, and two or three-bedroom self-catering lodges.
Dining options include a fine dining experience at Restaurant 1180 overlooking the rose garden and 18th hole. The Clubhouse, offering the choice of The Bistro’s informal dining experience or the simple sophistication of Hermione’s Restaurant. Afternoon Tea in the Castle’s Drawing Room for finger sandwiches, warm scones and chilled bubbly. Along with,The Castle Bar perfect for relaxation and evening chats.
Activities abound with a world-class 18 hole/par 70 private golf course, where duffers encounter the natural water hazards of the River Greese. Additional enrichment activities include an equestrian experience, where guests explore the beautiful countryside on horseback or try their hand at archery. Perhaps the most spectacular opportunity is the ancient sport of falconry, where the majesty of falcons, owls, and hawks is experienced in a surreal castle setting.
More traditional offerings include boat tours, fishing, birding, skeet shooting, walking tours, or tubing down the lazy river. Tennis courts and the Kilkea Castle Spa will open soon.
Kilkea Castle has a long history of delivering fairytale weddings, but it is also the perfect choice for family gatherings or corporate retreats. The newly-renovated Baronial Hall, Ireland’s most luxurious events space, offers a private reception area and large ballroom. The recently-opened Business Center incorporates meeting spaces, the latest in digital technology, and conference/presentation areas. Visit Kilkea Castle for Christmas, golf, family outings, or business events and be surrounded by history, majesty, and comfort.
For more information visit: http://www.kilkeacastle.ie/