Refit complete, Ireland's Kilkea Castle set to welcome guests

Kilkea Castle, located in County Kildare about an hour from Dublin, is poised to open in two phases after a five-year, $35 million renovation.

The property, which dates to 1180, will be available for whole property buyouts beginning in November and as a five-star hotel and resort in the first quarter of 2018.

The extensive renovation, which blends medieval and modern design elements, was spearheaded by Boston-based owners Jay and Christy Cashman, who purchased the property in 2012.

Amenities on the 180-acre estate, at one time a hotel but closed and owned by the state since 2009, will include an 18-hole golf course and club, woodlands and rose gardens.

There are several eateries, including the informal Bistro in the clubhouse, Hermione's Restaurant for regional and seasonal fare and the formal Dining Room, overseen by executive chef Ronnie Wolf. Other features include the Drawing Room for afternoon tea and an Irish Pub and Castle Lounge.

There are 57 accommodations in all, including 24 guestrooms and suites in the renovated Carriage House and 33 three-bedroom, self-catering lodges at the golf course.

In addition to golf, guests can take part in tennis, archery, falconry, skeet shooting, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, tubing and fishing in the Greese River and bird watching.

A swimming pool and spa are in the works and are expected to open by next summer.

Rates range from about $290 for Carriage House rooms to around $7,000 for a property buyout.