Irish Castle Fit For A King… And Rock Stars!

Although Dromoland Castle, the former ancestral home of the O’Briens – who were direct descendants of the High King of Ireland in the 11th century – is steeped with history, the five-star hotel has undergone a refurbishment to the tune of €20 million.

Over the years, the property has seen many notable guests, from Demi Moore and Bruce Willis to The Beatles, who had to escape from the premise while hiding in laundry baskets to avoid the masses gathered outside to catch a glimpse of the fab four. Even Edge and Bono of U2 unexpectedly crashed at the hotel during a snowstorm, even though the castle was closed for the holidays.

In Toronto yesterday (April 30) from Ireland, Marie Chawke, director of business development for Dromoland Castle, noted members of the band and crew spent the night playing music and eating shepherd’s pie made by the wife of managing director Mark Nolan, who has been with the property for 30 years.

“All bedrooms, all public areas, everything has been completely polished off and look amazing,” Chawke said of the new investment over the past 18 months. “The castle has really come into itself, it’s reborn as they say.”

Guests can take part in a variety of experiences during their stay, including falconry, archery, and clay target shooting. Dromoland Castle, which is located 15 minutes from Shannon International Airport and near the Cliffs of Moher, features its own golf course and a lake for fishing.

“We’re very much about personalizing the visits,” she said, adding there will also be an increased focus on wellness. “There’s a lot to see and do, and nowadays we’re finding people want experiences, they want to immerse themselves in the culture, we’ve our own Genealogist at the castle, people can trace back their ancestors. Included in all of our guest rates as of this year breakfast is included, and we include one complimentary experience on the estate every day.”

Not only is Canada a big part of the business, but she also said they are happy to work with travel agents and provide a 10% commission. With the increased connectivity to the destination, she says it’s never been easier to get to Shannon.

“It’s your authentic, genuine, real Irish castle, that’s what we really are, but what’s different about Dromoland is it’s generations of local families working there for decades,” she said. “There’s been a huge investment in luxury properties in Ireland in general.”