Unfortunately for us the service we booked for our B&B's nightly stays could not get us into a real castle while visiting Ireland. Based on what we saw on the internet, we booked Ballyseede. Located on the east side of Tralee, appears they are most well known for wedding bookings, so we later learned. According to the doorman/bellhop/registration agent; their main claim to fame at this time is their super sized banquet room that can hold 250 wedding guests who like to party all night long and into early am next day (must be an Irish thing). This same courteous gentleman also doubled as a odging tour director, as he took us and the group of hotel stayers on a late night tour through the dining hall, supplied us with 100 yr history of the castle's dismay and change of ownership, plus pointed out the window the Queen of England wanted replaced during her visit so it wouldn't compete with # of glass panes back in her palace (or something to that nature). Not necessary, was the end of the tour scare factor where photo's were passed around, supposedly sharing pictures of ghosts seen inside the hotel and at the pets graveyard you pass by when you enter the driveway. This alone kept me awake most of the night unable to sleep. We couldn't get near or into the bar room, that seems to be a frequently gathering water hole point for hotel guests to sit by the fireplace and drink. Best we could do was sit in one of the two large sitting rooms and order a Irish coffee. Don't get me wrong, the extensive antiques, mirrors, music stands, crystal and silver furnishing, along with two knights in silver armor, are impressive and lend quite nicely to the atmosphere. Breakfast was nicely done, but then again, all over Ireland they do breakfast up right. We were on the 3rd floor overlooking the courtyard, and am so glad I tipped a bellman to bring up our luggage because there's no elevator. There's some small ponies fenced in a lot next door, so you can visit with them. The patio with chair setting and a gazebo for weddings is not as elegant as some places here in the US, but maybe by Irish standards they meet high expectations. A real castle like those elsewhere in Ireland, not so much. Real stone walls - yes;, two lion stanchions guarding the front door- yes; a reading room library - no, a golf course - no; extensive wooded or laked grounds - no. Worth the price for the attempting to get the feel of a real castle estate - close enough, just not the real thing though.
Try to get a room on the 2nd floor to avoid having three sets of staircases to drag luggage up.
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