We were booked on a trip to stay at 4 castle hotels. Of all four castle hotels we stayed at in Ireland, Ballyseede looked and felt like the only real castle -- all the rooms are actually in the castle, not in some addition or annex attached to the castle.
We arrived a few minutes after 9 PM. The proprietor was tending bar and greeted us with warmth and graciousness. He asked if we had eaten because the Castle's dining room had just closed and the chef was about to go home for the day. We told him we had not, but not to worry, we'd just drive into town and eat. He replied that the dining places in town closed at 9 PM also, and offered to get us some dinner while we got our bags to our rooms.
Of the many interests of the castle are the castle dogs. We never got to meet the Irish Wolfhound, Mr. Higgins, but Einstein, the "stone" dog was in the pub entertaining guests. He is a somewhat famous dog because he is obsessed with stones. People throw marble size stones across the room and he chases after them, retrieves them and puts them in front of him where he can stare intently at them until someone throws them again.
Our breakfast here was the best of all the hotels. It was a made-to-order menu breakfast combined with various assortments of pastries, juices and fresh fruit from a buffet.
Our room was a little bizarre; we were on the cellar floor all the way in the far corner. While the room itself was huge, the room's appointments weren't as nice as the public spaces of the castle. However, it was clean and comfortable. Rumors are that the castle is haunted, which adds to the lure of it being a real castle. I would return again simply because it really felt like we had visited a castle -- something I cannot say for the other three "castles" our travel agent booked us at.