Built in 1832 the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is situated on the scenic Sky Road in Connemara less than a five minute walk to the town of Clifden. It is perfectly situated as a great base to explore Connemara and take a trip into Galway city.
The grounds of the castle are lovely and have tennis courts, fountains, a lovely patio area with tables and chairs, walking trails, a mini golf / pitch and put course as well as a helipad, should you decided to leave the car and take the chopper. The castle is ivy clad with big wooden doors, everything you would expect from a castle.
Inside is full of charm and authentic touches, dark wooden panelling, elaborate art-work on the walls, lush plush decorative carpets, thrones, dark leather armchairs and sofas as well as huge chandeliers and real turf burning fires throughout the public areas.
As you enter the castle you are greeted with one of these real fires and by Gilbert, an African Grey parrot that hangs out by the reception area and chats to guests and whistles at the ladies. He is a very charming parrot, almost as charming as all the staff who are so welcoming, helpful and funny, full of Irish wit and humour. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they will be the highlight of your stay.
Downstairs is the lobby area with fires and sofas, the library with books, games, more fires and comfy sofas and the bar which also has a turf burning fire, lots of cosy seats and tables and a grand piano smack bang in the middle. There is also another room with a big screen tv, pool table, card table and another piano. This room is a good size and great for functions and watching sporting events with guests. There is also a wall of fame which is adorned with framed photos of the many famous people who have stayed in the castle throughout the years.
There are triple bedrooms with a double / twin bed and a single bed on the first floor. The second floor is where you will find a conference room with computers and large desk and the fabulous restaurant where buffet breakfast and dinner is served. There is also a very cool smoking area with big screen tv, outdoor heaters, and a fish tank! You will find lots of these quirky things throughout the hotel.
I stayed in two rooms on the second floor, one with two single beds pushed together to make a double bed and one with a full sized double bed, although it may have been a king sized bed it was so big but I am not too sure. The rooms at the back face out on to some secluded greenery area and the rooms at the front look out over a stream and offer views of Clifden.
There are many different types of room on offer including ones with canopy four poster beds, ones with a separate living are, rooms are available in the turret of the castle, loads have claw foot baths, and one has a double jacuzzi. I had the pleasure of been shown around each type of room and I can say that they are all striking and inviting and look fabulous.
The rooms I stayed in had the following: double / twin beds with lots of pillows and lovely crisp sheets, extra bedding in the wardrobes. They had two beautiful antique chairs and table as well as two bedside tables with a lamp on each one. Each room have a big screen tv and dvd player, kettle, teapot and tea and coffee and milk and sugar. There was a huge desk with mirror and chair great for writing and setting up a laptop. There was a great hairdryer in the desk and there was an iron, ironing board, trouser press as well as a safe and a big wardrobe with plenty of hangers and shelves. There was also two full length mirrors in each of the rooms I stayed in. They offer a laundry service too and the bags are in the room. There was a nice long bath, although not very wide, and a good shower above the bath. The sinks were nice and big and there was a huge mirrored wall with shelf space for all your cosmetics. Shaving plugs are also on the wall as well as a magnifying mirror. There were lots of towels and a shower cap, soap, shower gel, shampoo and drinking glasses.
There were lots of lights in the room and a lot of natural light due to the big windows, however the curtains were big and heavy enough to block out all the light and making the room nice and dark at night time. The rooms where I was were very quiet and I only heard other guests going in and out of their rooms in the morning, but I am a light sleeper so I usually hear this in hotels. The beds in the rooms I was in were a little on the hard side but as I have a bad back this was perfect for me.
I found my room and especially bathroom to be very clean and my room was cleaned every day of my stay. The whole hotel was very clean if a little shabby but shabby in a very chic kind of way, this is a castle that is nearly 200 years old. However many of the rooms have just been refurbished including new showers and carpets and whilst I was there more working was being carried out on the carpets in the public areas.
The dining room is grand and beautiful with lots of big windows and chandeliers. The food in Abbeyglen is very good indeed with lots of fresh local produce used and a very good wine list too. They always have a veggie option too and will cater for any dietary requirements. There is an extensive dessert buffet featuring all manner of fresh homemade roulades, tarts, puddings, cakes and hot desserts as well as ice-cream, crackers and cheeses. You will not go hungry whilst here. The breakfast buffet is the most extensive I have ever seen covering everything from eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, creamy porridge, smoked salmon, fresh fruit salad, homemade brown bread, cereals, toast, mushrooms, tomatoes, yoghurts, honey, jams, fresh juices and good filter coffee and pots of tea.
During dinner time there is a pianist playing on yet another one of the castles pianos and provides a wonderful accompaniment to the whole dining experience. When dinner is over the pianist then moves downstairs to the bar where he will play into the night as guests get up and sing and dance or just sit back and listen to the musician's talent. This was one of my favourite parts of my stay, sitting at the bar and enjoying the traditional Irish welcome and craic, and I was travelling by myself but never felt alone with all the friendly staff and guests around.
Every day at 4pm there are fresh scones and tea served to all guests in the bar by the fire and then a champagne reception at 6.30pm with canapes of smoked salmon and cheese on crackers followed by a welcome talk by the ever charming hotel owner Brian, who tells a little about the history of the castle, the local activities and walks and a few jokes thrown in for good measure.
All in all, this was a fabulous experience and not just a stay in a hotel. My whole stay was very memorable and wonderful and I cannot wait to go back up and do it all again. I would highly recommend Abbeyglen Castle.
Furthermore, there is a huge hot tub and a sauna as well as beautiful relaxing and pampering treatment rooms offering loads of beauty, body and holistic treatments using top of the range Elemis products. They also do HD brows and make-up, as well as massage and other treatments.
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- Also Known As:
- Abbeyglen Castle Clifden
- Hotel Abbeyglen Castle