Country Hotels and Castle Hotels are not for those wishing to travel on a tight budget. Located at the top end of the scale in price and comfort, sometimes having their own world-class golf courses, famed chefs and spa facilities. Ireland is dotted with these exclusive resorts, Dromoland Castle in County Clare even being used for state visits. What to look out for here are package deals - a few nights accommodation, a multi-course dinner plus spa and green fees can make for an attractive bargain.
As usually one important advice is caveat emptor - before booking a stay at a country hotel or castle do some research on the facilities. Not every well-sounding name is necessarily the plain truth. The "Burren Castle Hotel" for instance is no more an authentic castle than similar buildings in Orlando or Las Vegas are!
One very good resource for stately homes and houses that proved accommodation is the Hidden Ireland network - here you'll find the "real thing", not some mock-ups built from breezeblocks in the latter half of the 20th century.
Find out more about other types of accommodation in Ireland: