Whether you’re a Cinderella, a sleeping beauty looking to get some r&r or more of a Queen Elizabeth II (loves corgis/all things dog), Cabra Castle has something for you.*
Touring historic castles is a unique experience you can’t get in the United States, and it’s one of my favorite activities when I go to Europe.
I decided to step up my castle experience in Ireland by booking us a room at Cabra Castle.
WE ACTUALLY LIVED IN A CASTLE!
(For a night…)
There are actually a number of castle hotels in Ireland. It was almost overwhelming. But there were a few key reasons why I choose Cabra Castle — and why you should, too.
Let’s be honest, I want to live like a queen but I can’t actually afford to do so.
Cabra Castle isn’t a cheap option, it’s still a splurge for a lot of people. But it’s cheaper than other castles in Ireland. Rooms typically range from $150-300 a night, depending on type of room and when you’re staying.
But don’t worry, at Cabra Castle you won’t feel like you’re sticking to budget. The rooms are beautiful, complete with exposed stone, canopy beds and velvet chairs.
Dine like royalty
Get seated at a table overlooking the beautiful green castle grounds, order wine and a three course meal, then walk away without having to pay.
OK, technically, you already paid. Be sure to add on the package of breakfast and dinner when you book, it helps ease your trip and adds a little royal feel to the night.
Plus, the food is amazing. There are a number of options for each course. We had a difficult time deciding and ultimately picked two items we both wanted for each course so we could share. In case you’re picky, the staff is also very accommodating.
There are two restaurants located in the castle. The restaurant on the second-floor is more fine dinning — and worth it. But the restaurant downstairs is great for grabbing a quick bite or drinks.
It’s also important to plan to eat at the castle because there aren’t a lot of other options.
The drive to get to the castle is a traditional Irish drive, with windy roads that are technically two lanes but really only fits one car at a time. It’s a beautiful drive, but one you probably don’t want to do more than you have to or drive in the dark.
Add royal options
Imagine walking into your room, popping open a bottle of wine and begin relaxing in a freestanding clawfoot bathtub.
That’s what we did.
There are a number of amenities you can add and request while staying at Cabra Castle.
The first amenity I added was the wine because it’s truly the best way to be greeted. We set down our bags, opened the wine and turned on Game of Thrones (we had missed the premier the night before).
Side note: Watching GoT in a castle is really the only true way to watch GoT.
Later, we both relaxed in the freestanding clawfoot bathtub with bath bombs I brought along for this specific moment.
This night was all about r&r. The rest of the time we enjoyed eating, taking a nap and walking the beautiful grounds.
But your adventure doesn’t have to stop there — there’s also an entire golf course to conquer!
If you see something out of the corner of your eye or your door knob shakes, you’re not imagining things. Cabra Castle is haunted.
We didn’t see (or hear) anything unusual, but we did hear the stories.
The most well-known story is about Sarah.
Sarah lived at the castle as a servant in the late eighteenth century. She began a passionate love affair with the owner’s son and got pregnant. When their secret was discovered the owner of the castle ordered her murder.
She was dragged from her bed in the middle of the night and hung from a nearby bridge (now called Sarah Bridge).
You might hear her roaming the grounds as she cries, looking for her child. Some guests claim a phantom horse and carriage pulls up and a baby is left on the castle steps. It’s said that only then does Sarah stop crying.
But she’s not the only ghost, so keep your eyes peeled and spend some time exploring the castle.
Lastly, there are dogs that live on the grounds.
What more do you need? They are super friendly, adorable and love attention.
It’s exactly what a Queen Elizabeth II type needs.
*However, if you identify with Cersei Lannister, aka evil and looking for a place to rule, this is not the place for you.