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Gregans Castle Hotel

An eco-chic country escape in the heart of Ireland’s storybook Burren hills

Nestled in the heart of the Burren, Ireland’s smallest national park and the inspiration behind C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien’s most famous works, Gregans Castle Hotel is immersed in natural beauty. The 18th century manor house-turned-hotel has welcomed guests since the 1940s. And today it offers the perfect tonic to busy life – with TV-less rooms, nature-inspired décor and fires that glow year-round. 

This eco conscious hotel is inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds it. In each room, green hues, handpicked furniture and fresh flowers bring the outside in. Turn to the windows that frame views of the landscaped gardens, the Wild Atlantic way, or the Burren peaks – with some rooms promising front row seats thanks to private gardens. Spend afternoons treating yourself to a massage before whiling away the afternoon beside the drawing room’s crackling fire. Then, when dinner calls, head to the award-winning restaurant for the modern-meets-traditional cuisine created from artisan, in-season ingredients. On the way back to your peaceful room, stop by the Corkscrew Bar for a nightcap – raising a glass to tomorrow.
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Wake each day to new adventures. Discover the depths of the Aillwee Cave, scale the Cliffs of Moher or take a day trip to the Aran Islands to pick up a hand-knitted jumper. Bird watchers can wander the Burren hills, seeking out the 89 species soaring the skies. Or swap dry land for the wild coast to see dolphins. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a whale too. Then, return to Gregans Castle for an afternoon tea – the perfect post-adventure treat.
 

Enjoy your stay!


21 Rooms |  2 Floors |  2 Restaurants | 

4.8 /5

273 reviews

Considerate

Considerate Collection

Country

Country House Hotel

Fine

Fine Dining

Historic

Historic Hotel

Considerate Collection

Actively sustainable luxury hotels

SLH Considerate Collection

Environmentally Conscious

As a founding member of The Burren Ecotourism Network, Gregans Castle is a stalwart protector of its UNECO Global Geopark setting. The hotel is putting down roots with The Burren Pine Project to restore an almost extinct tree, by planting 150 Burren Pine trees (along with 450 other native trees) on the 100% biodiverse castle grounds, and branching out with local landscape charity, The Burrenbeo Trust, to bring back Ireland's only native pine. Red squirrels scurry about the Gregans gardens, ducks nest in the castle’s pond year after year, and the hotel supports local wildlife and nature conservation as members of BirdWatch Ireland and Leave No Trace – including litter clean-ups around Corkscrew Hill. The hotel’s primary water supply comes from its own mountain spring, all waste water is treated using the on-site natural reed and willow bed wetland system, and an abandoned well within the grounds was restored and fitted with a solar pump for use in the vegetable garden. Electricity has been completely wind-generated for the last two decades, boosted by the recently installed solar panels. Gregans Castle are also members of The Green Hospitality Programme, which is the only Irish developed environmental certification standard for the hospitality sector.

SLH Considerate Collection

Cultural Custodians

With an intriguing history spanning the best part of six centuries, Gregans Castle continually carries out restoration work and redecoration projects to sensitively enhance the house’s Georgian features, using natural pigment paints and fabrics where possible. The original building, which has been well preserved, was a 16th century tower house constructed by the O’Loughlin clan. What now stands as the hotel was started in the 1750s, and became a summer retreat for the Martyn family, who later hosted J.R.R. Tolkien during the writer’s many visits to the Burren. When penning The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien was inspired by the unusual landscape of the area, with its rock formations and underground cave system, as well as the local folklore and mythology which the hotel still champions today. Locals were welcome to come to the house for drinks, and children picked apples in the vast orchards – an idyllic and imagination-sparking setting which is said to have inspired ‘Middle Earth’. Gregans Castle are also strong supporters of The Burren Winterage Festival which is held at the end of October each year, celebrating traditional farming methods including herding cattle onto ‘winterage’ pastures in the limestone uplands.

SLH Considerate Collection

Community Minded

Gregans Castle cherishes longstanding links to its beloved Burren community, and makes a great effort to support local businesses. As well as growing its own produce and foraging locally, the hotel looks to local farmers and fishermen to enrich its seasonally-focused menu. The hotel was the first customer of The Burren Smokehouse in the 1980s, a family-run artisan smokehouse which has been supplying Gregans Castle with their organic Irish smoked salmon, trout, and spiced mackerel for over three decades. The hotel is a proud member of The Burren Food Trail, which encourages businesses to buy as much artisan, local produce as possible, including purchasing sustainably-made farmhouse cheese from St Tola, a fellow member of The Burren Ecotourism Network. Book onto any of the hotel’s nature-based activities and you will spend quality time with a friendly local guide, from oyster-shucking and foraging, to blustery yet breath-taking day trips to the Aran Islands. The hotel’s neighbour, Shane Connolly, guides guests along ancient limestone paths and the rugged Cliffs of Moher on educational nature walks or scenic cycles, sharing his knowledge about the Burren’s geology, archaeology, botany, and social history.

Gregans Castle Hotel

Take the load off

If you’re feeling energetic, explore the quiet local lanes, the Burren valleys, or the quaint local towns that surround the hotel on one of its bikes. Electric bikes are ideal for more leisurely rides. You can follow a guided trail or book a guided tour to learn a little local history along the way, or go off grid and see where the day takes you. You could even have pine martins, badgers, and peregrine falcons for company.

Gregans Castle Hotel

Follow the herd

There’s no better way to explore the sights of the Burren than with Shane – a local sheep farmer eager to educate on the geology, botany, archaeology, and social history of the unique landscape he calls home. Listen to his yarns as he takes you on a three-hour guided walk where you’re encouraged to take in the sights, breathe in the fresh air and reconnect with nature.

Our rooms

Small Classic Room


Sleeps 2
Queen
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Classic Room


Sleeps 2
Queen
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Superior Room


Sleeps 2
King
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Junior Suite


Sleeps 3
King
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Premier Suite


Sleeps 3
King
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show all

Ratings

Quality Assured

Mystery Inspected

Global Rating

4.8 /5

4.8

273 reviews

INVITED Rating

5 /5
4.5 /5
Tripadvisor score 4.5

4.5

722 reviews

INVITED Reviews

100 %

of reviewers would recommend this hotel


5

we loved Gregan's castle so much. stunning grounds, beautiful and comfortable

walking outside with cats

By Jessica Aug ’23 Trip Type Couple


Gregans Castle Hotel, Ireland

5

(based on 1 reviews)

100 %

of reviewers would recommend this hotel


5

we loved Gregan's castle so much. stunning grounds, beautiful and comfortable

walking outside with cats

By Jessica Aug ’23 Trip Type Couple


Key Features

Restaurant
Restaurant
Room
Room service
Pet
Pet Friendly
Bar
Bar
Free
Free parking
Free
Free Wi-Fi

All Hotel Features and Services

  • Dry cleaning
  • Turndown service
  • Laundry service
  • Free parking
  • Valet parking
  • Accessible parking
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe deposit box
  • Accessible parking

All Hotel Features and Services

  • Dry cleaning
  • Turndown service
  • Laundry service
  • Free parking
  • Valet parking
  • Accessible parking
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe deposit box
  • Accessible parking
  • Bar
  • Pet Friendly
  • Fire safety compliant
  • Electric Car Charging
  • Full service housekeeping
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Security
  • Restaurant
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Room service
  • Room service - limited hours
  • Massage services

Food And Drinks

If pure indulgence is on the cards, take a seat at the Gregans Castle restaurant for a blend of cutting-edge cuisine and traditional Irish cooking. Dine on a seven-course set menu – with ingredients from the hotel’s own garden, foraged in the Burren, and sourced from local artisan producers. And for the ultimate dining experience, treat yourself to the Surprise Seasonal Tasting Menu. Eat, drink, and take the opportunity to glance across the Wild Atlantic Way from the comfort of your table. For casual dining, ask to be seated on a table by the fire in The Corkscrew Bar.

The Corkscrew Bar

Served Meals: Lunch, Dinner Join us in the Corkscrew Bar or the Drawing Room where the open fires are always glowing and you can sit back and relax in comfortable- luxurious surroundings. Our light lunch menu is also served in the bar - the perfect place for afternoon tea after a day of sightseeing or hiking. Reservations are essential for lunch. Tea and scones- homemade cake and cookies are available all day. Reservations are required for our full Traditional Afternoon Tea and should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

The Dining Room

Served Meals: Breakfast, Dinner Head chef Jonathan Farrell and team serve creative and modern dishes using fresh produce from our organic garden as well as from local and artisan food producers. Organic Burren lamb and game and fresh Atlantic fish and shellfish feature. We have received many awards for our food including 3 Rosettes from the AA for culinary mastery and excellence 2021; Food and Wine Best Hotel Restaurant - Munster 2021 and the RAI Restaurant of the Year Awards - Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant 2019.

Spa

Rest a little more with an in-room spa treatment. Choose to increase your energy levels and enter a state of deep relaxation with a massage appointment with a local freelance therapist. Just let the hotel staff know the treatment you’re after and they’ll organise the rest.

Location of your stay

Hotel Address

Gregans Castle Hotel

Gragan East.

Ballyvaughan

Ballyvaughan

H91 CF60

Ireland

Check in:

1500

Check out:

1200

What3words location:

unseen.opener.laying

Where is it?

57 kms to airport Shannon

244 kms to airport Dublin

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