A castle, is a castle, is a castle except when it comes to castle hotels in Ireland. Countless times I have heard of people researching their trip to find just the right castle hotel to stay at. They usually are not cheap and cost many times what a regular hotel does. So people are delighted when they find one they can afford.
“We are staying at Bunratty Castle”, they proudly proclaim…or Ballinalacken Castle, Gregan’s Castle, Ballynahinch Castle or Trim Castle hotel. What people do not realize is that not every hotel with the word castle in it is a genuine castle. Imagine how disappointed you would be if you expected to a stay in a castle hotel only to find you were staying in a regular hotel that just happened to add castle to their name. What a letdown!
Instead of towers and turrets, canopy beds and soaring archways, suits of armor and antiques you find a modern hotel with typical décor – nice nonetheless but definitely not a castle. The real castle might be across the street, a ruin on the grounds or just a memory.
Many websites, magazines, books and articles confuse the issue by perpetuating the myth that if castle is in the name you will be staying in a castle. Why is that? Websites may have booking engines for making reservations at the recommended castles. The more areas they cover and the more castles they list the more money they make. Magazines take the word of the people writing for them. Their budget may not extend to extra research to determine accuracy. It is possible that the places being written about may be advertisers. Many travel books today are written – not by one person who knows the country well – but by committee with multiple contributors. Sometimes travel writers have not even visited the country about which they write, although they are few and far between. There are multiple reasons for such inaccuracies but it all boils down to research and knowledge.
If you can find someone to trust who has real knowledge about a country you can take them at their word when they say…stay here, don’t stay there, eat at this restaurant, don’t bother with that sightseeing, this is a real castle hotel but that is not.
My list of genuine castle hotels, budget castle hotels and self catering castle rentals can be accessed on my website’s Castle Hotels Page. Why pay for a castle hotel that may not be the real thing? Stay in a real castle in Ireland.
© 2010 Michele Erdvig
“Ireland Travel Expert”
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