There are many “Castle Hotels” in Ireland. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of staying in quite a few of them and Castle Leslie is now my absolute favourite without exception.
For equestrian enthusiasts like my wife this place is excellent but even excluding the equestrian activities, Castle Leslie is superb. We booked a two night B&B+1D break including an hour each horse-riding which I could easily transfer to my wife so she could ride out both days. This was excellent value at €340 total, considering that horse-riding normally costs €35 per hour and dinner alone costs €55 per person.
Every aspect of the hotel is splendid, commencing with the automatic door of the Lodge which opens outward as you approach to welcome you into an inviting foyer to be greeted by friendly, professional reception staff, who checked us in in a heartbeat and then showed us to our magnificent room, “Fursey”.
Castle Leslie Estate is enormous and the accommodation is split between the “Castle” and the more modern “Lodge” which comprises two old granite buildings, linked by a modern annex which houses the bar and overhead restaurant overlooking a gravel courtyard with cast iron tables and chairs to facilitate smokers like ourselves (well it’s the only bad habit I have left!)
I spent several hours here, sipping Cappuccinos and working on the free Wi-Fi in beautiful sunshine while my wife was horse-riding. We ate in the bar on the first night, where the food was excellent and reasonably priced. My wife had a delicious medley of sea food and while I had simple battered cod with magnificent home cooked chips, proper chip-shop style! Mmmmm!
The bar food was good but it was merely a tantalizing precursor to dinner in the restaurant on the second night which was divine. The delicious range of starters and mains were complemented by chef’s choice of appetizers and sorbets and completed with mouth-watering desserts, all of which are delivered by helpful, courteous, unobtrusive waiting staff. I can’t wait to go back just to try some of the other dishes on the menu.
Similarly, we were spoilt for choice at breakfast which comprised a continental buffet and made to order cooked options including the traditional full Irish (with potato bread – a speciality in Ulster) as well as Pancakes or French Toast with Syrup (which you won’t find in many Irish hotels) My personal favourite was the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon – a deliciously decadent way to start the day! Most importantly, breakfast is served to 11am which is exactly what you need on a leisure break but is scarcely available else-where, even in most 5 star establishments. Top marks for this in my book!
Our room overlooked the stables, although sadly we did not have a balcony which the rooms below us had. One room on the lower floor even had a hot-tub on the balcony which I’ll try to book on our next visit. None-the-less, our room was excellent, particularly the bathroom with separate shower and a deep cast iron Victorian tub! Note, no minibar, work desk or Wi-Fi in the room but these are very minor drawbacks!
Indeed, we found the Lodge to be something of a communication back spot with weak cell phone signals and I also found the Wi-Fi in public areas to be slightly intermittent but perhaps this was my laptop, I’m not sure. Either way, Castle Leslie is not the type of place you want to be working in. It’s built for leisure and pleasure which it delivers in abundance.
Last but by no means least the service that we received from reception, housekeeping, bar & restaurant staff and from the highly competent equestrian staff was absolutely superb and the hotel quite rightly prominently displays the numerous wards they’ve received for this. Very well deserved!
Although they don’t mention it at all, the hotels big claim to fame was hosting the wedding of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. If only their marriage had worked out as well as their wedding eh? Initially, we though if it’s good enough for an ageing mega-rich Beatle that’ll do us and we are overjoyed to have discovered Castel Leslie.
We are planning to return as often as our schedule and budget will permit!
I cannot find sufficient superlatives to describe the place.
10 outta 10 – no question!
Castle Leslie is splendid!
- Also Known As:
- Castle Leslie Estate Hotel Glaslough
- Castle Leslie Estate Hotel
- Castle Leslie
- Castle Leslie Estate Glaslough, Ireland - County Monaghan
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Castle Leslie Estate, nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. Castle Estate is waiting to be discovered. Located in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, the Estate is only 80 minutes from Dublin. The Castle (20 individual guestroom), at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Lodge (29 guestrooms) is the social hub of the Estate and brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. The Old Stable Mews (12 two bed Mews) & Village Cottages (12 four and five bed cottages) are the perfect spot for families and groups that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private self catering.The Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure. It’s the perfect place to discover the thrill of exploring the countryside on horseback or foot. You can spend a few hours fishing on one of Ireland's best-preserved lakes. Alternatively, you might prefer to enjoy a massage in the Victorian Treatment Rooms at the end of an activity packed day or relax with a book in one of our many beautiful rooms. Other activities include Hot Air Balloon rides, carriage rides, kayaking, clay pigeon shooting, and the Kids Saddle Club. ... more less
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