I cannot recommend Castle Durrow highly enough. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel very welcome - a genuinely friendly greeting from the receptionist and the owner (as opposed to the fixed grins one so often encounters), bags whisked away as if by magic...
We had booked a midweek break for two nights, at an extremely reasonable price, and were given a Master Room, which contained a huge and very comfortable four-poster bed. The room was bigger than some apartments I've been in, with lovely high ceilings, and had underfloor heating. TV offered the four main Irish channels. The bathroom was spotless, with a great selection of Molton Brown goodies, and proper, big, bath towels. The large antique wardrobe contained a fan heater, a proper ironing board, a decent iron, and a real hairdryer. Copies of Image and Image Interiors were a nice touch, although the copy of Irish Weddings might scare some of the blokes out there! Castle Durrow is a very popular wedding reception venue - it's easy to see why, as the grounds are lovely. And don't worry about staying there if there's a wedding on; from what we could see, the function room was entirely separate from the main hotel and I gather guests are accommodated in a separate part of the building.
As if first impressions weren't good enough, the food here is to die for. The castle grows its own organic vegetables, and the table d'hote dinner is wonderful. Our booking included dinner on both nights in the price, but the set price listed on the menu for the (4 course) meal is only 50 euro. A comprehensive and extremely reasonably priced wine list seals the deal. In Dublin you'd have paid twice or three times as much for a meal of inferior quality. The service was perfect; courteous but not intrusive, and the restaurant manager was brilliant, giving personal attention to all, despite being monopolised on much of our second evening by some quite frankly obnoxious people at the next table.
Breakfast was also a delight - a beautifully arranged stack of the traditional Irish "fry" ingredients, possibly the nicest cooked breakfast I've ever had. It certainly sets you up for the day. You can also choose from a good buffet, or go for other hot options like scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
The hotel bar was very quiet, but pleasant, midweek; you can enjoy a few drinks by an open fire.
A beauty salon has just opened in the castle - I went for a facial while the other half was persuaded to have a massage. Thoroughly enjoyed the former; they use Matis products and it was very reasonably priced.
Kilkenny City is only half an hour's drive away, and the "designer outlet" at Rathdowney is also nearby if you fancy picking up some jeans, shoes or sports and ski gear. The grounds also offer archery, clay pigeon shooting and so on, but there needs to be a group of 8 or more for this to be arranged.
If I had to say anything negative about Castle Durrow, it would be that the bathroom lighting could be a bit better. But I genuinely can't find anything else to fault.
Castle Durrow may not appeal to those who like their action holidays, but for those of you who want to get away from it all, switch off completely, and chill out in cosy surroundings for a wee while, it's just the ticket.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Castle Durrow is located in the heart of the village. A fully restored, magnificent 300 year old Mansion with luxurious bedrooms each with their own atmosphere. Our restaurant is located in stunning south-facing rooms, decorated with mirrors and hand blocked wallpaper, our head chef creates delicious seasonal menus, popular with visitors and locals alike. We are a terrific place to relax and let romance and Guinness de-stress the mind and body in our cosy bar and reception rooms. In the Magnificent garden, with fabulous scented borders and a walled garden, from where our chefs pick their daily produce, you can stroll around for hours or have a more vigorous walk by the river and in the hills adjoining the castle. A stay at the castle with Dinner and some romance would not be complete without a beauty treatment in our salon , aptly named the Powder box ! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Castle Durrow Hotel Durrow
- Castle Hotel Durrow
- Durrow Castle Hotel