My wife and I honeymooned in Ireland for 16 days and our first stay was at Ross Castle! We loved every minute of our stay and the Upper tower room was cozy and romantic. The grounds and the lake were relaxing to walk along in the evenings and mornings. Your breakfast was superb but just as important your advice on the local historical sites will never be forgotten! Thanks again for everything and when we come back, we will certainly stay with you!
My fiancée and I stayed in Ross Castle for one night and we were extremely lucky to be the only people in the castle. We very much enjoyed our stay, and we were surprised at how at home we felt in the castle considering its spooky reputation (and some of the things that we saw and heard!) Benita was very welcoming indeed, and we had a pleasant chat on arrival over a cup of tea. It felt like being in a friend's house, rather than your typical accommodation, which was so delightful.
The decor in the hallway and the communal living rooms makes the castle amazingly atmospheric and the eye struggles for what to focus on with the plethora of curiosities and oddities that surround you. We didn't sample the evening meal on this occasion but we were pleased to be able to cook for ourselves with Benita's permission and we prepared two meals in the kitchen. (We have to congratulate Benita on her achievement of preparing food for 30!) Our breakfast was lovely and well prepared, and just what we needed to set us up for the day - thanks to Benita and family.
With the entire castle to ourselves we had supper over a turf fire in the amazing fireplace of the upper living room at dusk. This took our minds off the terrifying banging we heard at 19:00... It sounded like someone - or something - was trying to break the door down with 10-15 violent bangs ringing out throughout the castle as we descended past Sabina's room. Although we heard other noises, we had thought that this really uncomfortable moment was the only truly inexplicable aspect of our stay - that is until we looked at our pictures on the computer when we were back at home, where we saw the unmistakable figure of a woman looking out of the main living room window towards the lawn, and two children peeping at us around the door out of the kitchen. We had taken a walk around midnight through the entire castle, randomly taking pictures in the dark to see what may come out. We never expected to see anything so amazing and clear, and have now absolutely no scepticism left as to whether or not there is anything in the castle. It is always easy to dismiss pictures other people have taken that proclaim to be evidence of the supernatural, but when you take the photograph yourself and are sure of the surroundings and the lack of possible other scientific causes or explanations, it is much more convincing and mind changing – and it’s particularly worth noting that we were non-believers prior to our stay.
We had an absolutely incredible stay overall, with just a few things that we thought would have made it an even better experience. We booked the upper room, thinking that it was the nicest room, and also expecting that to be the room that Sabina had locked herself in, according to the material on the website, but also particularly because of the photograph in the gallery on the website which showed a spectacular view from this room. It was disappointing however that this is the view from the bathroom - we considered this very misleading, as not only is the window so small that one would hardly describe it as "the view from the room" but also, the view is from the bathroom, not the room. The bathroom facilities in the upper room are very dated with no proper shower in the bathroom, and the water pressure for the mixer head was really poor. The pipes connected to this bathroom are the most unusual we have ever heard and seem to have phases of extremely lengthy and noisy circulation/re-filling after only very minimal use - this didn't bother us much as we were only ones there but it would be very annoying with a larger number of guests. There was no source of light in the bedroom apart from two table lamps, one of which was not working. Again it did not bother us as it was light until 23:00, but had we been there for a few days or during the winter, it would have been an issue with getting ready to go out at night, etc. Also concerning was the fact that the light was not working on the landing outside the bedroom, leaving a large part of the stairway in darkness to ascend and descend. The upper room also had less character than what you would expect, considering all that the rest of the castle has to offer (although it is still an attractive room), and from the photos on the website. All in all, the upper room doesn't live up to the rest of the castle or the price - mainly due to the bathroom.
We would much have preferred the lower room with the funky bathroom and the better view (somehow, despite being lower) and especially because of the fact that it was Sabina's room, had we known this in advance when booking it. This bedroom has an awesome feel to it but it’s let down somewhat we thought by the modern four poster pine bed which looks out of place, as does the concealed, overly-bright fluorescent lighting, which is really cool but again, out of place in that room and just a little too harsh. Softer concealed lighting would make this room look completely amazing, as would be the case in the other rooms where concealed fluorescent box lighting has been installed.
We thought all of the bedrooms could use more of the oddities and quirky antiques from the rest of castle, particularly in the downstairs rooms which feel too modern compared to the rest of the decor. As previously mentioned, we were so lucky to have the entire castle all to ourselves and were able to appreciate and spend time in all the living rooms but feel that if we had been there along with a larger separate group for the first time, it would have been difficult for us to experience all that the castle had to offer, due to communal rooms being occupied. This is why we feel it would be good to have quirks in all the bedrooms to help them live up to the same atmosphere as the rest of the castle. However, we know the castle caters for large groups on a regular basis so can understand this is not as important as there are the quirks in the communal rooms.
The main doorway of the building does not live up to what lies within, and is much too modern. It put us in mind of a school or a youth hostel because of its bland, painted, red panel and large, glazed windows. It detracts entirely from the presence of the tower, particularly as it is the first thing you see on arrival. It’s such an important part of the building which is why we felt it was so noticeable and worth mentioning. The castle would benefit so much from a more period-style entryway.
We would have to say though that overall the positives hugely outweighed the negatives, and we would very strongly recommend staying at Ross Castle to anyone interested in the supernatural, or to anyone who is in the area – unless they are of a nervous disposition!!!
We wanted to leave a very detailed review as we had such an amazing time, and felt the castle deserves it. The points that we feel could be improved are all quite minor, but would have a large impact, certainly for us, and we feel for others. It is certainly not intended to sound negative and hope it is not taken that way! Thanks again so much to Benita and family for the unforgettable experience, and we hope we will see you again soon!
Bert & Ally
Bert & Ally Bruce
I want to express how much I enjoy bringing people to Ross Castle. I always bring my group here the first day after we land at Dublin Airport. We are always met by owners and treated like we were the Lords and Ladies of the Castle. To be part of the history and the views are wonerful. The evening meal we have is great and to be sitted in the great hall is great. I will bring every group I can to Ross Castle
Middleton, Wisconsin USA
Amy and I had a wonderful time during our stay at Ross Castle. Beautiful scenery, fascinating history, warm hospitality and delicious food. We loved it.
My brother, niece and I stayed in the tower. We rented both rooms out (lower and upper) I was alone in the upper tower and must say fell asleep just fine. However, I woke up at 5 am and told myself to go back to bed.
Around 6 ish am I had this dream of my bed shaking. (it really felt real) I tired to screem and nothing would come out of my mouth. It lasted for about 2-3 min. I flet as if I could not move. After that, I could not go back to sleep, but laid in bed thinking I dreamed the whole experience. I did hear foot steeps in the tower, very lightly, so I figured my brother or niece was walking down or up the tower.
Later around 8 ish, I walked down the tower to the lower level and saw that my brother was just waking up. He asked how I slept and I said, ok. He followed me down stairs and we sat in the sitting area. I shared my dream with him and he said "This is strange" I dreamed that the tower was falling apart and I was trying to run up the tower to get you, but I could not move. He also said he heard movement in my room and thought it was me. (While I was scared in my bed)
We had a once in a lifetime experience and we have stories to tell, however, I will not go back. Sometimes things cannot be explained!
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"What a wonderful time we've had at Ross Castle."
G+P M.,Idaho, USA, Oct 2011
"Had a really lovely stay. The food was very nice and castle was so authentic and beautiful."
Louise R, Belfast, Nov 2011
"Beautiful scenery, fascinating history, warm hospitality, delicious food, magical!"
S. Fisher, California, USA , Sept. 2011
"Wonderful Castle with great fee; breakfast was excellent; will recommend to friends."
Sandy, Australia Sept 2011