Just outside Celbridge in Co. Kildare, this is a quiet place to stay and it fairly close to bus and train routes to Dublin but you will need a car if you intend to leave the castle.
First of all the facilities and staff are excellent. We stayed one night and had dinner. The food was very good and the bedroom and bathroom were both warm and very comfortable. The staff were very friendly and helpful the whole time we were there. We had a four poster bed which was very nice and there was fast wifi internet in the room and a flat-screen TV. Oddly there was no fridge/mini-bar.
There is a very definite sense of history here and the rooms are named after historical figures that stayed there through the years and on the way to the restaurant there is a list of many of the more contemporary celebs who have stayed.
The food is mixed value over all, the quality is very good but two scones with jam and cream will cost you €6.50 and a coffee, €3,50 but breakfast and dinner were included in our package. The breakfast was very good but again, I've had better (I had the Irish breakfast/fry) and again the service as excellent.
The bar area is comfortable but very small and there was a guitar player and fiddler playing while we were there who were pretty amazing. Oddly there was only Guinness and Heineken on tap but there seemed to be a plethora of spirits. The wine we had with dinner was excellent.
The minuses are that there isn't much to do at the castle itself and there were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room or fridge. I detected a somewhat anti-family sentiment while there (I don't have kids but even I picked up on the 'kids under 12 should be quiet and monitored at all times' bit). It's a bit dear overall for what you're getting. I wanted to give it a 3.5 star rating but you can't do half stars so three it is, take from that what you will.
Separately and somewhat less reliably (seeing as I couldn't/didn't walk through the area myself) - the castle won best Irish wedding castle venue. Now I'm sure you'd have to attend a wedding there but I just don't see it. The banquet hall doesn't seem like the bride and groom would be able to see everyone as the hall seems L shaped and narrow. Anyways, could be wrong about that.
Overall - very quiet and comfortable and good food but not really worth what you are paying.
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- Also Known As:
- Barberstown Castle Hotel Straffan
- Barberstown Castle Ireland/Straffan, County Kildare