I stayed in many castles in Europe (Clytha, Comlongon, Muckrach, Ehrenburg, Gutenfels and many more), but this one was the nicest. It has a very authentic atmosphere, while offering modern amenities. Elaine, the local host is great! Such a talented lady with a huge knowledge of the Celtic history. The location us great. As a bonus we got the best weather Ireland offered in the last decade. Would come back any time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ’Medieval Splendour in The Heart of The Burren’, this is a 500 year old Gaelic Tower House in Co. Clare Ballyportry sleeps eight guests comfortably. It has six bedrooms with four double beds. There are two large doubles, including a king-size heated waterbed in the master bedroom on the first floor and two small single bedrooms, with two beds in each.To cross the threshold at Ballyportry is to step back in time 500 years. Protected by an outer wall or bawn, this Gaelic tower house rises 90 feet from turf to battlement. It is an authentic restoration, evoking medieval Ireland at a turbulent time when allegiance was not so much to a sovereign, as to a family, and a man’s home was truly his castle. Renovated without compromising its integrity, Ballyportry offers the convenience of a modern house, within the protective walls of an ancient fortress. Here you can experience the comfort, and solace of an open hearth, and the distinctive smell of a turf fire. See brilliant sunsets and dazzling rainbows from the battlements, or simply savor the quiet serenity of rural Ireland. There are three stone bathrooms, one on the ground floor, a full bath with shower off the master bedroom, and a bath with shower for the second and third bedrooms. Recessed into the window nook of the master bedroom is a deep, hand-carved stone tub (wide enough for two) which once was a horse trough on a local estate. The fridge freezer and dishwasher and a large six burner gas range for cooking are the 21st-century contributions to comfortable rustic living. The under floor heating and the thick limestone walls retain the heat well. The 6 floored Tower House is furnished in an authentic way using fabrics in keeping with the late 15th century. The sheets and pillowcases are of linen, and wool blankets from Co. Tipperary complete the dressing of the beds. All the furnishings reflect the time of late medieval Ireland, a time of hospitality, song, and poetry in Gaelic Tower Houses. To this end the best of craftsmanship is used through out in the ongoing process of furnishing the five hundred year old Gaelic Tower House. From the entrance a stone spiral steps leads up to the other rooms. At the top of the Tower House is the impressive Great Hall with exposed oak roof trusses, an open fireplace, couches and a table for dining. There is a second kitchen with dishwasher, fridge and electric cooker that serves the Great Hall. The narrow stone windows are built to capitalise upon light in ways that have been forgotten. Full moons are to be savored from the battlements, as are August mists over the stream, and bog lakes below. Guests may imbibe the clear air, and stillness, as they gaze from the battlements, particularly on starry nights. Dinner is consumed in an atmosphere of lofty leisure which permeates the elegance of the Great Hall and its open hearth turf fire. The geography of the building takes a bit of getting used to, and one has to be careful on the curving stone stairs, but the feeling of discovering another time, and place more than compensates for any adjustments you have to make in the tower house. Residing within the thick stone walls is a bit like being on a boat – you are cocooned from the outside world. It is actually very comfortable, and great for a relaxed break from the stress of contemporary life. Please note that the wonderful curving late medieval stone staircase may not suit small children or those with walking disabilities. Along with the guest WC on ground floor level there are two bath rooms. While the water supply will cope with several showers at a time, guests may need to stagger the times of ablutions! ... more less