With structures that date back to the 11th and 16th centuries, and now one of Ireland's grandest hotels, Dromoland bristles with towers rising up over a picture-perfect lake like a storybook illustration from King Arthur. A massive neo-Gothic castle, it was, in fact, the ancestral home of the O'Briens, descendants of Brian Bórú, High King of Ireland. Inside, Dromoland provides all the creature comforts any king would expect: oak paneling, ancestral portraits, crystal chandeliers, and Irish-Georgian antiques. Bedrooms (suites, in fact) in the main wing are the most elaborate, with four-poster beds and genuine Hepplewhite armoires. Guest rooms in the newer wings are also quite luxurious, with heavy drapes, and sofas piled with plump cushions. Rooms with a lake view are the most sought after. Imagine more leisurely days gone by with an elegant afternoon tea in the gallery (€24, €36 with champagne). For dining, the Fig Tree Restaurant in the golf clubhouse offers a casual option while the neo-Gothic, oak-wainscoted Earl of Thomond Restaurant is the place for a chandeliered European feast. For activities, the 450-acre estate offers a golf course, tennis, fishing, spa, falconry, and woodlands perfect for jogging and cycling.