Not only does this fairy-tale castle come with an 800-year history, its own 310-acre island, a private ferry, and a highly rated 18-hole golf course, it also caters to lucky guests with the best of Irish service and the grandest of Irish style. Back in Norman times, the Kfyeralds built a keep here and over the centuries—as their name became Fitzgerald, "kings of Ireland in all but name"—they expanded, adding two Elizabethan-style wings in the 17th century, fitting them out with rooftop gargoyles brought from Castle Irwell in Manchester. Today, the air of exclusivity lingers as the private ferry picks you up on the shores of the River Suir, and heightens with one step inside the Great Hall, a magnificent faux-baronial room in Portland stone hung with medieval tapestries. Most guest rooms are exquisitely done in real country-house style, some with canopied beds, chintz armchairs, and dark mahogany furniture. Downstairs, dine in style in the luxurious Munster Dining Room.
The Island, 2 km (1 mile) south of Waterford, Ballinakill, Co. Waterford, Ireland