Fodor's Expert Review Abbeyglen Castle Hotel

Sky Rd., Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Creeper covered, as if under a Sleeping Beauty spell, the gorgeous Victorian castle-manor of Abbeyglen sits framed by towering trees on a height above Clifden town—if time hasn't completely stopped here, it has certainly slowed down, but that's just the way the relaxed guests want it. Surrounded by gardens with waterfalls and streams, Abbeyglen was built in 1832 by John D'Arcy, the founder of Clifden. Inside, guest rooms vary in size and design, some with wooden floors, some with gas fireplaces, some with four-poster beds. Insist on a front room when booking if you enjoy great views. Even though it's a castle, it is also a fun place to stay, owned by the famously hospitable Hughes brothers, Paul and Brian. Complimentary afternoon tea is served in the bar, effortlessly giving way to evening drinks, and later the piano player strikes up. Beware Froda the parrot, who has the run of reception: she wolf-whistles, but she also bites.

PROS

  • complimentary tea and scones
  • pleasantly homey rather than luxurious
  • nice old-fashioned touches, like real room keys

CONS

  • uphill walk back from Clifden
  • more of a manor house than a castle
  • not a romantic hideaway: guests are expected to mingle

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Views
Lively
Countryside
Local Flavor
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 095-21201

HOTEL DETAILS

42 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed Jan. and Feb.
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