We stayed one night at Barberstown Castle as part of a wedding party. The hotel had several wings. We did not have time to explore the entire hotel, but the parts we saw were well-maintained and clean. The foyer was large and spacious. We found the reception staff to be very attentive. Our room was off a spacious corridor that lay to the left of the reception desk. We were given a large old fashioned key for our room. Though we only had a small suitcase, the receptionist summoned a bell hop (he said he was from the Czech Republic) to take it to our room. The room was large and comfortably furnished in faux period decor - large four poster bed with canopy, porcelain bathroom fixtures with stencilling, heavy curtains, a large, roomy armoire with doors and drawers that were hard to open, and a nice-sized writing desk in one corner of the room. In another corner, there was a flat screen TV!
The hotel had advertised free Wi-Fi in the rooms and on the property. In order to activate the WiFi, we had to obtain a password from the front desk. This turned out to be more difficult than we anticipated. Eventually, the receptionist flagged down a passing manager (later, we learned that he had been rushing off to organize the wedding reception) who helped us set it up. With the Wi-Fi in place, we were able to enjoy our surroundings. The word 'Castle' conjures up images of moats, keeps, dungeons. We found none of this in Barberstown Castle (though perhaps they were there and we did not see them !). The ambiance was that of a Victorian or Edwardian manor house.
To attend the reception, we had to go out of the front door of the hotel and follow signs to the banquet hall, a short distance away. The walk was very pleasant since it was a sunny day (we probably would have viewed it differently if it had been raining). The banqut hall seemed to be the older part of the castle - stone floors and a bar area that could have been a dungeon. The wedding reception was a wonderful event that went on late into the night.
The next morning, we had FIBs (Full Irish Breakfast - eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, fried tomatos, baked beans, hot buttered toast) in the hotel dining rooms. To get there, we had to leave the spacious foyer and walk through narrow corridors. The dining rooms were not as sumptuous as the banquet hall but there were long tables heaped with plates of fruit, breads, cheeses, etc. The sight of the FIBs - made to order and brought to our table - brought on fleeting (very!) pangs of guilt about the cholesterol-laden fare; then we rationalized that FIBs are an essential part of the Irish wedding experience, and savoured them with great enjoyment.
The weather was splendid that morning. We caught a glimpse of the beatiful gardens and ground and would have loved to linger on. But, alas, we had to return to Dublin.Maybe, next time, we'll stay for a longer period and explore the Castle and the surrounding area.
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- Also Known As:
- Barberstown Castle Hotel Straffan
- Barberstown Castle Ireland/Straffan