Have you ever wanted to stay in a castle in Ireland? Are kings, queens, knights, and dragons the stuff your dreams are made of? At Ballintotis Castle in Castlemartyr you can indeed stay in a castle in Ireland! Step back in time in this old and ancient castle tower and play king or queen for a day at one of the most fanciful secret escapes Ireland has to offer!
You’ll think you’ve been transported to another time and place when you enter this magical 16th century gem. So place that crown where it belongs, put your feet up, relax, and soak up every last regal moment in your own fortress tower.
Where is Ballintotis Castle located?
If your looking for luxurious accommodation look elsewhere. A hidden gem, Ballintotis Ireland castle accommodations is located in a somewhat unique setting in that it is in a secluded area of the Irish countryside and you’ll have exclusive access to this rustic castle!
Getting to the castle
Located in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, the closest airport is in Cork City but if your looking at coming from the Shannon Airport in County Clare it’s just a two hour drive away. The Dublin Airport is almost 3 hours away by car.
You will want a car because there is nothing within walking distance, or get dropped off for a couple of days but make sure you bring everything you’ll need for your stay.
the cost of this castle Ireland stay:
If you’re on a budget, then Ballintotis is a great option! It’s one of the most inexpensive castles to stay in in Ireland! Have his authentic, magically rustic old 16th-century castle all to yourself for under $150 per night?!!!! a great option for the budget minded.
For two nights, I got to be co-queen of this cozy castle, and it was magical and wonderfully FANTASTIC. My husband, sister-in-law, and I split costs. Our cost per person was just $42 per night making it one of the best value secret escapes that Ireland has to offer! Ballintotis Castle can be booked on airbnb. Note: as of May 18, 2022 the link to book Ballintotis Castle arbnb rental is not active. I am attempting to contact the castle for updated information. Please continue to check back and I will update information whenever possible. In the meantime take a few minute to get to know this very special castle rental.
Many places like this require a several night booking so if you only have a short break Ballintotis is perfect because they book by the night.
Ballintotis Castle, Co. Cork, Ireland
The castle Ireland stay interior:
Fancy Irish castle hotel stays are popular but at Ballintotis you have the whole castle to yourself! So if your looking instead for a rustic retreat then you’ve come to one of the best castles for overnight guests!
These thick stone walls emit a strong presence of generations who roamed these rooms long ago.
To really add to the authentic experience the castle is furnished with antique furniture. The castle tower has 3 floors and a open area with a great view of the Irish countryside! Guest rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
I haven’t been able to find much on the history of this castle but ask Maureen. I’m sure she would be happy to give you the rundown of the castle history.
The first floor:
On the first floor you’ll find a very small drawing room a dining table and an area to store your luggage. The second floor has a master-bedroom, with a bathtub and tiny bathroom. The third level of the castle has a common area with a kitchenette, another bathroom, and a bed. Head up one more flight of stairs to the top of the castle, and there you’ll find an open sitting area where you’ll be treated to views of miles of the lush green Irish landscape surrounding the castle.
Lords, Ladies, Kings and Queens, you may now enter the castle…….the only entry into the castle
The master bedroom in the castle: A bedroom fit for a King…or Queen!
Love four-poster beds? There’s a gorgeous old four-poster bed in the master-bedroom (a great place to relax!), plenty of candles for creating a cozy atmosphere, and a heater you’ll be able to set to your comfort level. The bedroom window is tiny, just big enough for an archer to lowers his arrow to protect the castle from an attack!
a word of caution:
It’s not a hot tub, but the tub is perfect for soaking and is quite unique. We made the mistake of filling the tub too full. Water leaked through the floor, soaked everything in my suitcase down below, as well as the electrical box! yikes! (Maureen and her husband, the castle caretakers who live across the road, are very helpful. If you need anything at all they’ll be there to assist)
The third floor of the castle:
The third floor of the castle has a living area with a skylight, dining room slab type bed and another tiny bathroom (walled off from the rest of the living space with a door.)
attention to detail in the castle:
The charming little details in the castle really add to the immersive experience. Everything seems so old!
If you’re looking for a medieval castles overnight stay: Just short of meeting the medieval definition, with its history dating back only to the 16th century the castle still gives the feeling of the medieval era and if that’s what you like (I know I do!) then you will not be disappointed!
The stairs….let’s not forget those stairs.
Those wonderful, crooked, ancient looking…please don’t break your neck, stairs. WARNING: as you can see in the photos, the stairs in this castle are treacherous. The first set of steps are not bad, but the flights get progressively worse as you go up.
the outside is quite nice too!
This castle is just as nice outside as it is inside. I promise you will not be disappointed!
the top of the castle: panoramic views!
Up up up and out! if you head all the way up the stairs you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the oh so green Irish countryside that surrounds the castle. My husband and his sister were particularly fond of the spectacular views from the top…and who could blame them! It’s the perfect little secret place for watching the sun rise and set! and one of the best places in the whole castle!
The view from up top! Photo credit, Angela Marie Kunze.
does the castle have free wi-fi?
What’s missing? flat-screen tvs, elegant rooms and wi-fi! leave the world behind and take the opportunity to relax and unplug.
Take a country stroll on Ballintotis walking trail.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, the walking trail, with direct access form the castle, does a short loop around the castle. It is the perfect place to take a stroll through this wonderfully remote piece of the Irish countryside. THIS is the Ireland I came for! Fresh air, nature, and the astonishingly beautiful places around the Emerald Isle….the green, so much green!
video of the inside and outside of the castle
(Thank you to Angela Marie Kunze for sharing this video of Ballintotis Castle with us.)
how I spent my time as queen of the castle
On day two, my travel companions headed to Cork for the day leaving me as the lone occupant of the castle! I walked the trail for a second time and explored the country roads a little. I had a mini spa-day…took a long bubble bath, deep conditioned my hair, lit all the candles, and headed to the four-poster bed with a book. I read, I napped, read some more, napped…you get the picture. It was a blissful day.
We picked up some pretty good Chinese food in Midleton. The Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store, also in Midleton, is a good place for picnic items to take back to the castle (sandwiches, soups, baked goods.) Just a short drive away is the Hunted Hog traditional Irish Pub in Castlemartyr. They serve up decent pub food in a lively atmosphere. It was full of locals watching the soccer game. Does it get anymore Irish than that?
Of your looking for fine dining options you will likely need to drive to Cork.
We dropped our dirty laundry off at the Laundry Locker in Midleton for full laundry service (3.5 miles from the castle), and picked it up the next day washed, dried, and folded! And for only 12 euros per person! This allowed us to pack lighter, and we didn’t have to spend our precious vacation time doing laundry, win/win.
Of interest in the area:
Ballintotis Castle is located 17 miles from Cork City, and 15 miles from Cobh.
The Jameson Distillery, located in Midleton, offers tours and whiskey tasting experiences.
- Midleton Park Hotel offers afternoon tea service.
My husband enjoyed Golfing at Fota Island Golf Course, just 10 miles from the castle.
Cork city West Cork is just 17 miles from the castle, is the 2nd largest city in Ireland. the closest tennis courts open to the public: Garryduff Sports Centre. Cork has an 18-hole championship golf course: Bantry Bay Golf Club. The closest indoor pool: Fermoy Leisure Centre indoor swimming pool. Horseback riding: Hop Island Equestrian Center offers horse riding opportunities.
The Blarney Castle and Rock are just 22 miles from the castle.
Cobh (pronounced Cove), the 2nd largest natural harbor in the world, is just 14 miles from the castle. Formerly known as Queenstown, the Titanic made its final fateful stop here. Check out the Cobh Heritage Centre- The Queenstown Story (the story of Irish Immigration) and the Titanic Experience Museum a fun interactive experience. See Cobh’s travel site for various boating excursion options, and much more! and look at the view! For more information check out XYUandbeyond’s guide to Cobh: Things to do in Cobh
If your willing to drive a little further:
- Your just a 45 minute drive from Kinsale where you can begin a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Our next stop after leaving the castle was Dingle, County Kerry!
- Just a 1 hour drive from the castle is the Rock of Cashel, where Irelands High Kings, including the great Brian Boru ruled.
More Ireland castle accommodations options?
If you are searching for more Ireland castle accommodations options, there are castles for rent all over the Ireland. You can find the best castle hotels ( You’ll even finds some luxury travel castle stays/ luxury castle hotels) on these sites:
(All have map views so you can easily find something if you already have your itinerary set, like we did.)
Airbnb is my favorite option for the most castle stay choices and best prices on castle stays for small parties. They have a castle filter option under “unique stays.”
Celtic Castles, has options for groups of 7-250!
Castlerental.net is another option for booking a castle stay.
Looking for more unique and fantastic Ireland travel ideas?
Be sure to check out Skellig Island excursion, where there’s a stairway to heaven and the remnants of an ancient monk colony at the top!