CASTLE DURROW (Co. Laois)
Castle Durrow
by Aleksandr Siling
Castle Durrow is a mansion house that has been converted into a hotel but still preserves the heritage and history that is a part of the building.

When the transformation of Castle Durrow was taking place, special attention was given to the bedrooms to ensure that it retained its architectural features but at the same time was comfortable for guests to enjoy all of the benefits of a modern luxury hotel.

Guests who have stayed at Castle Durrow have been very impressed with the ambience and overall facilities of the hotel, especially the attention to detail and the customer service they experienced throughout their stay.

The restaurant has a relaxed setting to it and a very informal environment. The menu is changed on a weekly basis and weekly specials are determined by the locally sourced fish and poultry.
Castle Durrow is located right in the heart of Ireland
ESSENTIALS
Historic
The castle was built between 1712 and 1715 and was known as the Barons Castle Durrow and Viscounts Ashbrook and was owned by the Flower family. The head of the Flower family was Colonel William Flower who oversaw the construction and moved his family into the castle in 1716.
Boutique
Owner Shelly Stokes paid special attention to all of the bedrooms to furnish and create an atmosphere that was special and at the same time retained a touch of home.
Garden
The gardens are massive and a great place to admire nature and its beauty.
Stylish
When the transformation of Castle Durrow was taking place, special attention was given to the bedrooms to ensure that it retained its architectural features but at the same time was modern and comfortable.
Hotel Overview
Castle Durrow located in Durrow, Laois, Ireland is one of the most popular stops for both locals and tourists as it is unique in every sense of the word. Castle Durrow is a mansion house that has been converted into a hotel but still retains the heritage and history that is a part of the building.
Ranked Within The Top 10 Castle Hotels In The World
Tripadvisor rated Castle Durrow in 2015 to be amongst the top 10 castle hotels in the world and a prominent UK website also published the article.

Castle Durrow is around a 2 hour drive from the city of Dublin and is easy to find as the hotel is extremely popular and hard to miss. The country house was built by an Anglo-Irish family in the 18th century and is one of the few mansions that have its building records intact and proof of its history. The house was acquired by Peter and Shelley Stokes in 1998 who decided to transform the mansion and turn it into a luxury hotel.

Since then Castle Durrow has been extremely well maintained to ensure that it still retains its old Irish feel and heritage but at the same time has been given a makeover to ensure that it provides guests with the best amenities and services possible in the 21st century.
Should I Stay at Castle Durrow?
The hotel is suitable for all kinds of travellers and offers a variety of accommodation depending on whether it is a couple, family or a group of friends. There are a number of rooms to choose from including the Castle Yard Rooms, the special Master Rooms, the two bed-roomed family rooms, the de-luxe bedrooms located in the East Wing and the Oriental Style bedrooms located at the top of the house. Guests can also opt to book their rooms with breakfast and also dinner and breakfast to ensure that they get the best possible discounts.

The Hotel also runs a number of promotions on a regular basis such as mid-week escapes, weekend getaways and dinner, bed & breakfast packages for couples. The prices generally start at €195 per couple inclusive of breakfast and a 10% discount coupon at the spa is also provided as part of the package.

Guests who have stayed at Castle Durrow have been very impressed with the ambience and overall facilities of the hotel, especially the attention to detail and the customer service they experienced throughout their stay.
ROOMS & SUITES
When the transformation of Castle Durrow was taking place, special attention was given to the bedrooms to ensure that it retained its architectural features but at the same time was modern and comfortable for guests to enjoy all of the benefits of the 21st century. Owner Shelly Stokes paid special attention to all of the bedrooms to furnish and create an atmosphere that was special and at the same time retained a touch of home.

Oriental Style Bedrooms. These bedrooms are located at the top of the house and have an oriental theme making it ideal for travellers who want to a feel of the Orient.

Now that’s a royal bed ????

Публикация от Daniel Gómez (@dani_gomezdp)

Castle Yard Rooms. These rooms give guests a great view of the castle grounds and gardens and are extremely quiet and peaceful. Guests who are looking for some quiet time to spend writing or meditating will enjoy these rooms.

Family Rooms. These two-bedroomed rooms are typical for families of four plus with the kids in one room and the adults in the other. The family rooms are elegant, spacious and the décor shows the attention to detail that the owners have put into the place.

Master Rooms. These rooms are great for couples looking to spend some quality time together or newly married couples looking to spend their honeymoon at Castle Durrow. None of the rooms in Castle Durrow including the Master Rooms have minibars, tea or coffee making facilities. The owners deliberately decided to omit these facilities from the rooms so that guests will spend more time out of their rooms than within their rooms.
De Luxe Bedrooms. These rooms are located in the East Wing of Castle Durrow and are spacious yet cosy and is furnished with antique furniture.

The tariff for a night at Castle Durrow starts at around £80 and goes up depending on whether you add breakfast and dinner to the package. Guests can headover to the Tiffany room which is a private dining room to enjoy the delicious meals that Castle Durrow's restaurant serves up. There is also a playroom for kids designed with a modern theme to it, to keep the little ones interested while the adults spend some time at the drawing room or take a walk around the gardens.
Hotels in Co. Laois
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Location
The small town of Durrow is located in the south-east part of County Laois, Ireland. In 2008, Durrow celebrated 300 years and many local events were organized to celebrate the history and culture of Durrow.

The weather is chilly most of the year in Durrow and can get really cold in November and December. There is not a lot of rain around and locals say that Durrow is one of the warmest locations in Ireland during the summer and one of the coldest during the winter.
The National Transport Authority has authorized M & A Coaches to operate route 828 from Monday to Saturday to and from Portlaoise via Abbeyleix twice a day and once a day to and from Johnstown, County Kilkenny via Cullohill.

Durrow has been receiving a lot of attention and an increase of tourism due to its popular Scarecrow festival which takes place in July every year. The festival revolves around who can make the best scarecrow and participants have come in from all over Ireland and the festival was nominated in the Irish Times Ticket Awards for the 'Best Festival of 2012 and 2013′.

Some weird craic to be had down the sticks

Публикация от Nemoy Lenny (@nemoylenny)

History
The castle was built between 1712 and 1715 and was known as the Barons Castle Durrow and Viscounts Ashbrook and was owned by the Flower family. The head of the Flower family was Colonel William Flower who oversaw the construction and moved his family into the house in 1716. The Flower family would own the mansion for a period of 216 years and during this time made a number of additions to the buildings at the grounds. The family had a great reputation in Durrow and were once the largest employers in Durrow.

Due to unpaid debt, the Banks foreclosed on the house in 1922 and the Flower family were forced to relocate to Britain. Mr. Maher of Freshford, Co Kilkenny bought the house from the banks and his sole interest appeared to be to plunder the vast lumber available at the mansion. The lumber reserves at Castle Durrow quickly depleted and by 1928 the Land Commission decided to get involved and take over the management of the property and handover the wooded section of the property to the Forestry Department.

The Bank of Ireland would eventually take over the property and manage things for close to forty years before the Parish of Durrow with the blessing of the Bishop acquired the property for £1800 and the property was converted into St Fintan's College and Convent and a school.

The current owners are Peter and Shelley Stokes who transformed the entire property into the beautiful Castle Durrow that is now part of the top 10 castle hotels in the world.

#castledurrow

Публикация от Andy Walsh (@walkingdurrow)

County Laois
County Laois was earlier called as Queen's county and is a part of the Midlands Region and is situated in the province of Leinster. The Laois County Council is recognized as the local authority of the county and Durrow is one of the main attractions in County Laois along with Castle Durrow.

County Laois has been gaining popularity with every passing year as the number of domestic and international tourists continue to grow. Some of the popular attractions in County Laois include the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Emo Court, Castle Durrow, Rock of Dunamase, Mountmellick Quaker Museum and Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise.
Things To Do
Castle Durrow is the perfect setting for one to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and withdraw to experience some quality relaxation time and enjoy the pristine environment of the country side.

Guests who would like to see Durrow and County Laois can arrange sightseeing tours and visit some of the most popular tourist locations such as the Rock of Dunamase, Timahoe village, Slieve Bloom Mountains and Heywood gardens.

Guests who would like a little adventure can head over to the Laois Kayak & Canoe Club or the Woodenbridge Paddlers Canoe Club.
FOOD & DRINK
The Restaurant has a relaxed setting to it and a very informal environment. Guests will have a great view of the castle ground and can enjoy the delicacies of a modern country house. The restaurant procures its meats from local producers while veggies and herbs are grown harvested from the gardens.

Afternoon tea of a Friday ☕️???? #castledurrow #afternoontea #ladiesofleisure #notions

Публикация от Niamh (@mcguirk91)

The restaurant offers a breakfast buffet consisting of cereals, fruits, fish and smoked meats. The tower cooked breakfast is also extremely popular with the guests and is a perfect way for guests to start their day in the country side.

The Manor House is where guests need to head to for lunch and dinner and can seat up to 50 guests. There is also a special room available for guests who want to hold business lunches or private dinners and can seat up to 16 guests.

The restaurant changes its menu on a weekly basis and weekly specials are determined by the locally sourced fish and poultry. There is also a wide selection of wines to choose from.
The hotel serves up a special three course Sunday lunch. Some of the popular dishes featured on the Sunday buffet menu include Castle Durrow chowder, fish cakes, chicken liver pate, shredded smoked chicken, a special soup of the day with homemade brown bread, roast striploin of Hereford Irish beef, grilled organic salmon, braised lamb shank and a pasta of the day. Desserts include a homemade chocolate brownie, meringue nest and a selection of farmhouse ice creams.

The Stokes family also run another restaurant in County Laois and know a thing or two about serving up excellent food that keeps you coming back for more.

Guests, who are looking to host their wedding reception at Castle Durrow, can contact the owners to have a meeting and discuss the menu, sample the cuisine and ensure that guests at the reception have a fabulous spread to choose from.

#theduffysatdurrow The best wedding meal in history! ????

Публикация от lauren_sw (@lauren22_sw)

CONFERENCES
A number of business meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops take place at Castle Durrow as many corporations and businesses prefer to move away from the city and take their meetings over to Castle Durrow.

The quietness of the country side removes a lot of stress from the participants and the excellent conference facilities and amenities provided by Castle Durrow ensure that these meets take place with the highest of standards.

For large conferences and workshops, there is a 160 seat auditorium available that comes with a private catering and bar area so that participants can socialize over lunch or dinner. Those looking at a smaller venue can book the Tiffany room which has all the amenities required to conduct a successful meeting. All business and conference meetings will be supported by an in-house conference co-ordinator who will assist in setting up the technical part of the program and will be on standby for real time support.

Lovely lunch back at Castle Durrow

Публикация от Paul Conway (@paulc2018)

OVERNIGHT PACKAGES
The hotel provides day and overnight packages for conference delegates that include breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.
SPA & LEISURE
Castle Durrow is not your typical hotel that has the usual swimming pool, Jacuzzi, day spa and fitness center. If you would like to stay fit, then a nice walk around the gardens enjoying the beautiful flowers and greenery is the best way to get some cardio going. The walk around Castle Durrow will take one close to an hour or even ninety minutes depending on how much time guests take to admire the garden and check out old wives tales as some have said there a few ghosts haunting the property. There is a detailed walking guide available on EveryTrail.com giving guests a complete walkthrough of the property. The website also has a few more walking guides of how to get around the town of Durrow, and there are also a number of routes on Walking Durrow.
Women who would like a bit of pampering can make an appointment at the Powder Box Beauty & Hair Salon at Castle Durrow. Although the salon is relatively small, it still offers a wide variety of treatments, massages, body wraps, facials, pedicures and manicures. The salon has a strict 48 hour cancellation policy and if an appointment is not cancelled, then guests could be charged fifty percent or even the full amount. The saloon is open seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm and late appointments are also taken.

Guests are encouraged to find out as much information as they can about the current packages on offer at Castle Durrow before they confirm their booking. Sometimes there are wine tasting sessions or special dinners hosted by Castle Durrow and if guests include them as part of their package, they will be able to have a lot more fun at the castle.

Bridesmaid ????#bridesmaidhairstyle #bohostyle #hairbyshaunalawlor #irishwedding #onefabday

Публикация от Shauna Lawlor (@hairbyshaunalawlor)

Tea Sessions
Drinking tea is a huge part of English and Irish culture and it is hard to get a better setting than drinking tea at Castle Durrow's terraces or main building for that matter. Guests, who would like to take a walking tour around the castle, can spend close to an hour going around the gardens and taking in the spectacular views. They can then head over to the terrace to enjoy a cup of tea with some biscuits, relax, soak in the beautiful surrounding before heading over to their room to shower and go see the town at night.

scon or scone ?

Публикация от Cliodhna O’Connor (@clioconnor)

WEDDING DESTINATION
Castle Durrow has hosted a number of weddings over the years and has a full list of wedding services that couples can choose from and help take the stress out of their wedding plans. The package includes a splendid banquet room that can set up to 170 guests, a late night BBQ that will help keep guests going even late at night, spectacular grounds for the newly married couple to take fantastic pictures and an exclusive wedding suite for the couple to spend their first night.
The prices are extremely reasonable and no hidden charges will be a part of the bill.

The salon also provides a special bridal package to make sure the bride is well prepared before her wedding day. The bridal package also includes treatments and hair dressing for the mother of the bride and all the bridesmaids.
If guests from the wedding party would like to stay back overnight and experience the hospitality of Castle Durrow, then special accommodation rates will be provided since they are a part of the wedding party.

The hotel website also has a list of bride and groom testimonials encouraging couples who are looking to get married, to choose Castle Durrow as their destination and allow them to create a memory that will be extra special.
REVIEWS
One of the biggest accolades that Castle Durrow received in 2015 was when Tripadvisor rated Castle Durrow in the top 10 castle hotels in the world. The rating was based on customer reviews, feedback and overall ratings.

One of the reasons why Castle Durrow is so popular and gets consistently good ratings is because the Stokes family have invested both time and money into making the castle a fantastic place for guests to stay. The Irish Examiner did a detailed cover of the hotel and paid tribute to what the Stokes have accomplished. The Stokes family were initially looking at opening a small bed and breakfast with a restaurant but had a change of heart once they saw Castle Durrow. They decided to take the plunge by selling their business in Dublin and then were fully committed to the renovation and refurnishing of Castle Durrow. The Stokes initially expected the Castle to be open within a period of 12 months but it took them a total of 4 years to complete the entire project.

The number of fantastic reviews from customers on social media and travel websites is a great tribute to the hard work and investment made by the Stokes family. Gilly W is one of these customers who posted his feedback on Yelp saying that it is hard for him to think of a nicer place to have a romantic stay.

The Castle Durrow demesne is another great place for the family to visit as both parents and kids can take a break from their modern gadgets, enjoy nature and spend some quality time.

Many guests comment on the large 4 poster beds that are available in each rooms and think it is one of the unique attributes of Castle Durrow's accommodation.

Keith and Jules Mahon from Irish online magazine TheTaste.ie wrote a review focused on the dining experience in Castle Durrow.

The walk around Castle Durrow will take one close to an hour or even ninety minutes depending on how much time guests take to admire the garden and check out old wives tales as some have said there a few ghosts haunting the property. There is a detailed walking guide available on EveryTrail.com giving guests a complete walkthrough of the property. The website also has a few more walking guides of how to get around the town of Durrow.

The gardens are massive and a great place to admire nature and its beauty. The local Laois Gardens websitesgives visitors a short review of Castle Durrow's garden and encourages visitors to have a walk behind the church graveyard and check out the burial site of the castle's original owners, the Ashbrooks.

Castle Durrow is a hotspot for weddings and the beautiful gardens and the castle creates a magical feeling. The Castle has now garnered global attention for being a great place to get married and there are numerous wedding photoshoots available online giving viewers an idea of what they can expect by getting married at Castle Durrow.

The couple living in Sydney, Australia flew into Ireland and get married at Castle Durrow.

There are a number of wedding stories about Castle Durrow online. One of these stories with lots of pictures can be found at stylemepretty.com

This wedding review also has loads of pictures at Castle Durrow from the bridal preparation, to the ceremony and the reception. There are also pictures of the Ashbrook suite which is also used as a honeymoon suite.

There are not many photos here but you can still see some great views of Castle Durrow and the preparation of the bride.

Eric Savoie is known as one of the best wedding photographers in Ireland and he posted pictures of his wedding photoshoot at Castle Durrow.

Another popular wedding photographer in Ireland is Annie Kheffache who posted pictures of her wedding shoot at Castle Durrow on her website.

While most couples get married at Castle Durrow in the summer, some are adventurous and get married during winter. Winters wedding photos can be found here.

This is gay wedding held at Castle Durrow.
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