Episode 3


By Emily Cappiello

Whether you’re looking for a little luck of the Irish or just want to explore a new place, Ireland is chock-full of history, culture, amazing sights, and authentic eats. But, the country is also home to some pretty unique places where you can hang your hat at night. Places exclusive to Ireland.

So, instead of making hotel reservations, check out some of the most unique places you can stay throughout the country from castles to a lighthouse.

Ballyhannon Castle, County Clare

A medieval Irish castle that dates back to the fifteenth century, this is the perfect choice for a big group—or just someone obsessed with Harry Potter. The castle, which can sleep up to twenty-five comfortably, is like stepping back in time with its bespoke details. These include a winding spiral stone staircase, oak-beamed ceilings, and flagstone floors. However, the castle has been updated with a few important amenities, like heat and televisions.

Temple Bar Lane, Dublin

You don’t go to Dublin to relax, that’s for sure. So, immerse yourself in the local culture and nightlife with accommodations that put you in the thick of it at Temple Bar Lane. Down the street from the famous Temple Bar, the plush and uniquely decorated rooms are designed to be stylish and affordable. It may get rowdy in the evening, but it’s the perfect place to take in a bit of Irish city life. Trinity College, Grafton Street, Dublin Castle, and Christchurch Cathedral are all within walking distance.

The Lost Cottage, County Kerry

Affordable luxury with outstanding views is the name of the game at the Lost Cottage in Kerry. Standing on eighty-five sprawling acres of land in County Kerry, the cottage is both stylish and charming. It sleeps up to four guests and allows for up to two well-behaved dogs. And if that’s not enough, the owners have spent time putting together a house book, filled with must-do activities that are close to the home.

St. John’s Point Lighthouse, Killough, County Down

This is the perfect way to disconnect to reconnect. No Wi-Fi and no television, the scenery is meant to entertain and inspire you. This unique stay sleeps four and is child-friendly, and guests have a choice between two lightkeepers’ cottages, either JP Ketch or JP Sloop. While it may seem like a feat to live without modern luxuries, you’ll be glad you did.

Finn Lough Bubble Domes, County Fermanagh

With stunning all-around views of the forest as well as the night sky, the Finn Lough Bubble Domes are a glamping opportunity you shouldn’t miss. The domes allow you to absorb the quiet and tranquility of the surrounding nature, but they also have stunning, upscale touches to make the experience completely relaxing. Fluffy robes, daily breakfast, comfortable bedding and furniture, and a Nespresso coffee machine make it almost impossible to ever have to leave—and you probably won’t want to, either.

If a dome isn’t your thing, you can opt for waterside cabins, catered suites, or lakeside lodges in the same location.

Most Unique Places to Stay in Ireland

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

If luxury is your thing, the Merchant Hotel is for you. Rooms stocked with velvet throws, silk curtains, and an expansive spa menu do not downplay the building’s history. The former headquarters of Ulster Bank, the Merchant Hotel is still an ode to High Victorian Architecture. And don’t skip on a dip in the hot tub. The views from this amenity are not only a once-in-a-lifetime view, but make for Instagram gold.

Helen’s Tower, County Down

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay that’s adults-only, Helen’s Tower is just the spot. The tower has one bedroom, but that’s the last place you’ll be. From taking in the expansive views on the rooftop terrace to sipping tea (or a cocktail!) in the Tower’s open fire sitting room, this will be an adventure that you and your travel companion won’t soon forget. A reading room and a stunning spiral stone staircase just enhance the period feel.

As a seasoned traveler, I know that I am always looking for a unique experience that I will never have again. A memory I can take home with me and the satisfaction of leaving a place knowing that if I'm never able to return, I had the trip of a lifetime. Spending the night in a cozy place can definitely enhance an experience.

A writer and editor for 12 years, Emily’s travel stories have appeared consistently in Travel + Leisure, Departures, PopSugar, and Reader’s Digest. She also specializes in food and beverage and has bylines in VinePair, Forbes, Chowhound, and others. She has also held staff positions in both trade and consumer publications, for a major television brand, and as a hard news reporter.


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