We're no longer staying 2 nights at a huge, dramatic castle. We choose a more reasonable castle stay, Waterford Castle, and for only one night. Our one night is in a deluxe room, however, and includes wine, dinner and breakfast. I think the nicer room at the smaller castle will for us be more of a castle experience than a tiny room at one of the 5-star castle resorts. The castle itself may be less imposing, but the rooms seem more interesting. The larger castle's room looked pretty much like any other hotel. Waterford seems a little more "castley" feeling. I could've chosen one night at the larger castle, but it wouldn't have included the extras and the deluxe-grade room. The spring specials that I had been hoping to use all along for the larger castles expire March 31st, so I chose to pass.
I found this lovely-looking historic estate B&B when browsing website number 12 million and 1 looking for places to stay on our route around the Island. It's off the beaten path, but I loved the look of it so much, I started reworking the itinerary just so we could go here. I think is going to be a relaxing and fun way to end out trip. They're right on the edge of a lake and the owner promised to save a fly-rod and flies for Doug so he could take the boat out. :) Being off the beaten track meant they weren't as booked up and so we get to stay in their nicest room. I think a 4-poster bed, claw-foot tub overlooking the lake and private sitting room with peat-burning fireplace is worth having to pass on the big castle, don't you? It looks like a beautiful spot to slow down and savor our last couple of days in Ireland.
Planning a driving trip through Ireland makes me so greedy! We're already going to be gone for 17 days, 13 in Ireland, and I just keep thinking, "If only we had just a few more days!"