A Guide To The Fabulous Ballynahinch Castle Hotel In Galway

Ballynahinch castle hotel galway
Photo via Ballynahinch Castle

There are few Irish castle hotels that can go toe-to-toe with the incredible Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in Galway.

Nestled in the Connemara region of Galway, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is surrounded by the sort of glorious scenery you might expect to find in a Sean Connery-era James Bond film.

Flanked by mountains, lakes and winding roads, this is a seriously stunning place to stay along an epic stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way! 

In the guide below, you’ll discover everything you need to know if you’re debating a visit to the very swanky Ballynahinch Hotel – one of the finest castles in Galway.

Ballynahinch Castle history

ballynahinch castle hotel in galway
Photo via Ballynahinch Castle

Although there has been a building of some sort in this spot since the mid 16th century, the present Ballynahinch Castle was constructed in 1754 by the Martin family to be used as an inn.

Eventually, however, it became a private residence at the behest of Richard Martin – a colourful man known for his commitment to animal welfare, to the point where he earned the nickname “Humanity Dick”.

Life at Ballynahinch Castle after the Famine

Following the Great Famine, the castle was taken on by London Law Life Assurance Company, before being purchased by a brewer from London named Richard Berridge.

Berridge spent plenty of time and money restoring and then enlarging Ballynahinch Castle to its present-day size. 

Then along came a prince

In 1924, the house was purchased by Maharaja Jam Sahib, another interesting character in the long history of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. An Indian prince and a formidable test cricketer (a teammate of the legendary W.G Grace, no less!).

The prince was a fabulously wealthy individual who had fallen in love with the Connemara scenery and the surrounding countryside.

Given to spending his summers in this remarkable part of Galway, he often arrived by limousine and held a lavish party on his birthday each year (serving guests himself!). 

The journey to present day

After Maharaja Jam Sahib passed away, Ballynahinch hotel was sold to a Mr. Fredrick C. McCormack, who held the castle until he passed in 1946.

It was then, in 1949, that the Irish Tourism Board bought Ballynahinch Castle and opened it to the public, quickly becoming one of the most popular of the many castles in Ireland.

However, after 3 short years, the tourism board sold the castle and it passed between a number of hands in the years since.

Since then, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel has become one of the most incredible luxury hotels in Ireland and one of the finest castles in Galway.

What to expect from a stay at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in Galway

Ballynahinch Castle
Photo via Ballynahinch Castle

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel has a range of ornate rooms to choose from. The Classic Room and Classic Riverside Room are both cosy digs with the Classic Riverside Room offering (obviously!) a nice view of the meandering river outside.

The Superior and Luxury Rooms maintain that same standard of indulgence but increase the size, with some rooms featuring posters on their King and Queen size beds. 

The wonderfully furnished Riverside Suite comes with spectacular views of the river and woodlands, while the spacious Lettery Lodge will give you all the room you need to relax.

The beautifully secluded Owenmore Cottage means you can enjoy the Ballynahinch hotel estate but with the privacy of a holiday home.

Check prices + see more photos here

Things to do at Ballynahinch Hotel

Ballynahinch hotel
Photo by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

While the gorgeous setting will tempt you to pass the time relaxing and admiring the scenery, Ballynahinch Hotel isn’t short of things to do! 

With over 5km of trails to explore, the surrounding woodlands are ideal for hiking and the nearby mountains offer a more spectacular challenge for the more experienced.

If fly fishing is your thing, then the diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers of Ballynahinch is perfect for getting out on the water. And with so much open air, clay pigeon shooting is a satisfying and safe way to pass an afternoon (great for bragging rights too!). 

Check prices + see more photos here

Eating at Ballynahinch Castle in Galway

Ballynahinch in galway
Photos via Ballynahinch Castle Hotel on Facebook

Foodies visiting Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in Galway have a lot to look forward to, with a variety of finely prepared dishes on offer in a variety of settings.

There are several places to eat at Ballynahinch Hotel, depending on 1, the type of food you fancy and 2, where you’d like to enjoy it.

1. The Owenmore Restaurant

A sophisticated fine-dining experience, The Owenmore Restaurant is surely one of Ireland’s most picturesque restaurants. With sublime views of the gentle woodlands and meandering river, Owenmore’s food is a rich reflection of the region’s local produce. 

2. The Fisherman’s Pub & Ranji Room

The rustic interior of the Fisherman’s Pub will immediately tug the heartstrings of anyone in Ireland with an affinity for old pubs full of character. Offering superb seasonal dishes, it’s a relaxed and friendly place to enjoy a pint and cracking bite to eat. 

3. Ballynahinch Picnic Selection

If you’re here in the summer, Ballynahinch Picnic Selection is a unique offering to perk up any afternoon. Choose from three types of picnic – including the sumptuous Wine and Cheese Hamper – and enjoy the great outdoors with a spring in your step. 

Ballynahinch Castle reviews

Ballynahinch castle grounds
Photo via Ballynahinch Castle

Want a little flavour of what others who stayed at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel think about it? Look no further!

Here’s a short round up of scores and opinions so far (note: these are accurate at the time of writing):

  • Tripadvisor scores Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 4.5 out of 5 based on 1,765 reviews
  • Booking.com scores Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 9.5 out of 10 based on 168 reviews
  • Google scores Ballynahinch Castle Hotel 4.7 out of 5 based on 753 reviews

Check prices + see more photos here

Things to do near Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

One of the beauties of Ballynahinch Hotel is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Ballynahinch (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Connemara’s top attractions

dog's bay beach camping
Photo by Silvio Pizzulli on Shutterstock

Ballynahinch is a short distance from many of the best things to do in Connemara. Below, you’ll find some popular spots to visit (plus how long it’ll take to drive to them):

2. Lively villages and gorgeous islands

sky road clifden
Photo by Andy333 on Shutterstock

Ballynahinch hotels is surrounded by brilliant little towns and villages and a number of great islands worth exploring. Here’s some to check out:

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.