Ballinalacken Castle

Ballinalacken Castle
Country House Hotel

Embrace the elegant luxury of our Historic Country House 4 star Hotel

High on a hilltop, set against the wild and rugged beauty of the West of Ireland, sits a special sanctuary from the world. Here time stands still, as our historic 15th century castle watches over our exclusive, bespoke-service Country House Hotel. >From the bay windowed bedrooms with views of the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands, to the welcoming fire and cosy, antique-rich pub – Ballinalacken Castle Hotel is your connection to a gracious time gone by – and moments of discovery you’ll never forget.

Period Splendour, Ocean-View Beauty

Crisp, linen tablecloths, polished mahogany and elegant marble. Rich and romantic four-poster beds, original period art work and some of the most magnificent ocean views Ireland has to offer. Ballinalacken Castle Hotel is luxury to the last detail – combined with the warmth and character of a family-run hotel, and the personal service and thoughtfulness of the O’Callaghans as your hosts. A Ballinalacken experience is about feeling special and treated to the finest things in life, together with a relaxed spirit of informality.

About Us

Our Story

Ballinalacken Castle 4 star Hotel has been in the O’Callaghan family for three generations and is currently run and owned by hosts Declan and Cecilia O’Callaghan. The original house was owned by the famous O’Brien clan – a royal and noble dynasty who were descendants of the High King of Ireland, Brian Ború. The house , castle and 100 acres of land was bought by Declan’s grandfather Daniel O’Callaghan, in 1938 and he and his wife Maisie opened it as a fine hotel. It was later passed to Daniel’s son Dennis and his wife Mary and then to his son, Declan. Declan and Cecilia have three children who also assist in the family business.

Lounge and Drawing-room

After an exhilarating walk on the Cliffs or a Burren adventure, there’s no better way to relax than in our beautiful period lounge or drawing-room  – with  roaring fires  and stunning views for company. The star of the reception lounge is the original fireplace – handcrafted from a single slab of stunning Connemara marble.


Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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Room at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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Cosy Traditional Pub

Our beautiful, Irish-style wood-panelled pub is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink, or to retire to after a delicious dinner. Excellent wines, fine ale, the best of Irish whiskey and great company await.

Spacious Restaurant

Our O’Brien  room is available for use for private functions and parties – and seats 40 to 50 people comfortably. This, together with our incredible location and accommodation, makes us a popular choice for bespoke weddings. We are fully-licensed to conduct Civil Ceremonies.

Please note:  We do not offer wedding packages. All weddings are personally-designed and priced to your needs.

Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Dining at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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“Ballinalacken Castle is one of those lovely old hotels where they still have real keys rather than cards in the bedroom doors.”



Every historic room at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel offers an elegant escape from daily life, in true period style grandeur. Each room has been beautifully restored to its original style and features the best in decor – and many are complete with antique furniture, four-poster beds and fireplaces.

Sumptuous velvets, the rich colours and romantic designs of William Morris-style wallpaper. Polished furniture of fine craftsmanship and heavy linen curtains. Ballinalacken rooms are a true textural treat, and are the perfect way to frame our beautiful views: be it a breathtaking panorama of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged mountains of Connemara, or a romantic look-out on to the Castle.

All of our rooms feature private facilities and every amenity you could need for a comfortable, home-from-home stay.


Superior Four-Poster Room

These three beautiful rooms are the stuff that fairy tales are made of – with true historical elegance and comfort. Each has a four-poster bed, antique furniture, an open fireplace and fantastic ocean view .


Superior Rooms

Beautifully-appointed, warmly furnished and finished, we have 7 Superior rooms with king/queen beds. Some can serve as family rooms, with a king bed and two single beds and they all have stunning ocean views.



A beautiful and spacious  lounge sets off our two fully-equipped Suites, giving you all the room you need to spend an afternoon reading or relaxing, or simply enjoying your morning tea with a view. One of the Suites is our Honeymoon Suite known as room 16  – perfect for romantic celebrations and retreats, with an unforgettable panoramic view. The other suite is  in the old part of the house has a separate sitting –room and  has a view of the Castle Ruins.

Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Room at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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Unforgettable, Award-Winning Fine Dining in our O’Brien Room

“Top notch cuisine”, “Award-winning, the best place to eat in Doolin” and “Exceptional” are just some of the ways our guests have described their dining experience at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel. Our silver service restaurant offers classic, fine dining prepared by top, renowned chef Michael Foley and we are fortunate to have the finest supplier in the country:  the wild and wonderful Burren landscape – home to the very best of ingredients and local produce.


Freshly-landed fish and seafood with the unmistakable Wild Atlantic taste. Succulent and tender free-range beef and lamb raised on the sweet tastes of the Burren, and the creamiest of artisanal chocolate mousse or panna cotta. These are the tastes of Ballinalacken Castle Hotel – yours to savour and never forget.

We serve a full breakfast each morning from 8.30 to 10.00.

Dinner is served each evening from 7 pm to 8.30 pm

Our restaurant is open to non-residents, but please be sure to book in advance. is non-smoking.


Prepared with Passion

Every meal at Ballinalacken is beautifully planned, prepared and perfected by our renowned resident chef Michael Foley – a true culinary, creative leader who has worked in many fine establishments and Ireland’s top kitchens. It’s fine dining – classic, simple and pure, combining the best of international tastes and flavours with surprising twists, and elegantly served.

To complement your meal, we also offer an extensive wine list.

A Local Story

We use only the freshest ingredients, grown and produced on the Burren: wild and flavourful. Whether it’s wild smoked salmon, much-loved St Tola’s Goat’s Cheese, Clonakilty black pudding or the freshest of organic salad ingredients and hand-picked berries –  all food can be traced back to a single source. We also make every effort to use ingredients that are in season which means our menus constantly change. We bake all our own bread, fresh each day.

The Perfect Escape, Within Easy Reach

The wild sweeping wind from The Burren. The vast and glistening Atlantic Ocean ahead and the ancient beauty of the Cliffs of Moher that rise up to meet you – a stay at Ballinalacken Castle Hotel is a ‘bucket list’ escape from the stresses of life. Yet you’re at the heart of a million things to do on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.


Wild, natural beauty, ocean air and romance. Horse-riding, cycling, golf and kayaking. Discovering the mysteries of thousands of years ago, held in the wonder of the Burren. Or simply relaxing, losing yourself in the views and the beauty of the moment. Whatever brings you to our part of the world – you won’t be disappointed. There’s a wealth of local attractions, activities and places of interest – and truly something for everyone.

Yours Personally

From the time you take your first drive up the sweeping entrance of Ballinalacken Castle, and receive a warm greeting from your host at reception, you’ll know you’re in for a stay with a difference. Far from the impersonal style of many modern hotels, Ballinalacken carries all the hallmarks of personal service, attention to detail and uncompromising quality.

Here for you – We’re here to help you in any way we can. From putting together a sight-seeing itinerary to lighting a welcoming fire for your afternoon cocktail , you’ll find it’s the little personal extras that make a difference.

Only the best – From the fittings and finishes in our rooms, to the finest ingredients we use in our kitchen, Ballinalacken offers a premium experience, every time.

A real experience – Whether it’s enjoying a cosy evening in the bar with a member of the family as your host, our personal help with a special request, or the blissful welcoming aroma of home-baked soda bread, you’ll enjoy the very best of authentic and warm Irish hospitality

The Castle on the Hill

Standing tall on a limestone outcrop, our very own Castle, Ballinalacken Castle, is a two-stage tower house which was built in the 15th or early 16th century. It is thought the name comes from the Irish Baile na leachan (which means “town of the flagstones/tombstones/stones”).

10th Century         The original fortress is built by famous Irish clan, the O’Connors – rulers of West Corcomroe.

14th Century         The fortress itself is found and Lochlan MacCon O’Connor is in charge of its rebuilding.

1564                     Control of West Corcomroe passes to Donal O’Brien of the O’Brien family.

1582                     The lands are formally granted by deed to Turlough O’Brien of Ennistymon.

After the Cromwellians triumphed in the area, five of Turlough’s castles are razed to the ground – but Ballinalacken is saved as it was not on the list of “overthrowing and demolishing castles in Connaught and Clare.”

1662                     Daniel dies and grandson Donough is listed as rightful holder of the Castle.


“On my travels, I have been a guest in many castles. Yet the monument which I find divine is the oasis where the heart and the silence intertwine.”

Silent Lotus


Weather permitting the owners are always happy to show their guests around the castle ruins.

Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel in Doolin, Co. Clare
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