Travel Splurge: Waterford Castle
Updated: Mar 5
updated March 2023 We budget travellers have so entrenched our thriftiness that we have a hard time considering some unique but expensive experiences. We scrimp and sacrifice in so many ways to afford our travel that it becomes second nature to "not see" things we consider too expensive. This is a powerful budget strategy at home but works against us once we are actually at our destination. I'm a firm believer in making a point to include a "Splurge" into every trip, especially if that experience is something way outside of my daily life. Today I am going to share one of those splurges experienced in Ireland: an overnight stay at Waterford Castle. Yes, a castle... thus fulfilling a childhood dream of being a princess for a day (minus the whole Grand Ball, Fairy Godmother, and Prince Charming stuff).
Ireland is dotted with old castles, many of which have been turned into hotels. Waterford Castle and Golf Resort is on its own private island, "Little Island", in the River Suir (pronounced "sure") just outside of Waterford.
The currentGothic-style building, originally known as Fitzgerald Castle, was rebuilt at the end of the 19th century and incorporates parts of previous builds from the original medieval tower house. It has been a hotel since 1980. The original building includes 19 rooms and suites, which is where we stayed. The Golf Resort offers a completely different experience with family-friendly self-catered cottages in a different area of the island with playgrounds, a small shop, and a clubhouse. The rates were far outside of our goal budget but this was a splurge, so Mady and I found a package for one midweek night that included breakfast and booked ourselves an experience and memory that we truly treasure while the cost has been long-forgotten.
Mady was really excited to tour the House of Waterford Crystal, so we took an interesting tour in the morning. I really enjoyed seeing the process behind the glass cutting. Mady was thoroughly entranced with all the sparklies in the gift shop. After a significant time spent trying to determine which items could be safely carried home in a suitcase, we took a taxi to the ferry landing for the Waterford Castle Hotel Resort.