21 Luxury Hotels Real People Highly Recommend

“By far the best hotel I have stayed in was Kilkea Castle in Kildare, Ireland, about an hour from Dublin. Not only was it a proper 12th century CASTLE with ridiculously beautiful gardens, the friendliest and kindest staff, and a dungeon-like bar, but the EXTRAS, Y’ALL.

They had a spa where any treatment you booked came with a trip to their **hydrospa** which was literally one of the coolest, fanciest things I’ve ever done. It was basically a massage in a six-zone hot tub, then a sauna, then a eucalyptus-scented steam room, then an ice bucket shower to finish. And all of that was the little free perk BEFORE the literal best massage of my life. Audrey, the massage therapist, made it her mission to get the knots out of my shoulder/neck that had been there for god knows how long.

BUT the coolest, craziest, most unique gear in a lifetime was the FALCONER, Bernard. You can book a two hour session with him for $300 where we got to hold, pet and learn about his barn owls (Tiddlywinks and Twinkletoes – TELL me you’ve heard cuter names), a falcon, a falcon and a crazy hybrid condor, each of which has been bred for years. He made us feel so safe, you could tell the birds respected and loved him, and my life was DONE when Tiddlywinks the owl fell asleep on my arm 😭💗. But the coolest part? Bernard made us walk the condor like a dog down the path, holding out his arms with treats (I really don’t want to know what it was) to entice him to swoop down on us like we were medieval falconers.

I will never forget in my life the experience we had at Kilkea Castle, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. If you’re going to Ireland, you have to make it a priority!”


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