Carton House Hotel

As a reward for his help with the Normans just as the crusades were taking off, Maurice Fitzgerald was appointed Lord of Maynooth and handsomely rewarded with the townlands that now include Carton House. Managing to retain title for hundreds of years, things went slightly astray under the direction of a Mr Silken Thomas no less who along with his five uncles was executed in the mid sixteenth century, when Ireland was still covered in oak from coast to coast, so lush that it was said that squirrels could travel from coast to coast without touching the ground.

Fast forward to 1739, another great era for house building in Ireland (think Westport and Leinster), and the country Seat of the 1st Duke of Lenster, the House was built, a seat of elegance and opulence.

At a slightly faster pace, this historic Palladian house is only 30 minutes from Dublin airport and still at the centre of vast private parklands with no less than two championship golf courses, a leisure centre with all the trimmings and more.

When the Earl of Kildare married Lady Emily Lennox, the dye was cast, the Chinese decorators were brought in and the famous Shell Cottage on the estate with shells from around the world was unveiled. As if she hadn’t enough to be doing, Lady Emily went on to have just one short of two dozen children. And of course as any family knows, there is always a rebel, this one in the form of Lord Edward FitzGerald, leader of the 1798 rebellion.

Carton on luxury hotels ireland

Undaunted, the house was remodeled as Napoleon took to the European stage and the Fitzgerald reign continued unbroken until alas the Duke sold his birth right to a moneylender to pay off gambling debts and with no surviving siblings the house was lost to the FitzGeralds in the twentieth century.

Not short of the odd colourful episode in its long history, a picture painetd a thousand words during the civil war when a painting of the 1798 rebel was enough to make a the local unit of the IRA quench there torches in shame at the prospect of burning down a symbol of Anglo Irish (ouch that word hurts) aristocracy.

Like so many other famous Irish luxury hotels and castles, the house was used as a film location by many filmmakers, with Stanley Kubrick, Ryan O’Neal and Lee Marvin adding colour over the years.

(In)famously rocketed into the 21st century, through renovation and redevelopment for golf, the 4 star luxury hotel has hosted many premium golf events and many English Premier leage teams.

Local attractions include Dublin, Kildare’s Japanese Gardens, Goff’s horse sales and more.