Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh Cashel, Be Still my Heart

I am not sure that I could have handled the lifestyle of living in the middle ages, but I can tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE waking up in our modern times in a castle. Most of our stays on this entire trip were done via AirBnB and had the most incredible success with it. This will definitely be how we travel in the future. Through this site, you rent space from home/condo/apt owners. You could be staying in just a spare room in an apartment (our pad in London) or have an entire 3 bed/2 bath condo to yourself (our place in Doolin), all for 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of a hotel in the area, and you get the added benefit of a local perspective. This 15th century castle in Cashel was one of the top rental options on the site from Ireland, so we knew we had to to do. We booked 2 nights and were more than impressed.
John is a retired US service man who learned the ancient craft of lime stone masonry on an apprenticeship in France. Upon retirement from the service, he started to scout out something to restore. He found France to be too expensive and headed over to Ireland....and never left. He bought a castle and fell in love with a local girl (her enters Margaret) and the rest is history. He has been spending the last decade and a half rebuilding this castle that was seized in the 16th century, having a huge hole from cannon blasts, and lay abandoned ever since. The renovation yield a HUGE room upstairs that Margaret started using to generate revenue through AirBnB, and it sounds like they have a very steady flow of people come through. They deserve it. They are amazing hosts and tour guides. How can you not love being greeted each afternoon with fresh hot scones and tea!??!?! We would sit down and talk with them for hours and had a wonderful time. They would plot our days for us, what to see and do, and we had the most amazing experiences doing this.

Good Morning Cashel, view out of our window

Our gorgeous room with awesomely heated floors

Most comfy best in the world

The room that you get is the ENTIRE TOP FLOOR of the castle. It is a massive open room (as you can see in the pictures) with a private bath (that you cannot see). It is a spiral stone staircase that leads you up here, with a huge thick rope as the "bannister". It was so authentic and awesome and beautiful. We then could go directly up to the roof and turrets to oversee the entire grounds.

Gorgeous ceiling

Our castle for 3 days and 2 nights

I cannot speak or recommend this place anymore highly. It is centrally located to so many beautiful Irish sites, and should definitely be the top choice of anyone staying in southern Ireland. It is also a really good financial choice with the size of the breakfasts Margaret includes with the price. Not only is the food to die for, it is plentiful and hearty enough to last you ALL day long. We usually just ended up having a light snack and a couple of pints for dinner. The other thing that I really loved is that Margaret locally sources all of her food and we were able to hear the stories about it, which is always my favorite thing. I thoroughly enjoying supporting small and local businesses (even if it is not my own country). This was, by far, my absolutely most favorite place that we stayed for our entire trip.
You can check out their site directly HERE