From its thatched-roof cottages, magical castles, rolling green hills, and craggy cliffs that meet the sea, there is everything to love about Ireland. Add in the music, dance, scenery (Wild Atlantic Way), dark pints of Guinness, and the people of course — prepare to be mesmerized for hours by storytelling from locals who turn instant friends — it is easy to see why The Emerald Isle is a proverbial favorite travel destination, especially for those living along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. who can easily make the trek across the pond for a long (four-day) weekend. While we love a grand Irish hotel — with high tea, falcon flying, and horse-drawn carriage rides, we also have a soft-spot for an authentic Irish home stay, be it a meticulously restored cottage Airbnb in Galway, a modern new build Airbnb in Dublin, or remote castle by the sea. A few of the Airbnbs in Ireland we love (and are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day).
Victoria Terrace, Dundrum, County Dublin
Beautifully restored by owner and interior designer Sarah Lafferty, this two-bedroom, two-bath 1870s Georgian Dublin Cottage is set on a quiet, winding road in Dundrum (one of Dublin’s most fashionable neighborhoods). Interiors feature a modern, white, light-filled interior space (with splashes of color), high ceilings, underfloor heating, a beautiful well-equipped kitchen, and a peaceful private courtyard. Other thoughtful touches include fresh flowers and a collection of travel books relevant to the area.
Cliff Beach House, Waterford, County Waterford
Set along Ireland’s naturally rugged coastline, this architectural home features a sleek white exterior and stunning views of Ardmore Bay. Savor fresh oysters on the terrace with a glass of chilled champagne, poured from the small yet sophisticated bar. Relax in the bubbly outdoor hot tub, and inside, enjoy the soothing neutral color palette with bold pops of color, the warming fireplace, and sleek grand piano.
An Corrach, Downings, County Donegal
Located directly on the waterfront overlooking Tranarossan Beach in Donegal, An Corrach — surrounded by craggy cliffs and seemingly endless greenery — conjures the postcard-perfect image of Ireland. A favorite spot for fishing and hiking, guests love this four-bedroom house most for its escapism. Bring the dog and light a fire in the wood-burning stove. Logs provided.
Tubbrid Castle, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
No visit to Ireland is complete without a castle stay, and this 15th-century tower house fulfills every fairytale image. Uninhabited for the last century, the castle is now restored to its former glory — yes, there are real stone walls — but with every modern-day amenity. Start your day under a rainforest shower, sip morning coffee from bespoke velvet cushions in the original window seats while taking in views of the forest. Spend days hiking Kilkenny’s fabulous trails and exploring the city’s cobblestone streets. End days back at the castle in front of a roaring log fire, before snuggling under a goose-down duvet in your four-poster bed.
Dolphin Beach Lodge, Clifden, County Galway
With floor-to-ceiling windows looking directly onto Clifden Bay and set alongside the Atlantic Ocean, this modern oceanfront house offers a restorative sea setting. Its location offers the perfect base for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, or simply absorbing the wilderness of Connemara. In summer, use the water toys — kayaks and paddleboards — wander the craggy coastline, and watch the sunset from the patio.
Historic Home in Cork, County Cork
For a lavish city stay in the heart of Cork’s Victorian Quarter, this 160-year-old historic home oozes with character. Recently renovated, the house comes with ample modern amenities including a bright and airy bathroom and open-concept kitchen, that fuse seamlessly with historic features like crystal chandeliers and a brass bell dating to 1834. Top restaurants, bars, theaters and live music venues are a few-minutes walk from the house.
Clahane Shore Lodge, Clahane Liscannor, County Clare
If a seaside getaway is on your Ireland wish list, this dreamy three-bedroom, ocean-view home checks every box. Gaze at the Atlantic from inside the house, through floor-to-ceiling windows, or listen to the crashing waves from the sea-facing patio. Walk the coast, visit the nearby Cliffs of Moher, dine on seafood, and end the evening at a traditional music pub. Added bonus: there is also a (completely separate) two-bedroom cottage onsite.
The Cowhouse, County Cork
Located by the Wild Atlantic Way and a short (10-minute) drive from Kinsale, this beautiful converted stone barn rests on four-plus acres of wild meadow with views extending to the ocean. The stone barn was completely in ruins before its current owners masterfully saved, then reimagined it 10 years ago. Enjoy the open-concept common spaces, and blend of polished concrete, steel, and reclaimed timber, and views of the rolling Irish countryside. Bike and walk the forested trails; and get to know your neighbors — cows outnumber people by about 10 to 1.
Hotwell House, Enfield, County Meath
If an Irish farm stay is on your wishlist, look no further than this stunning late Georgian farmhouse. Built in 1838, the house is interestingly home to a holy well and one of Ireland’s only warm springs — St. Gorman’s Well — which flows with warm water during the winter. Guests stay in the beautifully renovated stone Coach House, featuring four bedrooms and a stylish, rustic interior. Meander the property’s 20 acres of gardens, fields and woods, engage in a lawn game of croquet, practice yoga in the onsite studio, and visit the resident sheep and dogs, even bring your own (dog). Pets are welcome by prior arrangement.
Grantstown Castle, Kilfeacle, County Tipperary
Built in the late 1400s, this 15th-century medieval castle has six floors (connected via a stone and oak spiral staircase), and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy the “Great Room,” traditionally used for entertaining, and home to a beautifully handcrafted stone fireplace. And explore — if you dare — the two prisons (oubliettes). One is accessible via the Great Room; the original entrance to the other is covered with a stout timber hatch that can be seen when climbing the stairs.
Ballintubbert House, Ballintubbert, County Laois
Bring the entire family to this secret location, just an hour from Dublin. Surrounded by hills and forests, the five-bedroom Ballintubbert House is set on 14 acres of ornamental garden acres. An additional four bedrooms are housed in the old stables, which face the house in a courtyard fashion. Wander the stunning gardens complete with fountains, row on the lake, soak in the deep clawfoot tubs, and sleep under a dreamy step-back-in-time canopied bed.
Historic Redbrick Property, Dublin
Step back in time at this stunning home, set among south Dublin’s leafy tree-lined streets. Details of this designer period home include an original clawfoot, cast iron bathtub, period fireplaces, and a six-foot canopy master bed swathed in silk. Sit on the pink velvet couch by the fireplace in the main drawing room, before gathering around the antique mahogany dining table under a candle-lit wrought-iron chandelier. In summer, enjoy the outdoor terrace, resplendent with roses and even a garden fountain.
Breasty Bay House, Malin Head, County Donegal
Another heady coastal hideaway comes at Breasty Bay house, a remote setting with direct private sea access. The 60 acres of grounds were used for the 2016 filming of Star Wars The Last Jedi; the Millennium Falcon was constructed on its peninsula, known for its spectacular fishing, dolphin viewing, stargazing, and on occasion, Aurora Borealis sightings. Interiors feature a large kitchen with high ceilings, farmhouse table overlooking the sea, an aquarium fish tank looking into the living room, a wood burning stove, and a sun room with a telescope to look at the stars.
Mask Valley Lodge, Mayo, County Mayo
Offering spectacular views of Lough Mask, the valley, and mountains, this four-bedroom, three-bath lodge is set on one of the best brown trout lakes in Europe. It is also a short drive to Ireland’s most beautiful towns: Westport, Clifden and Ashford Castle, Cong. Interiors are stunning, featuring a neutral color palette; the outdoor nature scape is beyond photogenic. Fish with a guide, hike the mountains, watch the sun rise and set, and relax by the fire.
Bellefield House and Gardens, Birr, County Offaly
Garden enthusiasts will love this lovingly (and tastefully) restored home by its former owner — renowned architect and garden designer Angela Jupe. Guests have access to the entire grounds, which include a two-acre walled garden (snowdrops, daffodils, bluebells, tulips, iris, peonies, roses) plus 20 additional acres. The walled garden hadn’t been touched in 30 years prior to Jupe. Interiors feature airy rooms, full of light. There is also a laundry room should you decide to stay awhile.