Sunday, June 19, 2016

Abbeyglen Castle Hotel

Our last night on tour (Saturday night) we got to stay in a castle! The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden, County Galway. It was built in 1832 by Sir John d'Arcy, who founded Clifden in 1812. The property fell derelict during the potato famine in the mid 1800's and was eventually bought in 1969 by the Hughes family.  Paul Hughes himself welcomed us at the door, and we were royally treated throughout our stay!  Our room was lovely - you would hardly guess that this building is almost 200 years old.

The grounds were beautiful!  Our key was old fashioned and on a huge gold key ring.  They were making sure to collect them as we left the next morning because apparently a lot of people like to keep them as souvenirs.

We saw a LOT of old tapestries as we toured about this week.  This is one that is hanging in the castle hotel.

Above is Fróda, who I believe they said is a budgie.  They told us that they were not responsible for any bad language she used.  I only heard her whistling and telling people goodbye :)

As we arrived they took a picture of our whole group around the throne.  Michelle and I had our own taken later :)

There is a golf course nearby and the hotel provided clubs.  They also have a tennis court and spa.  Our room, like I said, was fantastic.  One of the girls in our group, we are pretty sure got stuck in the servants' quarters - down a long narrow hall with her bed taking up the whole room and her "window" opening up into the smoking lounge.  I think they were fully booked that night!

Dinner was a feast!  They seated our whole group together which was really fun, especially for our last night.  They put American and Guatemalan flags on the table to show their welcome.  When the food arrived, it was covered with the silver domes and the wait staff counted down from 10 and revealed our meals all at the same time.  It was fun.

Here are their collection of table flags, to welcome their guests from all over the world.
Paul Hughes was at dinner, as well as his son, and his son played piano in the lounge later in the evening.
They were both at breakfast the next morning to, to greet us!

Below is our dessert buffet - all homemade - all delicious.  How do I know they were all delicious?  Because I tried them all of course! (Well nearly :)

If you ever want to stay in a castle, I highly recommend this one!  It was a royal way to finish up our tour of the south and west of Ireland.  Wait, we have one more day!  I hope you're not getting too tired of my photos, but blogging is a good way for me to jot down these fun memories.

Our group photo!  They asked who was going to sit on the throne and we all nominated 84 year old Bruce, but Stuart is 81!  So Stuart sat on Bruce's lap :) At dinner Bruce said, "Wait, I have not given my loyal subjects permission to eat yet!  No one has bowed or curtsied to me!"  His wife Miriam said, "Oh, don't let it go to your head!"  They've been married 57 years.

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