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by Andrew Harper

Gregans Castle Hotel

Location: County Clare, Ireland, near the Burren, an area strewn with limestone caves and ancient ruins

Andrew Harper's take: "In many ways, Gregans Castle is the embodiment of the perfect Irish hideaway. It's not really a castle at all but a gracious country house dating from the 1750s that has been gently updated over the years. Wide bow windows look out across 15 acres of flower gardens to the shimmering expanse of Galway Bay. And this being Ireland, Gregans has a very congenial bar, which was particularly welcome after a sodden day on the mystic Burren. The perfect antidote to the wet chill was a restorative pint and a pleasant interlude of lively chat."

Cost: Doubles from $270

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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