Monday, September 30, 2013

Waterford Castle's Luxury Lodges

Self Catering Accommodation with a Luxurious Twist

For this week’s addition of Waterford Castle’s blog we are going to look our luxury Island Garden Lodges. Elegantly designed, comfortable and stylish, our Island Garden Lodges provide luxurious self-catering accommodation and provide the perfect family getaway, group gatherings, or private romantic retreat.

Set on a 310 acre picturesque, private Island and discreetly situated in a secluded enclave on the edge of our championship golf-course, the Island Garden Lodges will afford you the ultimate privacy and relaxation. These spacious and luxurious semi detached 3 & 4 bedroom self catering lodges are available to rent on a nightly or weekly basis. Additionally, you can avail from all the services our 16th Century Castle Hotel provides for the duration of your stay.

Our lodges provide the latest in modern convenience with everything you need to enjoy a self-catering break away, whilst your accommodation is prepared to 4 star- standard. The living area comprises of a wall mounted recessed living flame gas fire with honed finish granite panel overhead and a concealed 32” flat-screen television, bespoke seating and soft furnishings, leather and linens and beautiful oak furniture. The elegantly designed, open planned kitchen/dining area are fully equipped to ensure all self catering needs are catered for. Furthermore, each lodge has its own, private patio area with garden furniture, providing guests with the ideal setting to take in the island’s landscape and create their own outdoor dining experience.

The Island Garden Lodges serve as the perfect hub from which to explore the a wide spectrum of activities that the Island and the Waterford region has to offer. Discover the Island’s natural scenic beauty on one of our nature walks, where you might spot a wide range of flora, fana and wildlife. While on your walk why not find the perfect spot to enjoy a delectable custom-made gourmet picnic, prepared by our head chef. After your picnic Challenge your group to an array of outdoor activities including Clay Pigeon shooting, Tennis, Croquet & Boules. Furthermore, there are a number of kid’s activities for when they need a break from their parents! Our on-site playground is a popular choice for kids of all ages. Our youngest guests can also enjoy a complimentary Kids Club, which runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday in July and August, and during Christmas and Easter school holidays. In addition, after a busy day of activities and dinner-time comes, both the Castle and Clubhouse provide  healthy kids menus that will please even the fussiest eater.

For more information or to book your luxury self-catering getaway, call our reservations department on 051- 878 203, email or visit . Your Island escape is just a ferry-ride away.

If you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

Monday, September 23, 2013

Exclusive weddings at Waterford Castle

                 Your Exclusive Island Haven

Imagine, celebrating the most special day of your life on your very own picturesque private Island, in a Castle which is exclusively yours. Our Wedding team, expertly led by our Wedding Coordinator, will take care of every detail to create your individually tailored wedding package which reflects your own personal style and tastes.

Set on a 310 acre private Island, steeped in history and natural beauty, Waterford Castle Hotel provides a truly unique location for your special day. Enjoy exclusive use of the majestic 16th Century Castle and it’s 18 luxurious, traditional and exquisitely furnished bedrooms.  The 16th Century Castle combines  period d├ęcor and gracious elegance with every modern comfort, service and convince, providing a stunning venue for an unforgettable wedding day.  The traditions  of Waterford Castle are honoured in the Castle's 18 elegant bedrooms; with each room offering ornate style and distinct character. Each of the five suites has a private sitting room and our delux bedrooms are en-site twins and double twins.

Waterford Castle Hotel provides an idyllic location for intimate Wedding Ceremonies. We are registered for civil ceremonies and over the years we have attained a highly acclaimed reputation for hosting civil ceremonies and wedding blessing.  Exchange vows in the opulent surrounding of the Castle’s Grand Hall entrance, in front of the stunning open fireplace, in the company of your close friends and family. Your ceremony can also be held in a location of your chose on our extensive grounds for a truly magical experience.  Weather you wish for your dream day to be small and intimate or something more extravagant, Waterford Castle is the perfect setting in which to say 'I do.' Alternatively, there are a number of beautiful churches to choose from in the local area.

Our award-winning Munster Dining Room can cater for wedding parties of up to 120 people. The warm ambiance of this award winning restaurant with its original oak panelled walls, ornate ceilings , elegant artwork and the musical styling of our resident pianist sets the backdrop for beautiful wedding banquet. The Munster Dining Room’s opulent yet intimate atmosphere, combined with its exceptional food, and attentive service  will ensure that you and your quest will enjoy a unforgettable dining experience. Our highly acclaimed head chef will design an individually tailored menu which reflects the couple’s tastes. Alternatively, Marquee Weddings can be held on the Castle’s Croquet Lawn, which are perfect for wedding parties exceeding 120 quests.

Your wedding celebrations are not restricted to the day of the ceremony. Why not enjoy a rehearsal meal with your closest friends and family in your own private dining area on the eve of the biggest day of your life.  Additionally, why not extend your wedding celebrations the day after your ceremony by enjoying all that the island has to offer. Why not perfect your golf swing on our 18th hole championship golf- course or test your shot with one of most popular group activities; clay pigeon shooting. For those who wish to relax after the big day why not take a stroll on one of our nature walks and witness the natural landscape, wildlife and beauty the island has to offer. And why enjoy a custom-made gourmet picnic, prepared by our head chef; all you have to do is find the perfect picturesque spot on the island's 310 acres on which to enjoy it! Furthermore, why not conclude your wedding celebrations in spectacular fashion by treating your guests to a gourmet barbecue, or the show-stopping 'Pig on a Spit' in the relaxed atmosphere of our clubhouse lounge or on our croquet lawn (weather permitting!)

To conclude, Waterford Castle Hotel provides the perfect setting for you and your guests can create memories which will last a life time. If you wish to book a wedding show-round or have any inquiries in relation to hosting your wedding with us, please contact our Wedding Coordinator on +353 (0)51 878203, email or visit .

Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort's 'Wedding Showcase Afternoon' will take place on the Sunday 12th January 2014, from 2pm- 5pm. For more information, please click on the link below.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Waterford Winterval 2013 ; Ireland's Christmas Festival

Waterford Winterval
'It's the most wonderful time of the year'

For Waterford Castle’s latest blog we continue to look forward to the Christmas season by exploring the variety of events taking place during the Waterford Winterval Festival; which runs between the 29th November- 23rd December and the 27th-31st December 2013. As Ireland’s premier winter festival, the Waterford Winterval Festival showcases Waterford at its cultural, entertaining and vibrant best. With the array and diversity of events taking place, the festival really offers something for everyone.

There are a number of events taking place throughout the duration of the festival. Winterval on Ice; Ireland's premier Ice-rink; will return to the Merchant’s Quay this festive season. Weather you are a master of the ice-rink or struggle to stay on your feet,  Winterval on Ice always proves to be great fun for all the family.  And why not treat your children to a trip to the magnificent Santa’s grotto; which takes place in the exquisite 13th century Medieval Museum from the 30th November – 23rd December. Santa will be joined by his delightful and charming wife, Mrs Claus and her mischievous elves!

After a trip to Santa’s grotto why not book your tickets and hop on board the Winterval Express which will take you on a magical journey through the streets of Waterford. The journey will offer a great vantage point to truly enjoy the city’s transformation into a Winter Wonderland. There are a number of other children’s activities taking place such as the Animal Farm at Coal’s Quay, and children young and old will be awe struck by the spectacular 'Toy Museum', which both take place between the 29th Nov- 23rd Dec.

Taking place from the 30th November in the weekends leading up to Christmas, the 'Winterval Christmas Market' creates an exciting Christmas experience on the streets of Waterford City. The streets will be transformed with the sights, sounds and aromas of a traditional Christmas market.In this atmospheric shopping experience you will find a number of craft and gift stalls, meaning you can find your loved ones the perfect gift. There will also be a number of food stalls, serving sweet treats to keep your energies up will you finish you Christmas shopping.

Furthermore, 'the Ardkeen Artisan Food Experience', which will take place at Greyfriars during the weekends from 30th Nov- 23 Dec will allow shoppers sample & stock up on some of the country’s most distinctive and flavorsome produce. Or why not visit the Polish Christmas pop-up Village will take place in the Tourist office, 120 The Quay every weekend from the 30th Nov- 23rd Dec.  Experience the sights, tastes and aromas of a traditional Polish Christmas and book your place in one of the popular Gingerbreadman workshops.

John Roberts Square will transform into its own winter wonderland as it will be home to a number of activities from the 30th November- 23 December. For instance, the beautifully ornate vintage Christmas Carousel will dazzle the young and young at heart. There will also be a gigantic Santa’s post box in the square; making sure all letters are safely delivered to the North Pole! Furthermore, a traditional and atmospheric Christmas experience will also be created in the square by the Carol Singing, the life size Crib at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity and the Rotary Club Christmas Memorial Tree.

Additionally, there will be a number of events which further showcase Waterford's cultural vibrancy. For instance, the iconic and recently refurbished Theatre Royal’s festive programme that will keep adults and children entertained throughout the season. With a Winterval programme which feature the 'Cinderella' pantomime, 'Christmas Crooners', 'Elfie the Elf Returns!',  'Vladimir presents ‘A Vitemeense Christmas’' and  'The Winterval Cabaret';  the Theatre Royal will be providing theatrically spectacular entertainment to suit all tastes! Garter's Lane will also have an exciting programme of shows from the 30th Nov- 23rd Dec including 'A Muppet Christmas' and 'The Little Mermaid. 

Furthermore, Bishop’s Palace will host Georgian Christmas Tours and you can relive Waterford’s Viking heritage with storytelling taking place in Reiginald’s Tower; with all the stories been written by schoolchildren all across the country. Waterford's Viking heritage will also be brought to life this Christmas by ‘YULE’; a vibrant, interactive, working Viking Settlement, which will be brought to life by the sights and sights and sounds of the Waterford Viking Society. Additionally, ‘Winter Illuminates’, which will take place in Cathedral Square and will dazzle onlookers with a truly unique and mesmerizing 3D Light and sound show.

So mark your diary and make sure you visits Waterford City this Christmas season; do not miss out on a enjoying a magical festive experience! Keep an eye out for Waterford Castle Hotel’s special accommodation rates for the Winterval Festival. There is really no better time to visit Waterford city!

For more information in relation to The Waterford Winterval Festival, and for time, dates, locations  and booking details for all activities,  please visit . Tickets for events are on sale now! 
If you a planning a trip to Waterford Castle Hotel, why not view our ‘101 things to do’, which contains a variety of activities which can be enjoyed during your trip. To view the list, please visit .

If you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

Friday, September 13, 2013

Make your Christmas Party Sparkle

Waterford Castle Christmas Parties 2013

It may only be September but here at Waterford Castle we are looking forward to our Christmas Party Nights at Waterford Castle Golf Resort.  So, if you are organizing your 2013 Christmas party for you and your work colleges or want a fun Christmas get-together with your friends, look no further!

Please Click to Expand

The opulent night begins with a mulled wine reception. The reception will be followed by a sumptuous Four Course Christmas Banquet (to view our sample menu, please click on the poster above.) The meal will be followed by a band; Phenoix Band on the 6th and 7th of December and UV5 on the 13th and 14th December.  Phenoix Band are one of Ireland’s most highly acclaimed cover bands, plays a vast repertoire of music from every genre and era. UV5 are one of Ireland’s most energetic party bands, covering the most up to date chart hits as well as rock classics which will get everyone on their feet.

The band your chosen night will be followed by a D.J and late bar, ensuring you can dance the night away. There will also be a number of spot prices on your Christmas Party night so do not miss out on an early Christmas present! All this can be yours for just €45 per person. Furthermore, all Christmas party groups can avail of our special accommodation rates of €40 per person, based on three people sharing a self-catering luxury lodge on the Island. 

Waterford Castle Golf and Country Club can also host private Christmas parties can also be arranged, carting for groups between 50 to 120 people.  Boasting a private function room, bar and outdoor area, Waterford Castle Golf and Country is the perfect private party venue, catering for Birthdays, Communions, Confirmations,  Corporate functions, Dinner Dances and BBQs. Additionally, if you planning your wedding, this venue provides a rustic setting, friendly and attentive service and attention to detail, ensuring that both you and your guests can celebrate in style and create memories that will last a lifetime.

So if you are planning a Christmas party extravaganza, contact us today. Due to popular demand, the 13th and the 21st December are already fully booked, so contact our sales team today to avoid disappointment! To book your Christmas Party, call us on 051- 878 203, email or visit .  

If you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bishop's Palace

‘History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

Napoleon Bonaparte


For this week’s exploration of the ‘101 things to do...’ we are going to take a look at Bishop’s Palace museum, which charts Waterford’s history from 1700 to 1970. While Waterford Viking heritage is well established and celebrated amongst it’s tourist attractions, Bishop's Palace traces the history of another influential period in Waterford’s history and architecture. 

Up until the 1750’s Waterford was Ireland’s second largest city and the city’s 18th century architecture, along with its elegant silverware and world renowned glass making traditions are testament to how influential the period was to the city as we know it today. Designed by the renowned Anglo- German architect Richard Castles in 1741, Bishop’s palace served as a catalyst for the elegance of this era in Waterford City. Castles is now celebrated as one of Ireland’s most influential architects, having designed most of Ireland’s 18th century great houses, such as Leinster House in Dublin.

The Bishop’s Palace offers an unique experience for visitors to relive Waterford’s 18th, 19th and 20th century history and culture. The museum houses a spectrum of fascinating artefacts, period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and a collection of rare and important paintings. For instance, an entire floor of the building is dedicated to historic stories specific to Waterford such as Ballybricken’s pig markets, childhood and household living in Waterford, as well as exploring how the Waterford people coped during periods of national crisis, such as Home Rule, the War of Independence and the First World War.

Amongst the exhibitions most intriguing and significant pieces is the only surviving Bonaparte 'mourning cross', which was one of twelve created upon the death of the infamous French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821. The museum also houses the Penrose decanter, the world’s oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, which dates back to 1789.  Furthermore, the museum features a 18th century walnut rectangular stool with its  upholstered tapestry seat is on plain frieze with cabriole legs and  shells carved to the knees. Amongst Bishop Palace’s most renowned art works is the view Waterford, painted by van der Hagen in 1736, which was commissioned by Waterford Corporation. This piece credited as being the first oil painting  city of Waterford and van der Hagen is often regarded  as the first important landscape painter in Ireland.

Bishop’s Palace forms a part of the Waterford Museum of Treasures collective; along with the Medieval Museum and Reginald’s Tower.  One of the key features which attract tourists to the Waterford Museum of Treasures is the historical re-enacting experience provided. A cast of actors portray different characters and bring to life Waterford’s fascinating history in these engaging and imaginative tours.  So weather you are a history buff or a lover of art and architecture, Bishop’s Palace is a must see attraction. 

Bishop Palaces opening Hours:

September to May
Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 11am to 5pm

June to  August
Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am to 6pm

 For further information in relation Bishop’s Palace , please visit .  If you a planning a trip to Waterford Castle Hotel, why not view our ‘101 things to do’, which contains a variety of activities which can be enjoyed during your trip. To view the list, please visit .Additionally, if you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Dunbrody Famine Ship

For this week’s exploration of the ‘101 things to do...’ we are going to take a short road trip and take a look at one of New Ross’s most popular tourist attractions, the Dunbrody Famine Ship and visitor centre. The reconstructed famine ship is testament to a cornerstone of Irish history; the 1845- 1852 Irish Potato Famine. During this period, the Irish population was heavily depleted from 8 million to under 2 million people through death and emigration. For instance, it can be argued that the Irish Potato Famine is one the primary reason for the large numbers of Irish Diasporas around the world; especially in America.

The Dunbrody Famine Ship brings to life all the facets of the emigrant experience. The interactive experience allows you to travel back in time to 1849; place you at the heart of the experience. Approaching the ticket office, the visual presentations creates a sense of a country in crisis. For instance, with potato crops failing and food prices soaring, more than a million people are forced to leave their homes for an uncertain future abroad. As you await your departure you will overhear the conversations of fellow emigrants, such as a couple quarreling over what to pack and  a young man reading aloud a letter from his brother in Detroit. Adding to the earry experience before you board the ship, the audio-visual further documents the agony of  brave and desperate emigrants.

All this atmospheric tension of the emergent experience leads to visitors experiencing the voyage these scared and displaced people would have made to ‘the new world’ on the famine ship; often referred to as a ‘coffin ship’ due to high mortality rates. With the journey to the new world lasting up to six weeks, the Atlantic crossing was a terrible trial for those who were forced to leave lives in Ireland. In extremely overcrowded quarters, the steerage passengers barely saw the light of day. Most were only allowed on deck for only one hour a day, where they would gather around open stoves to cook. When their time was up, it was back down into the dark, dank hold. Notoriously poor hygiene standards aboard most ships was the leading contributor to the high mortality rates. With nothing more than buckets for toilets, and only sea-water to wash with, disease was rampant. As a result, a large majority of the deaths were as a result of Cholera and Typhus and those who died were buried at sea. With death rates commonly reaching 20%, and horror stories of 50% dying, these vessels soon became known as ‘Coffin Ships’.

 For those who were physical strong enough to survive the long and disease ridden journey, Irish emigrants arrived in North America. While many were filthy, penniless, and often illiterate; most Irish emigrants remained determined and carved out extremely successful lives for themselves and their descendants in the United States. For instance, the Irish America Hall of Fame celebrates the critical contribution of Irish men and women to US history, as well as acknowledging the continuing contribution of contemporary Irish-Americans. Famous historical figures, such as the Ford motor-company founder Henry Ford (pictured below) and former U.S President, John F. Kennedy, are remembered with short biographical videos.

Since 2001, the JFK Trust have began gathering a comprehensive database of Irish emigration to the United States, in conjunction with severely institutions based in New York and Philadelphia. The database compiles records from Irish, English, Scottish, and Welsh immigrants who arrived at major shipping ports in the United States. Records for the New York port between the years 1846-1890 and the ports of New Orleans, Philadelphia and Balitmore between the famine years; 1846-1851. To search this free database, please click on the following link...

So whether your are a history buff or wish to discover your heritage, The Dubroday Famine Ship is a must see attraction. If you a planning a trip to Waterford Castle Hotel, why not view our ‘101 things to do’, which contains a variety of activities which can be enjoyed during your trip. To view the list, please visit www.waterfordcastle.comAdditionally, if you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

Dunbrody Famine Ship 

Opening hours 

9.00 to 6.00pm7 days a week(Last tour 5pm )