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Butler House

Butler House

Kilkenny, Ireland

Located in the heart of Kilkenny, Butler House was home to the Earls of Ormonde who built Kilkenny Castle and was constructed when the new Lady Butler expressed displeasure at living in the cold and draughty castle. A Georgian manor house in style, with gardens that have direct access into Castle Yard, the property offers a central location but a tranquil setting in stately grounds. 

Inside, the house’s fine period features have been retained with a sweeping staircase, marble fireplaces and decorative ceilings. The restaurant has ornate plasterwork and elegant silver-gray walls adorned with artwork from the Basil Goulding collection. It serves a delicious breakfast including sausages made to the chef’s specific recipe. 

The 13 rooms are spacious and light but decidedly dated in their decor; a slow but thorough renovation is under way. Service at Butler House is impeccable and many loyal local customers return regularly for afternoon teas. Butler’s Pantry, the hotel’s main bar, is located downstairs and its vaulted ceilings, terracotta floor tiles, low lighting and vintage armchairs create an intimate and stylish atmosphere. 

Outside, there is an impressive walled garden.


Despite the uninspiring decor in the rooms, we love the attentive hospitality and beautiful public areas of Butler House.


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Audley Travel specialist Aislyn

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The 13 rooms are all different in size and style, although all are spacious. Many have high ceilings, bay windows and fireplaces, and all are named after historical figures linked to the house. The decor is fairly innocuous, with cream tones and limited artwork on the walls, but rooms are slowly being refitted in a more contemporary style. Each room comes with tea and coffee making facilities as standard.


Butler House is situated in the heart of Kilkenny, close to the castle and with direct access to the arts and crafts courtyard opposite the castle entrance. The hotel is on the main street which runs through Kilkenny and has its own small car park for guests. The main shops, restaurants and museums are just minutes’ walk away.

Food and drink

The hotel’s restaurant has a classic, elegant style with pale gray wallpaper, soft, taupe seating and a central chandelier. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served here, while a modern European lunch menu is served in the basement restaurant which has a vaulted ceiling, terracotta tiles, brass lamps and antique furniture. Meals are only served until 4pm.

Facilities and activities

The house has gardens which open directly onto Castle Yard which houses several artisan workshops which sit opposite the castle. In December the gardens host several Christmas events including a Christmas fair.

Tour ideas in Kilkenny

Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Butler House as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.

Location & places nearby

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can't be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area's inhabitants.

    • Hands-on hurling experience
      The Gaelic Games — hurling

      Hands-on hurling experience

      Hands-on hurling experience

      Learn the basic skills of the ancient sport of hurling with Kilkenny masters during this hands-on experience that offers private tuition as well as a chance to learn about the history of the game and its sporting legends.

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    • Kennedy homestead, Dunbrody Abbey & Dunbrody Famine Ship tour
      Dunbrody Abbey

      Kennedy homestead, Dunbrody Abbey & Dunbrody Famine Ship tour

      Kennedy homestead, Dunbrody Abbey & Dunbrody Famine Ship tour

      Trace your relatives and discover Ireland’s famine history on this full-day tour of Ireland’s southeast. Meandering between Kilkenny and Waterford, it takes in the Dunbrody Famine Ship, explores the Kennedy dynasty’s roots and visits 13th-century Dunbrody Abbey.

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    • Medieval Mile walking tour

      Medieval Mile walking tour

      Medieval Mile walking tour

      Explore medieval Kilkenny on a guided tour that offers an insight into the city’s long history, creative residents and significant buildings. Visit Kilkenny Castle and Black Abbey as well as the meandering medieval streets as you learn about life here over the centuries.

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    Kilkenny and nearby places