Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland


With 13th century origins and a history hosting kings, lords, presidents and movie stars, Ashford Castle is a class act. Thanks to meticulous restoration and enhancement by prestigious hotel chain Red Carnation, it now offers unrivalled luxury and the finest facilities. In August 2015, the hotel was voted – by the Virtuoso network – the best in the world.

Strategically located on the wild waters of Lough Corrib, in 350-acres of pristine gardens and forestry, Ashford Castle offers guests extraordinary activities. We flew Harris Hawks at the on-site falconry school, walked a pair of giant Irish wolfhounds around the grounds and joined an archery tournament. Lording it up, indeed.

The building glows with regal elegance, from the King George V dining room, named after the hotel’s frequent visitor, to the 70 plush guest rooms and 15 sumptuous staterooms. Opportunities to relax in style are offered in the Prince of Wales bar, cinema and all new spa complex. We also visited the billiard room for a frame and nightcap of fine Irish whiskey. Then at breakfast, alongside hot smoked salmon from nearby waters, the whiskey appeared again. Splashed onto the porridge.

Different seasons offer entirely unique experiences at Ashford Castle, with changes brought to the local produce, breathtaking views and countless pursuits. An excuse to visit again, soon.

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