Ashford Castle

A majestic castle on Ireland’s west coast
VERIFIED LUXURY

Set on a sprawling, 350-acre estate on the banks of Lough Corrib, Ashford Castle’s grounds are nothing short of epic — think green and wild Irish woodland, serene lakeside views, and the crowning glory, a majestic turreted castle that dates back nearly 800 years. Inside, the service is as warm and welcoming as the luxury hotel’s crackling open fires.

Managed by a team of exceptional staff, the former home of the Guinness family expertly blends luxurious pampering with traditional Irish hospitality. Whether it’s kitting you out with a wax jacket and boots for a hawk walk, arranging a wine-tasting experience in the cellar or giving a bespoke treatment in the spa, no request is too large, no detail is too small and discretion is always paramount.

The hotel’s 83 individually designed rooms and suites exude regal grandeur. Features include original art and antiques, fireplaces, chandeliers and period furniture. Many of the rooms overlook Lough (lake) Corrib, where fishing trips can be set up with local ghillie (guide) Frank Costello.

Back on dry land, there’s plenty to entice, from the scenic nine-hole golf course to zip-lining adventures through the woods to classic country pursuits, including horse riding, falconry and clay pigeon shooting.

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Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Ashford Castle is just a 15-minute walk from the village of Cong in County Mayo, which provided the setting for John Ford’s 1952 romantic comedy The Quiet Man starring Maureen O’ Hara and John Wayne. A little piece of movie history can still be found within the estate — Cullen’s at the Cottage restaurant was originally Cong’s local cinema and hosted the world premiere of the film.
  • The castle’s double-aspect reception space known as The Oak Hall features a 19th-century suit of armor and a beautiful library of more than 800 antique books curated by Cong’s Rare and Recent bookstore. If you’re curious to learn more about any of the tomes or want to source an elusive Irish or international title, literary buff Robert Scott is on hand to assist.
  • Just a short stroll or Land Rover transfer from the luxury hotel is Ireland’s School of Falconry, where a 60-minute walk with a falconer will teach you how to handle and fly one of the school’s 32 Harris hawks through the castle’s top woods.
  • The Spa at Ashford Castle is the ultimate sanctuary for weary travelers, anchored by a beautiful relaxation pool room overlooking the lake. The tranquil ambiance is enhanced by white coral chandeliers and a tree of life mural by South African artist Jane du Rand depicting local flora and fauna from Connemara.
  • The grounds are stunning. Experience them with Garvin and Cronin, two friendly and gregarious Irish wolfhounds, on their morning walks at 8:15 along the lakeshore.

Things to Know

  • The Billiards Room and its adjoining Cigar Terrace are some of the castle’s most relaxed spaces. This cozy den comes with a regulation-size snooker table, plush leather sofas, a roaring fire and a bar stocked with 20 different whiskeys and around 30 types of cigars.
  • Decked out with red velvet armchairs, classic confectionary stands and vintage movie posters, the 32-seat cinema was added as part of the Ireland hotel’s restoration. A mix of modern and classic movies are screened each day in the theater, which can also be booked for private family viewings.
  • Take the opportunity to photograph Ashford Castle from the water with a lake cruise operated by Corrib Cruises. Surrounded by the Connemara mountains and 365 islands (one for every day of the year), the landscape is picture perfect, rain, hail or shine.
  • The hotel’s opulent Prince of Wales Bar takes its name from the royal family member who visited Ashford Castle in 1905. Today, enjoy a selection of cocktails, more than 60 Irish and Scotch whiskies, cognacs, brandies or a creamy pint of Guinness, served by seasoned bar staff members who have a combined 80 years of experience.
  • Once an underground tunnel, the recently converted wine cellar offers three tasting rooms and a selection of 3,000 bottles from more than 12 countries. Private tasting sessions can be arranged for beginners and connoisseurs, with dining options also available for groups of up to 10 people.

The Rooms

  • Ashford Castle has 83 accommodations, including 77 individually designed guest rooms, five luxurious suites and a secluded Hideaway Cottage. All suites enjoy breathtaking views of the River Cong or Lough Corrib.
  • The Reagan Presidential Suite takes its name from the former president, who was a guest of Ashford Castle in 1984. Located in the oldest wing of the castle, the sumptuous accommodation boasts an original fireplace, antique George III-style four-poster bed, original portraits and fantastic floor-to-ceiling views of Lough Corrib.
  • Deluxe Queen Family Rooms have two queen-size beds and a large bathroom. Lego room service is available for younger guests, courtesy of the hotel’s own Lego butler.
  • The generously proportioned bathrooms are outfitted with Connemara marble, organic Voya products and (in some) clawfoot tubs.
  • The secluded and romantic Hideaway Cottage is a popular choice for honeymooners or those seeking extra privacy. Just moments from the castle, the lovingly restored former boathouse boasts gated access, 24-hour concierge service and room service, private gardens, lake views, complimentary wax jackets and Wellington boots to take home as a memorable souvenir.

The Restaurants

  • Afternoon tea has been a tradition at Ashford Castle since 1868. These days, the classic service takes place in the elegant and light-filled surroundings of the Connaught Room, where you can expect a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, housemade cakes and petit fours served with a choice of teas or champagne.
  • A short walk over the bridge from the castle, Cullens at the Cottage offers casual dining in a thatched-roof structure. Order fresh lobster, oysters and an array of ales.
  • Enjoy bistro-style dining in The Dungeon restaurant, which can be found on the lower ground floor of the County Mayo hotel. Originally the Guinness family pantry, the venue’s vaulted ceilings are now festooned with banners, coats of arms and medieval flourishes, and traditional Irish food is the specialty.
  • Furnished with Waterford crystal chandeliers, rich fabrics and timber paneling, George V Dining Room is Ashford Castle’s most distinguished restaurant. Helmed by executive chef Philippe Farineau and executive pastry chef Paula Stakelum, the kitchen churns out upscale, locally sourced fare like Achill Island lamb loin and wild-caught hake with lobster risotto.
  • Stanley’s nine-seat, 1950s-style diner takes its design inspiration from The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion. A popular spot for a late breakfast or brunch, the restaurant’s menu is teeming with pancakes, waffles, burgers, grilled sandwiches, bagels and salads.

Amenities
Bar
Golf
Gym
House car
Indoor pool
Meeting rooms
Pet friendly
Restaurants
Spa
Tennis
Getting There
Cong, County Mayo, F31 CA48 Ireland
TEL353-94-954-6003
NEARBY AIRPORT(S)
NOC (1 h)   SNN (1 hr 40 min)   DUB (2 hr 50 min)  
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