Built in 1228 by the de Burgo family, just 45 minutes from the city of Galway, Ashford Castle was their main stronghold in Ireland. It passed through several hands over the next centuries, including Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, part of the family who created the famous beer of the same name.
By 2013, Red Carnation Hotels, a part of the Travel Corporation, bought the castle and started a top to bottom, $75 million renovation and refurbishment to create a world-renowned luxury hotel. They were committed to using local resources to restore its glory and kept its original features intact.
Travelers can indulge in the lap of luxury, and the Travel Corporation companies like Trafalgar, Insight, and Brendan, all have their guests stay a night or two at the 5-star Ashford Castle when visiting Ireland. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about Ashford Castle.
Stay In A Real Castle
Set on a 350 acre private estate, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib, enjoying a stay in a 791-year-old castle is like a fairy tale. The spectacular 83 rooms have been individually and lovingly designed, combining the castle’s original features with the latest modern luxuries. Guests will sleep like royalty in the luxuriously appointed rooms, adorned with antique furniture, sumptuous fabrics, custom-designed carpets, and Egyptian cotton bed linens. From elegant dinners, beautiful grounds, and excellent service, Ashford Castle offers guests acclaimed Irish hospitality on a grand scale.
Ashford Castle has much to offer their younger guests. With choices from deluxe family rooms to adjoining suites, they have accommodations to fit a family of any size. Not to mention, with personal touches like child-sized robes, fairy and sword toys, and castle-themed bedtime stories with your child’s name, it is a perfect place to stay for families.
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The expansive grounds of Ashford Estate lends itself perfectly to a range of activities. The castle offers sessions of archery, horseback riding, kayaking, cycling, golf, tennis, falconry, and there’s even a zip line.
Birders will be right at home at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland, located on the Ashford Castle grounds. They host falconry sessions using the beautiful Harris hawks and also have privately guided Hawk Walks that cater to all ages and families.
Ashford Castle also offers leisurely activities. Adults can take advantage of the spa facilities on site or indulge in a private wine tasting from the castle’s collection. The whole family will also love The Cinema, a fully-outfitted theater with red velvet seating for 30 and popcorn and snacks are provided. So whether you are the active type or prefer to relax and soak up the scenery, Ashford Castle has the activity and entertainment for you.
The creative Irish cuisine the chefs prepare at the Ashford Castle are a gourmet’s delight. Guests have the option of eating at 4 main dining rooms, from fine dining to casual and comfortable. There are also a number of bars and private dining areas for those who wish for a more intimate setting.
A traditional Irish breakfast is included with your stay and includes a selection of ham, scones, breads, juices served in the George V Dining Room, named after one of the most prominent guests who were served at the Castle.
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Guests will also love the elegant setting in the Connaught Room for Afternoon Tea. A tradition since 1868, Afternoon Tea is served daily, starting at 1:30 PM. In addition to tea, there are also glasses of Champagne, finger sandwiches, fresh scones, homemade jam, and other pastries.
Next time you find yourself feeling a little bit of wanderlust, plan your next vacation to Ireland and stay in Ashford Castle. Enjoy the richly-appointed rooms, delightful activities, beautiful grounds, kid-friendly amenities, delicious food, and afternoon tea. Whether you travel with Trafalgar, Insight, Brendan, or on your own, feel your troubles melt away at Ashford Castle in enchanting Ireland.