This year, historic and luxurious Ashford Castle in Western Ireland celebrates its 80th anniversary as a leading Irish hotel. There’s no better reason to visit this lush country than to spend some time in a magnificent 8-century old castle. Baroque Travel takes a look
Ashford Castle first opened to the public as a luxury hotel in the summer of 1939, and has, in its long and illustrious history hosted Royalty, presidents and more than a few celebrities. Four years ago, the hotel underwent a meticulous $100-plus million restoration and the castle is now as magnificent as ever. In fact, Ashford Castle is constantly on the Best of the World lists every single year – and for good reason.
A stay at this grand 800-year-old castle is a Royal adventure, embracing exquisite interiors, superlative cuisine and a wealth of activities. The castle is renowned as Ireland’s top hotel destination and is the former home of the Guinness family. There are just 83 rooms and suites, all individually designed, combining the castle’s original features with the latest modern luxuries.
Dining here is always a gourmet experience, and the menus comprise the finest seasonal ingredients paired with an extensive selection of wines from the cellar. There are 4 main dining rooms at Ashford Castle – the George V Dining Room offers fine dining at its best, whilst guests can enjoy more casual dining in Cullen’s at the Cottage or The Dungeon. For a delectable High Tea, head for the elegant Connaught Room.
The choice of activities at Ashford Castle is what makes a vacation here so exceptional – the vast 350-acre grounds is a playground, featuring some of the finest selection of sporting activities available in the country. These include horse riding, fishing, falconry and shooting, as well as golf, cycling and kayaking. And let’s not forget tennis, lake cruising, cycling and traditional boat trips as well as stand up paddle boarding, zip lining, tree climbing and off-road driving. The castle even has 2 Go Pro cameras for guests who wish to capture all the action! And for those who wish to relax, there’s a private cinema.
The castle’s spa, awarded ‘Overall Spa of the Year 2018’ by Irish Tatler, is a state-of-the-art establishment offering numerous wellness and beauty treatments and journeys that leave guests feeling nurtured, purified, pampered and rejuvenated. It offers a relaxation pool, 5 treatment rooms and a stunning terrace area offering scenic views. It also featues a stunning Fitness Center.
From May till the end of December 2019, Ashford Castle celebrates its 80th birthday with a special hotel experience. This included a 2-night stay in one of the castles plush refurbished Corrib Rooms, a 1-hour Hawk Walk at the Ireland School of Falconry, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, an hour-long horseback-riding lesson for 2, a gourmet dinner for 2 in the George V Dining Room and a history tour with a local historian. Rates start from around $4430 for 2 people for the 2-night stay. So, what are you waiting for? Ireland beckons…