Ashford Castle sits on the border of counties Galway and Mayo in the West of Ireland. Both counties are on the Atlantic coast and located on one of Ireland’s most scenic driving routes, the Wild Atlantic Way.
This is one of Ireland's most scenic regions, with rugged Connemara nearby. The area is also home to Lough Corrib, on the shores of which sits this majestic property.
A recent winner of the prestigious Virtuoso Hotel of the Year award, Ashford Castle was once in the possession of Lord and Lady Ardilaun of the Guinness family. It has welcomed royalty, celebrities and heads of state across its illustrious history including Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and more. It was also the chosen wedding location for Pierce Brosnan in 2001.
Ashford Castle comprises 83 rooms, including an idyllic new Hideaway Cottage, situated in total privacy on the edge of the Lough with a private dining terrace.
Following a loving restoration, all guest rooms and suites have been individually redesigned and redecorated to reflect elegance and finesse. With beautiful fabrics, bespoke carpets and marble bathrooms, each bedroom also boasts original artwork and one-of-a-kind antiques and furnishings.
Plush bathrobes, movies on demand, fresh flowers and deluxe Voya toiletries can mean guests find it difficult to leave the rooms. No problem – just request a room service breakfast.
Bar & restaurants
Elegance continues in the opulent Prince of Wales Bar, where guests are encouraged to sit back and relax with their favourite tipple and in the lough-facing Drawing Room with its warm scones, piled high with thick clotted cream and homemade jams.
The Castle's three restaurants – the George V Dining Room, Cullen's at the Dungeon and Cullen's at the Cottage – have all been beautifully enhanced. They boast delicious menus reflecting the bountiful source of fresh and locally sourced Irish produce, including fruit and vegetables from the Castle's very own gardens.
Dishes include organic Clare Island salmon, slow roasted rib of locally reared beef and Connemara Whiskey-scented Crème Brulee.
The spectacular Wine Cellars at Ashford Castle offer private wine tastings and wonderful wine dinners in the secret passageways of the castle, which were unearthed during the restorations.
Brand new additions include a traditional billiard room and spacious cigar terrace with views across the sweeping gardens and calming waters of Lough Corrib.
Then comes the 32-seat cinema with red velvet chairs and a vast selection of movies (which change daily) and the opportunity to spot local sights during screenings of The Quiet Man, which was filmed on the estate and in the local village of Cong.
No luxury hotel would be complete without somewhere to truly relax and rejuvenate and with the completion of the Ashford Castle Spa, guests can enjoy luxury by the lake.
Featuring an indoor ozone-filtrated relaxation pool, five treatment rooms, relaxation area and gym, it promises pampering from head to toe with an extensive spa menu which includes hot stone massage, French manicures, regenerating facials and moisturising body polishes.
Outside the historic walls lie 350 acres of grounds. This fine country estate provides activities which make the most of its rural setting and explore the forested woodland, rolling hills and winding footpaths.
Guests can get back to nature as they ride horse back through the Connemara Mountains or come face to face with the resident Harris Hawks during a Hawk Walk from Ireland's first ever School of Falconry.
Experience the thrill of catching a salmon from the River Cong during a fishing trip with Orvis-endorsed ghillies, or take a leisurely River Cruise on Lough Corrib and explore the history of its 365 islands.
Those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land can make use of the Castle's 9-hole golf course, newly resurfaced tennis courts and brand new range of bikes. Thrill seekers can get the adrenalin pumping as they zip line through the forest canopy, climb one of its tallest trees or take aim on the new clay pigeon shooting and archery range.
Ashford Castle is also home to two Irish Wolfhounds, Cronan and Garvan, and these two friendly giants can accompany guests on country walks before settling down for the evening in front of a roaring fire.