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Ashford Castle in Ireland – A Luxury Hotel Like No Other
Ashford Castle is located in the wilds of Connemara in the West of Ireland. Built 900 years ago by the DeBurgo family, Ashford has been recreated from its humble beginnings as a defensive Irish Castle into its current incarnation as a castle in the Victorian Gothic style. The castle was converted into a hotel in 1939 by owner Noel Huggard. Ashford is hailed as a premier European hunting and fishing destination.
Ashford Castle is a True Beauty
The castle consists of 83 beautifully designed bedrooms with luxuriously appointed bathrooms. Each room offers spectacular views of the stunning gardens and beautiful waterways. There are plentiful drawing rooms and halls where guests can congregate, and relax in front of the immense fireplaces that are lit with open fires.
The Ashford estate boasts 300 acres of splendid gardens that include tree specimens from around the world. The 9-hole parkland golf course was designed by the legendary Irish golf course designer Eddie Hackett.
Dining and Entertainment
The castle features a choice for guests’ dining pleasure. The ‘George V’ offers a formal atmosphere in which to enjoy the culinary delights of a Michelin Star Chef. The Cullen’s Cottage is a casual restaurant that offers a menu of bistro-style cuisine. The property also boasts the Dungeon Bar which features Irish flavored entertainment in the form of dancing, singing and storytelling.
Lough Corrib is a popular lake known for its trout and salmon fishing. The lake encompasses 41,000 acres and contains several hundred islands within its shores. Many of these islands feature ancient settlements that can be explored during a day trip boating excursion.
There have been many famous guests to Ashford Castle, some of which have stayed for months each visit. Among the more notable personalities are:
- Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne who both stayed in the castle while working on the film “The Quiet Man” in the neighboring village of Cong.
- President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy visited during his presidency.
- George V, after whom the restaurant is named, stayed for several months to enjoy the noted hunting and fishing.
- Pierce Brosnan got married there during our 2001 trip. Then he followed us to Dublin where we saw him no less than 4 times. It was very exciting.
During its six decades of operation as a luxury hotel, Ashford Castle has emerged as the most exclusive Irish castle hotel as well as a premier hunting and fishing mecca.
We spent a week here in 2001. This still is one of the most memorable trips that my husband and I have ever taken. From skeet shooting and falconry to authentic Irish pubs and dinner entertainment, Ashford Castle tops our list in terms of top travel spots.