For our third anniversary, Peter and I decided to go on a trip. And we chose a very special place. That didn’t take long, because in the back of our minds there was always the name Ashford Castle, and I’ll give you a couple of reasons why.
The Castle itself
Ashford Castle is a medieval castle that has been expanded over the centuries and turned into a five star luxury hotel on the Mayo-Galway border. It was previously owned by the Guinness family, particularly known for producing the Guinness stout beer.
The castle was first built in 1228 and restored, rebuilt and expanded many times. It appeared in Hollywood productions such as The Quiet Man (1951) and more recently, the series Reign (2013). It also played host to many notable guests, including: King George, John Lennon, Oscar Wilde, President Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan, who got married there.
In May 2013, the hotel was bought by Red Carnation Hotels, a group which owns several other boutique hotels, for €20 million. Last year, Ashford Hotel has been voted the world’s number one hotel by Virtuoso, an international network of luxury travel agencies.
My very first impression was the best possible. I was blown away by the setting and the Castle grounds, which are magnificent. We didn’t stay in the castle (yet), we stayed at The Lodge (a hotel in Ashford Castle’s estate) and I believe we couldn’t have made a better choice.
The grounds at the Lodge at Ashford Castle are very peaceful and the Castle is within walking distance or a quick car ride over. The golf course is well-maintained and the greens fees are waived for guests. Unfortunately we were unable to view the interior of the Castle as we were told that it can only be done with a member of Ashford Castle staff and since they were all busy, no tours were available during our stay.
The hotel overall is lovely and all the common areas were well designed and inviting. Every member of staff was friendly and extremely helpful, and coudn’t do enough for us at any time.
Our room was overlooking the waters of Lough Corrib and it was the most comfortable place I’ve ever been. Very spacious, impecable clean and smelling like lemongrass and cedarwood. We got a welcome card and a treat for our anniversary celebration. And I have to say.. the shower was THE BEST one I’ve had, and the toileteries (soap, shampoo, etc) all smelled like the room. I’d go there again just for the shower and the lemongrass and cedarwood smell. (I actually got a bottle of handwash and handcream as a reminder of those wonderful moments).
We had dinner at the Wilde’s restaurant. We ordered a 3-course meal (€55), but were treated to hidden courses (tasting small bites between courses) on top of this. Every dish is done at the highest standard and it obviously takes time. Everything was so so tasty and presented lovingly.
For the following morning we’ve decided to spoil ourselves with the full Irish breakfast in bed, a great option the hotel offers. The highlight of our second day was a boat trip on the river. Capitain Patrick Luskin was not only good at the wheel, but full of information and very easy to talk with.
Everything was perfect, in every single aspect. My only regret is not staying longer.
If you want to know more about my project #30CastlesBefore30 check this post.
*This is NOT a sponsored post. All views and opinions shared are my own.
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