- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Ireland is one of the world’s most magical destinations; it makes for an ideal place to ring in the new year. And Ashford Castle is one of the most magnificent places in the country. Just 45 minutes from Galway Airport, it’s past fields so green that they almost look fake.
The royal treatment begins the minute I get out of my vehicle: my luggage is whisked away and I’m handed an arrival drink — a top-secret recipe called “Arthur’s Bellini”, named after Arthur Guinness, the famed brewmaster and previous owner of the castle. It’s a combination of Guinness and champagne that’s just a touch sweet and remarkably delicious.
The décor inside the Great Hall is period perfect with Waterford chandeliers and gilt mirrors and fireplaces. I flop into a large upholstered chair — to me, Ashford looks handsomely well-worn like a cozy family estate.
Despite the intimate feel Ashford is quite large. With 350 acres of sprawling land and 83 guest rooms, there are plenty of opportunities to get lost (I make a few wrong turns before finding my room.) Each boudoir at Ashford has unique period décor with carefully hidden modern amenities like heated towel racks. Bathrooms are nearly as large as the bedrooms with double basins and a copious amount of marble. I love the old-fashioned claw foot tubs and oversized beds. I feel like a princess. No wonder Grace Kelly was an Ashford regular. I treat myself to afternoon tea. The scones and clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches with butter and pastel-colored cakes are so generous, I’m ready for an afternoon nap.
Over dinner in the Connaught Room, an Irish guest tells the story of the mischievous ghost on the 4th floor. The restaurant prides itself on featuring local Irish produce, tempting me to try the Chef’s degustation menu; however, traditional fish and chips win me over. For dessert, I indulge in an Irish cheese plate. Gaelic cheese is totally underrated. It is absolutely the creamiest, most delicate cheese I’ve ever tasted.
The next morning I wander the lush grounds, where wild woods border manicured gardens, until finally arriving at The School of Falconry. There aren’t many firsts left in travel, but casting my beautiful hawk “Milly” into the trees and seeing her sweep back and land delicately on my gloved forearm is an unfamiliar thrill. After a morning with the hawks and Dingle, the adorable 22-pound owl, I am happy to stay on property and go to the spa. I also debate a Lough Carrib river cruise, but the concierge convinces me to explore nearby towns of Galway, Clifdon and Cong instead.
A delightful drive through the countryside and I begin to understand what “forty shades of green” really means. I pass rolling hills scattered with blonde cows and hear the sounds of locals enjoying a pint (or two). I join them for a drink and satisfy my need for a medieval adventure.
How to Get There
What can you say? Absolute heaven from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Staff at the castle couldn't do enough for you.
Beautiful place and amazing experience. Plenty to do eg. cycling, playing games in the Billiard Room and going to see a film in the hotel cinema( you get a drink,sweets and popcorn for free). Other activities that you could do were the boat cruise which took you around several islands,horse riding, falconry which was absolutely amazing,hotel spa and swimming pool which was so relaxing and the majestic Irish Wolfhounds who are residents of the hotel. All the experiences were amazing and unforgettable especially the falconry. Just walking inside and outside the Castle was a pleasure and very interesting.
The Corrib rooms were lovely and we had a magnificent view of the Castle moat,river and grounds. The bed was super comfortable and the room was tastefully decorated. Only thing that was missing was a kettle unfortunately.
Breakfast in the George IV restaurant was delicious. Afternoon tea in the Connaught Room was very enjoyable. The dinner in the Dungeon restaurant was very good. The Dungeon menu in my opinion should be more extensive, more choice. Apart from this I would highly recommend Ashford for an experience you won't forget. I want to go back soon. Heaven.
From the moment you drive up to the gate the staff treat you like royalty. The entire experience from check in to the hotel tour, our room and the restaurants and bars was an experience I'll never forget. The castle and grounds are breathtaking. I only wish I could have spent more time here!
We spend Thanksgiving at Ashford Castle. My Wife and I stayed in the a Wonderful Castle and had a very Special night in a Beautiful Amazing Residence. Our Children stayed in the nearby Lodge in a very nice and comfortable room. We All were able to dine at the Lodge with fine folks mostly American. A great time was had by all. The Castle is rather expensive which includes all activities but worth a one time adventure. However my Wife might disagree! Next time it will be two nights at the Lodge and visit the Castle and the grounds to include golf and .....
Myself, husband with our daughter and son in law and new baby grandson at 5 months old booked afternoon tea on a cold wet December Monday afternoon. Our daughter and husband arrived home to Ireland from Perth for Xmas with their new baby. To welcome our latest grandson we celebrated in style at Ashford Castle. Afternoon tea with delightful selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones were presented to perfection in the finest bone china with silver tea pots. Staff were extremely courteous, welcoming and facilitating with a baby and buggy in tow. Cannot recommend this place highly enough for that special celebration. The views alone from the castle are to die for!
A truly magical place. An amazing castle in a breathtaking location but most of all the staff are fantastic. The new spa area is just a beautiful building and sits in so well with the rest of the historic castle. Loads of great activities to do on the estate.Yes it is expensive but it's so worth it!