The picturesque towns and cities, verdant landscapes, and rich history are just a few of the reasons worth visiting Ireland. With a history that dates back over 800 years, the luxurious Ashford Castle is one of the best Irish stays. The former home of the Guinness family has been around since 1228 but underwent a careful restoration in 2010.
All of the 83 rooms and suites are uniquely decorated to preserve the heritage of the castle. No two rooms are alike, and each is filled with an assortment of antique furnishings, ranging from four-poster canopied beds to chandeliers. Many of the rooms also have in-room fireplaces, marble bathtubs, heated floors, and oversized windows with views of the gorgeous castle landscape.
During your time at the castle, there’s ample opportunity to spend time exploring the 350 acres. Onsite, there are tons of activities, including hawk walks at Ireland’s oldest school of falconry, horseback riding, clay shooting, and morning walks with the castle’s famous Irish wolfhounds. Guests can also book a private tasting with the onsite sommeliers in the wine cellar, take a tour of the expansive onsite garden, spend time in the beautiful spa, or head to the Éalù wellness center.
As for dining, options are aplenty. Each day starts with an extensive breakfast buffet that includes options like pancakes with cinnamon cream, freshly baked pastries, and an Irish breakfast spread. For lunch, The Drawing Room serves up a delicious light menu. However, afternoon tea in The Connaught Room is super special with its assortment of specialty teas, finger sandwiches, fresh, warm scones, and handmade pastries. Put on your best for dinner in the George V Dining Room with its crystal Waterford chandeliers, luxe velvet furniture, and delicious menu options that come straight from the estate’s gardens.
There is also The Dungeon, a casual dining experience focused on grilling and roasting meat and fish, and Cullen’s at the Cottage, a spot with an emphasis on locally sourced Irish produce and seafood. The small counter bar/open kitchen dubbed Stanley’s is another great lunch alternative, and Squire Danaghers is a fantastic place to rent out for a private dining experience.
Before bed, grab a nightcap at The Prince of Wales Bar, which has Ashford Castle’s signature cocktail, or play a friendly game of billiards with a cigar or whiskey at The Billards Room & Cigar Terrace.
Location: Cong, County Galway, Ireland
The Vibe: A masterfully renovated 13th-century castle mixed with all the amenities you’d want in a luxury hotel.
Food + Drink: Start and end the day in the George V. Dining Room, which is home to the hotel’s extensive breakfast buffet and is the formal dining option on site. For lunch, grab afternoon tea in The Connaught Room or head to The Drawing Room for some light bites. Other dining options include The Dungeon and Stanleys, which are both informal spots.
Amenities: luxe fitness and wellness center; room service; gorgeous spa; wifi; complimentary shuttles around the property
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The staff who take every single step to make your stay memorable.
Rooms: 83 rooms and suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $500/a night
Closest Airport: Shannon Airport (SNN)