Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is a majestic 800-year-old castle turned hotel that was once the home of the Guinness family

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is one of Ireland's iconic Hotels near Galway and ideal for exploring Northwest Ireland on a Private driver-guided Tour of Ireland.

Ashford is what you imagine Camelot to look like, with turrets, battlements and a drawbridge. Ashford has 83 comfortable rooms and suites, 350 acres of pleasure grounds, and six dining venues. King Arthur would have been envious, especially of the luxury spa.

Ashford Castle is an ideal base to tour the majestic Connemara National Park, the city of Galway and the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. Customise your Private Tour of Ireland and include Ashford Castle.

The Iconic Ashford Estate

All 83 rooms, suites and cottage are traditionally decorated to a premium standard. Every room has its colour scheme and style with works of art and modern luxuries.

Room options
Enjoy bespoke beds, high-end towels and 400 thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen. Each room has air-conditioning, an electronic safe, USB chargers and a hairdryer. Treat yourself after a long day by using the Deluxe Voya toiletries or relax by watching the plasma screen tv or stay connected via the complimentary internet.

Corrib Rooms (from 15ft x 12ft) with a king-size bed; Corrib Lake View Rooms (from 15ft x 12ft) with a king-size bed; Deluxe Rooms (from 12.2ft x 20ft) with a king-size bed, overlooking the estate; Lake View Deluxe Rooms (from 12.2ft x 20ft) with a king-size bed; Deluxe Queen Family Rooms (from 16ft x 24ft) with two queen-size beds, overlooking Lough Corrib.

Suite options
All suites have that extra detail of antique furniture and luxury fabrics, and enjoy a view of either the River Cong or Lough Corrib. Some rooms are named after past guests, such as Senator Kennedy and President Reagan.

Enjoy bespoke beds, high-end towels and 400 thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen. Each room has air-conditioning, an electronic safe, USB chargers and a hairdryer. Treat yourself after a long day by using the Deluxe Voya toiletries or relax by watching the plasma screen tv or stay connected via the complimentary internet.

The Suites (from 16ft x 15ft) have bedrooms with separate living space ideal for private dining, reading, working or watching tv. Expect king-sized beds and custom-designed carpets.

The Junior Staterooms (from 14.5ft x 24ft) have fabulous views, and some offer split level seating areas. There is also the option to interconnect, creating family accommodation: king-sized beds and custom-designed carpets.

The Staterooms (from 16ft x 24ft) offer high ceilings, statement beds, lavish furnishings, and original fireplaces. Expect unique feature king-sized beds and custom-designed carpets.

The Kennedy Suite (15.4ft x 24ft) is where Senator Ted Kennedy stayed in the early 1980s, again in the oldest wing with all the period features you would expect from a medieval castle. Combine with the Reagan suite to create a fantastic private family wing.

The Reagan Presidential Suite (14.9ft x 25ft), where President Reagan stayed in 1984, has a stunning antique four-poster bed. The accommodation has a character with a split level and two bathrooms. It can be closed off with two adjacent rooms (Kennedy Suite plus Corrib Lake View room) to create a private three-bedroom wing of the castle. Complimentary canapes are delivered each evening.

Self-contained accommodation
The Hideaway Cottage has private gardens and lakeside access. Indulge in private dining on your private pier. The amenities of the Hideaway Cottage include bikes, a basket of goodies and a fully stocked bar. The cottage is the ideal choice for a couple on a romantic break. The one-bed cosy place comes with wellington boots, raincoats, private dining options, luxury toiletries and bathrobes.

The George V Dining Room offers an exquisite fine dining experience set in an elegant décor with panelled walls and elegant Waterford Crystal chandeliers. The renowned Chef Philippe Farineau makes sure that guests will enjoy exceptional dishes.

The Dungeon sits on the lower ground floor of the castle and provides a unique setting for guests to enjoy dishes from a bistro-style menu focusing on traditional Irish cuisine.
Cullen’s at the Cottage is a traditional thatched cottage where guests will have a relaxed dining experience enjoying international and local dishes inspired by the owner Beatrice Tollman.

Stanley’s offers an Irish welcome with an American twist; try one of the signature diner dishes such as the Elvis sandwich, combining peanut butter, banana and streaky bacon. Enjoy your meal in an intimate and playful setting.

The Prince of Wales Bar was built in the late 1800s and takes you back in time with its refined wood panelling, traditional furniture and original fireplace. There is an extensive selection of cocktails, liqueurs and brandies, and an opportunity for private whiskey and gin tastings.

As expected, Ashford Castle offers a full range of country sports, including fishing on Lough Corrib, clay pigeon shooting, one of the largest equestrian centres in the country. Enjoy an exclusive 9-hole golf course and Ireland's oldest established Falconry School. There is tree climbing for the kids for the best views or zip-lining for those thrill-seekers.

Take an early morning dog walk with Ashford's Irish Wolfhounds, Cronan and Garvan.  These gentle giants will introduce you to some of the beautiful walks around the estate. Here are some more experiences to be booked; boat trips, tennis, fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, learning about and taking part in cooking, baking and foraging with a series of "taste of Ireland" itineraries.

Your stay at Ashford Castle must include a visit to their award-winning Spa. Admire the unique 'Tree of Life' mural, symbolising Irish Celtic Mythology, which runs the relaxation pool's length. There are five beautiful treatment rooms and a Turkish Hammam as well as essence infused steam room.

In County Mayo, the massive structure of Ashford Castle stands surrounded by lakes, mountains and thick forests. It is a luxury hotel, but it is a real castle with real history.

Back in the 13th Century, all invading Anglo-Norman armies consolidated their newly acquired lands by building fortresses - they were symbols of power and influence. The local O'Connors of Connaught were dispossessed. The De Burgo family constructed several castles, such as Ashford Castle, then known as Castle of Cong. Guests can still see the original stonework of the medieval building.

Over time, the Anglo-Normans became English. In 1589, the De Burgo family faced defeat in a ferocious battle against invading English forces. Queen Elizabeth 1st sent Sir Robert Bingham, who pursued the native army right to its front doors. The stronghold needed to attend to make it secure. Updating and remodelling turned the castle into a mini fortified town, housing troops from England.

In the early 18th Century, the Ashford Estate under the ownership of the Oranmore and Browne family became a lavish holiday home in the style of a French chateau now embedded into the castle's central part. Ashford was a vacation home with various sporting activities, much like today. Details of the rebuilding of those times you can see at the Hotel today, such as the Oak Hall and reception area. You also see grand Georgian style windows and European double-headed eagles carved in stone, making the castle look and feel like a romantic fort.

The Great Famine (1845-1852), or Irish potato famine was a horrendous period of Irish history; disease and hunger swept through the west and south of Ireland. Over one million fled the country for a better life abroad, and another million died of starvation and disease. The Ashford Estate, as expected, fell into disrepair but saved by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness. The famous Stout brewery began in 1759, first brewed in Dublin and now brewed in fifty countries and available in over 120 – undoubtedly one of the most famous beverage brands of all time.

Sir Benjamin added another 26,000 acres to the estate and added two large wings, known as the Victorian extensions. The vast building project brought much employment and relief to the locals. Guinness recognised the significant hardship people had been through and tried to improve the unviable farmland and attempt to make the estate sustainable for future generations.

In the late 19th Century, Sir Benjamin's son, Lord Ardilaun, planted a million trees across the estate, connecting all parts of the property with walks. Most trees are evergreen giving the estate structure and colour throughout the year. More rebuilding in the baronial style was completed in the late 1880s. Guests can see the "Guinness" additions to the property's George V Restaurants and West Wing.

The castle becomes a hotel. In 1939, Noel Huggard purchased the property and created a first-class hotel. Most of the original contents, including silverware and beds, was all part of the deal.
In 1951, Director John Ford's films "The Quiet Man" in the west of Ireland starring John Wayne became a classic. Most of the cast stayed at Ashford Castle, and the grounds became a prominent backdrop to the film.

In 1984, the then-President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy enjoyed a stay at Ashford Castle as part of their Presidential Tour of Ireland. In 2013 Mr & Mrs Stanley and Beatrice Tollman purchased Ashford Castle and is now part of the 'Red Carnation Hotel Collection.'

Touring Guide
Ashford Castle is an ideal base for a Private driver-guided Tour of Ireland. As you can imagine, it is a traditional, rural, sparsely populated land, with windswept mountains and countryside dotted with low stone walls and peat bogs.

Explore the Connemara National Park, home to four of the Twelve Bens Mountain range. Can you spot a glimpse of the famous Connemara ponies?

Botanists will be thrilled with unusual bog, heathland plants, and birdlife varied with hooded crows, stonechats, peregrines and merlins, the smallest falcons in the British Isles. Galway's lively medieval town has become a centre for food and music with its fast-growing student population.

Ireland's Iconic Castle Hotel

A Luxury Playground for all the Family

  • Bespoke Amenities
  • Virtuoso Network
  • Private Cinema
  • 350 acres of Gardens, Forests and Woodland
  • World Spa Awards; Ireland BEST

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799