Serving as a backdrop to the Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, many important people have stayed at the Ashford Castle. Guests have included King George V, Queen Mary, John Lennon, Oscar Wilde, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III. United States Senator Ted Kennedy and United States President Ronald Reagan stayed here. Brad Pitt stayed here in more recent years. Staying in this hotel remodeled in 2014 are many luxury travelers who enjoy playing on the 350-acre estate just like celebrities have for years.
Ashford Castle History
Members of the House of Burke built the original Ashford Castle in 1228. Sir Richard Bingham won the castle during a battle in 1558. In the 1670s, Dominick Browne built the first lodge on this site. Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness brought the property in 1852. Eventually, Ernest Guinness obtained the property gifting it to the Ireland government in 1939. Several companies tried to develop the property. Red Carnation Group spent over $75 million dollars to upgrade renovating this hotel to its former grandeur. Focus was on creating a romantic travel destination.
Staying at Ashford Castle
Choose from a variety of accommodations at Ashford Castle to meet your needs.
Stay secluded at the Hideaway Cottage. Sitting separately from all other accommodations makes this a great romantic hideaway spot. Enjoy 180 degree views of the lake. Walk outside to enjoy some of the oldest trees on the estate. Eat intimate dinners in the cottage lit by the blue Murano glass chandelier. Alternatively, dine at romantic candlelight dinners on the pier. Read a book while seated on an antique chair by the oldest fireplace at this historical castle. Relax in the comfort of this spacious cottage on the finest Egyptian linen. Enjoy the cottage’s décor decorated with found stone items. Prepare for your day’s adventures in the modern bathroom.
Reagan Presidential Suite
Former owner John A Mulcahy and President Reagan were great friends. President Reagan stayed here in 1984. Sitting in the oldest wing of the hotel, the Reagan Presidential Suite offers a split-level suite. Combining it with two other bedrooms is easy. Sleep on a George III four-poster bed. Spread out in measuring over 12 feet by 25 feet bedroom. Enjoy the world-class art on the wall. Relax on the antique furniture sourced from around the world. The sitting room measures over 12 feet by 18 feet making it easy to spread out in the sitting room as well. See spectacular views of Lough Corrib through the large windows.
United States Senator Ted Kennedy stayed at this hotel in 1980. The Kennedy Suite next to the Reagan Presidential Suite is named in his honor. Smell the fresh flowers placed on the Victorian rosewood center table. Tuck your clothes securely away in the 18th century Spanish armoire. Get a great night’s rest on the 19th century walnut bed.
Delight in the unique floorplans of the suites at Ashford Castle Ireland. Find a collection of soaps from world famous perfumeries. Smell the fragrant flowers placed in the suites each day. Set the temperature of the room to your own comfort level. Sit at the antique writing desk to record all your amazing adventures. Get light from the in-room chandelier. Most suites have bedrooms measuring over 15 feet by 15 feet. Each has a sitting room measuring over 11 feet by 15 feet. Get ready in the morning in the spacious bathrooms.
Activities at the Ashford Castle in Ireland
Find many wonderful activities at the Ashford Castle. Grab a fishing pole to catch a fish on Lough Corrib. Follow the expert advice of the guide to catch salmon, brown trout and pike. Learn how to fly fish or try your luck from a 19-foot traditional clinker wooden boat.
Zip among the trees between the platforms at the zipline course. See the wildlife up close that most people only see from the ground. Fly by the tree called Monty that is over 100 years old. Marvel at the 8-inch-thick bark on this tree from the nearby platform. Fly over 164 feet in the air. Alternatively, climb a tree set aside for this purpose.
Follow the National British Grand Championship guidelines to learn to shoot archery. Take aim with the bow to hit at rubber 3D targets. Archers can be assured of the safety of this activity because unique arrows are used. Alternatively, challenge your friends to a cay shooting contest.
Experience the Pedal and Paddle activity. Ride a bike to explore the immense beauty of the Ashford Castle estate. Then, get in a kayak to enjoy the lake. Choose to go on your own or be accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide.
Surprising Things to do at Ashford Castle
- Relax at the Spa Gardens with treatments designed to awaken your senses. Understand why this spa was named the best hotel spa in the world.
- Stroll through the gardens laid out by Lady Ardilaun more than 100 years ago. Learn why the formal garden has often been cited as one of the best country house gardens in Ireland.
- Fly a hawk at the oldest falconry school in Ireland. Take a short lesson before watching your hawk take flight. Then, explore the lush grounds with your hawk. Let the hawk land on your gloved hand.
- Play golf on the nine-hole course. Use the complimentary clubs. Challenge your friends to see who is the best. Visiting Ashford Castle is an exhilarating experience.
Ashford Castle rates and book your stay by contacting the hotel directly. Understand that most activities come at an additional fee. Reconnect with your natural side with the activities. Stay in the luxurious rooms while enjoying antique furniture collected from around the world. If you have visited Ashford Castle, then we would love to hear about your experiences. While Ashford Castle is a delightful place to stay, most of the activities are open to others.
Images from depositphotos.com.