Ashford Castle @ Cong, Ireland
Unrivalled service, warm Irish hospitality and five star luxury await at Ashford Castle, part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of Leading Hotels of the World. Situated in a spectacular 350 acre estate, discover sumptuous rooms and suites, splendid interiors brimming with antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features at every turn.
Each of the 83 rooms and suites at Ashford Castle represent traditional elegance and finesse. Following extensive refurbishment, many of the rooms and suites have been individually and lovingly designed, combining the castle’s original features with the latest modern luxuries. Meticulous attention to detail can be found in the unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture and sumptuous fabrics with custom designed carpets, bespoke beds, feature lighting, exquisite towelling and Egyptian Cotton bed linen.
Ashford Castle has been hosting distinguished guests for almost 800 years – one of the most prominent being the Prince of Wales, who subsequently became George V of England. In honour of his visit in 1905, the Guinness family built a special dining room which still bears his name proudly to this day.
The graceful setting, with rich, panelled walls and twinkling Waterford Crystal chandeliers bestows a grand sense of occasion. Relax and enjoy exceptional dishes from the kitchen of acclaimed Chef Philippe Farineau, recently awarded two rosettes by the AA Hospitality Awards, combined with much loved recipes of Beatrice Tollman and complemented by a fine selection of wines from Head Sommelier Paul Fogerty.
Make sure to visit The Dungeon – as its name would suggest, the unique setting located on the lower ground floor of the castle invites diners to enjoy a range of dishes from the bistro-style menu with a focus on traditional Irish cuisine beneath the historic curved stone ceiling. Together with a relaxed ambience, it makes for a wonderful and memorable dining experience.
The Prince Of Wales Bar – Built in the late 1800s, the bar is to this day reminiscent of its captivating past, with its opulent fabrics, fine wood panelling, traditional furnishings and original fireplace creating a warm and welcoming ambience – the perfect place to enjoy your favourite tipple or a pint of Guinness. In 1905 the bar was visited by the Prince of Wales, who subsequently became George V of England. Ask for the signature cocktails.
Don’t miss the Hawk Walk. A one hour private Hawk Walks give you the incredible opportunity to fly your very own Harris Hawks under the guidance of your instructor. After you have been introduced to your hawks you’ll set off into the magnificent woodlands to fly your hawks, as they follow you from tree to tree through the woods before swooping down to land on your gloved fist. Your instructor will explain about the hawks’ exceptional eyesight, their speed and agility and how they were trained by the Falconry School themselves.
You’re also going to want to explore the grounds of the estate, the wonderful spa, the hidden Guinness Tower in the middle of the woods and so much more. If nothing else, spend some time on one of the best golf courses we have ever seen.