By Amanda Little
When looking for a regal place to stay on the Emerald Isle, look no further than Ashford Castle. Sitting pretty on the banks of Galway Bay, this spectacular 13th-century castle is one of the finest resort hotels in the world.
Ashford Castle has 83 stunning individually decorated rooms offering views of the castle grounds, the castle itself, or Corrib Lough, better known as Galway River. After undergoing a full restoration, guests can now enjoy rooms that blend ancient castle life with modern comforts, regal stays with convenience, and of course, the quality of service and amenities that comes with a hotel that was voted the No. 1 Best Resort Hotel in Ireland and the UK.
Perhaps staying in a Corrib Lake View Room is suited to your tastes, which provides wonderful views of Galway Bay, and includes fine amenities like king-sized beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, fresh flowers, and much more. With each room being individually decorated, color palates range throughout the hotel, offering the opportunity to pick the color of the room they like the best.
The deluxe rooms, staterooms, and suites only become more opulent, including separate seating areas with windows looking out over the castle and its grounds, as well as custom designed carpets, chandeliers, and 24 hour in-room dining, among their many other excellent amenities. While the dazzling castle rooms make you want to stay inside all day, the rest of the castle has its own charms and activities that can draw out any kind of traveler.
Perhaps you’ll don your Sunday best and enjoy a lavish and charming afternoon tea in the castle’s tea room, catch a movie in the castle’s own cinema, unwind in the spa that was awarded Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa of 2017, or stroll through the meticulously looked after gardens on the castle’s 350-acre grounds. For those looking for something with a bit more kick, the hotel offers shooting, archery, falconry, and horseback riding to guests. However, modern activities like kayaking, cycling, golf, zip lining, and tennis are all available. Of course, being on the lake also lends to activities like stand-up paddle boarding for the adventurous, traditional boat rides for the romantics, and lake cruises or fishing trips for those looking for a day on the water!
When not engaged in amazing activites, be sure to stop in at any of the many wonderful dining places throughout the castle. From the stoic Dungeon to the purely royal George V dining room and the Prince of Wales Bar, the castle offers gastronomy fit for a king.
Wonderful cuisine aside, a castle is nothing without its staff, and Ashford Castle has some of the most dedicated professionals in the business. Guests can enjoy a warm Irish welcome from each proud member working in Ashford Castle, as well as qualified healthcare and childcare services while on the grounds. You’ll find yourself being waited on hand and foot by people who genuinely care about your time at the castle, and it’s nothing short of magical.
While family rooms are available in the castle, very large parties may want to look into The Lodge. This private abode is a bit more modern, with personality and a unique atmosphere, and is still on castle grounds! While The Lodge makes a more affordable stay, guests still have access to activities and opportunities the castle offers. Just be sure to book anything you’d like to do when you book your room, otherwise there may not be enough space for you to join in!
No matter where you stay at Ashford Castle, guests will be spellbound by this amazing resort, and remember it fondly for the rest of their lives.