Ashford Castle Is Named the Best Hotel in the World
By R. Bryan Willits, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2016
Ashford Castle, a massive hotel located at the shores of Lough Corrib on 350 acres of verdant Co. Mayo land, has been prestigiously ranked as the best hotel in the world by Virtuoso, a luxury travel network composed of 9,000 global specialists.
The award was given to the five-star luxury hotel at the Best of the Best Awards during Virtuoso Travel Week, a luxury travel show in Las Vegas. Boasting 82 rooms, a 32-seat cinema, a spa, and for those with more adventurous, exotic tastes, the hotel also hosts Ireland’s first school of falconry, not to mention the archery, fishing, shooting, and golfing facilities also on-site.
“Ashford represents a time stamp of the eras,” according to Virtuoso travel advisor Julie Smothers of Montgomery, Alabama. “Its staff members are like warm and inviting walking history books.”
Indeed, Ashford Castle holds a special place in Irish history and culture, as it was once owned by Lord and Lady Ardilaun of the Guinness family, and also hosted John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara during the filming of The Quiet Man.
Recently purchased by the Tollman family of Red Carnation Hotel Group fame, the new owners put $74.7 million into restoring this historic site, bringing about a new era for the castle and the accolades that have come with such an ambitious project.
Ashford Castle General Manager Niall Rochford Speaking told the Connacht Telegraph, “we are thrilled to have been awarded one of the luxury travel industry’s top awards.” ♦