Located in Cong, Ireland, the Ashford Castle is a hotel full of history. The original Ashford Castle was established in the 13th century by an Anglo Norman family, called the de Burgos, and was at one-time home to the famous Guinness family. In 2015, the Ashford Castle reopened after a two-year renovation and restoration that reaffirmed the castle’s status as one of the most prestigious hotels in Europe.

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1.Guest Accommodations

Guest Accommodations
© The Ashford Castle

The Ashford Castle has 82 rooms which include typical one bedrooms, the staterooms, suites, and the hideaway cottage, which are all uniquely designed to offer a little something different. The renovations incorporate both original and modern luxuries and impressive pieces of art, antique furniture, and custom designed carpets, towels, bed linens, and other décor. Guests can reserve the Corrib room, with or without the lake view, the Deluxe room with or without the lake view, one of the state rooms, which include the Junior stateroom or stateroom, or one of the three different suites. For the most lavish stay, the Deluxe Queen Family rooms and Hideaway Cottage are also available.

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2.Corrib Rooms

Corrib Rooms
© The Ashford Castle

The Corrib rooms feature a large king-size bed, made with posh Egyptian cotton bed linens, a plasma screen TV that has both movies and music on demand, and many other amenities. Some amenities include beautiful fresh flowers, cozy bathrobes and slippers, an in-room bar, and outlets that accommodate 110 volt sockets for those traveling from other countries. Also, the Ashford Castle offers a complimentary international direct dial telephone for guests who would like to call a loved one or business partner outside of Ireland, as well as a Bluetooth speaker, and turn down services each evening.

The Corrib Lake view room offers spectacular views of the lake and includes a king sized bed and the same amenities as the Corrib room, but also features chandeliers to enhance the elegant look and feel of the room. The Deluxe room comes with a king sized bed or two queen sized beds, a separate seating area, a desk, antique furniture that has been preserved since the 17th century, and interconnecting rooms are also available upon request. The Deluxe room with the lake view offers a similar amount of space plus stunning views of Lough Corrib and the surrounding landscape.

The Stateroom is another accommodation option for guests of the Ashford Castle. The staterooms date back to the 13th and 17th centuries and are located in the oldest part of the castle. These rooms feature high ceilings, four-poster beds, and in some cases a split level sitting area. Each stateroom is individually designed, so no two rooms offer the same look and feel, and they overlook the lake and surrounding landscape.

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3.Luxury Suites

Luxury Suites
© The Ashford Castle

For one of the most luxurious experiences, guests have the opportunity to stay in one of the suites. Each suite offers a king sized bed and sofa bed, as well as a large private dining space. Guests of the suites are able to enjoy views of the River Cong or Lough Corrib. The Kennedy and Presidential suites are two of the suites guests can choose from. The Kennedy Suite was named after Ted Kennedy, the US Senator, who stayed at the Ashford Castle in the 1980’s. This suite is located in the oldest section of the castle and is home to a walnut bed from the 19th century, an early Victorian center table, and an armoire that dates back to the 1700’s. For guests traveling as a family or in a group, the Kennedy Suite can be combined with the Reagan Presidential Suite which will create a private three-bedroom suite for guests to enjoy.

Guests staying in the Kennedy suite will receive complimentary champagne and chocolate upon arrival, an in-room Sherry wine night cap, which can be enjoyed in front of the in suite fireplace, turn down services every night, and access to 24-hour housekeeping and in-room dining. Also available is the Reagan Presidential Suite, which was named after President Reagan, a personal friend of a former Ashford Castle owner, who also stayed at the castle in the 1980’s. The Reagan Presidential suite features its own set of impressive antique furniture like an original fireplace, antique four poster bed, and artwork that dates back a few centuries. Guests staying in the Reagan Presidential Suite will feel like royalty in this split level suite that offers two bathrooms, and the option to be connected with the Kennedy suite for even more space. This suite also includes champagne and chocolate upon arrival, twenty-four-hour housekeeping, and in-room dining, as well as many special amenities. These additional amenities include a complimentary bar, complimentary appetizers every evening, and a daily gift to the room to make guests feel extra special while staying in the Reagan Presidential Suite at the Ashford Castle.

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4.Deluxe Queen Family Rooms

Deluxe Queen Family Rooms
© The Ashford Castle

The last accommodation guests can choose from are the Deluxe Queen Family Rooms, which are perfect for couples or families, or the hideaway cottage for the ultimate remote yet luxurious stay. The Deluxe Queen Family Rooms have two queen sized beds, a large sitting area, a desk, and a large bathroom with separate shower. These rooms can be connected with another room for more space as well. With views of Lough Corrib and the Parterre Gardens, and games like LEGOs and PlayStation, personalized storybooks for bedtime, and homemade cookies for children, families will feel right at home at the Ashford Castle.

The Hideaway Cottage is another great accommodation at the Ashford Castle. The Hideway Cottage is situated away from the hustle and bustle and is gated for ultimate privacy. The cottage is surrounded by forest and provides a 180-degree view of the lake. The cottage features the most elegant rooms, décor, and fantastic private dining services. Guests of the Hideaway Cottage will feel like royalty with a dedicated housekeeper and service attendant just a phone call away.

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© The Ashford Castle

There are so many options for food and drink while staying at Ashford Castle. Guests can choose to enjoy a meal at one of the castle’s four main dining rooms. These dining rooms include fine dining in the George V Dining room, casual dining at the Dungeon or Cullen’s at the Cottage, and afternoon tea which takes place in the Connaught Room every day. The George V Dining Room offers the ultimate fine dining experience with bright chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, white tablecloths, and exquisite décor surrounding the enchanting space. Guests can enjoy the resident pianist’s relaxing background music, as they enjoy a home cured duck or glazed pork cheek dish served with a glass of wine from Australia, South Africa, Portugal or Slovenia.

Open for dinner, the Dungeon offers a different kind of experience on the lower ground floor of the castle. The Dungeon is casual and has an extensive menu of Irish cuisine and comfort food like Irish stew and salmon fillet, served with mash potato and garlic or cheesy chips. For dessert, the Dungeon has strawberries and cream and white chocolate and raspberry truffle pastries. Cullen’s at the Cottage is another excellent food option for guests of the Castle. Open seasonally for lunch and dinner, the cottage has both indoor and outdoor seating, and offers both international and locally inspired dishes. Some recommended menu items include the signature Chicken Peri Peri dish which is slow cooked in the restaurants rotisserie oven, the short rib of beef, and rib eye steak, which is cooked to perfection in the charcoal oven.

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6.Prince of Wales Bar

Prince of Wales Bar
© The Ashford Castle

For alcoholic beverages and a nice social setting, guests can head to the wine cellar or the Prince of Wales Bar. The wine cellars offer private wine tastings of vintage, new, and old world wines, as well as dinner by candlelight in the most secretive yet cozy corners of the castle. The Prince of Wales bar is another great spot for a drink at the Ashford Castle. Built in the late 1800’s and serving up the perfect pint of Guinness and a full selection of cocktails, brandies, and liqueurs; guests will love this establishment.

For afternoon tea, guests can head to the Connaught Room. Afternoon tea has been a tradition at the Ashford Castle since 1868, and the Connaught Room’s large windows allow views of the Castle’s picturesque gardens and the Lough Corrib, while guests sip on specialty teas and nibble on hand-made pastries and finger sandwiches. The Connaught Room is open every day from 1:30 to 4:00 pm.

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7.Weddings and Events

Weddings and Events
© The Ashford Castle

The Ashford Castle is an enchanting place to have weddings and events. The castle can accommodate up to 164 guests but offers the perfect venue for both small and large weddings. The Connaught room is available for vow renewals and blessing ceremonies of up to 40 guests, and offers stunning views of Lough Corrib while “I do’s” are exchanged. The Ashford Castle team is happy to help make the bride and grooms special day as perfect as can be.

As for meetings and corporate events, the Ashford Castle offers a variety of rooms and event space like the billiards room, where attendees can play a game of pool, the board room, or the cinema for small and large gatherings Delicious catering services, state-of-the-art technology, and spectacular customer service are included and every event is customizable. Whether it’s a small birthday party, anniversary, a company board meeting, or an extravagant wedding, the Ashford Castle is happy to play host.

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Cong, Co., Mayo, Ireland, Phone: +35-39-49-54-60-03

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Things to Do in Ireland: Ashford Castle in Cong