Ashford Castle Review

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
461 Family Reviews
Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
93 %
Families Recommend

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Editor’s Review of Ashford Castle

Dapper gentleman dressed in dark jackets welcome guests as you drive past iron gates and cross a small bridge, flanked by stone towers that look like Chess rooks. Up ahead, there's a sprawling 800-year-old castle, set on the edge of a grand lake, amidst beautiful hillsides and forest. "It looks like a real Hogwarts," Harry Potter fans may say.

Ashford Castle has won many prestigious awards, and has hosted a long list of celebrities and high profile political figures, including Brad Pitt, Barbara Streisand, Jack Nicholson and former President Ronald Reagan. (Across from the gift shop, you can see Reagan's letter of thanks hanging in a hallway that is full of framed photos of famous guests).

What really makes Ashford special
... more though, especially for families, is its activities -- horseback riding at the largest equestrian center in the country, fishing on Lough Corrib (largest lake in the Republic of Ireland), and Ireland's first school of falconry, just to name a few.

Ashford Castle, located 45 minutes from Galway City and in Ireland's beautiful Connemara area, was originally founded in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgos family, following their defeat of the native O'Connor's of Connaught. Ashford passed to a new owner 350 years later, English Lord Bingham, after a fierce battle between Bingham's forces and the de-Burgos. In 1715, Ashford Estate was established by the Oranmore and Brown families, after which they added a French style chateau to the architecture.

Sir Benjamin Guinness acquired the estate in 1852, and over the next 63 years, the Guinness family improved the castle and the land greatly, extending the estate to 26,000 acres, building new roads, adding two large Victorian-style extensions and planting thousands of trees, many not native to Ireland.

The Castle first became a hotel in 1939, after Noel Huggard purchased it from the Guinness Family Trust. The 83-room, 365-acre property, has been operated as a hotel by various owners ever since.

A new chapter in Ashford's history began in 2013 when Red Carnation Hotels purchased the estate. In 2015, the castle reopened to guests after a two-year $75 million renovation and restoration that included the replacement of 800 windows and the creation of a 32-seat cinema, billiards room, cigar terrace, spa, along with many other updates. less
Our Editor Loves
  • Stately, centuries-old castle
  • Elegant and large guestrooms
  • Unique activity offerings for families
Family Interests
  • Beach
  • Bicycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Museum/Cultural
  • Sailing
  • Horseback Riding
Family Amenities
  • Babysitting
  • Connecting Rooms
  • Cribs
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry Service
  • Onsite Dining
Our Member Reviews 461 Reviews


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Corrib Rooms and Corrib Lake View Rooms have either a king bed or two twins, with lake, river or garden views. Deluxe Rooms and Deluxe Lake View Rooms are slightly larger and offer king, queen and twin beds.

Family Rooms
There are six "Family Room" suites that can accommodate a maximum of two adults and three children under the age of 12. The room is oversized, has two queen beds and can accomodate a crib.

Suites are slightly larger, with 600 square feet of space, and consist of a separate bedroom, sitting room area and oversized luxury bathroom.

Staterooms are located in the oldest section of the castle. These rooms date back to the 13th and 17th centuries, and feature high ceilings and large bathrooms. Many also have traditional four-poster beds, pedestal claw baths and original fireplaces with antique furniture.

All room and suite amenities include an interactive TV system with movies on demand, music on demand, free Wi-Fi access, a writing desk, bluetooth speaker, USB chargers, an iron and ironing board, safety deposit box, and in some rooms, a sherry decanter. Air conditioning was recently added to all of the rooms as well. Presently, none of the rooms have refrigerators, microwaves or kitchenettes, but mini-fridges are available upon request.

For connecting rooms, request Corrib, Corrib Lake View and Deluxe room categories. Many of these rooms are located on the newer side of the castle, where you'll have a shorter distance to the spa and breakfast.

Kids under 12 stay free. Extra rollaway beds come at a charge per night, and include breakfast for the added person. Use of Pack n' Play-style cribs is complimentary.


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