The Emerald Isle's Crowning Jewel: The Ashford Castle



(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright Aervisions, 2016.)


In the late eighteenth century, young aristocrats would go on the Grand Tour. This rite of passage would allow the noble to travel and learn about the world. Today, many people (including many friends) take the modern version of The Grand Tour. Typically after graduating college or post-secondary school, young adults or professionals go to Europe on an adventure. I have yet to go on my Grand Tour. However, when I do, I will include The Ashford Castle at the top of my list. This castle/hotel combines history and luxury for an unforgetable experience. I had the opportunity to speak with Regina O., Sales Office Manager, to learn more about this gem.



(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2019)




1. Why should someone visit County Mayo and stay at Ashford Castle?

Ashford Castle dates back to 1228, is a former home of the Guinness family, opened as a hotel first in 1939 – therefore has over 800 years of history and over 80 years of hospitality. It is also Ireland’s only Forbes 5-star hotel.


(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2019)


2. How has the hotel adapted in the face of COVID-19?

We were the first hotel in Ireland to be awarded the GBAC award for the introduction of protocols to ensure guest safety and those protocols remain in place.

(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2019)

3. What are the top sites anyone should see in County Mayo and how does the hotel add to that experience?

We encourage our guest to explore the wonders of the wild landscapes and magnificent views to be found in Connemara, visit the beautiful town of Westport or for the more energetic – climb Croagh Patrick or the Joyce Country Geo Park.



(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2017)

4. How has the hotel shifted its efforts during the pandemic?

We have continued to engage with all our stakeholders and clients .


(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2019)

5. What is the future of tourism in Ireland and for Ashford Castle ?

The future is as bright as it was pre-pandemic for both Ireland and Ashford and we cannot wait to welcome our USA visitors back.




(Image courtesy of Ashford Castle. Copyright The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, 2019)



Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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