The magnificent five star Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib. Dating back to 1228, the castle now enters a new chapter in its history, as part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. With 82 spectacular rooms, suites and the Hideaway Cottage, a wealth of activities and plenty of thoughtful touches, guests will enjoy acclaimed Irish hospitality on a grand scale.
A meticulous restoration with reverence for the 800-year-old castle's history was completed in April 2015. Guest rooms were lovingly refurbished, combining beautiful antiques, exquisite fabrics and carpets of exceptional local and international detailing. 130 delicate chandeliers were fitted, over 800 original international artworks and pieces created by local artisans installed, together with the finest marbles. Authentic décor that reflects the history and culture of the property can be seen throughout.
Areas that were previously unused have been respectfully, masterfully restored, including a museum honouring the castle’s place in Ireland’s history and hearts, an under-castle cellar and tunnel that had been abandoned for a century and restoration of the Walled Garden. The Oak Hall gallery was carefully dismantled and fortified, local Connemara marble was used throughout and remedial works carried out on over 744 trees. A true celebration of past, present and future.
The Castle supports cultural heritage through the use of culture & heritage maps highlighting the biodiversity throughout the estate, mapped walking & running trails, local heritage trails. Pictorial guide maps of the local region and Connemara are given to guests also describing areas of cultural interest within a 1 hour drive from the Castle e.g. Irish museum of country life. Each guest receives a two page history of the Castle to read should they wish to discover more about the Estate.
There are a variety of wonderful outdoor pursuits on the estate including; a historic water cruise of Lough Corrib, fishing with our ghillie in his own hand crafted boat using trees felled on the estate, discovering the ancient art of falconry with walks through the woods, clay pigeon shooting, archery, kayaking, horse riding, cycling, tennis, zip wiring, tree climbing and a nine hole golf course.
Magnificent walks and picnics can be enjoyed along the Corrib lakeshore including the Chalet and Obelisk erected by Lady Ardilaun. There is information available for guests on the provenance of pieces throughout the Castle also. Our guide Fintan O’Gorman is the retired headmaster of the local primary school and also our local historian at the Castle.
The Spa at Ashford Castle offers an extensive variety of treatments to ensure that our guests are nurtured, purified, pampered and relaxed. Our commitment to wellbeing focuses on holistic principles, combining ancient wisdom with modern expertise.
Ashford Castle has a dedicated Green team to implement a range of initiatives to constantly improve our management of our environmental impact. Some of our activities are as follows;
We practice many waste separation principles. We refuse Styrofoam packaging and request all suppliers to deliver from their vans into our reusable containers. Waste streams at the Castle are separated. Guests are invited to recycle waste in their bedrooms. The Spa gives used seaweed to the garden team for composting. We reuse dried orange peels for hot chocolate and apple cores are slow cooked to create puree for afternoon tea tarts. Bio-degradable packaging is used at Mrs Teas boutique, reusable glass bottles are used in bedrooms. Old furniture is donated to local charities and community projects. In 2019 we achieved the Plastic Smart GREENMark as we eliminated a range of Single Use Plastics throughout guest areas. The next step is to continue this through the rest of the hotel.
We are proud members of the Clean the World organisation. All our used soaps and toiletries are collected and upcycled and recycled which removes them from the residual waste stream and avoids pollution. Clean the World provides hygiene packs and soaps to disadvantaged communities worldwide and Ashford Castle is delighted to be part of this best practice CSR initiative.
Energy consumption is measured and usage monitored through energy equipment audits and observation. Guests are invited to reuse their towels and bed linen. Plans to introduce sub metering in May 2016. Insulation was improved with the introduction of double glazed windows, resealing of the entire roof and pointing of all stonework. An energy management system controls lighting and heating in bedrooms through the key card system. A building management system controls air-conditioning throughout.
The Castle is completely compliant with waste water treatment practices. Best European water flow measure practices are benchmarked for annual inspections. Grease trap cleaning is completed on a monthly basis. Water harvested from river is used to water grass and plants throughout the estate. Urinals are set on sensors throughout the public areas. Guests are encouraged to conserve water through the information card located in their room. Responsible practices include a quarterly water sampling test for all bacterium.
Our Green fleet includes electrical food transport vehicle, 6 golf buggies and three guest shuttle buggies. An E-vehicle charging point is in place and available for guest and supplier use. The hotel uses 85% Energy efficient lighting & motion sensors throughout all back of house areas.
A full forestry management programme was implemented in 2015 which resulted in the introduction of a major tree care programme with 1000 trees being categorised, surveyed for pruning, thinning or felling. An ongoing replanting programme has been implemented as a result.The Castle is committed to supporting native wild life on the estate with the introduction of bat boxes, barn owl boxes, long eared owl boxes, bird houses, solitary bee hives and bug hotels. The estate provides biodiversity and wildlife information in its walking and jogging booklets and estate maps.