The Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.
Originally built in the 13th century as a castle, then rebuilt as a hunting and fishing lodge in the 1800s, Ashford Castle was once the estate of the Guinness family, and the filming location of the classic movie, "The Quiet Man". Situated in County Mayo, the castle is one of Ireland's most luxurious hotels. The award-winning property is part of Red Carnation Hotels, offering a cinema, spa with an indoor pool, fishing, falconry, ziplining, shooting & archery, horse riding, wine tastings, luxury charters, and lake cruises on Lough Corrib. Continue below the photos.
Five Star Alliance Perk: All Five Star Alliance guests reserving the "Best Available Bed & Breakfast Rate" will receive full Irish breakfast for two daily, 85 Euro food and beverage credit, complimentary green fees, and VIP status. In addition, based on availability at check-in, room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out.
Creative cooking, inspired use of seasonal ingredients and an innovative menu await you at Ashford Castle. Chef Stefan Matz has received many accolades for his culinary expertise and has developed an impressive choice of four unique dining experiences, each with its inimitable style and ambience.
Ashford Castle in Mayo is founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O'Connors of Connaught. The de Burgo's would build several such castles throughout the province, but Ashford in Ireland would remain the principal stronghold. The native O'Connors also leave a legacy in the form of the nearby 12th century Augustinian abbey of Cong, Co.Mayo, built on the site of a 6th century monastery.
After more than three and a half centuries under the de Burgo's, Ashford passes into the hands of a new owner. following a fierce battle between the forces of the de Burgo's and those of the English Lord Bingham, governor of Connaught, a truce is agreed and the castle falls to Bingham who adds a fortified enclave within its precincts.
Ashford Castle will be soon be seeing red. Our sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor, has reported that Red Carnation Hotels has taken over the historic property. Ashford Castle is the former estate of the Guinness family. It dates back to 1228 and is set on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake, in the picturesque village of Cong. Jena Tessa Fox reports that:
Red Carnation Hotels' Managing Director Jonathan Raggett said that the team was looking forward to working with Ashford's General Manager Niall Rochford and to growing the workforce with local talent. "We will be working with local suppliers and partners on a refurbishment program that will restore this illustrious hotel to its former glory, and build on the fine reputation that the hotel already enjoys," Raggett said.
Have a ‘Harry Potter’ filled adventure this Halloween at Ashford Castle in Ireland. For one incredible week, Ashford Castle will be under a magical spell with Hogwarts activities perfect for the whole family. Ashford Castle’s hidden rooms, soaring ceilings, and hundreds of years of history give it a wizardly feel that kids will surely appreciate. Go on a ‘Forbidden Forest’ treasure hunt, visit the hiding place of Ashford Castle’s own, Dingle, take a ‘Chamber of Art’ painting class, and of course, watch a ‘Harry Potter’ movie screening. What an incredible way to bring Hogwarts to life! Make your reservations between October 26th and November 3nd at Ashford Castle for an unforgettable adventure for you and your family!
Before it became one of the most renowned castle hotels in Europe, the Ashford Castle was the home to the Guinness family, to which all of the beer drinkers among us owe a serious debt of gratitude. I think I need not explain more, for we all know Guinness's enchanting charm. Built originally in the 13th century, the estate holds over 350 acres of private land and has played host to the rich and famous, including President Reagan and Pierce Brosnan, who married there. You could end up feeling just as cool as the agent himself while staying in rooms that combine a preserved 13th century style with all of the modern amenities of top-notch hotels. Resident Chef Stefan Matz offers four unique dining experiences on the property that make innovative use of traditional Irish fare; you'll be stepping into a world where meat and potatoes are anything but meat-and-potatoes. A dedicated spa featuring the products and philosophy of Yan Ka, meant to help the skin regain its vital balance and energy.
Alongside the property lies the second-largest Irish lake, the Lough Corrib, whose idyllic shores offer unparalleled views as well as a number of outdoor activities. Miles of hiking trails are available through the countryside, and a 9-hole golf course, designed by legend Eddie Hackett, features prominently. Fishing and hunting are available on the grounds, with Lough Corrib offering some of the best in Ireland during May, June, and July. Not only that, you can enjoy a jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room alongside your beauty treatments, and then refresh in the crisp lake air on any one of three daily lake tours. The Ashford Castle is truly one of the jewels of Ireland.
Harry Potter's magical world of witches and wizards will come to life this Halloween at Ireland's Ashford Castle. Situated on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong in County Mayo, Ashford Castle dates back to 1228. The resort's activities run the gamut from falconry to golf, and Ashford Castle continually ranks as one of the best resorts in the world. For Halloween, families are welcome to the estate for a fun-filled weekend for magicians in the making. It's the ideal setting: secret rooms, hidden alcoves, and mystical woodland surroundings... Two "Hogwarts Halloween" packages are offered from October 28th through November 6th.
October 28, 30; November 1, 3, 5
Noon - "Forbidden Forest" treasure hunt for entire family
3pm - Visit to the hiding place of Dingle, Ashford Castle's resident owl (supervised)
4pm - Afternoon "Chamber of Art" painting class (supervised)
5pm - 6:30pm: Kids' dinner in the Ardilaun Suite (supervised)
6:30pm - 9pm: Harry Potter movie evening (supervised)
From 7pm - George V Table d'Hote dinner for Mom and Dad
October 29, 31; November 2, 4, 6
Noon - "Hidden Garden" treasure hunt for entire family
3pm -"House Elves" cooking class (supervised)
4pm-5pm - Afternoon "Chamber of Witchcraft & Wizardry" (supervised)
5pm - 6pm - Kids' dinner in the Ardilaun Suite (supervised)
6:30pm - 9pm - Harry Potter movie evening (supervised)
From 7pm - George V Table d'Hote dinner for Mom and Dad
The one-night package is priced at €495 (approximately US$709) and the two-night package is priced at €950 (approximately US$1,361); both offer accommodation in a Deluxe Family Room. Both packages are based on two adults and two children under the age of 12. An additional charge of €85 (approximately US$122) per night may be applied for each additional child.
Ireland's hit the headlines recently as Queen Elizabeth paid an official state visit to the Emerald Isle (the first one in a century by a British monarch) and President Barack Obama arrived today in Ireland to kick off a six-day trip to Europe. In their honor, Ashford Castle-- the impressive estate in County Mayo that was once the home of the Guinness family-- has created two unique packages complete with helicopter rides, a stay in the Presidential suite, and falconry lessons. Celebrating its 800th anniversary this year, Ashford Castle has hosted numerous world leaders and political figures. The Royal Package, priced at €1025 per person includes:
* First-class train from Dublin to Claremorris
* Limousine transfer from Claremorris to Ashford Castle
* Two nights' accommodation in the Royal Suite
* Clay shooting and falconry lessons for two
* Historical walk on the grounds with local historian Mick Maye
* Dinner on both nights at George V Dining Room
The Presidential Package, priced at €2175 per person, includes:
* Helicopter transfer from anywhere in Ireland to the Ashford Castle helipad
* Two nights' accommodation in the Presidential Suite
* Private dinner in room 224, replicating the scene and the menu of President Ronald Reagan's visit * Dinnertime entertainment by resident harpist Annette Griffin
* Guided walk with local historian Mick Maye along the same route taken by President Ronald Reagan