MICEport’s DMC in Ireland – Wallace Travel Group – suggested that we look at Ashford Castle and we are so glad that they did… Wallace Travel Group has worked with Ashford Castle for many years for incentives and meetings from North America.
An extensive restoration and enhancement program is underway at Ashford Castle in County Mayo to return this stunning, historic building to its former glory. Having acquired the castle in June 2013, Red Carnation Hotels a family-owned collection of 16 luxury award-winning hotels is meticulously working to preserve Ashford’s history and charm while enhancing its guest facilities and levels of luxury and comfort. The program takes a three-phased approach and the first magnificent, all-new eight guestrooms have been completed and can now be revealed.
The eight rooms, in the Victorian and East Wings, include the grandest suites in the castle. The rooms have been lovingly furnished by a dynamic design team headed by Mrs. Beatrice Tollman, Founder and President of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and her daughter Toni Tollman. Each room is individually decorated and designed, featuring a luxurious mix of furnishings and original artwork, fit for any King or Queen. With carefully sourced antique furniture, exquisite fabrics, bespoke carpets and marble bathrooms, the luxurious rooms have been sensitively conceived to complement the ambiance and tradition of this iconic property.
The second stage of the refurbishment is now completed. This stage focused on the hotel’s existing public areas and 30 further guestrooms. In true Red Carnation style, no detail will be missed and meticulous attention is being brought to this important project. Behind the scenes, the castle’s kitchens will be moved and completely rebuilt on a different level closer to the dining room, facilitating a more efficient and timely service for future diners. The already stunning 350-acre sprawling estate will also receive tender love and care as required, from the walled and herb gardens, to the tennis courts, falconry center and stunning nine-hole golf course, the drainage of which will be completely overhauled to ensure that guests can enjoy it all year round.
The third and final phase of the renovation will take place from October 2014 – March 2015, during which the remaining guestrooms will be completed. Subject to planning permission approvals which are still pending, the subsequent renovation plans for phase three also include the installation of a 32-seat indoor cinema, a billiard room and a cigar terrace, as well as a children’s game room, further increasing the hotel’s appeal for all ages and seasons. These new facilities will help to ensure that the castle, with its array of enhanced outdoor activities including falconry, horse-riding, water sports, clay pigeon shooting, catch-and-release fishing, hiking, golf and tennis, is also a haven of indoor enjoyment and decadence for all ages. The hope is, also subject to appropriate planning permission, that a magnificent, full service spa and large indoor heated pool will be part of the ambitious enhancement of the castle and will reinforce Ashford Castle as the most luxurious destination hotel in all of Ireland.
To support the enhanced offerings at the hotel, the staff levels will be significantly increased, boosting employment within the local area. Remaining a constant throughout the entire refurbishment program will be Ashford’s award-winning General Manager Niall Rochford and his fantastic team. Mr. Rochford has presided at Ashford Castle for nearly 12 years and was recently awarded the prestigious “Hotel Manager of the Year 2013” by the Irish Hospitality Institute Founders.
Ashford Castle celebrates its 75th anniversary as a hotel in 2014, so it is timely that a significant part of the comprehensive restoration program will be complete for this auspicious landmark. The renovation will protect and enhance this iconic property for the next 75 years, and beyond.
For more information on Wallace Travel Group and all the opportunities that exist for groups, meetings and incentives in Ireland, contact MICEport in North America on (215) 253-8924 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.miceportdmc.com