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The Luxury The quintessential Irish castle experience awaits at this stunning 13th century estate (once a summer haunt for the Guinness clan) on the fringes of western Ireland’s evocative Connemara region (a 45-minute drive north of Galway City). The Ashford Castle’s common areas radiate refinement, with Waterford chandeliers, crackling wood-burning fireplaces, and exquisite period furnishings and objets d’art. The 350 acres of landscaped gardens and wild forests on the shores of Lough Corrib (Ireland’s second largest lake), provide endless opportunities for the outdoor adventurer, from golf to horseback riding to the incredible School of Falconry.
The Value Celebrating its 70th anniversary as hotel in 2009, guests booking a 2-night stay here through December 22 will receive a complimentary third night. Priced at just €500 for three nights, rates works out to highly reasonable €167/night.
The Catch The elegance of the public spaces doesn’t necessarily carry over to all guest rooms, with some standard units showing signs of fray; upgrade to a suite for superlative private space.
The Details 353-9495-46003, www.ashford.ie
From the November 2009 issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine.