A beautiful castle in Ireland has been named as the world’s number one hotel, at awards held during Virtuoso Travel Week last week.
Ashford Castle, located in the West of Ireland, was voted the best in the world by members of Virtuoso, an invitation-only luxury travel network comprising 9,000 travel specialists around the world.
The annual Best of the Best Awards recognise the world’s most outstanding properties and hoteliers and took place at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas this year.
Ashford Castle was acquired by the Tollman family, owners of the Red Carnation Hotel Group, in 2013 and officially reopened in April 2015 after an extensive two-year multi-million pound refurb.
The five-star hotel is located in 350 acres of land and is home to 82 bedrooms and also a 32-seat cinema. The castle will soon be launching a new spa and Ireland’s own school of Falconry.
Once owned by Lord and Lady Ardilaun of the Guinness family, the castle has welcomed royalty, celebrities and heads of state across its history including George V (then Prince of Wales), Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt, John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and more.
Speaking from Las Vegas after accepting the award, Ashford Castle general manager Niall Rochford commented: “On behalf of Ashford Castle and Red Carnation Hotels we are thrilled to have been awarded one of the luxury travel industry’s top awards, Virtuoso Hotel of the Year.
"It is fantastic recognition of the exciting journey Ashford Castle has been on over the last few years and all the hard work that has gone into the $75 million restoration by the Tollman family and all the team at Ashford.
"The three-year programme, much of which was carried out by local craftspeople, has seen Ashford Castle restored as one of Ireland’s most luxurious hotels as well as one of the best in the World. It is also an endorsement of the training, development and investment in staff which has enabled us to offer even greater attentive and highly personalised service.”