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The Lodge at Ashford Castle

The Lodge at Ashford Castle

CASTLES, DESTINATIONS, FOOD + WINE, HOTELS, IRELAND, LUXURY TRAVEL

Ashford Castle towers over its impressive gardens and green golfing fields. After a two and a half hour drive from Dublin, we were greeted at the gate by a man in a traditional green coat and black top hat. He welcomed us in, directed us through a few twists and turns, past the castle, and up a hill through a wooded area to The Lodge at Ashford Castle.

 

Entrance to Ashford Castle Estate, Ireland
Entrance to Ashford Castle Estate, Ireland
Guard at Ashford Castle Estate Entrance, Ireland
Guard at Ashford Castle Estate Entrance, Ireland
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland in the distance
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland in the distance
Road to The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
Road to The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland

 

Set on the grounds of Ashford Castle, The Lodge offers views down Lough Corrib and, adding interest in the foreground, Lisloughrey Quay with small boats in the harbour and its old stone buildings set against wooded hills.The Lodge at Ashford Castle is nestled in the outskirts of the charming village of Cong, which is also home to the making of one of Ireland’s greatest films, ‘The Quiet Man’.

 

The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland

 

While we were at first disappointed not to be staying in Ashford Castle, the Lodge at Ashford Castle turns out to be delightful and cozy with the same access to the grounds and activities as Castle guests. There are a series of public rooms, restaurants and bars, both inside and outside, The hotel is a fine period house which was once home to the General Manager of Ashford Castle. Behind it, new accommodation has been added discreetly in two-bedroom units, built around an attractive landscaped courtyard. The Lodge gives direct access to a bar, restaurant, and other public areas, including outside seating on the lawn at the front of the house. It’s very pleasant and felt more cozy than the Castle itself.

 

The Lodge of Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
The Lodge of Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
Lisloughrey Quay view from The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Lisloughrey Quay view from The Lodge at Ashford Castle
The Lodge at Ashford Castle Reception Area
The Lodge at Ashford Castle Reception Area
The Lodge at Ashford Castle property
The Lodge at Ashford Castle property

ACCOMMODATIONS

There are 24 bedrooms and 26 unique suites on the property, some in the old house, and others around the courtyard behind the house.  Suites have separate living areas and private balconies. The bathrooms have underfloor heating so your little tootsies won’t get cold. They even bring a special touch of aromas of toiletries by L’Occitane.

 

Courtyard at The Lodge of Ashford Castle
Courtyard at The Lodge of Ashford Castle

 

We stayed in a The Quay Suite and our kids in the Duplex Suite which is spread over two floors. The downstairs living area has high ceilings with a comfortable sofa and armchair, a contemporary fireplace and an oversized TV and player. Double glass doors lead out onto a private terrace. My issue was that in the bathroom, there was no outlet to plug in a blowdryer.  But this turns out to be regulation in Ireland which bans hair dryers in bathrooms.

 

Quay Suite, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Suite, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Suite Bathroom - The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Suite Bathroom – The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Duplex Suite - The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Duplex Suite – The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Duplex Suite Bathroom - The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Duplex Suite Bathroom – The Lodge at Ashford Castle

 

DINING

After dropping off our luggage in our rooms we were ready for a bite to eat.  The Lodge has a few dining options from it’s casual outside seating to two indoor restaurants: Quay Bar and Brasserie Restaurant and Wilde’s at the Lodge.The fancier of the two indoor restaurants is Wilde’s at the Lodge, servicing tradition Irish cuisine and requires reservations.  In addition to these restaurants the property offers two meeting rooms. The Harbour Room at The Lodge of Ashford Castle is perfect for a wedding party, with stunning panoramic views.

 

The Harbour Room at The Lodge of Ashford Castle
The Harbour Room at The Lodge of Ashford Castle
Quay Bar and Brasserie at The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Bar and Brasserie at The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Bar - The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Bar – The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Quay Bar and Brasserie Restaurant outdoor seating area
Quay Bar and Brasserie Restaurant outdoor seating area

 

Wilde’s at the Lodge

Named after local legend Sir William Wilde this restaurant is in two rooms on the first floor.  We were seated by a table near the window, which give us the benefit of admiring the sweeping views over the waters of Lough Corrib while enjoying a intimate setting.  After ordering some tradition Irish drinks, we enjoyed the Tasting Menu of an assortment of delicious meal combinations. My husband thinks that this was one of the finest meals that we’ve ever had, stay tuned for the detailed review (coming soon).

 

Wilde's at the Lodge Restaurant dinner view, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Wilde’s at the Lodge Restaurant dinner view, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Wilde's at the Lodge Restaurant, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Wilde’s at the Lodge Restaurant, The Lodge at Ashford Castle

 

They serve the continental breakfast in the morning from  7:30 – 10 a.m. in the Wilde’s Restaurant, which consists of everything from fruit salads to muffins, there is also a comprehensive warm breakfast menu which is made from scratch to your liking.

 

Continental Breakfast at the Wilde's Restaurant, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Continental Breakfast at the Wilde’s Restaurant, The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Breakfast Omelet at The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Breakfast Omelet at The Lodge at Ashford Castle

ACTIVITIES

The big attraction at Ashford Castle are the grounds, which are extensive, you can spend hours just wondering around the grounds and admiring the gardens.  Some of the activities include touring the Castle (definitely worth doing), organized activities like skeet shooting, renting bikes, boat rides on the lake, fly fishing, walks into Cong, horseback riding and the Hawk Walk at the School of Falconry.  We walked extensively through the grounds, went horse-back riding, and biking.

 

Ashford Castle grounds
Ashford Castle grounds
Biking the grounds at Ashford Castle
Biking the grounds at Ashford Castle
Horseback Riding at Ashford Castle
Horseback Riding at Ashford Castle

 

The Lodge at Ashford Castle is the perfect hideaway retreat.  It’s conveniently located just a 40-minute drive from Galway and neighbouring Westport and Connemara.   The Lodge at Ashford Castle is the latest addition to the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, a family-run collection of award-winning boutique hotels located in the UK, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA.

Disclosure:  The Lodge at Ashford Castle kindly hosted our stay at a reduced rate and provided us with a lovely dinner at the Wilde’s at the Lodge Restaurant one evening. This is solely my personal opinion/experiences.

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

10 Comments

  1. Suze The Luxury Columnist
    June 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm
    Reply

    Looks so green and lush in Ashford, and what a cosy place to stay

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Carmen
      June 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      The grounds of the castle are stunning. It’s delightful to wander around and explore on bike or by foot.

  2. Lisa
    June 22, 2015 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    Wow. This place is beautiful! We are planning a trip to Ireland within the next year. Ashford Castle would be a nice stop to add to our list:)

    • Carmen
      June 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      It’s definitely worth a visit. Stay for a least two nights to give you enough time to see the grounds and experience the fine dining restaurants on the property.

  3. Kate
    June 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm
    Reply

    Beautiful photos/video and great information. This would be a really big treat for me because I travel on a budget but it has reminded me that Ireland is not far away and I don’t take advantage of being so close to a great country. Thanks for sharing a great post

    • Carmen
      June 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks, I would agree you need to go since you’re so close. I believe our flight time from the UK was just an hour.

  4. Ruth - Exploramum
    July 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    Oh my – what a delightful place to stay. These are the hidden treasures I love finding out about.
    It looks like the ideal place to rest and enjoy for a weekend.
    So glad I read this article.

    • Carmen
      July 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      It’s certainly a great place to go and relax. It was nice to be away from the main castle but still have all the amenities available to us. The rooms were very spacious as well.

  5. Jeff
    May 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    Reply

    Is the Lodge almost in the village, and the castle about a half-mile away? We will be there in July and like to walk about rather than drive when possible.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 5, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      The lodge is in the Ashford property. You can walk from the lodge to the castle. I don’t remember how far of a walk it was, but it was a very nice walk.

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