Best of the Best 2016: Journeys | Resorts: Ashford Castle

Ireland’s most storied country resort was the comeback of the year, thanks to a $75 million renovation by its deep-pocketed new owners, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. The French designer Philippe Bonino led a true transformation of the estate, preserving centuries-old woodwork, marble, and antiques and customizing every inch of new fabric, silk, and fringe. The result is a stately retreat that we imagine looks much as it did in the 16th century, when Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, made Ashford Castle his noble residence.

  • Located on the edge of County Mayo’s Lough Corrib, the historic Ashford Castle—part of which dates to 1228—reopened in April 2015 following a 2-year renovation.

  • Though modernized, each of the 82 rooms and suites remains steeped in history, adorned with 19th-century art and antiques,  silk Rubelli curtains, and original gothic-style window frames. 

  • Renovations to the east wing added a wine cellar, a rooftop cigar terrace, a billiard room, and a 32-seat cinema. A new spa located within a glass conservatory overlooks Lough Corrib.

Ashford Castle, ($280–$3,385)

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