Into the Mystic

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An inspired reinvention has revived Ireland’s enchanting Ashford Castle.  

In its eight-century history, Ashford Castle has passed through the hands of the Anglo-Norman aristocracy, the lord president of Connaught, and, perhaps most famously, the family behind Ireland’s national brew, Guinness. But by the time the hotelier Beatrice Tollman and her daughter Toni acquired it in 2013, the medieval landmark on the shores of County Mayo’s Lough Corrib had lost its stately sheen. “Every roof leaked. Every window was rotten,” Toni says. “It was just in complete disrepair.” Two years of meticulous renovations followed, led by the Tollmans and the French architect Philippe Bonino. Unveiled in April, the result is a true feat of grandeur that has restored the original essence of Ireland’s definitive castle hotel.