PHOTO: Ashford Castle has been named Ireland's Hotel of the Year. (Photo via Flickr/Larry Koester)
Ireland’s iconic Ashford Castle, a stately castle that traces its roots back to 1228, has been named the Hotel of the Year 2017 by Ireland AA, Ireland’s automobile and roadside assistance association. Once the family home of the stout-making Guinness family, Ashford Castle is now a five-star luxury property owned and operated by Red Carnation Hotels.
“Ashford Castle is one of Irish tourism’s finest assets said AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “This icon of Irish heritage has become one of the finest Hotels in the world. It takes a lot to impress an AA Inspectors; they judge by the most exacting standards in the industry. Ashford Castle’s beauty is breath-taking. The investments made by owners the Red Carnation Group are evident throughout the Castle and grounds. What is more important though is the standards of friendliness, professionalism, and warmth shown by the entire team. Ashford Castle is a wonderful representation of everything that Irish tourism does so well. We are proud to name them as AA Hotel of the Year for 2017.”
The award is considered one of the most prestigious hospitality industry accolades in Ireland.
“Congratulations to Ashford Castle on winning the enormously impressive accolade of AA Hotel of the Year,” said Patrick O’Donovan, the Minister of State for Tourism & Sport. “Irish tourism has been one of the great success stories of the last decade, coming through very troubled times by being far-sighted, hard-working and relentlessly committed to quality and value. Combining this remarkable heritage property with friendly, professional staff, a warm welcome, and excellent service, Ashford Castle is a shining example of what a wonderful experience Ireland offers to visitors.
Inspectors personally visit every hotel being considered for AA awards. The winning properties are selected based on a combination of hospitality service, cuisine, and staff. Winning properties must also demonstrate noticeable improvement during the past year to 18 months.
Due in part to an investment by Red Carnation Hotels, Ashford Castle underwent a major restoration in 2015.
Other AA award winners include:
AA Guest Accommodation of the Year
Rolf’s Country House, Baltimore, Co. Cork.
A country house staffed by a small local team which delivers exemplary hospitality and culinary experiences.
AA Courtesy & Care Award
The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
Rather than focusing on the facility, the AA Courtesy & Care award honors accommodations with an exemplary staff of a particular establishment.
For more information, visit www.theaa.ie.