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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Honeymoon at Ashford Castle

Words by Stacey Marcus
Photos courtesy of Ashford Castle

If you’ve ever imagined a romantic honeymoon set in a castle on rolling emerald hills in Ireland, now is the perfect moment to Google, “Ashford Castle.” Fresh off the heels of a $75 million restoration, the storied destination shimmers with romantic possibilities for newlyweds. The property, formerly home to the Guinness family, is now part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

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“A honeymoon at Ashford Castle fulfills everyone’s dreams of a fairy tale romance in a castle,” said Ashford Castle’s General Manager Niall Rochford. “In addition to the luxurious surroundings, all guests are treated like royalty by our caring staff, creating memories of a lifetime.” As if a castle steeped in history, and dazzling under the lumens of 130 carefully curated new chandeliers isn’t enough, the restoration has added a 32-seat movie theater, billiards room, cigar terrace, luxury lakeside cottage, boutique wine cellars for private dining and a spa

The glorious grounds of the 5-Star Ashford Castle are brimming with activities for couples to enjoy, including falconry, zip lining, golf, clay shooting, fishing, archery, horseback riding, tennis and billiards. After enjoying a bounty of activities, you will have earned your spot at one of the majestic dining options, graced by royalty and luminaries over the years. Delight in the splendor of the George V Dining Room, enjoy the ambiance at the steakhouse, The Dungeon, or indulge in Afternoon Tea in the elegant Connaught Room. Be sure to stop by the Wine Cellars where you can select from over 600 wines to toast your beloved.

Grab some popcorn and watch “The Quiet Man” at the movie theater. The classic film, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, was filmed at Ashford Castle. While you may not want to mirror their tumultuous love story, you can create your own romantic tale in one of the 83 restored castle rooms or suites or the Hideaway Cottage. Couples looking for a more affordable option will adore their time in one of the 64 luxurious guest bedrooms and unique suites at The Lodge at Ashford Castle. The good news is that Norwegian Air offers discount fares, including direct flights to Shannon out of Newburgh, New York.

It’s the details that create the magic at Ashford Castle. Who could have imagined the red carnation Stanley Tollman wore in his lapel when he met Founder and President Bea Tollman in the 1950s, would one day be worn by everyone working in the Red Carnation Hotel Collection? Yes, fairy tales do come true, especially when the story starts in a castle.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2018 issue. You can order a copy here.

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