Ashford Castle voted world's third-best hotel by US travel bible
Stars in their eyes
Ashford Castle has been voted the world's No.3 hotel by readers of Travel + Leisure, the influential US magazine.
Hailing "a 784-year-old stone castle with 20th century additions that recently re-opened after a $75 million restoration", the publication ranks the iconic Mayo resort as third on its annual list of the world's Top 100 Hotels.
The 350-acre estate is described as entertaining "a discerning clientele" - little wonder, given that rooms are priced from €495 per night going to press.
"These awards reinforce the commitment and dedication of our devoted staff who always strive to surpass guests' expectations," said General Manager, Niall Rochford.
They also reflect the investment of the Tollman family, which has poured millions into the property since acquiring it for its Red Carnation collection.
New additions include a 32-seat cinema, the replacement of all 820 windows and extensive room refurbishments - including those which hosted John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara during the filming of The Quiet Man in 1951.
Ashford Castle ranks behind The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India and Hotel Castello di Casole in Italy's Casole d'Elsa on the Top 100, but ahead of a slew of the world's most famous accommodations, including Bangkok's Penisula and the Four Seasons Istanbul.
The resort is no stranger to awards, of course - last year having been voted the world's second most-romantic place to propose by Condé Nast Traveler.
Travel + Leisure's World's Best lists are compiled from questionnaires developed by its editors in association with Wylei, a digital direct marketing company.
Dublin's Merrion Hotel also placed in the annual awards, ranking No. 12 on the magazine's list of Europe's best large city hotels.
Read the full survey results at travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.