Ashford Castle named world's top hotel for autumn 2015
Another week, another major international recognition for Mayo's newly refurbished Ashford Castle.
The five-star resort has topped The Huffington Post's 'Best Hotels in the World for Fall 2015' list, compiled by well-known travel writer, Richard Bangs.
"Walking through the vaulted entrance is like being swept into a palace inside a manor inside a museum in a castle," Bangs writes.
He goes on to laud the hotel's refurbished rooms ("I feel like a 13th century king, except there are electronic blinds, USB chargers in the wall, and free Wi-Fi"), activities including hawk walks and horse riding, and a new, 32-seater cinema complete with free candy and popcorn ("that alone makes me want to stay forever").
The Huffington Post has some 65 million readers in the United States.
Other hotels on a list "worth exploring during the flamboyant snap of autumn" include the Grand Hotel in Portovenere, Italy, Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo, and Quail Lodge in Carmel, California.
The recognition is the latest to have been gathered by Ashford Castle since it was acquired by the Tollman family's Red Carnation Collection in 2013.
Following a $75 million investment and refurbishment, the hotel was recently voted best in the world at the Virtuoso Awards in Las Vegas, and third-best on earth by US travel bible, Travel + Leisure.
Rooms are priced from around €495 per night in high season.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, whose New York office invited Bangs to visit Ashford Castle earlier this year, congratulated the hotel.
“Publicity is a very powerful tool in promoting Ireland," he said. "This type of positive exposure and recognition is invaluable – it is publicity that money simply cannot buy.”
Last year, Bangs' list was topped by another Irish five-star - Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
Read the full Fall 2015 list here.