St. Patrick’s day has spread out from the emerald isles and is now established as a worldwide celebration of Irish heritage. Although the day is often associated with consuming copious amounts of Guinness there are more distinguished ways to spend it. Elite Traveler gets the craic on the best Irish retreats for St. Paddy’s day.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo
When looking for the ultimate in luxury hotels the medieval setting of Ashford Castle is a hard one to compete with. As a member of the leading Hotels of the World organization and winner of several hotel of the year awards this Irish retreat has the credentials to match its lavish setting overlooking Lough Corrib.
The Castle was originally the stronghold for the House of Burke and passed through many families, including the Guinness family before being transformed into a first class hotel. The county Mayo hotel has hosted royalty, dignitaries and celebrities including King George V, Ronald Reagan, Oscar Wilde John Lennon and Brad Pitt. It boasts 83 luxurious rooms and suites and a romantic lakeside cottage, which was converted from the castles old boatshed.
With 350 acres of surrounding garden and woodland the hotel is dedicated to the country pursuits Falconry, Horse Riding, Archery, Shooting, Salmon Fishing, Tennis or Golfing – there really is an endless list of things to do. On the other hand if relaxation is your priority then the spa, which was voted the best in Ireland at the 2017 world spa awards, provides the perfect curative for weary travellers.