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August 3, 2009

Ashford Celebrates 70 Years As A Hotel, About 800 As A Castle

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Ashford Castle 2009Ashford Castle 1939Inside the Ashford CastleAshford Castle 2009Ashford Castle can trace its roots back to 1228 but history buffs should fast-forward all the way to 1939 for the most pivotal year in the life of the sprawling structure in Ireland’s County Mayo.  That’s when the estate, which for years served as a country home for the Guinness family, first opened as a hotel. The world would soon be at war but Ashford Castle instantly became a constant of luxurious service, warm hospitality and welcome tranquility.  Now guests have one more reason to wend their way to this beautiful patch of western Ireland: a three-night celebration called “1939, What a Year!”

Ashford Castle’s new “1939, What a Year!” program includes three nights in a Lake-View Deluxe Room with a complimentary upgrade to a Junior Suite, breakfast for two each morning, one table d’hôte dinner for two in the castle’s George V dining room, one dinner for two in Cullen’s at the Cottage restaurant located on the estate, a one-hour falconry lesson for two, a one-hour boat trip for two, an historical walk through the estate, a limited edition print by world-renowned Irish artist Rick Lewis, a copy of the Irish Times front page from a date in 1939 and a classic movie from 1939 to view in the room.

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