Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan might be spending their honeymoon in a luxury castle in Ireland – and Thompsons has all the information!
South African hotelier Bea Tollman is famous for creating one-of-a-kind hotels. She and her family own the famous Red Carnation group of hotels, most of which are located in the United Kingdom, (bar one in the US and three in South Africa – the incomparable Oyster Box in Umhlanga, the equally magnificent Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town and the spectacular Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat in the Western Cape). The company has won numerous international awards for its top class establishments. Mrs Tollman’s Irish project, which was fully completed in
March 2015 when Ashford Castle celebrated its 75th
anniversary, could well be her piece de resistance
Ashford Castle was originally built on the Irish coastline of Lough Corrib in 1228. It took Mrs Tollman and a crew of experts almost two years to transform the ancient establishment into a world-class luxury five star hotel, and the result is spectacular. Today, Ashford Castle is one of the Leading Hotels of the World, listed as one of the 500 best hotels on earth. And with a history that stretches back almost 800 years, it certainly is quite extraordinary.
So it’s no wonder that the establishment could well be the location of choice for Megan and Harry to spend their honeymoon.
Previously owned by the Guinness family (yes, those creators of the famous beer), the hotel is a lavish place with a magnificent setting. History is around every corner, and it’s celebrated, too. One of the two dining rooms is called the George V Restaurant because it was originally built to host dinner parties for the Prince of Wales (the other is called the Connaught Room). There are, of course, other dining options… if you prefer an informal setting, then head for Cullen’s Cottage Restaurant, and if you’re in the mood for a light meal or snack, The Drawing Room is ideal. It also offers the most magnificent Afternoon Tea… And, of course, you must enjoy pre-dinner drinks (or drinks at any other time) at the Prince of Wales Cocktail Lounge.
The castle is a castle, after all, so there are 83 rooms to choose from here, each individually designed, sumptuous and luxurious. You may be staying in an ancient castle, but thanks to Mrs Tollman, no expense has been spared to make you comfortable. And you can expect every mod con to be at your fingertips, including interactive TV and WiFi.
So what would Megan and Harry do when they are on honeymoon? There’s plenty on offer on this magnificent 350-acre private estate, including age-old traditional activities such as fishing (they say it’s the best fishing in Ireland), falconry and horse riding If they prefer clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery or cycling, they can enjoy those activities too. And there’s a private nine-hole golf course and fully equipped spa offering pampering treatments as well.