As many borders remain closed around the world, we’re constantly dreaming about our next journey and being able to indulge in a luxury journey. For now, we’re only able to dream about our next escape and film is a magnificent way to be transported to a magical far away destination, even if only for a few hours. We asked our Luxury Gold team to share the top travel films that are inspiring their next journey:
Ireland’s West Coast is a labyrinth of landscapes that evolve with every passing hour. Winding roads flanked by traditional stone walls, a magnificent coastline of dashing waves and expansive walks, and pretty villages and towns awash with character and charm.
And nestled in the West is the county of Mayo, the birthplace of Ireland’s first female President and home to one of the most historic and spectacular five-star hotels in Ireland, Ashford Castle, the only hotel in Ireland to have earned a Five-Star Forbes Travel Guide Ranking.
Niall Rochford, General Manager at Ashford Castle, invites you to take a look around the hotel and the 350-acre estate that envelops the castle, where guests have enjoyed exceptional levels of hospitality for more than 80 years:
The adventure begins as you enter the grand stone gates of the 800-year-old castle and former home to the renowned Guinness family. As you turn the final corner you will be greeted by a lone piper who will escort you over the stone drawbridge that leads you to the imposing castle that belies the warm welcome that awaits. Sitting majestically by the shores of Lough Corrib, Ashford Castle is surrounded by ancient Irish woodland and beautifully manicured lawns, over which your footprints are sure to pass during the next two days of your Luxury Gold stay.
As you ascend the stone steps to the hotel’s entrance, you will discover exquisite interiors and beautifully appointed drawing rooms where the temptation will be to sit back, relax, enjoy a drink, and marvel at the magnificent views afforded by the gleaming high windows adorning every room. And why not do just that before embarking on your next adventure, which might include one of the more than 30 outdoor activities on the estate you can choose.
Returning from the crisp, fresh Mayo air, you can transcend to an atmosphere of tranquility and relax in the hotel’s award-winning spa from where you will leave feeling nurtured and pampered following a heavenly spa experience.
Dining is always an experience at Ashford Castle, where our team of executive chefs selects the finest local, seasonal produce to create their culinary magic. Your first evening will be spent at Cullen’s at the Cottage, a quaint but elegant traditional thatched cottage that was once Cong Cinema where locals enjoyed a viewing of Hollywood blockbuster, The Quiet Man. You will enjoy a selection of international and local dishes, including the finest fresh seafood and recipes inspired by our owner, Beatrice Tollman.
After a restful sleep and a sumptuous breakfast of local delights and home-baked treats, head to the great outdoors – without ever having to leave the estate. Watch our Hawks soar through the air with a visit to Ireland’s first school of falconry or take to the sky and zip-line through the woods for an exhilarating encounter. Other estate activities include golf, horse-riding, fishing, and archery, and you can even start your day with a morning walk with our long-standing ‘residents,’ Cronan and Garvan, a magnificent pair of Irish Wolfhounds who are very much a part of our family.
Your second evening bestows an incredible sense of occasion as we invite you to the spectacular George V Dining Room, built especially for a visit to the estate by King George V in 1905. A more formal affair, the focus in our fine-dining restaurant is on locally produced artisan ingredients, often complemented by seasonal produce foraged on the estate.
Round-off proceedings with a movie in our private cinema, enjoy a cocktail or postprandial in the Prince of Wales bar or retire to the Billiards Room for a specialty Irish whiskey or artisan gin.
Each of our guest rooms is individually appointed and designed to sensitively combine the castle’s original features with life’s modern luxuries. Beautiful bedding, sumptuous fabrics, Egyptian Cotton bed linen, and a choice of pillow type will ensure a dream-like sleep at the end of a memorable stay.
When you join us at Ashford Castle, you will be beautifully looked after by a team that is passionate about caring for our guests, who are always made to feel part of the extended Ashford Castle family.
But, as a Luxury Gold guest, you are already part of the family, and we look forward to welcoming you to Ashford Castle, where an extra special welcome awaits.
Ashford Castle is part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and one of the 42 family-owned and runs ‘TTC Family Of Brands’.
President & Founder Beatrice Tollman has built Red Carnation Hotels with a vision for service excellence and a passion for generous hospitality. Today the collection proudly stands at 20 exceptional properties around the world, each unique and special, while sharing the founding values that define the family-owned and run business.
The hotel collection is lovingly named after the signature flower Mrs. Tollman’s husband always wears, and every member of the team also wears this symbol of hospitality.
A showcase of beautiful wildernesses, eclectic cultures, warm hospitality and rich heritage, this journey will take you from cosmopolitan Cape Town into the heart of Big Five territory. Uncover the history of South Africa, while luxuriously travelling like the intrepid explorers of the past. Meet extraordinary local characters and taste the Cape’s finest wines and culinary delights. Your journey concludes with a three-day safari in the Sabi Sands, known for having one of the planet’s highest concentrations of animal species.
This trip includes a stay at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, nestled between Table Mountain and 12 Apostles mountain range, offering amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Join your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for an exquisite welcome dinner, hosted at the hotel’s award-winning Azure restaurant. Enjoy expansive ocean views from the terrace as you experience fine dining of modern South African cuisine infused with international influences. Inspired by the ocean, the menu boasts an array of dishes prepared with seasonally organic ingredients.
2. Travel like British royalty
Uncover the very essence of Britain and go to significant destinations that were once frequented by the likes of Shakespeare and notorious kings. As you travel in elegant style, stay at the most sought-after addresses in Britain, dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant and savour local specialities. From the beautiful Georgian city of Bath to the mesmerising Lake District, this is a journey of a lifetime.
This trip includes a stay at the five-star Rubens at the Palace Hotel, overlooking Buckingham Palace, this historic hotel has been fully renovated and offers a host of restaurants and bars. Join your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a grand welcome dinner hosted in the elegant English Grill restaurant.
3. Indulge in breath-taking landscapes of the Emerald Isle
Welcome to the Emerald Isle. A storyteller’s paradise, you’ll explore the natural elements of this vibrant country, meeting some colourful characters along the way. From esteemed author and Dubliner Trevor White, to Killarney locals and the lively performers of Gaelic Roots – who will teach you a few moves – you’re in for a trip rich in history, fascinating local insights and lots of laughter! We are certain the breath-taking landscapes and lyrical personality will have you leaving this rugged, fairytale land inspired.
This trip includes a stay at Ashford Castle. Your royal adventure begins when you enter through the grand stone gates of our remarkable 800-year-old castle and are led with a lone piper across the bridge to the castle. Discover our exquisite interiors, delicious cuisine, passionate team, a wealth of estate activities and state-of-the-art spa. As a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, Ireland’s first Forbes five-star and former home of the Guinness family, Ashford are exceptional in every sense. In the evening you will dine at Cullen’s at the Cottage, on the grounds of Ashford Castle this traditional thatched cottage used to be Cong Cinema.
During your leisure time why not head for a walk in its grounds and take in the plush exterior and crisp, fresh country air? Experience Ashford Castle your way with a choice between a unique falconry experience or scrumptious Afternoon Tea. Your final day culminates with a celebration dinner at the esteemed George V Dining Room. Built specially for King George V in 1905, this room bestows a grand sense of occasion. Dine like royalty and share stories from the journey with your new-found friends, over dinner and wine.
4. Discover castles and kingdoms of Britain and Ireland
Head to the Islands of Britain and Ireland for a stately journey across rugged, fairy-tale lands. A storyteller’s paradise, you’ll uncover the essence of Britain and the natural elements of Ireland, meeting some colourful characters along the way. From esteemed author and Dubliner Trevor White, to Killarney locals and a Royal House Guard in London, you’re in for a trip rich in history, with fascinating local insights and lots of laughter! Travel in elegant style, stay at the most sought-after addresses, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants and savour local specialities. And of course, no trip to this part of the world would be complete without trying esteemed local delicacies, including Guinness in Ireland and a delicious English scone.
5. Marvel at majestic views of Switzerland
Step into a world of snow-capped mountains, traditional alpine villages and warm hospitality. This idyllic journey takes you to fairy-tale castles, breath-taking peaks and storybook meadows. Along the way you’ll meet local experts and passionate foodies who will share local specialties, such as fondue and creamy chocolate, with you. Stay in luxurious hotels, see beautiful cities and marvel at some of the most extraordinary scenery on the planet.
This trip includes a stay at Hotel d’Angleterre, perfectly situated on the banks of the Lake. Voted the number one hotel in Switzerland by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017, the hotel blends British charm with the finest Swiss hospitality.