Ashford County Hotel, County Mayo, Ireland
What’s so great about this pool?
This is a small but beautifully designed pool inside a large castle. It’s quiet, restful and it’s ideal as a place for gentle exercise – particularly when it’s raining and you don’t necessarily feel like doing any outdoor activities.
- The pool is part of a state of the art spa complex, with superb gym equipment and a wide variety of massages and treatments.
- The pool is 8 metres long and 3 metres wide – big enough for decent exercise. It has resistance jets, which can be switched on to give a vigorous workout.
- Water is kept at a distinctly balmy 31 degrees Centigrade.
- Opening hours are from 7.00am to 8.00pm, so you can have an early morning swim or one just before dinner. Children are allowed from 8.00am to 11.00am and from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
- Guests can use the sunloungers around the pool, so they can really chill out.
- The spa overlooks the famous lake, Lough Corrib – one of Ireland’s most attractive waterways
See more luscious pools
So the pool’s fab – what about the hotel?
Ashford Castle Hotel started off as a castle in 1228. It was later owned by the Guinness (brewing) family and was turned into a hotel about 100 years ago. It’s incredibly luxurious, with 82 rooms and suites – all individually styled. The lobby and public lounges are positively palatial.
As for food, the hotel serves the finest Irish haute cuisine – using locally sourced ingredients – superb fish, fresh meat and vegetables grown on the castle estate. There is a choice of restaurants – the rather grand George V Dining Room, Cullen, which has a lighter bistro menu and the Connaught Room, where you buy one of the finest afternoon teas in Ireland. A short walk across the estate, will take you Wilde’s restaurant which serves exciting, contemporary Irish cuisine.
The estate is huge. There are lots of very fine walks, a golf course, two tennis courts. The hotel offers fishing on the Lough and on the nearby River Cong. The fishing is available for all levels – from the most expert fly fishermen to the raw beginners. And expert guides are available. There is also horse riding – again for all levels of rider – as well as archery, tree climbing, kayaking and boat cruises.
What else is there to do around there?
Not much!! The charm of the castle is that it is in the heart of the Irish countryside. The local town, Cong, has only one claim to fame – it was used to make the film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne. A small museum commemorates this fact. There are a some ancient sites and a small local history museum. There are some fine pubs, some of which serve excellent food, but if you’re looking for nightlife and art galleries, this is not the place for you. On the other hand, if you want peace and rural tranquility it’s ideal.
Dive in and book