STATELY Ashford Castle is on the market for a cool €25 million. Pic: Mike Searle
Ashford Castle up for sale again
It provided the backdrop for John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’ and was the only Irish hotel named recently in the Condé Nast Traveler Top 100 Hotels and Resorts in the World. Now Ashford Castle, Co Mayo, is once again on the market, this time for the bargain price of €25 million – roughly half what developer Gerry Barrett paid for it just five years ago.
Set on 365 acres in Cong and overlooking Lough Corrib, the main building is in the style of a French chateau, and was built in the mid-1700s, incorporating the old castle built in the 1220s (which is now unrecognisable). Further major development occurred throughout the 19th century, after the estate was purchased in 1852 by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness.
A luxury hotel since 1939, it is currently being run by Tifco Hotel Group, after being put into receivership last year. It is reported to be trading successfully.
The castle, which boasts 83 bedrooms, including six suites, has been a favourite with many celebrities throughout the years, including former US President Ronald Reagan, Hollywood star Brad Pitt and former Bond star Pierce Brosnan, who celebrated his marriage to Keely Shaye Smith there in 2001.
The hotel’s target market is mostly US tourists, and room rates at the resort can reach €950 per night. However, in recent years, packages and midweek-break offers have meant that the hotel has become more affordable to would-be guests.
National reports have said that the 800-year-old castle is likely to be bought by a group of international investors.