Ashford Castle is only hotel in Ireland to achieve a Forbes Five-Star ranking for its spa


2023 marks four consecutive years on Forbes Five-Star list for the historic property, reports Clodagh Dooley

The Spa at Ashford Castle

They say that the hardest part of winning a Michelin Star is retaining it, and the same principle applies to Forbes Travel Guide Ranking, one of the travel industry’s most stringent and exacting independently assessed guides in the world.

However, Ashford Castle has been flying the Forbes’ flag for luxury Irish tourism on the international stage for four consecutive years, following the announcement that it has once again been awarded a Five-Star ranking by Forbes’ Travel Guide (FTG). 

In addition, the magnificent property has achieved a Five-Star Forbes Ranking for The Spa at Ashford, the only hotel in Ireland to earn this much-coveted accolade and one of only three on the British Isles. 

Forbes inspectors noted that “The Spa at Ashford Castle is the ultimate sanctuary for weary travellers, anchored by a beautiful relaxation pool room overlooking the lake. The tranquil ambience is enhanced by white coral chandeliers and the Relaxation Pool is not only visually stunning, but truly therapeutic.”

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Five-Star is the top rating possible and the ultimate gold standard in hospitality. This year’s rankings affirm not only Ashford Castle’s consistently high levels of service, facilities and guest experience, but for the first time, recognise that Ireland can compete on the world stage when it comes to its spa facilities.

Niall Rochford, general manager at Ashford Castle, said, “We know that Forbes looks for exceptional service and facilities, but to achieve a Five-Star ranking they demand much more. How a visit makes a guest feel and the things that they will remember about their stay are of equal importance and at Ashford Castle, this comes down to the passion and professionalism of our people. 

“As a team, we are overjoyed not only to be consistently recognised by Forbes for our luxury hotel, but now, for our spa too. This is a great day for our team on the estate, our owners at Red Carnation and for Irish tourism more widely.”

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When Forbes Travel Guide’s expert inspectors visit a property, they anonymously test it against up to 900 rigorous standards. While both service and facilities are inspected, Forbes’ Star Rating system places an emphasis on service. 

Only the best-of-the-best achieves the coveted Five-Star for a range of standards including supreme service, luxurious beds, distinctive drinks, memorable meals, exceeding guest expectations, genuine interest in its guests and helpful housekeeping. 

The Forbes Travel Guide team anonymously visits every property around the world that it Star Rates as a paying guest. Every Star Rating is earned through an objective, independent process and no one can buy or solicit a rating under any circumstance. For more information from Forbes on what makes a Five-Star, click here.

Providing reviews and ratings for more than 60 years, Forbes Travel Guide is the oldest travel guide in the United States and its inspection process is regarded as the gold standard in hospitality. 

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Ashford Castle is set in a spectacular 350-acre estate in Cong, Co Mayo and is part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.





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