Co. Mayo, Ireland
What it is
An immaculate 800-year-old castle—formerly the home of the Guinness family—with 83 uniquely designed rooms, boundless exploits on the lush 350-acre grounds, plus an exquisite spa with a hammam, mural-lined pool and lake view.
What it isn't
Lacking accolades. The property wins myriad awards every year, and it’s a National Geographic Lodge of the World to boot.
What we think
Everyone from King George V to President Ronald Reagan have checked in to stay on these hallowed grounds, and no wonder. The onetime estate of the Guinness family is now worth cheersing to for other reasons: for starters, activities abound on the property, whether you want to try falconry on a hawk walk or simply cuddle up in a tufted red velvet seat in the private cinema for a screening of 1952’s “The Quiet Man”—filmed right here with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Rooms are as dreamy as you’d imagine in a centuries-old castle; we recommend the Lake View Deluxe Rooms for their “Antiques Roadshow”-worthy furniture (a silk tester bed from the 17th century here, a gilt Louis XV mirror there), plus cinematic panorama over Lough Corrib.
You're here because
You’ll be treated like a Middleton. Each guest is pampered beyond belief, from the dram of something instantly restorative at check-in to the candlelit turndown and freshly cut bouquets in each suite.
You may never live like Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey, but this splendiferous afternoon tea in the Connaught Room—newly built (ahem) in 1868—is better. After nibbles of Irish Wagyu beef on malt sourdough and Galway Bay prawns on brioche, you go for gold: just-baked scones with lemon curd and clotted cream. What is a weekend?
Restaurants & Bars
George V Dining Room - Exceptional dishes from the kitchen of acclaimed Chef Philippe Farineau
The Dungeon - enjoy a range of satisfying dishes from the bistro-style menu
Cullen's at the College - Enjoy international and local dishes inspired by our owner Beatrice Tollman
Wilde's at the Lodge - Serving fine contemporary Irish cuisine in a stunning setting
The Castle Wine Cellars - Offer private wine tastings and wonderful wine dinners in a private location
In the verdant rolling hills of County Mayo, a three hour drive from the Dublin Airport (and of course, they’ll be delighted to arrange a chauffeur in a Mercedes V Class.) For a view, don’t miss climbing to the top of the stone Guinness Tower, built in 1864.