A proud-standing medieval castle will always make the perfect spot for a five star luxury hotel. Located in Cong, near Ireland’s border, the Ashford castle is the oldest in Ireland. Its origins can be traced back to 1228, when the House of Burke began building a castle on this very spot. Over centuries, new wings have been added. After the estate was purchased in 1852 by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, two large Victorian extensions were added.
In 1939, it was sold to the Irish government. A while later, Noel Huggard thought of transforming the castle into a hotel, but it wasn’t until 1970, when it was purchased by John Mulcahy, that the property was completely restored. He managed to see Ashford Castle through its complete transformation from a medieval castle to a luxury hotel. In 2007, it was sold for $50 million to investor Gerry Barrett. In 2012, it was voted the best resort in Ireland and the third best in Europe. During the same year, it was put up for sale again, this time for $34 million, half the price Barrett paid. It was eventually sold in 2013 to Red Carnations Hotels for $27 million.