5 Star Spas: Ireland’s Ashford Castle


ashford-castle-spa-01Ashford Castle, the resplendent lakeside Irish castle in County Mayo has introduced a new spa. The spa was part of a two-year renovation at Ashford Castle, and it opens this month. French architect Philippe Bonino conceived a bronze conservatory that perfectly complements the design of the former Irish stronghold, whose first stone was laid in the 13th century and whose most recent update had been completed in the 1970s, when Ireland’s famed Guinness family called it home.

Pool 029_2For the interiors, Bonino and the design team at Red Carnation Hotels—headed by Toni Tollman, daughter of president and founder Beatrice Tollman—created a space that melds with the castle’s original Gothic heritage. Handcrafted by local artisans, doors are framed in oak with bronze detailing, floors are set in earthy gray Pietra Piasentina stone, window arches recall Gothic style, and the color palette of neutral grays and creams channels the original stonework of the castle.

The spa’s indoor pool, which features a mural by ceramic artist Jane du Rand.
The spa’s indoor pool, which features a mural by ceramic artist Jane du Rand.

The pièce de résistance is a mural in the indoor pool area, created by South African ceramic artist Jane du Rand. Drawing inspiration from Irish folklore, the intricate mosaic depicts the great oak tree, thought to be a cosmic storehouse of wisdom. Woodland creatures, which play a pivotal role in Celtic mythology, are seen in the tile work throughout the spa, most notably on the solid stone, Gothic-inspired reception desk.
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Within its fairytale setting, a plethora of remarkable features include a state-of-the-art facilities which boasts five exceptional treatment rooms, an invigorating Hammam, relaxing steam room and a beautiful terrace area with serene views over the tranquil waters of one of Ireland’s largest lakes. The Spa and Fitness Centre offers the latest wellness innovation with PureFlow™ technology, the first of its kind in Ireland.

The spa at Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo; ashfordcastle.com

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