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Ashford Castle becomes first Irish hotel awarded FTG 5 stars

Ashford Castle has become the first Irish hotel to achieve a five-star ranking in the Forbes Travel Guide's (FTG) Star Rating.

Set on a sprawling, 350-acre estate on the banks of Lough Corrib, the hotel, which is part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, joins an elite group of luxury hotels around the world that have earned a five-star ranking from FTG.

Dating back 800 years, the 83-bed Ashford Castle was the former home of the Guinness family and expertly blends luxurious pampering with traditional Irish hospitality.

Forbes' inspectors travel the world anonymously to assess hotels, restaurants and spas based on 900 objective standards that determine its ratings. They pay particular attention to the provision of exceptional service.

The top award from Forbes is given only to properties that meet more than 500 service and physical criteria during those anonymous inspections.

General Manager Niall Rochford said the hotel was 'over the moon' to be the first and only hotel in Ireland to ever achieve a five-star rating in the Forbes Travel Guide annual awards.

He added, 'It's probably the most meticulous and internationally recognised hotel rating system in the world, so it's highly sought after and I’m immensely proud of our loyal and long-serving team for delivering such consistently warm and polished service and generous hospitality.'

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection acquired Ashford Castle in 2013 for €20m.