Luxury revamp boosts employment at Ashford Castle

The sumptuous Connaught Room at Ashford Castle.

The sumptuous Connaught Room at Ashford Castle.

Some 300 people are now employed at iconic Ashford Castle in Cong, just four years after the former summer residence of the Guinness family went into receivership.

The Red Carnation Hotel Group, which bought the hotel in 2013, said it has significantly boosted employment at the hotel following an extensive restoration project.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited the hotel two weeks ago to perform the official reopening after the two-year, multi-phase, overhaul which cost tens of millions of euro.

The project has seen the hotel’s 85 guestrooms and suites enhanced with antiques, original artwork, and bespoke carpets.

A number of new amenities have also been added, including a 32-seat cinema, a billiard room, cigar terrace, boutique and retail space, state-of-the-art spa, and a luxury lakeside cottage to open in July.

The outdoor areas and facilities on the 350-acre estate include falconry, an equestrian centre, clay shooting, golf, tennis, cycling, fishing and water sports on Lough Corrib.

A statement from the Red Carnation Hotel Group on the reopening said: “Every element of Ashford Castle, both inside and out, reflects the award-winning five-star luxury experience for which Red Carnation is renowned.”

“To support the improved facilities at the hotel, the staff levels have been significantly increased to 300 thus boosting employment within the local area,” continued the statement.

“All staff members have undertaken Red Carnation’s award-winning training and development programmes to ensure that the service delivery across the hotel is second to none.”

Mrs Beatrice Tollman, the South African founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Group, said she is proud of the group’s first Irish property.

“We are so proud of this fabulous property - our first in Ireland - and we applaud the work of the many Irish craftsmen and artists who have worked fastidiously with our team to restore Ashford Castle to this glorious state,” she outlined.

Founded by the Tollman family in the 1950s, the Red Carnation Hotel Group owns a string of luxury hotel properties in Ireland, the UK, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA.

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