Ashford Castle Hotel is one of the world’s finest five star luxury hotels, located in County Mayo on the dramatic west coast of Ireland. The castle dates from the 13th century and has been continuously occupied since then. The hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. and in 2013 was voted by Condé Nast Traveler® as the number three resort hotel in Europe, receiving a rating of 96.8% for service.
Ashford Castle was first built as a defensive castle by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family in 1228. Although the original intention was to keep unwanted visitors out, since those early days the castle’s various owners have worked hard to keep wanted visitors safe and comfortable within. In 1589 the castle passed from the de Burgo family into the hands of the Governor of Connaught, Lord Bingham, who added a fortified enclave. In 1715 the Ashford Estate was established by the Oranmore and Browne family and a French-style chateau was added, increasing the architectural splendor of the castle. Further major renovations took place in 1852 and 1868 and the estate was extended to 26,000 acres with new roads and plantations. In 1939, the castle was bought by Noel Huggard who established it as a “First Class Hotel” attracting a clientele from around the globe including, in 1951, the all-star cast of the classic movie The Quiet Man. In 1970 Ashford Castle Hotel was bought by John A. Mulcahy who further restored and expanded the property. Later, in 1985, it was bought by a group of Irish American investors and in 2008 taken over by Galway entrepreneur and hotelier Gerry Barrett. In May 2013 the hotel was purchased by international boutique hotels group Red Carnation. Despite the numerous transfers of ownership over the centuries Ashford Castle Hotel has retained its historical past and beauty. Its name is synonymous with excellent customer service and Irish hospitality.
The success of high-end hotels is primarily dependent on their ability to differentiate themselves from others. However, this is not always easy due to high levels of competition among hotels and the restrictions imposed by physical factors such as location. Ashford Hotel stands out from other resort hotels because of its rich historical past and architectural luxury, its exceptional range of leisure facilities, excellent location and its long tradition of providing exceptional service experience. The hotel believes passionately in its traditional heritage of service excellence and continuously strives to exceed customer expectations.
Kumar, V., & Brady, M. (2014). Ashford Castle Hotel: Epitome of an excellent service experience. In J. Kandampully (Ed.), Customer Experience Management: Enhancing Experience and Value Through Service Management, 358-362. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company