Staying in a castle is the type of experience vacation dreams are made of. Located in Mayo, less than hour from Galway, Ireland’s 800-year-old Ashford Castle Hotel & Country Estate was home to the Guinness family (yes, that Guinness family) for nearly 70 years. Today, sleeping like Irish beer royalty is as easy as making a reservation.
The oldest part of the castle dates back to 1228, but thanks to major renovation work, modern touches like heated floors and bathrooms with televisions coexist with original fireplaces and antique George III-style four-poster beds. Castle life is as swanky as it sounds, and there’s a good case to be made for sleeping in and lingering in any of its 83 rooms. The trouble is, there’s so much to do on the 350-acre estate that it’s hard to justify sitting still.