Stunning Irish castle and five star hotel located in Quiet Man's Cong, County Mayo, has been named one of the 25 best travel experiences in the world

The “fairy tale” experience at Ashford Castle, a medieval Irish castle and five star hotel located in Co Mayo, has been named one of the 25 best travel experiences in the world.

The ‘Certified 25’ is a new list compiled by US travel advisor Chad Clark, who aims to create an annual list of the best travel experiences around the world.

“You have the Forbes Travel Guide for hotel star ratings and Michelin for restaurants and Golf Magazine for the Top 100 courses, but there is nothing like that for experiences and that’s what everyone is looking for today,” he told The Irish Times.

Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo.

Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo.

Clark, who owns the Phoenix-based Chad Clark Travel Ventures, said the list is the “first of its kind in the travel industry.”

The ‘Certified 25’  was compiled from a survey of luxury travel industry suppliers and other travel experts, who submitted their best experiences from around the world.

Clark says the winners were “chosen on their own merits of how cool the experience actually is.”

Ashford Castle Fairytale experience

The “Ashford Castle Fairytale experience” is Ireland’s sole listing.

The experience includes private chauffeur transfers from the airport; two nights in a Stateroom; afternoon tea in the Connaught Room; falconry; a private showing of The Quiet Man in the 32-seat cinema at the hotel, with Champagne and popcorn; dinners in the Dungeon and George V restaurants; wine tasting; and meeting the estate’s Irish Wolfhounds.

The cost of the experience is €4,350 ($5116)  in low season to €6,350 ($7468) in high season.

Ashford Castle’s general manager, Niall Rochford, said the castle is “privileged to represent Ireland and Irish tourism internationally as the only Irish property to be included in this inaugural list.”

He added that Clark is someone “who has himself carved a career as a highly regarded and influential travel expert worldwide.”

“Our Fairytale Castle Experience offers guests the chance to experience the magic of Ashford Castle, offering the utmost in modern luxury and five-star hospitality in the unique setting of this historic castle.”

Other experiences on the list include an ethical travel conscience safari experience in Tanzania, a volcano adventure with Four Seasons Hualali, and a banquet on a remote section of the Great Wall of China with conservationist William Londesay.

For the full ‘Certified 25’ list, visit