Unforgettable Ashford Castle for the Travel Classics Ireland Conference 2023


I loved returning to Ashford Castle for Travel Classics Ireland 2023. I first stayed there during our post tour from Travel Classics 2017 and fell in love with the history and activities. I knew when I walked a hawk at the Ireland school of Falconry that I would be back again!

Ashford Castle from Morning Boat Ride, Photo by Lisa Niver

There was a symphony of remarkable experiences, blending the comforts of a lodge stay, the intellectual stimulation of the Travel Classics Conference, and a plethora of enriching activities. From the moment I arrived at this magnificent estate in County Mayo, Ireland, I knew I was about to embark on a truly unforgettable adventure.

Nestled in the heart of Ireland’s stunning countryside, The Lodge at Ashford Castle is a destination that will enchant you with its rich history, captivating scenery, and warm hospitality. The Lodge offers a perfect blend of luxury and comfort to provide the perfect retreat after a day of exploring. From the moment you arrive, the staff will make you feel like royalty, with attentive service that anticipates your every desire.

Staying at the Lodge at Ashford Castle was a delightful experience in itself. The elegant accommodations provided a tranquil retreat, enveloping me in a world of refined luxury. The attentive staff ensured every detail was taken care of, making my stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. From the cozy rooms to the inviting common areas, the Lodge became my sanctuary, offering a serene ambiance to relax and recharge.

Fountain outside The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Photo by Lisa Niver

As part of the Travel Classics Conference, I had the privilege of immersing myself in a community of travel writers and editors from around the globe. The camaraderie and collective passion for storytelling created an environment of growth and collaboration.

While on property, I had the opportunity to explore the enchanting grounds of Ashford Castle and participate in a myriad of activities. The hawk walk was again an unforgettable adventure, allowing me to interact with these majestic birds of prey in their natural habitat. With a falconer as my guide, I embarked on a journey through the castle’s estate, witnessing the awe-inspiring flight of the hawk and feeling a profound connection with nature.

Another thrilling experience was the clay pigeon shooting session, where I honed my aim under the guidance of an Olympian. The adrenaline rush and the satisfaction of hitting the targets propelled me into a world of exhilaration.

I am filled with gratitude to have experienced incredible outdoor activities and the opportunity to relax in the stunning spa and swimming pool. The warm hospitality extended by the dedicated staff provided me with an exceptional stay, cherished memories and a longing to return.

Ashford Castle Pool Photo by Lisa Niver
Lisa Niver relaxing at the Ashford Castle Pool

Ashford Castle will forever hold a special place in my heart as a destination that embodies the essence of travel, inspiration, and luxury. It is a place where dreams come alive, and where the magic of storytelling intertwines with the beauty of Ireland’s landscapes. It is also in my soon to be released memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty!

A Suite Stay: Elevated Luxury

A Royal Breakfast at George V

Experience the beauty of Lough Corrib at sunrise with a boat tour from Ashford Castle. Glide across the tranquil waters as the sun rises, illuminating the sky with vibrant colors. Witness the lush greenery of the surrounding hills and the majestic castle from a different perspective.

Attending the history chat at Ashford Castle was an incredible experience. Finton’s passion and expertise brought the castle’s rich history to life. The stories and anecdotes shared were captivating, leaving me with a deeper appreciation of the castle’s place in Irish history.

Thank you to Ashford Castle, Travel Classics Ireland and Tourism Ireland for my amazing adventures!
Enjoy more of my travels in Ireland

Learn about my upcoming book, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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