Red Carnation Hotels: Ashford Castle, Hotel d’Angleterre, and The Montague on the GardenCSB Travel
Red Carnation Hotels is a family-owned collection of more than a dozen spectacular properties. The RCH brand is known for two things in particular: impeccably designed rooms and exceptional guest service. In this article we highlight three hotels: Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland; Hotel D’Angleterre in Geneva, Switzerland; and The Montague on the Gardens in London, England.
Ashford Castle – Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
This magnificent castle is rich in history: dating to the 13th century, it was home to the Guinness family and has hosted notable figures such as King George V, Oscar Wilde, John Lennon, and President Ronald Reagan. In 1939 it was transformed into a hotel; in 2015 it was renovated and reopened. The 365-acre property is comprised of Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle.
Each of castle’s 82 rooms is uniquely decorated. The three main categories are rooms, staterooms, and suites. There’s also the Hideaway Cottage, which was the Guinness family’s boathouse and is now a one-bedroom cottage on Lake Corrib. It’s perfect for a honeymoon or romantic getaway! Since the entry-level Corrib Lake View rooms start at 250 square feet, we recommend booking a Deluxe Lake View room or higher. Suites are suitable for families because they include king beds and sofa beds. Ashford Castle also has connecting room options. A four-star option is The Lodge at Ashford Castle. You get a lower price point for your accommodations and access to everything offered.
The property has many common areas: the Connaught Room hosts daily afternoon teas, the Prince of Wales bar offers pints and Irish coffee, and the George V dining room provides formal dinners nightly. There’s also a cigar terrace and spa! With more than 30 activities on site, Ashford Castle is ideal for the sporty multigenerational family. You can play golf, horseback ride, shoot clays, fish with the resident gillie, cruise Lake Corrib, kayak, ride bikes, fly fish… the list is endless! They also have Ireland’s first school of falconry. Best of all, the country is not a seasonal destination and open year round.
All this said, we still haven’t gotten to the hotel’s best quality: its service. A beautiful property can be diminished by poor service, but you won’t run into that issue here. We recommend spending at least three nights and visiting Dublin or Galway before or after.
Hotel d’Angleterre – Geneva, Switzerland
Hotel d’Angleterre is a landmark hotel in Switzerland situated on Lake Geneva. With prime views of Mont Blanc and Jet d’Eau, this hotel is full of character and sure to please any visitor. It was built in 1827 and designed by renowned architect Anthony Kraft. In the mid-1990s it underwent renovations to transform its 60 rooms into 45. These larger rooms and a two-to-one staff-to-guest ratio display the property’s commitment to service and guest experience.
As mentioned, the rooms are some of the largest in the city. Each of the 39 rooms and 6 suites is uniquely and exquisitely decorated and some have scenic views of the lake. We recommend reserving a Premium King room (355 square feet) or higher. The 1,200-square-foot Presidential Suite is the largest in the hotel and includes a private balcony and champagne welcome. Up to four bedrooms can be added, expanding the size to 2,700 square feet!
The hotel features sensational food and beverage outlets, including the famous Windows Restaurant. With breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and delicious food to match, having a meal here is a no-brainer. Moreover, through Hotel d’Angleterre you can fish on the lake and eat your catch for dinner! Grab a cocktail at the glamorous Leopard Bar, have afternoon tea at Windows, or enjoy a cigar in the Cigar Lounge.
The concierge team is on hand to arrange one-of-a-kind experiences that immerse guests in the local culture. Take a helicopter tour of the city or explore the nearby medieval village of Gruyères. Foodies can peruse the Geneva Market with Executive Chef Alexandre Cardiga and turn their haul into a gourmet meal enjoyed in Windows. Visit the Cigar Bank and partake in a cigar tasting in the hotel’s Cigar Lounge. Watch aficionados, we didn’t forget you: tour the famous Patek Phillipe Museum, and if that’s not enough, attend the Initium Workshop and create your own timepiece!
Geneva is a magical city, and we recommend spending at least three nights here. Because of its proximity to the French Alps, it’s a great place to check out before or after hitting Chamonix or Megève, two picturesque French ski resort areas.
The Montague on the Gardens – London, England
A Georgian townhome, The Montague on the Gardens is a charming hundred-room boutique hotel in the historic and vibrant Bloomsbury district. Centrally located and drenched in traditional English culture, this is a great choice for travelers craving serenity without sacrificing proximity to London highlights like the British Museum, Covent Garden, and Oxford Street.
The hotel is made up of 88 rooms and 12 suites. Although they’re on the smaller side, the rooms are individually designed to be dazzling and sophisticated. We advise booking a Deluxe King room (270 square feet) or higher. Of the five suites, we love the Bedford: a private street entrance, living and dining room areas, and two marble bathrooms are just a few reasons why! Families or larger parties of guests can also combine the Bedford and Guv’nor’s Suites to create the 1,300-square-foot Bloomsbury Set. With three bathrooms, a living area, and two dining tables, this can accommodate eight guests.
Guests at The Montague can choose from an array of dining options. The Blue Door Bistro and its à-la-carte menu is well suited for a casual lunch or dinner. The Leopard Bar is ideal for craft cocktails in a stylish yet cozy setting and plays hosts to jazz musicians six nights a week. As with any quintessential English property, every weekend there’s afternoon tea and al fresco dining on the Garden Terrace. If you’re visiting in the summer or winter, you’ll find themed pop-ups: a beach bar in the summer and a winter wonderland in the colder months.
Multiple guest experiences await you at The Montague. In partnership with nearby Bedford estates, the hotel invested in two beehives and visitors can learn about the insects and the beekeeping process. Afterward enjoy a honey-based concoction in the Leopard Bar. Have a picnic in Bedford Square Gardens and munch on freshly baked pastries and sandwiches. Partake in a tasting with three delicious wines from Bouchard Finlayson, a top-rated boutique winery in South Africa. If whiskey’s more up your alley you can have a tasting customized around your taste and knowledge.
London can be a weekend stop or a weeklong vacation, but we recommend three to four nights here. It goes well with just about any European city, and with tons of direct flights it makes a great pit stop to or from just about anywhere!
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