Ashford Castle has become the first Irish hotel to achieve a five-star ranking in the Forbes Travel Guide's Star Rating.
The hotel joins an elite group of luxury hotels around the world that have earned a five-star Forbes Travel Guide ranking.
Forbes' inspectors travel the world anonymously to assess hotels, restaurants and spas based on 900 objective standards that determine its ratings. They pay particular attention to the provision of exceptional service.
The top award from Forbes is given only to properties that meet more than 500 service and physical criteria during those anonymous inspections.
General Manager Niall Rochford said the hotel was "over the moon" to be the first and only hotel in Ireland to ever achieve a five-star rating in the Forbes Travel Guide annual awards.