Ashford Castle or Glenlo Abbey Hotel?

Before booking, when I originally looked at trip itinerary, it said we would stay at Ashford Castle. I printed an itinerary when I booked and didn't notice until after that it changed to "Ashford Castle or Glenlo Abbey Hotel". I certainly hope we stay at Ashford Castle. Anyone that I know that has knowledge of Ashford says it is a very special place. I'm sure Glenlo is wonderful, too but, my heart was set. I guess we will have to wait and see. Do any of you have any preference?

Comments

  • edited November 2017
    There is something strange going on with The Best of Ireland. I posted about Ashford not being on the new 2018 itinerary last July in the “Best of” forum (see it at this link: https://www.tauck.com/yaf/default.aspx?g=posts&m=38725#post38725 ) In August, another poster replied that Tauck split off the small group tour (like they did years ago with Best of Italy) and that Ashford was still on the new, separate small group tour. I looked and confirmed he was right. However, I just looked now (Oct), and can find no trace of a separate "Best of Ireland, Small Groups" tour! The small groups tours are back being a subset of the regular tour.

    Ashford rooms were very nice but nothing extra special, but the castle interior, exterior and grounds, the arrival by boat, being met by piper in kilt, etc. were wonderful. See my photos at the the link. Many considered it to be one of the tour highlights. We had the choice of three restaurants, and had simple fare in the dungeon one night and a wonderful meal (I had a huge lobster) in Cullen’s at the Cottage the second night. We did not eat in the George V dining room (jacket required/provided).

    I've not been to Glenlo but have looked at the photos and read the description. It looks and sounds very nice (5 star), but it still isn't Ashford. There are a lot of VERY nice estate-hotels in Ireland.
  • The Small Group Ireland is on the website today. There's over 30 dates listed for 2018 - different from the larger group tours. Just booked one of the few remaining slots. Confirmation email had 3 hotel changes - Merrion vs Westin in Dublin, Lough Erne Resort vs Lough Eske Castle, and Glenlo Abbey vs Ashford castle.

    At the bottom of the Pricing and Availability page is the following quote:

    Tour of May 8 will stay at the Shelbourne Dublin nights 1 and 2; tours of May 22, Jun 5, Jun 19 & Sep 25 will stay at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin nights 1 and 2; tours of May 22 & Jun 19 will stay at Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen nights 5 and 6; tours of May 8 & 31, Jun 5 & 19, Sep 11 & 25 will stay at Glenlo Abbey Hotel nights 7 and 8; tour of May 17 will stay at The Malton Killarney nights 10 and 11; tour of Sep 13 will stay at Mount Juliet Estate nights 12 and 13.

    All look good although I think the Westin was a better location than the Merrion. Glenlo has their Pullman Car restaurant which sounds interesting. Would be great if that was an option for dinner.
  • edited November 2017
    The Small Group Ireland is on the website today.

    ????? Are you talking about a totally separate listing for a 'Best of Ireland, Small Group' tour or just a small group departure in the pull-down of the Best of Ireland? All I see is the Best of Ireland with 6 small group departures in the Departure pull-down. There are approx 32 departures total for the Best of Ireland.

    There is no "Best of Ireland, Small Group" in the tour listings.

    As I posted above, for a brief time last summer, there was a totally different Best of Ireland Small Group tour page just like 'Classic Italy, Small Groups'.

    When compared to a river cruise, all Tauck land tours are small group! : ) except for Africa, regular land tours have approx 44 people while small group tours have 24.

    Oh, and obviously there is a forum for the Best of Ireland, Small Groups. It was created by Emily on Monday, May 22, 2017 2:33:06 PM

    It could be a website issue because the area forums are gone!
  • You're right Alan it has disappeared - again. It was on the website yesterday morning when I looked it up, checked available dates and called Tauck. Completely separate listing from the regular Best of Ireland. It's where I lifted the quote for the changes in hotels. Went back a few hours later to open up the itinerary and it was gone. Can't find it no matter how I try - using the search trip function, changing filters, going to the Small Group tab, etc. Weird.

    When we did the Eng, Scot, Wales last summer we booked a regular sized tour but ended up with a small group. Ten couples plus a family of 8 that kind of kept to themselves - 28. Really liked the smaller group size, chance to get to know everyone, extra room on the bus, etc so that's why we picked it for this one. May change later depending on whether another couple want to join us and Tauck can't squeeze them into our tour date.

    Hopefully Tauck solves the disappearing webpage.
  • edited November 2017
    You're right Alan it has disappeared - again. It was on the website yesterday morning when I looked it up, checked available dates and called Tauck. Completely separate listing from the regular Best of Ireland. It's where I lifted the quote for the changes in hotels. Went back a few hours later to open up the itinerary and it was gone. Can't find it no matter how I try - using the search trip function, changing filters, going to the Small Group tab, etc. Weird.

    When we did the Eng, Scot, Wales last summer we booked a regular sized tour but ended up with a small group. Ten couples plus a family of 8 that kind of kept to themselves - 28. Really liked the smaller group size, chance to get to know everyone, extra room on the bus, etc so that's why we picked it for this one. May change later depending on whether another couple want to join us and Tauck can't squeeze them into our tour date.

    Hopefully Tauck solves the disappearing webpage.

    It is really strange. Probably a coding problem- used the same address for both tours, or it could be associated with the disappearances of the area forums, or while working on the site they sometimes use a back-up that has errors. I knew I saw the separate small group tour last summer and Tauck Emily launched the the new (this) small group sub-forum so it must (still?) exist.

    All I can say is I'm glad we went when we did because we visited Blarney Castle (touristic but still nice, even if you don't kiss the stone), stopped at the Waterford crystal factory (interesting tour even though the current company which is made up of Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Rogaška is now owned by Fiskars Corporation the Finnish scissor company and the glassware is made in Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Germany.), and, of course, we stayed at Ashford Castle and Mt. Juliet. Lough Erne is nice enough, but it is just a relatively small golf resort plopped in the middle of the course on the shores of the lough (Rory McElroy is their 'traveling pro' whatever that means.)

    Don't forget to each a very light breakfast on Day 4 when you drive the Antrim Coast- the lunch at Bushmills Inn is fabulous and you can top it off with Sticky Toffee Pudding!
  • It's back again this afternoon. Go figure.
  • It's back again this afternoon. Go figure.

    Yup! Really strange! Almost totally booked, too. Of note, the regular "Best of . . " tour still shows 6 small group departures!? The area forums are still missing!
  • AlanS wrote:
    Yup! Really strange! Almost totally booked, too. Of note, the regular "Best of . . " tour still shows 6 small group departures!? The area forums are still missing!

    They may be missing but you can get to them and post by for example, click on the forum name at the top of the post, suck as Africa in a K and T one, or do a search. You can get to anything this way, although most new people posting will maybe not understand the forum well enough.
  • British wrote:
    They may be missing but you can get to them and post by for example, click on the forum name at the top of the post, such as Africa in a K and T one, or do a search. You can get to anything this way, although most new people posting will maybe not understand the forum well enough.

    Yup and yup. I should have said the index of area forums was (and still is) missing. : )

    However, if you want to start a "New Topic", after you do a search on a valid term such as "lion" for K&T, you must click on one of the search results or on the forum name in the topic path, e.g. "Travel Forums Home>>Universe>>Milky Way>>Mars>>Gift of Time?" You can also get to the particular forum page by first clicking the tour's 'Overview' tab then clicking one of the 'Travel Forums' topics on the right side of that page.


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