Travel has many moving parts, many fine little jigsaw pieces that combine to create your experience. If they work together, travel can be transcendent. If they don’t, disaster. We know this, and so we put meticulous effort into making those little details that more special. These range from the food you eat, to the way you get around and the things you do. One integral piece to the puzzle is the place you stay. We handpick our hotels to give you a premium experience, so your stay is a cut above the average guided tour.
We’ve consulted our travel experts to choose la crème de la crème, the absolute best hotel to stay in when traveling with Insight.
Before continuing, we must say we are so proud to take our guests to so many amazing hotels on all of our tours. Therefore, we thought it remiss to not include some honorable mentions.
Situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park stands Bovey Castle, an early 20th-century Neo-Jacobean mansion. Set on 275 acres of the National Park, the English country house combines the tranquil beauty of nature with the comfort and class of a luxury hotel. One can go from ambling through glades and meadows of the deer park, to lounging by the Art Deco pool and Elan Spa. There are activities aplenty to occupy your time, from fly fishing for trout at the castle lake, to golfing on the 18-hole championship course.
Discover this on: Country roads of Wales, Devon & Cornwall
Ex-feudal manor. Over 800 years old. Ancestral seat of the Earls of Kildare and Dukes of Leinster. Carton House carries with it some very impressive descriptors. Yet none are as impressive as when you drive up to the Georgian manor’s booming façade. With 1,100 acres to explore, boredom is but a distant memory at the stately mansion – especially with activities like fishing, falconry, canoeing, and archery to choose from.
Discover this on: Undiscovered Ireland
CHATEAU DE ROCHECOTTE
“Why is it that almost at every step you say to yourself: Ah! … How I love living here! …”
– René Boylesve
The 18th century, Louis XVI-style Château de Rochecotte stands in muted, sophisticated elegance. It gracefully overlooks the Loire valley, in perfect proximity to Bourgeil’s vineyards. Its Baroque grandeur, superimposed terraces and intimate guestrooms have impressed many throughout the years.
Indeed, the château enjoys a legacy of aristocratic owners and high-society visitors, whose many sojourns cemented its reputation as a favorite amongst those in the know. As you enter this Baroque manor you’ll be in the company of the many princes, duchesses and gentry of history.
Discover this on: Normandy, Brittany and The Loire Valley tour
And now, for the absolute best place you can stay in on an Insight tour.
ASHFORD CASTLE, THE BEST HOTEL TO STAY IN WITH INSIGHT
Dating back to the 13th century, Ashford castle is simply breathtaking. This former home of Ireland’s most famous family is set on 350 acres of emerald Irish landscape. Part medieval, part Victorian, the castle’s huge stone façade of turrets and towers makes quite the impression on its callers. And, what a legacy of notable callers: John Lennon, King Geroge V, Oscar Wilde, Brad Pitt, Ronald Reagan, the prince and princess of Monaco, and more.
Your castle stay offers all the bucolic enjoyments of country life, combined with the most luxurious hotel experience possible. There are outdoorsy country activities like clay pigeon shooting, zip-lining, falconry and fishing. But then, there are seven restaurants, two bars, a cigar terrace, a hammam spa and a luxury lakeside terrace. Each interior conveys aristocratic luxury, with the refined sophistication that only comes with centuries of class.
In 2015, Ashford castle won ‘best hotel in the world’ in Virtuoso Travel Week, third best hotel in Travel + Leisure magazine, and in 2012 third best resort in Europe by Condé Nast Traveller.
Discover this on: Irish Elegance
Read more: Why Ashford Castle deserves a place on your travel bucketlist