Hotel Review: Park Hotel Kenmare, Kenmare, Co. Kerry in Ireland
One of Europe’s finest old school hotels, the Park Hotel Kenmare retains a touch of magic. The Park Hotel Kenmare dates back to the final years of the 19th century. A true original this lauded hotel is nestled in the gorgeous, temperate Kenmare Estuary in South Kerry and is surrounded by some of the loveliest, most enchanting countryside in Ireland.
A favourite with the discerning traveller, readers of Condé Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure magazine voted the Park Hotel Kenmare as the Best Hotel in Ireland.
Dating back to 1897, this Victorian Landmarks matches traditional personal service with luxury. The hotel’s beautifully designed deluxe destination Spa SÁMAS is one of the finest small spas in Europe and acts as a modern balance to the charm of the original hotel.
Set in nine acres of magnificent grounds that are both manicured and wild, the Park Hotel Kenmare is a retreat to unwind in with its turf fireplaces, vintage antiques and impeccable service.
Lovers of the great outdoors can walk the colourful streets of the delightful nearby town of Kenmare – where General de Gaulle loved to holiday and trek the stunning mountain and coastal walks in the area.
Next to the hotel is an 18-hole championship golf course. The Kenmare estuary and local lakes and rivers are renowned for their wild salmon and sea trout fishing. The hotel even has its own 12-seat private cinema. The Park Hotel Kenmare is child-friendly and staff with gladly organise treasure hunts and sports and muster children’s menus, early dinners and cinema screening. Babysitting can be arranged through the helpful and affable concierges.
The Park Hotel Kenmare is surrounded by a number of idyllic lakes and flowing rivers locally favoured for their rich stock of salmon and trout. The hotel’s Ghillie can arrange fishing expeditions in the local area and the catch can be cooked by the chef. For a walk on the wild side the hotel even has lessons in falconry.
The 46 intimate antiques filled rooms feature modern flat-screen TVs with DVD/CD players and 24-hour room service. The deluxe suites have separate sleeping areas. The design is proudly traditional befitting this grand dame of a hotel so think heavy fabrics, handsome wooden wardrobes and gold framed portraits and landscapes.
The King-size beds are large and very comfortable with goose-down pillows. Some rooms have four poster beds. The bathrooms are very large and kitted out with luxury Floris toiletries. Despite the hotel’s reverence for past traditions there are delightful modern touches such as the digital concierge service that can be accessed through bedside tablets. Some rooms have terraces with sea views over the Kenmare Estuary.
Eating & drinking
The hotel’s has two traditional classic restaurants serving locally sourced produce. The Dining Room overlooks the grounds and Kenmare River and won Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland 2018 from The Irish Restaurants Association. Head Chef James Coffey serves up five and seven-course tasting menus using local produce such as lamb crab and halibut.
Tasty and exquisite looking dishes include Lough Neagh smoked eel with Jerusalem artichoke and pepper dulce; black truffle Aquerello rice with aged Parmesan and slow cooked rump of lamb with carrot and sea buckthorn.
The hotel has an excellent à la carte breakfast. A classic Irish breakfast is served but there are tantalising alternatives such as smoked haddock, tomato and watercress tart with poached eggs. Less formal dining can be enjoyed at the Terrace. The lovely wood panelled informal bar features more than 400 wines and whiskies.
The Nordic style SÁMAS spa has five treatments rooms where you can indulge in Sisley treatments. Some of the seriously impressive features include a 40-degree thermal eternity pool open to the wilderness; a steam room; tropical shower and a 25-metre indoor pool. The gender-specific relaxation rooms have cosy beds to chill out while looking onto soothing ferns and a pine forest.
Exploring County Kerry
The fabled mountains of Kerry sit near Kenmare and the Ring of Kerry driving route starts and finishes in the town. The picturesque heritage town of Kenmare was founded in about 1670 by Sir William Petty. The first planned town in Ireland, Kenmare is walkable and filled with cosmopolitan boutiques, bars and Irish restaurants.
Nearby Sneem, nestled in thick forests by the sea is delightful and further afield Caherdaniel, overlooking Derrynane Bay boasts Derrynane House, the family estate of the revered 19th-century Irish politician and patriot Daniel O’Connell who championed Irish independence. Derrynane House’s rambling gardens and sea views are spectacular.
The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most scenic road trips circling the tip of the Iveragh Peninsula that reaches out into the Atlantic on Ireland’s south-west corner. This 200-kilometre encounters some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes of rugged, dramatic coastlines, magnificent mountains, crystal clear lakes and colourful towns and villages.
Kerry Airport, with its regular direct flights to London, Frankfurt and Berlin is 60 kilometres away from Kenmare. The delightful historic town of Killarney, with a direct rail link to Dublin, is 50 kilometres up the road.
Deluxe rooms from EUR440 per night (High Season). Includes a hearty Irish breakfast.
Address: Park Hotel Kenmare, Shelbourne Street, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Phone: +353 64 664 1200