one of the few remaining family-owned and operated five-star hotels in Ireland, Penny McCormick reviews The Killarney Park Hotel…
THE VIBE: Old-world elegance meets modern luxury. Outside is reminiscent of a Bavarian tavern surrounded by a gorgeous garden and overflowing window boxes; inside, an abundance of fresh flowers, open fires and friendly service impress. It’s one of the few remaining family-owned and operated five-star hotels in Ireland.
NEED TO KNOW: Minutes from Killarney train station and the town centre, the hotel’s name is a nod to its location on the doorstep of the 26,000-acre Killarney National Park, which also inspired a recent renovation by Kim Partridge Interiors.
DINING: The Peregrine restaurant, one of three dining options, is where breakfast and dinner is served. It’s decorated in organic colours, from moss greens to rich mahogany, complemented by murals and artworks by Grant Watt and Gemma Billington. The restaurant comprises a private dining room and an elegant oval bar area with chic horseshoe booth seating. Head chef Sean Doyle has refreshed the delicious menus, sourcing ingredients from local farms and dairies. More informal is The Terrace, with a heated terrace, and The Garden Bar & Whiskey Rooms. Both offer a classic menu which appeals to many of the international golfing devotees who use the hotel as a base for playing (six!) courses in the vicinity.
THE ROOMS: There are 67 bedrooms, prioritising space and comfort. My room, decorated in tasteful tartan, had a balcony, huge bathroom with Voya products, and the pièce de resistance, especially at this time of year, a working fireplace. Bliss!
THE SPA: Has eight treatment rooms and is part of the Wellness area which includes a 20m indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, caldarium and fitness centre. Book one of the Signature Rituals (to help with sleep, support the menopause or encourage gut health), or an excellent Elemis Biotec facial. I especially liked the cosy relaxation area with its mesmeric aquarium.
AND: The Killarney Park is the recipient of several awards for its sustainability practices. Energy usage, single use plastic, food waste, water supplies and stationery have all been given careful consideration. It is a founding member of The Killarney Hotels Sustainability Group, a group of hotels committed to protecting the landscape and environment wherever possible.
VERDICT: General Manager Marcus Tracey ensures a happy, homely and haute experience for his guests; I found it supremely relaxing.
BOOK: The Ultimate Overnighter package, from €153 per person sharing. This includes a pre-dinner glass of champagne, dinner in The Garden Bar, breakfast the following morning, a late check-out (at 1pm) and use of the leisure facilities. www.killarneyparkhotel.ie.