A few miles out of town, this famous low-rise hotel, dating from the ’60s, enjoys stunning views of the lakes and the mountains beyond and also overlooks Killarney’s two 18-hole championship golf courses.
This Killarney Hotels now one of the country’s most luxurious hotels and, under the caring management of Pat and Marie Chawke and their welcoming staff, it is a very special place. While the exterior will probably always be a subject of debate, the interior - which includes 24 recently added junior suites, a palatial glass-fronted two-bedroom penthouse suite and a luxurious spa & wellness centre - is superb.
Stylish, contemporary public areas are airy and spacious, with lots of marble, original artwork, and a relaxed, open ambience. From the foyer, arriving guests catch a glimpse of the stunning view that invite exploration - perhaps into the chic bar which links up with a terrace and the swimming pool area (lots of lounging space for sunny days), or up to the first floor open-plan Heights Lounge, where a day menu is available, and a delicious traditional Afternoon Tea is served (2-5.30pm).
Accommodation is seriously luxurious, in spacious rooms with balconies and lake views, large sitting areas, plasma screen televisions, video, DVD (library available) and a host of extras. Bathrooms are equally sumptuous, with separate shower and all the complimentary toiletries you could wish for.
Responding to the growing demand for pet friendly accommodation, Aghadoe Heights has recently become a 'pooches paradise' with garden side rooms available for dog owners to stay with their pets; a 'doggie welcome pack' is provided, any special foods required can be ordered in advance, and dog grooming is available too (from €50).
The 10,000 sq ft spa is among Europe’s best and offers couples suites, and some unique treatments - including ‘Ayervedic Precious Stone therapy’ in a custom-built Aromatherapy cabin.
At the heart of all this luxury it is the caring hands-on management of Pat and Marie Chawke who, with their outstanding staff, make everyone feel at home. And you will leave on a high too, as breakfast is another especially strong point. [*Aghadoe Heights was our Hotel of the Year in 2005.]
Conference/banqueting (120/190); business centre, secretarial services, video conferencing, laptop-sized safes in bedrooms, free broadband wi/fi. Destination Spa. Leisure centre (swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, fitness room), hair salon. Garden, tennis, walking. Children welcome (Under 2s free in parents' room; cot available, €25, baby sitting arranged). Pets permitted by prior arrangement.
Rooms 74 (24 suites, 6 junior suites, 10 family rooms, 10 ground floor rooms, 1 disabled, all non smoking). Lift. Turn down service. 24 hour room service. B&B €145 pps, ss €70. Closed mid-week Nov-Mar
The Lake Room:
The restaurant is on an upper floor, integrated into the Heights Lounge area, with distant views over the lakes and mountains; it is a bright and elegant space, with beautifully appointed tables and fresh flowers providing an appropriate setting for the dining experience expected in a hotel of this standard.
Head chef Philip Brazil - with experience at a number of top kitchens, including Fota Island Resort & Sheen Falls Lodge, before he joined the team at Aghadoe Heights - continues to cook in the classical tradition of the hotel but with a lighter, more contemporary tone which is more in keeping with the atmosphere today.
A pianist sets the scene each evening and, under the direction of Restaurant Manager Padraig Casey, service is solicitous, as ever.
An extensive and informative wine list includes a champagne menu, a strong range of classics, a good choice of wines by the glass and plenty of half bottles.