Entering through woodland down a narrow winding driveway with occasional passing places, first-time guests get no hint of what lies ahead and, even on arrival at set-down (and a rather confusing parking arrangement), the hotel presents an inscrutable, blocky exterior.
But, on entering the lofty foyer backed by a wall of glass - all is revealed, as you catch your first view through to the sea beyond; and, when drawn over to the doors that open out on to a large decking area, even the weariest or most curmudgeonly check-in could hardly fail to be won over (on a fine day at least) by the beauty of Oysterhaven Bay.
Although many will feel that the hotel itself does little to enhance its surroundings, it is well-designed to ensure that guests get the maximum benefit when looking out; the bright décor (intended to echo the colourful West Cork streetscapes perhaps?) won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it should be easy to let that go, as the view is the main focus in all of the public areas, including the Rockpool restaurant on the second floor.
Accommodation, in more restful tones, includes suites, sea view rooms and deluxe rooms, the latter overlooking gardens, and with doors opening on to private terraces to compensate for the lack of a view; all rooms are comfortably furnished, with all the usual amenities, and separate bath and shower, although oddly for a modern hotel, most rooms have only standard 4’ 6” double beds.
The hotel’s C Spa, plus swimming pool, sauna and gym among other leisure facilities, make this a popular short break destination, especially off-season, and there is a regular complimetary bus for transfers to Kinsale.