Open since 1965, this impressive hotel may now be over fifty years old, but it was exceptionally well built and has been so well maintained through the years that it has continued to outshine many a new top level hotel.
However, never satisfied with anything but the absolute best, in recent years the proprietors have carried out major renovations and upgrades, including adding a superb spa and a state-of-the-art conference and events centre.
The impressively spacious public areas – which make full use of the hotel’s wonderful location - have also received a makeover, and returning guests who loved the hotel as it was will be pleased to find that, while contemporary, the style is elegant, comfortable and in no way competing with the setting, which is emphatically the star here.
Bedrooms are renowned for their generous space, quality furnishings, beautiful views and balconies all along the lake side of the hotel. The original style was comfortable and well-planned; all rooms have recently been refurbished in a more contemporary style and they are handsome, if perhaps a little less practical than before.
Leisure facilities include the stunning 50,000 sq ft spa and leisure facility, ESPA at The Europe, including 16 treatment rooms. Also the Active Level which is complimentary to guests and includes use of the 20m indoor pool, sauna, steam room, vitality pool, salt water pool, ice fountain, lifestyle showers and relaxation areas.with 20 metre swimming pool).
Outdoor activities are also offered, including two indoor tennis courts and the Europe's own Austrian Halfinger ponies for use within the hotel grounds, also complimentary to guests.
Golf is of course a major attraction: the three Killarney golf courses - Killeen, Mahony’s Point and Lackabane – adjoin the grounds, and the two nine hole courses, Dunloe and Ross, are nearby.
The hotel’s continental connections show clearly in the style throughout but especially, perhaps, when it comes to food - breakfast, for example, which is served in the Panorama Restaurant, is an impressive hot and cold buffet.
Head chef Alex Nahke has responsibility for food in all areas of the hotel, including the smart modern Brasserie Bar (with terrace for outdoor dining) which is open all day from mid morning through to late evening, and the large and aptly-named Panorama Restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served. The Spa Café offers healthy, seasonal menus and is a popular meeting place for lunch and light meals in the afternoon.
Housekeeping is exemplary and, perhaps unexpectedly, this is a very family-friendly hotel.