Having been closed since 2009 following extensive flood damage, this handsome riverside property re-opened as a luxury 4 star hotel in 2014 following refurbishment that included complete restoration of the ground floor and underground carpark..
Now part of the Fota Collection, it is in the ownership of the Kang family of Beijing, who also own Fota Island Resort.
One of the city's most attractively located hotels, the Kingsley is situated alongside the River Lee, just minutes from both Cork airport and the city centre and has always been especially appealing to business visitors.
A large, comfortably furnished lobby has welcoming Irish staff on hand to assist guests - and there is an attractive meeting/informal restaurant area,The K Lounge, a few steps up from it (and overlooking the weir). Like the adjacent restaurants, The Springboard (informal) and Fairbanks (fine dining), it takes full advantage of the riverside location and is a pleasant spot to enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea..
Spacious rooms offer traditional comfort with a slightly contemporary edge. Standard features include air conditioning, interactive TV, personal safe, trouser press with ironing board, beverage trays and bathrooms with twin basins and separate bath and shower.
Executive suites at the back of the hotel include a room suitable for private entertaining or meetings (and especially luxurious bathrooms) and have river views - and an impressive 750 square metre 2-bedroom Presidential Suite built over two floors; with its own hot tub balcony, and spacious living area on the penthouse level, it is Cork's premier suite.
This Cork hotels Business & Conference Centre is an attractive venue for small and medium sized meetings, and it offers good health and fitness facilities including a spa and health club.
However, the long Lee Fields walk that runs along the river banks is perhaps the hotel's most appealing feature, especially for guests travelling with dogs. Previously a dog friendly hotel, this is unfortunately no longer the case and the 'no pets' policy extends to self catering apartments The Residencies (see below) which is a blow for longterm residents who are dog owners - but, even so, few city hotels can offer such extensive and pleasant exercising opportunities on the doorstep..
The Residencies, beside the hotel, offers 18 serviced two-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom penthouse.
Conference/banqueting (250/200); business centre, broadband, secretarial services; video conferencing, on request; 24 hour room service. Leisure centre, swimming pool; treatment rooms, beauty salon. Children welcome (under 3s free in parents' room; cot available without charge, baby sitting arranged). Garden. Riverside walks. No pets. Parking.
Rooms 131 (4 suites, 6 for disabled, all no smoking). Air conditioning. Lift. B&B opening offer €99 per room (see website for other offers). Open all year.
The Fairbanks Restaurant:
A buffet-style breakfast is served here (nice to see G's jams and Bandon butter on the tables) and, on certain evenings, it is the hotel's fine dining restaurant. It is designed on two levels so different that it almost seems like two restaurants: the upper level is bright and airy and, overlooking the river and linear park with fishermen and joggers out on a summer's day, it has a wonderful ambience; the lower, which is darker, with more closely spaced tables, might be cosier in winter.
This is where Executive Chef Paul Lane (previously at Fota Resort) 'gets to indulge his most creative side', with menus offering a wide range of contemporary dishes including some with their origins in traditional Irish cooking - a starter of handmade black pudding, with brambly purée, roasted parsnip and ham crisp, for example.
The Springboard Restaurant:
Billed as a bistro, the all day menu at this large and informal restaurant extends into the evening, making it most suitable for families and early diners.
Friendly and helpful Irish staff give The Kingsley a warm and welcoming feeling, although further training would be beneficial.