Even the most jaded traveller would have to agree that a stay at this renowned hotel is always a treat. With a magnificent waterside location in the midst of Ireland’s most scenic landscape, it has views over gardens to the ever-changing mountains across the bay – yet it is virtually in the centre of the Heritage Town of Kenmare.
Travellers from all over the world have found a home from home here since the hotel was built in 1897, by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, as an overnight stop for passengers travelling to Parknasilla, 17 miles away.
The current proprietor, Francis “At Your Service” Brennan, re-opened the hotel in 1985, and has since earned international acclaim for exceptional standards of service, comfort and cuisine.
It is a most hospitable and relaxing place, where a warm welcome and the ever-burning fire in the hall set the tone for a stay in which guests are discreetly pampered by outstandingly friendly and professional staff led by Francis's brother John, as Managing Director, and General Manager Patrick Hanley who joined the team at the beginning of the 2015 season.
And that pampering reaches dizzy heights in the hotel’s deluxe destination spa, Sámas, which translates from the Gaelic as ‘indulgence of the senses’. Unlike anything else offered in Ireland, Sámas adjoins the hotel on a wooded knoll and is designed to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit; there are separate male and female areas (also two day suites for couples) and guests can choose from over forty holistic treatments, designed by a team of professionals to meet individual needs.
There is also a beautiful stainless steel pool, which is available to both hotel guests and residents of The Retreats, the apartments alongside the hotel.
Lifestyle programmes combining spa treatments with other activities in the area - walking on the Kerry Way, golf, fishing, horse trekking - offer a unique way to enjoy the deeply peaceful atmosphere of this luxurious hotel. Cycling holidays based in the hotel are also becoming very popular - an ideal way to balance energetic sight-seeing during the day with luxurious comfort and good food at night.
As for the guest accommodation, spacious suites and bedrooms are individually furnished to the highest standards, with antiques, fine linen and attention to detail, including delicious home-baked cookies.
And, in line with the excellence which prevails throughout the hotel, the outstanding breakfasts served at the Park start the day in style. [Park Hotel Kenmare was the national winner of our Hotel Breakfast of the Year Award in 2005.]
Garden, tennis, croquet, cycling, walking, snooker on site. Destination Spa, 25m lap pool. Reel Room (12-seater cinema). Horse riding, fishing (fly, coarse, sea), mountain walks and stunning coastal drives are all nearby. Golf club adjacent (18 hole).
Conferences/Banqueting (80/120); free broadband wi/fi, business centre. Rooms 46 (9 suites, 24 junior suites, 8 family, 8 ground floor, 3 single, 3 disabled, 46 no smoking). Lift. 24 hour room service. Children welcome (under 4s free in parents' room, cots available without charge, baby sitting arranged, play room, kids club). Dogs may stay in kennels on grounds.
Rooms about €190-€740; off-season holistic retreats offer very good value. Hotel closed end November to early March (re-opening for Christmas/New Year).
This traditionally elegant dining room is at its best in daylight, when the views from window tables are simply lovely.
Ensuring that the food will match the surroundings is no light matter, but a stylishly restrained classicism has characterised this distinguished kitchen under several famous head chefs. Head Chef, James Coffey who joined the team in 2013, has continued this pleasing house style with aplomb.
A talented and quietly successful chef, James brings a freshness and creativity to classical cooking that makes for a deeply satisfying dining experience.
The evening begins with the first trio of nibbles offered with aperitifs in the bar, through an intriguing amuse-bouche served at the table, house breads, presentation of each dish for inspection on a tray before service, punctilious wine service and finally the excellent coffee and petits fours at the end of the meal - all this contributes to a unique evening at the Park.
In 2014 the hotel extended the dining options for guests with the opening of an informal bistro-style dining area overlooking the gardens. Here, an appealing menu offers a range of very tasty dishes, including some upbeat versions of traditional treats like Irish stew, as an alternative to the full dining experience. Open daily from 6.30-9pm.