Set well back from the road, in its own grounds and lovely gardens,Tom and Maura Foley’s fine stone guesthouse on the edge of the town is the oldest house in Kenmare.
Expressing the special hospitality of its owners perfectly, it has great style and attention to detail. Spacious day rooms include an elegant, comfortably furnished drawing room with plenty of seating, an inviting log fire and interesting books for guests to read - it is really lovely, and the feeling is of being a guest in a private country house.
Generous, well-proportioned guest rooms are individually decorated and extremely comfortable; everything (especially beds and bedding) is of the highest quality and, except for the more informal conversion at the back of the house, which is particularly suitable for families and has neat shower rooms, the excellent bathrooms all have full bath.
But perhaps the best is saved until last, in the large, well-appointed dining room where superb breakfasts are served: tables are prettily laid with linen napkins and the menu offers all kind of treats, beginning with freshly squeezed juices, a choice of fruits (nectarine with strawberries, perhaps) with extras like natural yoghurt, honey and nuts offered too, lovely freshly-baked breads, home-made preserves, leaf tea and strong aromatic coffee, and - as well as various excellent permutations of the full traditional Irish breakfast - there’s fresh fish, and Irish farmhouse cheeses too. Simply delicious.
[Shelburne Lodge was our Guesthouse of the Year in 2005, and also winner of the Best Guesthouse Breakfast Award.]
No evening meals are served, but residents are directed to the family’s restaurant, Packie’s (see entry).