When I visited Ireland last year, I spent a few days at the Park Hotel Kenmare while sightseeing around the Ring of Kerry (I highly recommend checking out the Wild Atlantic Way – aka the West coast – of Ireland by the way; it’s breathtaking). Built in 1897, the Park Hotel Kenmare is situated on Kenmare Bay with mountain views, tons of scenic walks (or as I like to call them – “hike lites”), a delicious restaurant, and a resident horse :). The hotel itself is tucked away in a quiet and serene location but still centrally located to local sights. Lucky for you, I captured some moments from my brief but memorable stay 😉 :
The hotel itself was majestic yet welcoming:
After check-in, we were escorted to our room, which was very spacious – I believe it may have been an upgrade. If not, their rooms are huge!
In addition to the traditional sleeping area (with a cameo from my two-tone Away luggage):
And this super floppy sheep that I was obsessed with:
The room also had a very generous sitting area, with a dining table, writing desk, sofa and coffee table, view of the lake and mountains, and of course the resident horse!
Of course, I *had* to partake in the welcome goodies – I’m a sucker for cake pops.
After settling in, we decided to explore “the grounds” – I called the surrounding areas that in jest until I realized they were actually called “the grounds” (can’t take me anywhere!).
Lots of secluded and relaxing walking paths –
with closer views of the lake and mountains:
I found this bench dedicated to someone’s Dad, which I thought was really sweet (cue tears here!).
After our “hike lite,” I took full advantage of the spa – and while I didn’t get pictures, it was amazing. With a sauna, aromatherapy steam room, and heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the lake, I felt completely relaxed – even more relaxed than my vacation-y self felt previously. Just a day in the life… (I kid, I kid – I WISH this was a day in the life of me!).
Now time for dinner, for which the menu looked amazing. The hotel’s restaurant, which was named the best hotel restaurant in Ireland this year by the Irish Restaurants Association, had a tasting menu option that I obviously had to try.
We started with the carrot and yuzu miso veloute with black sesame. It was interesting to see traditionally Asian flavors in Ireland, and this was delicious!
Our second course was the crab with cucumber, radish and herring roe. Throughout our Ireland trip, we had amazing seafood – and this was no exception.
Our next course was an ode to duck – foie gras and confit duck terrine with pickled apple. I *love* a good foie gras, and this one was amazing.
It was then time for the sweets! For our first dessert course, we had the strawberry sorbet with meringue:
Our second dessert course was the Valrhona chocolate cremeux with passion fruit. Even my eating buddy, who doesn’t like mixing chocolate with fruit (I know, right? It’s so good! I don’t know what he’s talking about), devoured this course.
Hands down, an amazing meal.
The next morning, we were greeted with “The Daily Gazette” at breakfast, which shared the day’s weather, activities at the hotel, and some fun facts. I love a good newsletter, so of course I ate this up.
Breakfast was all-you-can-eat off a menu, so I tried to strike the balance between ordering as much as I could eat without looking like a *total* glutton. It’s a daily struggle, I tell ya.
I ordered the muesli (when in Europe, right?), carrot juice, Irish breakfast tea (which is so strong that they provide an extra pot of just hot water to weaken it), yogurt, and prunes. I know prunes get a bad rap, but I was curious – and they were delish. And since you’re wondering, yes – I ate it all.
My travel buddy showed a little more restraint with shredded wheat (NOT spoon size, as you can see below) and tomato juice.
Like dinner the night before, breakfast was fresh and delicious.
After a lovely weekend stay, it was sadly time to head to our next destination. However, the hotel still had one surprise waiting for us. We found this card tucked under our windshield wipers when we departed – they had cleaned up our dingy little rental car, haha!
With a spa, lap pool, movie theater, and excellent service, the Park Hotel Kenmare makes an excellent home base for your Ring of Kerry travels. I’d recommend!