Our night away began as soon as we stepped on the train at Dublin’s Heuston Station. We were off to stay at the Killarney Royal Hotel. We left a stormy, wet and wild capital behind with relief. And sat back and enjoyed the journey. There are still no catering facilities on Irish Rail (since Covid) but we had furnished ourselves with coffee, sandwiches and snacks.
GG was delighted we had decided not to drive. We looked out at the terrible weather as we sped through the Irish countryside and after just over three hours arrived into Killarney. The storm had passed through earlier and the rain had stopped.
The Killarney Royal Hotel is literally a three-minute walk from the railway station. Housed in a 19th century townhouse, the boutique 4-star hotel has only 32 bedrooms.
You have all the leisure facilities (pool, gym etc.) of its sister hotel The Great Southern at your disposal. The hotel is part of The Hayfield Family Collection which also includes the 5-star Hayfield Manor.
The foyer is warm and welcoming with a beautiful autumnal floral arrangement given centre stage. A few tables were set for afternoon tea. More about that later.
What immediately struck me was the sense of history and generations past as we went to our room. The hotel has a quaint charm. None of your key cards here, just an old-fashioned key. And our room had a brass, push-button bell outside the door.
Our split-level suite was gorgeous.
We had the comfy sofa and chairs, two televisions, even a nespresso machine. The bed was beautifully presented with crisp white bed linen and I can vouch for its comfort.
But it was the quaint addition of a vintage radio, a golf putting practice ‘gadget’ and putter that added to the charm.
The marble bathroom with ‘his-and-hers’ washbasins was equipped with a large, very powerful shower. Extra-large fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers and The White Company London toiletries enhanced the feeling of luxury.
Dinner in the Candle Room Restaurant
While there was a less formal dining option in The Royal Bar and Bistro, we dined in the Candle Room Restaurant, an elegant space with linen tablecloths and napkins. There were many locals also dining there which is testament to the quality of the food.
What can I write about the food? It was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. Do not be fooled into thinking that if you dine in a hotel, the food is inferior. This was top quality.
My starter was a Royal Style Greek Salad followed by a main course of a Seafood Trio featuring salmon, hake and sea bass, while Graham opted for the Annascaul Black Pudding to start and then a Braised Lamb Shank. A nice touch was a sorbet between courses to clean the palate. The freshly baked rolls and Guinness bread were divine and they kindly gave us the recipe (which we have yet to try!)
Desserts were melt in-the-mouth vanilla and lemon panacotta for me and sticky toffee pudding for GG.
The choice at breakfast the next morning was amazing. There were the usual self-service options of cereals, fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries and also a full menu of cooked-to-order dishes.
As you can see below, the Eggs Benedict (for Graham) and the Avocado and Poached Eggs (for me) were both cooked to perfection and set us up nicely for a walk around the town and a jaunting car ride later.
We indulged in the most delicious feast following our Jaunting Car ride around Killarney Park.
The picture tells it all. It was as delicious as it looks.
It was years since we had been in Killarney and I had forgotten how lovely it is. We were there in October, so the busy season was winding down was and there were not too many tourists.
Killarney National Park
We were blessed that we had a beautiful day for our jaunting car experience. Our jarvey Cal was a fountain of knowledge, not just of local history and geography but of world affairs. And Killarney National Park was even more beautiful than I remember. If you are in Killarney, definitely take a jaunting car ride.
There we are with Jess.
I totally recommend a trip to Killarney and in particular a visit to The Killarney Royal Hotel. We absolutely loved our stay there. The suite was gorgeous and the food was really excellent. But the waiting staff in particular were something else. Maybe it is something to do with the fact that most of them have worked in the hotel for years. There is a friendly banter among them that transfers to the guests. We had such fun.
There are wonderful offers at the hotel off-season and in fact I believe that is the best time to go to Killarney. Check out The Killarney Royal.
Thanks for reading