Friday, October 08, 2010

Parknasilla Hotel

Sorry for the silence over the last few days. We decided to avail of hotel special offers (and my G Club Card, which I won at a Discover Ireland competition/lottery last summer) and headed down to Kerry on Sunday for a 3-night break in Parknasilla Hotel. Padraig had recommended it to Brendan, after he and his family spent a few days there in the summer, and we were curious to try it out.

We were not disappointed. While the room we were given was not great, everything else was perfect. It took us all of 10 minutes to get over the room bit.

Let me talk about the room first and get that out of the way: the bed was excellent - big and soft and cosy with good pillows; the lounger chairs at the window were very good, and we did have a view (partially obstructed, but a view all the same - much better than the rooms at the back of the hotel, that face onto a path and a dark wooded area). But the bathroom was very old - clean, but old and tired-looking (and the door to the bathroom had seen better days). The round table at the window looked made of cheap wood, and the floor was very creaky. And our final gripe is that there were no sockets that could be used at the little desk (only lamp sockets there - not much use to us). That's it. As I said, we got over that very quickly. Apparently, some of the rooms in the main house were upgraded 2 years ago, so it may be worth requesting one of these at time of booking.

Service was excellent - porter, reception, restaurant, spa - even the young man who hoovers the stairs in the morning had a smile on his face when saying hello to us.

Food was great - good breakfast buffet, and gorgeous menu at dinnertime. My favourites were the scallops with beetroot sauce, the pan-fried halibut with potatoes & leeks and a tomato concasse, and of course the banoffee. Brendan's highlights were the steak  - cooked to perfection, and the duck - the best duck he's ever had, he says!

Lovely lounges all around, with open fires in the evening, and candles everywhere (I suppress my safety officer instinct here!). Perfect for reading a book in the afternoon or for a drink after dinner. And there are some very nice paintings dotted all around the corridors and lounges.

Lots of walks around the coast in the hotel grounds - we saw seals basking in the sun in the shallows across the bay. And what a view across the water - the Beara peninsula in all its glory, no matter what the weather. Benches dotted everywhere to rest your legs while you're taking in the views. There were plenty more paths that we didn't get around to exploring - looking forward to checking them out next time around.

And of course, the spa - big square pool, which we had to ourselves most of the time (avoid school holidays, though, if you don't want to share the pool with hordes of Irish children!). It has the best view across the bay, water temperature is perfect, the showers are very nice (big powerful shower head, nice shampoo and shower gel). And the Thermal spa is clean and warm and relaxing. I recommend the aromatherapy steam room and the warm loungers (just like in the pictures on their website!). And there is a small but perfectly equipped gym (which they don't seem to advertise on their website).

Overall, a wonderful stay there. We'll be back.

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