Now County Kerry is getting its share of the spotlight: Parknasilla Resort & Spa is reopening on March 7 with 500 acres of tropical vegetation. (Yes, tropical. Thanks to the Atlantic current the area even has palm trees.)
The hotel sits right at the water's edge with islands, inlets and hidden beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry. The hotel's classic Manor Rooms look out of the ocean, and the two bedroom lodges are a good pick for family and extended stays.
Even cooler: The hotel has hosted celebs like Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, Charlie Chaplin and Charles de Gaulle. Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Rainer stayed in the aptly named Princess Grace Suite (above), which has French chandeliers, individual antiques and two balconies.
The hotel's top restaurant is Pygmalion (named after the play by George Bernard Shaw), which serves local seafood and regional specialties—some from Parknasilla’s own garden. For a more casual setting, Doolittle’s Bar (named after Pygmalion’s main character) offers light fare and traditional tea service. There's also alfresco dining (weather permitting) on the terrace. For a choice of beverage, try locally distilled Dingle Gin or Dungarven Ales and Stouts, or choose from The Cellar’s collection of old and new world wines from around the globe.
The Spa at Parknasilla
With a menu of wellness therapies designed by Elemis, the spa at Parknasilla has an indoor swimming pool with panoramic sea views of Kenmare Bay. There are also heated relaxation loungers, hydrotherapy foot spas, and a post-treatment relaxation space.
Onsite facilities include an indoor swimming pool, spa thermal suite, outdoor hot tubs, tennis courts and a 12-hole golf course that runs alongside Kenmare Bay. There are also walking trails for unwinding and admiring the landscape. Visitors can also head to nearby Derrynane for horseback riding or surfing. Family-friendly water activities include fishing, motor kayaking, and boating.
Parknasilla Resort & Spa is located in Sneem, County Kerry, Ireland. For more information, visit www.parknasillaresort.com.