The best hotels for a weekend getaway in Killarney

By Emma Power,

The pretty town of Killarney, surrounded by some of Ireland’s most picturesque lakes and mountains, has long been a top destination for a fun weekend break.

Whether you want to scale Ireland’s highest mountain, play a round of golf on the 2010 Irish Open course, see a show at the INEC or simply enjoy the vibrant food and drink scene, Killarney makes the perfect weekend getaway.


The Europe Hotel & Resort

Set on 30 gorgeous acres on the shores of Killarney’s largest lake, Loch Léin, The Europe Hotel & Resort is one of the most popular 5-star luxury hotels in Ireland. The hotel looks out over the impressive McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range and rolling hills.

Accommodation options at The Europe include elegant bedrooms and opulent suites, with either garden or lake views, and most have balconies perfect for watching the sunrise or sunset. We love the Superior Golfside Room that includes views of the neighbouring golf course.

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Dine al fresco at the Brasserie Restaurant – the terrace commands impressive views of the lakes, and you can choose anything from cheese boards to light snacks. For fine dining served alongside some of the most enviable views in the country, try the Panorama Restaurant.

The Europe is also home to the only ESPA spa in Killarney, offering exclusive luxury treatments to guests. There’s also the thermal suite with saltwater pool, lifestyle showers, ice fountain, sauna, outdoor vitality pool, indoor infinity pool, crystal steam rooms, 16 treatment rooms, 2 express beauty suites and private spa suite for two.


The Brehon

Set on the grounds of Ireland’s National Event Centre and overlooking Killarney National Park, this gorgeous hotel was inspired by Killarney’s famous stately home, Muckross House, and enjoys a spectacular setting in an already beautiful town.

Splash out on one of the boutique-style Superior Rooms and admire the scenic Killarney landscape from your private balcony. With a separate dressing area and sleek marble bathrooms, you’re guaranteed a beautiful and luxurious experience as you potter around in your fluffy bathrobes and slippers.

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There are several different dining options at the Brehon. Why not tuck into traditional afternoon tea, sip on a yummy cocktail in the Brehon Bar or enjoy some delectable cuisine in the Danu Restaurant during your stay? Even better, make the most of the hotel’s proximity to the INCEC and grab pre-show dinner and drinks.

The Brehon hotel promises a spa experience like no other. As Europe’s flagship Angsana spa, each therapist has been professionally trained at The Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket, Thailand, and treatments are a fusion of East and West techniques and products. The leisure facilities at the spa are unrivalled, including a vitality pool with hydro therapy jets, herb sauna, crystal steam room, ice fountain and tropical shower.


Scott’s Hotel

A modern and stylish hotel in the heart of Killarney town, Scott’s Hotel is the perfect place for groups to call home for a night or two.

Whether you stay in one of the minimalist, sleek rooms or suites (be it single, double, twin or triple) or one of the plush self-catering apartments that sleep up to five people, you’ll have plenty of space and peace while still being right at the centre of it all.

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With a restaurant and three bars serving guests food, drink and of course great tunes, there’s more than enough entertainment to go around, especially in the lively suntrap courtyard where you can enjoy some people-watching with your drinks.

If you do fancy venturing out to experience Killarney’s vibrant nightlife (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you?) then you couldn’t be in a better spot. Thanks to the hotel’s buzzing location, you won’t need any taxi fare during your whole stay – as well as being directly across the bus and train station, you’re just a stone’s throw away from the town’s great selection of pubs, bars and nightclubs.


Randles Hotel

Situated along Killarney’s picturesque golden mile, Randles Hotel offers guests unparalleled views of the gorgeous Kerry mountains just a five-minute walk from the town centre.

The elegant country house hotel dates back to 1906, and the individually designed rooms are all a luxurious mix of contemporary appeal and old-world charm. The opulent Junior Suites feature large marble bathrooms kitted out with stand-alone bath tubs, Jacuzzis or walk-in power showers.

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Dining in Randles Hotel is a classy affair – think crisp starched napkins, shiny silver cutlery, fine bone china and crystal glasses. Indulge in delicate afternoon tea in the pretty Drawing Room, a chilled glass of wine in the Conservatory or refined local cuisine in either Checkers or The Court Restaurant.

Take the experience to the next level and treat yourself to a visit to the hotel’s Zen Day Spa. Whether you fancy an invigorating dip in the 20 metre indoor pool, a holistic beauty treatment or simply unwinding in the sauna, it promises to be a relaxing trip.


Muckross Park Hotel & Spa

This luxurious 18th century hotel is nestled right in the midst of Killarney National Park, with 25,000 acres of lakes, mountains and forests. This unique location offers guests spectacular walking trails, cycle routes, historic tours, horse riding and lake activities, coupled with 5-star comfort and traditional Irish hospitality.

All of the plush rooms at the hotel feature king size beds, opulent furnishings and luxe details like Nespresso coffee machines and Orla Kiely bathroom products. Our favourite place to stay is the Superior Suite, which comes with its own elegant separate living area and modern bathroom, as well as a bottle of wine and chocolates on arrival.

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Afternoon tea is served in the hotel’s chic wood-paneled Monk’s Lounge, and afterwards you can sink back into the deep leather couches with a cocktail or craft beer. For something a touch more homely, the Jarvey’s Rest Traditional Irish Pub has beamed ceilings, open fires and live music, while the Yew Tree Restaurant celebrates the best produce the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer.

The hotel’s award-winning spa overlooks the Bluepool River and private spa garden, ensuring it’s an oasis of calm for guests. The only spa to be situated in the grounds of the park, the spa’s facilities include a herbal sauna, vitality pool, tropical rain shower, steam room, heated tile loungers and even an outdoor hot tub, perfect for soaking in the views.


The Gleneagle

The Gleneagle Hotel is the ideal base for a night of entertainment at the INEC, particularly if you’re coming with the family in tow! The family bedrooms and suites are spacious, modern and bright, but if you fancy even more room, you could always check into one of the self-catering apartments.

Plus, keeping the kids occupied has never been so easy. At the Gleneagle there’s something to suit the whole family, whether it’s the hotel kids club, children’s splash pool at the Aquila Club Leisure Centre, children’s disco or the indoor soft play area for when the typical Irish weather kicks in.

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It’s not all about the younger guests though. While the kids are busy and having fun, why not treat yourself to a visit to the sauna, steam room or Jacuzzi in the onsite leisure centre? Or get all dolled up in the hair and beauty salons for a night on the town?

The Backstage Bar is the perfect place for a pre-show drink with some live music to get you in the mood, or if you fancy something more laidback, the Green Room serves a bistro-style bar menu with tasty light bites. Get the whole family on board at OD’s, a refreshingly informal option that still promises great food and atmosphere.


Victoria House Hotel

If you can’t resist a chic hideaway for a getaway weekend, then the Victoria House Hotel is everything you’re looking for and more. An independent boutique hotel set in a luxury country house, the Victoria is the ideal setting for a cool stay in Killarney.

Overlooking the National Park next to cycling paths and the surrounding mountains and woodlands, the hotel offers guests a serene location in Killarney while still being close to the INEC and the lively town centre.

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Each of the colourful, cosy rooms at the hotel are individually designed with unique décor and furnishings and their own distinct vibe. The suites are open-plan and come with great extras like walk-in power showers and Jacuzzi baths, separate seating areas and extra-large fluffy bath towels, bathrobes and slippers – all you need for a totally indulgent experience.

The dining options at the Victoria are sure to suit all palettes. The Sika Restaurant plates up country kitchen cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced produce, and is a mouth-watering blend of modern and traditional Irish fare. The Ivy Room Bar is brimming with character and charm, boasting two crackling fires, a tasty bar menu and live music.