Top hotels in Kinsale for your West Cork weekend break

By Emma Power,

Perfectly situated along the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinsale is an incredibly popular weekend break destination – and for good reason, too.

Once a medieval fishing port, the picturesque Kinsale is hailed as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, and its colourful, winding streets are littered with boutiques, galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Make the most of your visit to this historic West Cork harbour town with one of our top hotels in Kinsale; whether you’re looking for fresh seafood served in a cosy traditional pub, a private balcony looking out over the pier, or just a soft four-poster bed to collapse on after a day seeing the sights, we’ve got the hotel for you.


Hotels in Kinsale

A modern hotel in Kinsale with its own private marina

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Set on its own private marina overlooking the picturesque harbour, this contemporary waterfront hotel is an ideal base for your weekend in Kinsale.

Stylish standard rooms overlook the harbour or Bandon river estuary, while upgrading to a Master suite gets you unparalleled views of the water thanks to your own private balcony.

The artistic vision of local yacht designer Rob Jacob, the Wharf Tavern and Terrace resembles an old sailing ship complete with portholes, decking and masts. Serving bar food from noon until 9pm daily, the seafood specialties include steaming bowls of seafood chowder and delicious mussels.

We recommend following this with an al fresco glass of wine or craft beer from the open-air Foredeck bar, a hidden gem situated on the water’s edge with panoramic views and some of the most scenic sunsets in Kinsale.


A nautical hotel in Kinsale with a wine and tapas bar

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This nautical-style Kinsale hotel is set on the site of the town’s Old Fish Market and Meat Market, and the building dates all the way back to 1784.

You’re greeted on arrival with cookies and an iPad, all before making your way to one of the 16 individually-designed bedrooms. Despite their classic style, they come equipped with Nespresso machines, Apple TVs, Dyson purifiers and Supersonic hair dryers.

The Bar and Bistro serves gastro pub-grub, or for the finest seafood head to the Fish Market and sample calamari tempura, Kinsale lobster and pan-seared Atlantic scallops. Alternatively, Aperitif – the hotel’s stylish wine and tapas bar – plates up Spanish snacks with a creative Irish flair.

The bar hosts local musicians seven nights a week, whether it’s traditional Irish music with ancient Irish uilleann pipes and the bodhrán, a folk-rock band or a jazz singer tinkling away on the grand piano.


A spa hotel in Kinsale with in-room Jacuzzis

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Nestled on 90 acres of mature woodlands, this luxury spa hotel in Kinsale looks out over Oysterhaven Bay and the rugged coastline.

Treat yourself to a little extra luxury in the Newport and Charlesfort Suites, located on the top floor of the hotel. These suites are real show stoppers with Jacuzzi baths, dressing rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies.

Enjoy stunning views, excellent wine and Atlantic Coast seafood like Kinsale crab, Oysterhaven Bay shellfish and West Coast king prawn in the Rockpool Restaurant. For something more casual, try the locally-sourced fare like creamy seafood chowder and mussels in the Rockpool Bar.

Start your spa journey in the relaxation room with some fresh fruit, herbal tea and refreshing fruit-infused water. Then, try the signature Ogra anti-ageing peat treatment, followed by a spell in the 20-metre deck-level swimming pool with its hydrotherapy relaxation area.


The oldest hotel in Kinsale with an outdoor terrace

Actons Kinsale

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Actons is Kinsale’s oldest hotel, yet the period townhouse continues to offer visitors chic boutique-style accommodation smack-bang in the centre of the town.

Guestrooms feature luxury duck down duvets, black-out curtains and a large waterfall shower in the ensuite bathroom. We particularly love the stylish Deluxe Harbour Suite that comes with its in-room roll top bath.

Visit Sidney’s Bar & Brasserie and try a classic culinary favourite like fish pie, or if you’re feeling adventurous try the spicy king prawn linguini with chili, ginger, garlic, coriander and a sesame seed/lime dressing.

Then grab a seat on the garden patio and enjoy a chilled glass of wine while you watch the hustle and bustle of the town, or the sun setting over the harbour. Bliss.


Guesthouses in Kinsale

A boutique guesthouse in Kinsale with private balconies

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This pink 19th-century townhouse was built in 1820 by Captain Adam Warren Perry for his family, and is now a lovingly-restored Kinsale guesthouse as well as a masterpiece of Georgian architecture and Victorian embellishment.

The gorgeous Junior Suites are 600 sq ft of luxury, featuring a 6 foot four-poster bed, antique furnishings, harbour-view balcony, walk-in wardrobe and a deep-soak bath and walk-in shower in the bathroom.

There are two elegant yet snug lounges – the Garden and Drawing Room –  where you can enjoy afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks amongst the carefully curated artwork, patterned curtains, vibrant floor rugs and wooden fireplaces.

All food is locally sourced, such as the home-cured bacon and sausages from John Barrett the butcher,fresh farm eggs delivered to the door by Siobhan, and ultra-creamy yoghurt, milk and fresh, golden butter from Glenilen Farm.


A luxury B&B in Kinsale with a gourmet food store

Old Bank House

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The beautiful Georgian facade and sash windows of this luxury Kinsale guesthouse hark back to the building’s 18th-century history, when it overlooked a waterway that served passing ships sailing in from the quays.

No two bedrooms are quite alike, and feature elegant touches like plush fabrics, soft carpets, old-world fireplaces, designer wallpaper, glass chandeliers, fancy headboards, window seats and marble bathrooms.

Sink down into one of the comfortable chairs in the Reading Room for a nightcap and make use of the self-service ‘honesty bar’, stashed with Hennessy Cognac, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Jameson whiskey and wine.

The B&B also boasts a charming adjoining gourmet food store and cafe that’s popular with locals and residents alike. Try the in-house bakery’s selection of homemade breads and cakes, or tasty breakfast options like Eggs Benedict, pancakes and the classic full Irish.


An eclectic guesthouse in Kinsale with four-poster beds

The K Kinsale Guesthouse

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Located a few minutes’ walk from town, this boutique hillside guesthouse is built on the site of the former Kinsale Beacon, which once guided ships as they made their way into Kinsale Harbour.

The style of the guesthouse is an eclectic mix of old and new, with a grand piano, striking art collection and antique pieces paired with dark wooden floors and stone fireplaces.

Rooms are named after famous Irish writers, the piece de resistance being the glamorous Oscar Wilde Suite. Acting as a self-catering apartment, the monochrome suite overlooks the garden and features a king-sized four poster bed, opulent chandeliers and a sleek kitchen with all the mod cons.

While there’s no breakfast provided to allow for a late 2pm check-out, this just means you have more opportunity to explore the town’s smattering of cafes, bars and restaurants after your lie-in.


A Georgian guesthouse in Kinsale with AA Rosette dining

The White House

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Spend a night or two in this beautiful boutique Georgian guesthouse, which has enjoyed its prime position right in the centre of Kinsale town since the late 1850s.

The spacious, modern ensuite bedrooms boast stylish feature walls, large, comfortable beds, free WiFi and the ever-important tea and coffee making facilities, perfect for enjoying a relaxing cuppa after a day exploring the town.

Choose between dining in the AA Rosette Restaurant d’Antibes & Bistro or the bar, and sample local sea-fresh seafood and shellfish, from the traditional fish and chips to pan-fried Atlantic salmon and swordfish.

After a Saturday spent wandering around Kinsale, return to the hotel for live music by talented local musicians, or watch the match in the bar or beer garden with an expertly-pulled pint.