Luxurious, welcoming, and with one of the best views in Ireland, this is among the country’s top spa hotels. Perched on a hill to the north of Killarney Town, the floor-to-ceiling windows of the modernist building take in the full, glorious panorama of Lough Lein in Killarney National Park. (In winter an atmospheric fluke can mean that you’re literally above the clouds here, an effect that’s nothing short of fairytale). Guestrooms have all been renovated in the past couple of years—it’s worth paying a little extra for a front-facing room—and suites are positively apartment-sized. The Lake Room serves incredible, seasonal Irish cuisine, or you can graze on lighter fare in the adjacent lounge and piano bar. Service is excellent throughout, but it’s in the restaurants that the staff really shines—how much nicer an already great meal can seem when the waiters are so pleasant and friendly. Relax in the thermal suite, indulge in a treatment at the opulent Voya spa, or if that feels like work you can even call the “bath butler” to prepare a relaxing soak in your bedroom. And if all this isn’t enough to charm you into a state of hotel bliss, the delightful staff surely will. Take time to explore the ethereal ruins of Aghadoe Cathedral, directly opposite the hotel.
- Jack Jewers