A place where rainbows and sunshine drift past all day over Killarney’s largest lake and the McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain beyond; our reviewer, Emma, sings the praises of The Europe Hotel and Resort …
The entrance is understated but inviting and as soon as you turn off the main road you are greeted by the view, which is beautiful. The hotel has been refurbished and the exterior is a modern European style of architecture, but as you enter the quirky yet classy lobby there is a pair of freestanding satellite glass fireplaces, leather seating and wooden jars of sweets – yum! From check-in the staff were warm, professional, and welcoming, and the view from the wall of glass in the bedroom was stunning.
The interior is crisp and fresh with artwork and sculptures, commissioned from global artists, peppered throughout. The rooms are beautifully furnished without being cluttered, and the building is designed to turn the guest away from the road that brought them to the door and to face the lake. The lakeside exterior is tiered down to the waterside so that the layered space is never overlooked. At night it is lit and inviting – if the weather permits! Everywhere you walk staff greet you and the space changes mood with themed decor but subtle styling. The hotel seems much larger when you are inside thanks to the amount of open space, and yet doesn’t feel oppressively large. Despite the car park being full and the restaurants busy, we rarely saw another guest. It was peaceful and calm.
The spa is by far the nicest I have ever been in. Layers of light and dark curtained walls guide you into another world; artwork and modern sculpture are dotted around; and the treatment areas are even more peaceful. There are selected smells that float around from area to area that are subtle but incredibly relaxing and fresh. Again, the staff are amazingly discreet and professional and almost hide to avoid interrupting your opportunity to relax. There are ladies only areas and a bar, and the changing area was carefully maintained with hair straighteners (!) and lovely complimentary items. We lounged in an outdoor heated plunge pool while the sun shone on us and the rain danced on the water, gazing at the mountains.
I felt treated, spoiled, and looked after!
The formal dining was still not so formal as to make you uncomfortable and the menu is varied and very well presented with neat portion sizes neat and well balanced so I could eat every dish and not feel too bloated and full. Light lunched in the bistro were also good lovely, but it was breakfast that was really stunning, with fresh fish meat and cheese from the Irish Republic and hot food cooked in an open kitchen environment to order. You could literally eat for three hours and then fall out of the room, all whilst enjoying Tthe panoramic view which was incredible; during breakfast the whole room was open whereas they had cleverly sectioned it off for a more intimate evening meal.
Killarney was a small tourist influenced town with an odd collection of shops, but the area of The Irish Republic was stunning. It was an hour or so from Cork and if we had had more time we would have driven the Ring of Kerry – a 110 mile loop out to unspoiled coast. We woke to a rainbow arching across the lake – a common sight due to the Atlantic influence on the weather as the sun and rain drift past all day.
This is a top end, beautifully maintained hotel and spa that would suit a group of friends, couples or family groups. We saw babies and younger children who are well catered for but there is limited spa access for children. We even saw a bride and groom dining peacefully in the restaurant leaving the world behind them! It was very romantic …The peaceful atmosphere in and out of the hotel would make noisy parties stand out, so I would say loud groups would not go down well!
– Stay for at least two nights so that you can enjoy all the spa and relax.
– Book a lakeside room
– Save your pennies so you can indulge in the spa – it doesn’t come cheap, but it is definitely worth it!
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