Muckross Park hotel offers great food, a stunning spa and breathtaking surroundings
Being from Cork, I’ve been to Killarney many times but never really did an overnight stay unless it was for a special occasion.
So naturally I was thrilled to get the opportunity to visit the five-star Muckross Hotel & Spa on a girls’ trip for two nights. The sun was shining as we drove into the grounds of the 18th century style hotel and took in its impressive facade.
As we made our way into the hotel, we were greeted with a warm welcome as we took in the stunning marble interiors and the statement piano in the lobby area. It was beautiful, very spacious and pretty busy too, with people eager their weekend getaway.
After the journey, it was nice to tuck into an afternoon tea in the recently refurbished Tearoom. As we walked through the double doors we immediately felt like we were in a high-end tea lounge in Dubai — it radiated cosmopolitan vibes with vibrant yet classy interiors, and a unique champagne and tea bar. The standout feature is definitely the fabulous flamingo tree.
The afternoon tea itself was designed by executive chef Scott Kapitan, who based the design on Killarney National Park, in which the Muckross estate is located, offering guests spectacular walking trails and cycle routes.
On a high, we made our way up to our room. In general, the bedrooms are quite spacious and airy, but because we had a junior suite we had a lot of additional space, including a large balcony and lounge area, which came in handy for a few glasses of wine. All suites come appointed with king-sized beds and luxurious bathrooms with both a shower and bath.
The food offering at the hotel is truly exceptional. Its fine dining restaurant, The Yew Tree, has a 2 AA Rosette ranking and was even listed in the prestigious McKenna and Georgina Campbell guides.
Set in the luxurious surroundings of the hotel’s original Victorian lounge, it offers fine dining at its best with incredible staff. The three-course meal was exceptional with the standout dish being the steak. It was a dry aged dexter beef fillet that had me texting my dad to confirm it was the best I’d ever tasted. Nothing like rubbing it in.
The food standard was upheld in the other three restaurants too, particularly The Monks Lounge, with its warm interiors and fireplace.
After all that eating, it was time to relax — thankfully the award winning, Gothic-inspired spa is tranquillity and relaxation at its finest. Playing to the hotel’s 18th century style, it’s very monastic but contemporary too.
The layout is quite luxurious especially if you take the staircase entrance, which is very grand. I knew the hotel had a pool area but I hadn’t seen pictures of it so when myself and my mom walked in we were hit by the ‘wow’ factor.
It’s pretty spectacular and well thought out in terms of creating an ambience with the design and lighting, making it tranquil and luxurious, with grand pillars and artistic statues. The outdoor hot tub area is a real gem and is perfect to enjoy breath-taking views.
In terms of treatments, I opted for a Rose Crystal Lymphatic Facial and it was so relaxing that I fell into a deep sleep and had to be woken up. It was exceptional and even included massage therapy on the back, head and feet too, so it’s fair to say mom and I were floating afterwards.
A really good feature of the hotel is its location. Because it’s situated in Killarney National Park, we were able to keep up with our daily walks, but this time with views of dramatic headlands and majestic mountains. Just 3km away from the hotel is Torc Waterfall, which we drove out to and did the short trek up to see natural beauty at its best.
All in all, this really was an amazing break and a great way to ease ourselves back in to getaways. Rates start from €130pps per night with special offers also available. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 064 662 3400.