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About County Kerry
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Choosing the best places to stay in County Kerry is all about knowing what's pulling you most strongly towards this beautiful part of the world.
County Kerry's Ring of Kerry is a magical place of fog shrouded mountains hiding old Celtic ruins and glacial lakes, which quickly dips to a coastline of wonderful wind-bashed cliffs. Painters flock here to attempt the ever-changing wonder of the light, folk singers wax lyrical and loud and tourists descend looking for ye olde Ireland. Kenmare is an excellent choice of base - a charming town at the head of Kenmare Bay.
As well as the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry is also home to some other names you might recognise; the Macgillycuddy Reeks, which is where you can find nine out of ten of Ireland's highest peaks and the Dingle Peninsula, a golden sand promontory which is Europe's most westerly point.
While you'll see plenty of tour buses and day trippers here, the way to see Kerry is at your leisure. Allowing time to stop when something catches your fancy - potentially when you see a shaft of light shining upon it from above, a meaningful gap in the clouds.
There are numerous stone ring ruins, Iron Age forts and small hamlets to catch your eye, as well as too many scenic lookouts to bother marking on a map.
County Kerry is also rich in foodie friendly pubs. The fish here is fresh off the Atlantic, like the winds, and Kerry lamb has an international reputation. Many pubs will also do a good evening's musical entertainment if you arrive on the right night.
You might want to make your way to the end of Europe, where you can look out across at the Skellig's, 200metre spires of rock which sit just off the coast. Unlikely as it may sound, Skellig Michael was once home to a community of monks, who lived here between the 6th and 13th Centuries, presumably eating a lot of seagulls in their creatively constructed cells.
You might also want to visit Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey in the Killarney National Park and Ballycarbery Castle and ring fort by beautiful White Strand Beach.
For sea views
- Castlewood House overlooks Dingle Bay and offers comfortable beds in rooms with uninterrupted sea views, and award-winning gourmet breakfasts. This is a wonderful place to come for a quiet escape in amongst those unpaintable views.
Country house hotels
- Cahernane House Hotel is another peaceful escape. A grand country house hotel in the Killarney National Park, near the MacGillicuddy Reeks, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in County Kerry if you're here for a special occasion.
- Foodies will love Carrig Country House, a lakeside Victorian residence turned country house hotel with spectacular views over Lake Carah and the mountains, and an excellent restaurant specialising in locally caught trout and salmon.
- Also on the shores of Lake Caragh, Ard Na Sidhe Country House is a beautiful country house surrounded by a spectacular 32 acres of garden, in a perfect location for exploring the Ring of Kerry.
- Sheen Falls Lodge is also known for its fish, but is even better known for its fishing. It's also got a spa and children's activities.
Best Hotels in County Kerry
Virginia's Guesthouse 8 rooms from $57County Kerry
Friendly guesthouse ten minutes from Roughty River. Interiors are traditional with pine furniture and carpeted floors. Library to enjoy complimentary tea and coffee before setting off to explore the area. Excellent value.Value chicGreat walks - In Killarney National Park
QCs Townhouse 4 rooms from $90Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, County Kerry
Super stylish restaurant with rooms on the Ring of Kerry. Four spacious bedrooms with king sized beds, wooden floors, roll top baths & Bose docking stations. Restaurant specialises in fresh fish caught from their own boat. Chic spot that won't break the bank on Ireland's West Coast.Restaurant - Specialising in fresh fish caught by the restaurant's own boatFoodiesValue chicSights nearby - Situated in Cahersiveen on the Ring of Kerry
An Riasc 4 rooms from $91Dingle, County Kerry
A charming stonebuilt 200 year old farmhouse turned B&B in the Dingle Peninsula. Four individually decorated bedrooms with plenty of pine & patchwork. Huge breakfasts with home-made breads and preserves. Four course dinners on request. A great spot for walking enthusiasts & nature lovers.Great walks - Is on the renowned "Dingle Way" walkOutstanding location - Located in an idyllic setting where the mountains meet the seaViews - Great views of the Three Sisters peaksFull of character
Castlewood House 14 rooms from $103Dingle, County Kerry
Overlooking magical Dingle Bay, Castlewood House is a very comfortable bed and breakfast. The award winning gourmet breakfast is what Castlewood is all about, with a dazzling array of delectable dishes, homemade bread, jams, pancakes, porridge with Cooley Whisky, Dingle kippers and the full Irish.B+B - Superb award winning, gourmet breakfasts, with a wonderful array of homemade soda bread, scones, jam and fresh local producePrivate Hot Tub - Luxurious Junior Suites come with a private Jacuzzi bath tub and lots of little special extrasSeaviews - Uninterrupted views of Dingle Bay and gentle hills behind the hotelViews - Stunning views over Dingle BayRecommended by - Sawdays
Sallyport House 5 rooms from $114County Kerry
A beautiful old country house in a stunning location on the edge of the River Kenmare and surrounded by mountains. Traditional interiors have cosy fireplaces, a library, lots of books, art on the walls, and charming bedrooms. The perfect spot for a weekend in the fresh air.Views - Stunning views over the orchards to the Caha mountains.Sights nearby - The nearest town, Kenmare, has lots going for it.Recommended by - Sawdays, Fodors
Gorman's Clifftop House 8 rooms from $126Ballydavid, County Kerry
Purpose built restaurant with rooms with stunning vista over both the Atlantic and Mount Brandon. Spacious, stylish, contemporary bedrooms make the most of the views. Highly recommended restaurant serving regional specialities from locally sourced ingredients. Ideal for walkers and outdoorsy types.Views - Enjoy stunning sunsets over the Atlantic and views over Mount BrandonGreat walks - Direct access on to the famous 180km "Dingle Way"Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Remote - Off the beaten track.Recommended by - Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
Emlagh House 10 rooms from $147County Kerry
Charming B&B in Georgian house. Rooms are themed on wildflowers and feature artworks, plush fabrics and Victorian antiques. Elegant lounge with open fireplace, neat gardens. Very friendly service. Ideal for a weekend break.Local exploring - Plenty of outdoors fun nearby, such as fishing, cycling, walking trips, and Dingle's superb seafood restaurantsBirdwatching - A private guide can be arranged for this also to take guests along to various beauty spotsFishing - Sea fishing can be arranged by hotelRestrictions on childrenRecommended by - Fodors
Cahernane House Hotel 38 rooms from $149Killarney
Exceedingly grand and luxurious country house hotel on the edge of a national park with a most special atmosphere and ambience for business, weddings, and fine dining.Foodies - Award winning restaurant.LuxuryViews - Great views from hotelRomantic BreakRecommended by - Sawdays, Johansens
Carrig Country House 17 rooms from $171Killorglin, Co Kerry, County Kerry
Lakeside Victorian residence turned country house hotel. Traditional period style interiors with rich fabrics, four poster beds and views to die for across Lake Caragh and the Kerry mountains. Highly recommended restaurant serving trout & salmon from the lake & Kerry lamb.Garden - Four acre gardens running down to the lake with many rare and unusual species. The head gardener will give you a personal tour.Views - Glorious views over Lake Caragh and the Kerry mountainsOutstanding location - Stunning situation on the shore of Lake CaraghSights nearby - Adjacent to the Ring of Kerry, Muckross House, Dingle Peninsula, Slea Head, Ross CastleRecommended by - Sawdays
Brook Lane Hotel 20 rooms from $183Kenmare
Splendid hotel in the Ring of Kerry. Sumptuous rooms have modern art, dark velvet furnishings and chandeliers. Charming fireplace lounges and excellent restaurant offering locally sourced and organic dishes; unmissable breakfasts. Very friendly staff.Local exploring - Abundance of activities on the doorstep, with sea fishing, golf, walks and wildlifeFamilies - Lovely activites for children with Lorge Chocolate Factory and Adopt a Sheep farmDiving - Kenmare Bay Diving Club is located in Lauragh on the spectacular Beara peninsulaFishing - Boat fishing, shore angling or charter a boat on Kenmare BayRecommended by - Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
Sheen Falls Lodge 66 rooms from $183Kenmare, County Kerry
Situated amid stunning Kerry countryside with views over the Sheen Falls from almost every room. Family friendly five star luxury country retreat with activities for everyone. Borrow a bike, go fishing with the ghillie or simply relax in the spa then indulge in gourmet Irish cuisine.Child friendly - The hotel has children's menus, free bikes, board games and a wide selection of DVDsFishing - The hotel has a resident ghillie who can plan residents' fishing expeditions5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Great walks - There are lots of river and garden walks to explore on the 300 acre estateRecommended by - CN Traveller, Relais & Chateaux
Ard Na Sidhe Country House 18 rooms from $206Caragh Lake, County Kerry
Country house hotel in a stunning location on the shores of Lake Caragh. 18 bedrooms are split between the original house and the garden house, some with private terrace. Spectacular 32 acres of gardens with rare species. Ideal for a relaxing rural escape in stunning Co Kerry.Garden - Set amid 32 acres including many rare and unusual trees and shrubsOutstanding location - Beautiful situation on the shores of Caragh LakeViews - Stunning views over lake and Co Kerry countrysideSailing - Sailing and watersports can be arranged near byRecommended by - Sawdays
Aghadoe Heights 74 rooms from $262Killarney
A contemporary five star luxury hotel with a stunning position overlooking the Atlantic. Gorgeous rooms, with plenty of glass, are simple in design with focus drawn to the impressive views. A spoiling modern spa is worthy of a visit in itself. Excellent cuisine and a trendy bar. A rural treat.Spa breaks - A contemporary award-winning spa featuring a couples room, relaxation room and extensive thermal suite.Country Escape - A 5 star country escape with an impressive placing overlooking the Atlantic coast.Sights nearby - Visit the impressive 15th Century Ross Castle.Sailing - Take a boat trip to the Innisfallen Island.