Parknasilla Resort & Spa

Address: \N, Sneem, County Kerry, Ireland | 5 star hotel
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This 5 star hotel, located on \N, Sneem, is near Bull Rock.
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    Historical Traveler Reviews Parknasilla Resort & Spa Sneem

    Beautiful, tranquil Parknasilla


    We stayed for one night at Parknasilla and had a wonderful time. Am extremely surprised by other reviews.

    On arrival the doorman and porter shook hands with us and introduced themselves and then parked our car. We found the staff to be extremely friendly and courteous at all times.

    The grounds of the hotel are absolutely superb and of course the glorious weather was a bonus. There are several walks signposted throughout the grounds and boats trips and walks are also organised.

    We ate in the restaurant and found the portions and food excellent. There are several lounges to relax in and an outdoor decking area also.

    Our room had everything you would need with a beautiful garden and sea view - we will definitely return again.

    Join the queue for complaints


    The fact that we were in a queue to see alternative bedrooms the morning after our first night's stay speaks for itself. People are no longer blinded to bad service and shoddiness, by a long driveway and extensive gardens. Our room was ageing rather that old world with the added bonus of a large kitchen air conditioner outside the window which sounded all night. There was no bar in the room and on requesting one, a fridge arrived and we were asked if we wanted it filled. That was the general idea. The lamp was not working, neither was the wardrobe door. We had requested a large triple room and were assured thet such was available. What was in fact done was a single bed was added to the room, running along the foot end wall of the permanant twin beds, without a headboard and lined, not with a mattress liner but with a bath towel! As the night was warm we decided to remove the heavy grey blankets from the beds. We were spluttering from the dust. Oh, I forgot to mention that a female friend wrapped in a towel having finished her shower was greeted from outside by a smiling window cleaner who was in the process of polishing the bedroom window. I realise that these jobs must be done, but not late in the afternoon. Another of the party returned to the room fuming, having taken a paper from the porter's desk at 5 in the afternoon only for him to inquire after her as to her room number so as to charge it. What a petty policy. The dinner was passable though uninspired and some of the staff poorly trained. Flattering as it may seem, but for a party of women to be greeted in a formal dining room with - "Now girls..."

    I am going on so I'll stop, suffice to say that there were numerous other little issues which have no place in a hotel of such reputation. It is obvious that on all levels the hotel is living on former glories and needs to shake itself down on all levels, cuisine, decor, service. Our party cannot be all wrong. Remember, we were in a queue to complain.

    Peaceful, beautiful property


    The Parknasilla has unbelievably extensive grounds, and you could spend a few days just exploring it all. Our room was huge (I highly recommend the rooms in the newer wing) and had a lovely view of the ocean and grounds. The dinner in the main dining room was delicious and served well, there is also complementary after-dinner petite-fours and pianist in the lounge area. They have a lot of activities, from guided walks to archery to tennis, etc. Plus there is a fantastic golf course right next door. I noticed that a couple other reviewers found the service to be lacking, but we found the staff, incl. reservations (whom I corresponded w/ through email), check-in staff, bellhop, valet, and waiters all to be very helpful and friendly. I did notice that this place caters to locals and Europeans, which may be a reason for the negative reviews (I think us Americans must be a bit too used to the 5-star, kiss-your-feet service of the Four Seasons or The Ritz). But unless you are expecting everyone to drop what they are doing to cater just to you, you will love the serenity, history, and quiet elegance of this place.

    Overpriced, poorly managed and poor service


    If I had realised this site was here I would have written alot sooner but my experience of Parknasilla was very poor.

    We stayed on a 2 night b+b plus one dinner special for 2 people for the June bank holiday of 2004. The hotels main benefits are its beautiful location, grounds and some opulent rooms but the list of complaints are numerous.

    We found the staff to be unhelpful and not very corteous. We were awoken at about 9.15am to the loud sound of a chamber maid head shouting instructions at her staff on the first morning. No consideration for the customer and considering that the hotel is in a very picturesque and peaceful environment the staff obviously were not in tune with that.

    Our room was at one side of the hotel and it looked out on a staff entrance which was not very appealing.

    The morning we were checking out we came up to the room from breakfast and found a chamber maid cleaning out the room even though we hadnt even checked out.

    To sum up the hotel I would say Great Sothern Hotels are treating Parknasilla purely as a money grabbing machine. Staff quality is way below expectations for such an expensive hotel, it is very overpriced and the final insult was when we complained to the chief executive of Great Southern Hotels, we got a reply with no hint of a ture apology. The very final insult was you had to pay for newspaper every day. Any decent hotel would simply offer to bring a newspaper to your room as part of normal service.


    Most relaxing weekend


    Parknasilla is a wonderful hotel for a relaxing weekend. We never left it for 3 days. We read,swam, dozed, walked, tried archery and clay pigeon shooting. The food was exceptional,the staff friendly and very helpful. The reception desk is unobtrusive but this just adds to the impression of staying in a large country house as a welcome guest. The scenery is unsurpassing as the hotel is set on the southern edge of the Ring of Kerry overlooking Kenmare Bay and the mountains. I would really recommend a stay there as the perfect way to de-stress.

    Well worth a visit


    We visited this wonderful establishment in mid-September for a 4 night break and our only complaint was that we weren't staying longer.

    Parknasilla is a truly remarkable old hotel which combines comfortable and impressive acomodations and a large range of leisure facilities.

    It's a long way from anywhere (although it's on the main Ring of Kerry road) but you will not feel isolated. It's setting is lovely - on an inlet of the Kenmare estuary. The extensive woodland walks are terrific! There are even several islands to explore - all on the estate!

    The hotel itself is imposing. You get a side-on view of its gothic tower when you turn the coner of the long entrance avenue.

    Inside, it's cosy, elegant and spacious. The decor of the public areas is mostly 5 star. The dining room is large and can be a bit crowded, but if you have a table by a window, it's very nice. Breakfast can be a bit manic though! Dinner is a more sedate affair and the food is good.

    Our bedroom was very pleasant. It had a partial sea view and was quite spacious. Nicely furnished, it was in the older part of the hotel so the floorboards were a bit creaky. Also, it could do with a new carpet! We spoke to several other guests and the hotel seems to have been extended piecemeal over many years with the main "newer" bedroom wings being added in the 1940's and 1980's. There are 84 bedrooms, most in the newer wings to the side and rear of the main house.

    The pool and leisure centre is well equipped but on a cold day, getting to it is a bit of a trek.

    Its located in a sunken building beneath the front of the hotel and has to be accessed through the basement and via a long corridor or by an external stairs. COLD SEPTEMBER!!

    Parknasilla is a 4 star. It's easy to see why. The staff are very friendly but the service (particularly in the dining room) can be a bit below luxury.

    There are two guest lounges downstairs and a large attractive bar. On the first floor return there is a large library dedicated to Irish writers (principally GB Shaw who spent time here writing St Joan).

    The contemporary art themed piano bar at the front of the hotel is a lovely place to have an after dinner drink. This is not a late house however and most people seem to turn-in before midnight.

    There is a 9 hole golf course that beongs to the hotel and is about a 10 minute walk through the estate from the main hotel.

    The overall Parknasilla experience is one which we definitely look forward to repeating. It isn't cheap but we certainly feel it is WELL WORTH it !!

    Complete lack of management


    My wife and arrived at 8.00pm on a Sunday evening having booked a sea-view room, non-smoking, for a five nights stay.

    It took us nearoy ten minutes to find a receptionist: we were shown to a really foul (smoking) smelling non-sea-view room which was completely unacceptable.

    We were then transferred to an attic non-smoking room.

    The brochure of the hotel insists that men wear jackets for dinner. So-be-it: however only 10% of the men were jacketed: two male diners looked as though they had just come in from a hard days work in the gardens wearing filthy dirty sweat (an accurate word) shirts.

    The food was good but the service was extremely poor, albeit cheerful!

    We departed after a chaotic breakfast the next morning to the superb Ballymaloe Hotel in County Cork.

    In spite of writing to the MD of Great Southern Hotels we have heard nothing.

    Not a pleasant experience.

    Antony Rosen



    have travelled in Ireland extensively and can say this is wonderful ,very magical hotel that retains a sense of history

    take the walk over the Kerry way to Caherdaniel w/Kevin

    Can not recommend highly enough

    will be back next year with my family

    A wonderful experience


    Try this hotel once and you will come back. The setting is breathtaking. The surrounding area is magic but the friendly atmosphere is the best part. It is like being at a lovely house party but low key. Beautiful food, good sevice, great for all ages. I want to go back.

    One of my top three places to stay in all of ireland


    i have stayed at this fine hotel three times. it never disappointed me.

    the staff is very welcoming and the food is outstanding. jackie is the man in charge there and he is the most accomodating person.

    i especially enjoyed the coffey and desert in the lounge after dinner.

    there is always very special entertainment capping off fine day.

    i like to play golf and waterville is about 30 minutes away. if i didn't have foursome i was able to organise one at the hotel.

    the pool, sauna, steamroom and massage facilities are superb.

    finally i would urge all who can to take the kerry way walk. strenuous but healthy, educational and just plain fun.

    as you can see i am an unabashed fan.

    TripAdvisor Reviews Parknasilla Resort & Spa Sneem

    4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

    Travel Blogs from Sneem

    Goleen to Sneem

    A travel blog entry by jjarnold on Jun 10, 2015

    6 photos

    ... on the cable
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    On to Sneem to the night's lodging at Sneem River Lodge. Very nice
    B&B. Dinner in town at O'Shea's Pub where G & E shared their
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    €130 for a twin and a ...


    A travel blog entry by paulandashe on Sep 09, 2013

    1 comment, 30 photos

    ... part of the world we were in. The roads are tiny and windy, there are sheep obstructing the road and the clouds meet the hills that you are driving through - really breath-taking stuff.
    We stopped off at some 'bee-hive' huts which were over 2500 years old and man made stone houses. It was odd to be standing next to something so old, that you could touch and it wouldn't fall to ...

    Sneem, Killarney, Killarney National Park

    A travel blog entry by jjarnold on Jun 19, 2013

    10 photos

    ... is a gem.

    Right across the street from the Cathedral, at the entrance to Killarney National Park, we lunched at Deenagh Lodge, a wee thatched cottage staffed in part by Down's Syndrome adults who did a fine job of serving us sandwiches, soup, apple pie and ice cream.

    Muckross Traditional Farm was a real treat; one of the best recreations G has ever visited. The ...

    Last Minute at It's Best

    A travel blog entry by oneal on Mar 20, 2013


    ... Daniel O'Connel, a local and historical hero of sorts. It was a long tight place that felt even more closed in by the thousands of colored-on U.S. dollar bills that were taped up on every available surface. The many bills were tucked in and around plenty of Irish bric-a-brac, and the whole place was dimly lit, as most pubs should be. We enjoyed some local stout, put up our own dollar bill, and tapped our feet to the two-man band that was excited to play songs, both ...

    First Impressions

    A travel blog entry by monnat07 on May 14, 2012

    2 comments, 9 photos

    ... form a half circle, facing the sea.

    The cottages could just as easily be called houses. 'Cottage’ makes me think of a thatched roof or a structure without a proper shower. But these cottages are wonderful. The door opens into a tiled foyer that leads into the kitchen. All the cooking supplies we would need are stocked for us, down to the little eggcups that British people eat ...