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

    Dingle - Our Vacation day from our Vacation

    A travel blog entry by fougereg on Jun 13, 2014

    2 comments, 3 photos

    Today is our vacation day from our vacation, in other words no planned activities. Mary and her son Stephen our hosts are gracious and prepare beautiful breakfasts. The scones (tea biscuits) are excellent, I could easily eat every one that was put out for all the guests. I also have taken a liking to porridge with Baileys. :-) We walked the town ducking in and out of the various shops. ...

    A long, mostly wet, day

    A travel blog entry by janet_and_ron on Jun 09, 2014

    10 photos

    ... Duggan, for you see we're three to one
    Surrender in the King's high name, you are a plundering son
    Jack drew two pistols from his belt, he proudly waved them high
    I'll fight, but not surrender, said the wild colonial boy

    Three for the price of one

    A travel blog entry by tina.hayden on Jul 31, 2013

    80 photos

    ... as Americans.

    We didn't reach Galway until about 11:30 on Tuesday morning and by the time we found the office that offers ferries to the Aran islands we had just missed the last one for the day. :( So we stopped for tea at a lovely little cafe and then headed to Doolin to see if there were any ferries leaving from there. Sadly they had no other ones for the day either so we had initially planned to drive back up there today to catch a morning ...

    The Ring and the Dingle

    A travel blog entry by schwinks on Sep 12, 2012

    8 photos

    ... which included a short ferry from Valentia island. It was neat to take our car over the river in a boat for a few minutes for only a few euros. We made good time to Dingle and checked into the Towerview B&B before dinner. The place has a real homey feel, which is augmented by the fact that the proprietor actually lived in Brookline/Boston for several years before moving back to Ireland. After dropping off our luggage we walked the 10 minutes in to town ...

    Dingle is a Funny Name

    A travel blog entry by melepua on Sep 10, 2011


    ... had only planned on being in the pub for 1/2 to 1 hour, happily watching the entertainment as a wall flower, and was so delightfully entertained that I sat on longer.

    After I was there about an hour, some of the business men said, "Let's give the ladies a chance to sing." They look at me. I shake my head. A few minutes later, after another song, it happens again. They open their arms to me and the two shy girls, then back to me, trying to get me ...