Co Kerry „
The Castlerosse was the last hotel I stayed at during my work trip to Ireland. It is a 3* hotel that is located in Killarney located overlooking it's own golf course. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this hotel as compared to the others it seemed of a lower standard and not a choice I would normally go for in terms of its style. It definitely wasn't a hotel I would choose myself but, as this was a work trip I don't get much say on where I will normally be staying! Location: The Castlerosse is located just outside of Kerry town centre. It is quite easy to drive in and out of the centre in less than 5 minutes but, it would be a bit of a walk should you not have a car with you. The hotel is right on the ring of Kerry outskirts and is definitely and ideal choice if you want a base to explore this region. First impressions: When we first arrived at the hotel it was pretty late on as we had been out all day around Killarney and having also travelled from Cork that morning we were pretty tired. It was raining and we all just wanted to get to our rooms as soon as possible! After realising that all the car spaces near to reception had gone we parked a short walk away and made our way inside. The lobby was of a medium size with a few chairs dotted around and the bar was right at the back of the reception area. The hotel seemed pretty busy and there were two members of staff on the desk. We gave our names and our card keys were with us within only a few minutes which was very good. The place seemed clean and was lit with some nice low lighting making it seem very welcoming. Overall a good first impression. The room: The rooms are all located across two floors and I found myself to be on the ground floor - I have never stayed at ground level before considering all the hotels I have stayed in and I suddenly understood why so many people don't like to! After what seemed quite a way from reception but, in reality was not that far, I reached my room which was overlooking the golf course. The room was a fairly good size and even had there been two of us staying in the room which is what it was made for, there still would have been plenty of room. The room was very neutral in colour with cream walls and a red patterned bed spread. The bathroom was a good size and lovely and bright - a big bath tub was across the far wall with a shower over it. The bathroom was all white which in turn made it seem bigger again. In fact I thought the bathroom here was nicer than the one I'd had in the previous hotel we'd come from in Cork which was a plus for this hotel as it was a star rating lower. The rest of the room although very clean just seemed very basic - no little touches that normally make a hotel room for me. There was tea and coffee facilities though which of course if always a plus point for that first cuppa in the morning! The hotel also have some golf lodges and self catering apartments which are both quite popular with the golfers as they can be rented out for up to 4 adults and make the cost much better if travelling as a group. I am not sure on current rates for these but, again the hotel tend to do special offers for them at various times of year. Food and drink: I really do love a good breakfast in a hotel - it sets you up for the day and saves you spending any extra money unless of course you've already paid extra for it in the first place! In the Castlerosse hotel breakfast is included in standard room rates and it is buffet style. When you get to the breakfast room which is on the second floor you can just go and sit where ever you please - a waiter or waitress was normally with us within minutes to take our drinks order and then you can help yourself to as much food as you want from a hot selection such as bacon, eggs, sausage or cereals and fruit. The waiter or waitress always brought toast over too with the drinks and if you wanted more you could ask for it. The restaurant was in a cracking spot on the top floor as it had views over the golf course and you could see the Kerry mountains in the background. In the evenings the restaurant served a variety of meals. You are advised to book in advance with reception as it does get busy. I think this is more due to the location than anything as the hotel is a short drive away from the town centre and it just makes it easier for a lot of the guests to eat in rather than travelling out, especially if it is raining like it was when we were there! We ate in the hotel restaurant on the second evening and the meal was fairly good for the hotel standard although I think I had been spoilt by all the fabulous meals we had elsewhere before this one! I had a steak which was cooked perfectly for me but, i think the veg was frozen and just seemed a bit bland. The peppercorn sauce that came with my steak was very nice and although I cannot remember what everyone else had the general decision between us all was that the food was definitely edible and we all enjoyed our food but, given the chance we would have probably not eaten in here again because there are so many places in the town that are so much better! Prices are reasonable for what you get at around 8 - 9 Euros per main dish depending on what you have. The bar on the ground floor is a lively little place with musicians on at the weekend. The evening we had our meal in the hotel there was a large group of women in who seemed to be celebrating something or other. They ate in the restaurant like us and then moved into the bar just after us. They got everyone up dancing and singing and they certainly added to the atmosphere! Prices were about average for a hotel bar with a pint of beer coming in at 4 euros. The barman was very friendly and made us all some shots up of mini Guinness! Other facilities: The hotel has a gym and swimming pool on site which is free for hotel guests - I had a quick peek at the pool and it looked very nice - quite large at least. The gym unfortunately I didn't enter but, my colleague did and she said it was pretty average with some treadmills, rowing machine and other bits and bobs. I do believe the hotel will take membership from non hotel guests but, I am unsure of costs for this. Of course the main facility of the hotel that people choose this hotel in the first place for is the golf course. The course is 18 hole and the hotel can arrange golf at various other locations as well as on site. Guests can arrange buggy, club and trolley hire if they need it and can also book golfing packages including hotel stay, breakfasts and green fees. Prices are totally dependant on dates but, start at around 329 Euros per person for a three nights stay. The hotel have internet access in the lobby and it was 1 Euro for 15 minutes if I remember rightly. You don't need to charge to your room or get a code to activate it as you can simply insert a coin and log straight on. Overall opinion: As I mentioned before this particular property isn't somewhere I'd stay myself just because I wouldn't really need the facilities of the hotel in the first place and therefore I would rather spend a little extra and stay in a hotel that has more focus on it's rooms. I didn't really like being on the ground floor as I had to have the curtains shut all the time to get dressed as the golf course was literally outside my window - this meant you didn't really get to take advantage of having nice big windows in the room and having lots of natural light. However had I been on the second floor it probably wouldn't have been a problem at all. The other thing is the hotel definitely appeals to a certain clientele, being either the older or golfers! The hotel constantly run golf packages or a 'golden years' package which is actually a brilliant bargain for pensioners! The package consists of three nights stay with breakfast and evening meals, free tea and coffee throughout the day and two tours in the local area. It only costs around175 Euros per person so is definitely appealing and it makes more sense as to why the hotel was packed out with the older clients whilst I was there! I would probably recommend this hotel if you are on a budget due to the offers it runs and if you are interested in golf. Also if you wanted a good base without spending a fortune just to explore the Ring of Kerry then it would also be ideal. The hotel staff were all very pleasant that I spoke to and quick to help. I have no problems recommending it but, it just isn't a hotel that I would probably ever stay in again.