Leigh Arnold’s Blog post of the Kenmare Bay Hotel

Our Pre Christmas break at The Kenmare Bay Hotel

January 4, 2017

Happy New Year Everybody!!

first of all apologies for being M.I.A. of recent months but A LOT going on and not everything can, or should be blogged about!! Needless to say, it’s finally a New Year and I am so glad and grateful to be starting it on a high after an awesome Christmas break.

I was given the opportunity to start the Christmas week on an absolute Holiday High by taking Steve and my two little ones away to the wonderful West. The magical, stunning Kenmare, The Kenmare Bay Hotel to be precise. The hotel has won multiple awards for it’s for its incredible hospitality and attention to detail. As a busy mum of two little ones, staying at the winner of The Best Family Hotel in Ireland winner 2016 was a massive plus.

After a long drive (it shouldn’t be so long but unfortunately I was feeling unwell and had to stop every couple of miles, not the best experience on the side of the M7 on a freezing cold December afternoon!!) we finally arrived at the Kenmare Bay and were taken straight away to our Luxury Lodge. It was just that, luxury. The two double bedrooms had the comfiest beds I’d slept on in some time and were decorated beautifully, both with en suites and massive baths. Needless to say after my unpleasant drive down I jumped into one straight away! Steve took the children off to have dinner in the hotel and the food and restaurant was just gorgeous and family friendly with an area for children to entertain themselves in, while Mum and Dad relax.

The next day after a morning of hubby playing with the kids in the gorgeous heated swimming pool at the hotel we explored Kenmare. Walking around the town and indulging in the Christmas atmosphere. Honestly, I have travelled all over the world and truly believe here are not many more beautiful places to visit than the towns and surrounding areas of the West of Ireland. Kenmare is top of that list. The town is heaving with great Trad Pubs, incredible restaurants, local artisan shops and all still not commercialised, but beautiful and simple. Just perfect. The hotel arranged a sitter for us, a regular Mary Poppins who arrived with her magical bag of DVD’s, toys, books, crayons, you name it, and she had it! My son adored her and we got to enjoy Kenmare by night. The famous Packies Seafood Restaurant was where we dined. One word, divine!! Then we danced the night away to a brilliant local band in Foleys.

Staying in a hotel like the Kenmare Bay with a hangover is wonderful. The incredibly kind girls at reception arranged Kids Club for the children and a massage for me. Bliss! What a last day of our trip. I had the most relaxing and enjoyable massage I’d had in a long time. We chilled out most of the morning in our lodge then drove the most stunning short drive from the hotel to a very special find, Helens Bar in Killmackillogue where we ate their famous mussels. Literally just in off the fishing boat right on the pier where the bar is. It’s a place you would need to visit to believe, so I’ll let you do just that.

We left home for Dublin the following morning feeling refreshed and revitalised and a feeling of Christmassy magic in our step thanks to the team and the super Kenmare Bay. Thank you all so much for making us feel so welcome. From start to finish we just were in heaven, as were the kids.

Happy New Year everyone and please do yourselves a favour and book into the Kenmare Bay, especially if you have a family as I promise you, you will actually get to really enjoy yourself with every possible amenity there to entertain the kiddies while you relax!!

” Blog courtesy of Leigh Arnold”

Blog by OfficeMum – Family friendly Lodges at the Kenmare Bay Hotel

Check out this great blog/review about the family friendly lodges at the Kenmare Bay Hotel – http://officemum.ie/a-place-you-have-to-go-twice-kenmare-bay-hotel/

Back when I had two-under-two, I found that going anywhere further than the local shop was a challenge. Actually, even going to the local shop was a challenge. So when the smallest was nine weeks old, and the biggest was a whopping 23 months old, we were understandably nervous setting off on our very first holiday as parents of two.

We had booked a self-catering house on the grounds of the Kenmare Bay Hotel – because the house looked gorgeous, because we’d have use of the hotel facilities, and because we knew it was only a three-minute walk from Kenmare town.

Out for dinner in Kenmare 7 years ago

Out for dinner in Kenmare 7 years ago

It ticked all the boxes – we had the luxury and comfort of a hotel, but didn’t need to worry that that our crying babies would wake guests in the room next door. It also meant we didn’t have to go down to breakfast every morning or eat out every night. And what won us over above all else was that three-minute walk to the town centre – because we wanted a glass of wine.

Give me all the coffee

Give me all the coffee

And despite the fact that the two babies cried a bit while we were there, and woke a bit at night, and left us feeling apprehensive when we accidentally sat down in restaurants that were a bit on the quiet side (you know the ones – where you belatedly realise all the other guests are adults enjoying a quiet, child-free meal) we had a truly wonderful week in Kenmare seven years ago. The house was beautifully decorated, really spacious and very, very comfortable. The town of Kenmare is gorgeous, surrounded by stunning mountain and lake views. The weather back then was hit and miss, but it didn’t matter – we had the week we’d hoped for, and much more.

back when they were babies

back when they were babies

Recently, we were chatting to the kids about trips to West Cork and Kerry when they were small. We discussed which one was best, and Kenmare Bay Hotel came out on top – it was the one place I said I’d love to go back to. When a few weeks after that I was asked by Kenmare Bay Hotel if we’d like to go down there for a couple of nights, there was no hesitation on my part – it seemed like fate.

So armed with car snacks and memories, we made our way back along the road to Kenmare – seven years after our first trip.

Kenmare - Ring of Kerry - office Mum

Beautiful views en route

We had one more child than we did back then, but he and his sisters were in unusually good form for all of the four-hour journey, and it didn’t feel like the epic trek that it did first time round.

Kenmare Bay Hotel Luxury 2 bed lodge from outside - Office Mum

Our home away from home

The first of many highlights came on arrival – watching the kids exploring the house, oohing and aahing over each room in turn. We were in a two bedroom lodge, so the three kids were in one (giant) bedroom. The girls were sharing, and the small boy was on a pull out couch. They were thrilled to find they had an ensuite bathroom, a TV in their room, and what they considered to be a walk-in wardrobe – they each insisted on getting changed inside the wardrobe for the entire stay. The bedrooms are gorgeous – really spacious, beautifully decorated, and so comfortable. I’m writing this now at home and wishing I could go back…

picmonkey-collage

The living and kitchen area is huge – the small boy was unexpectedly excited to find a washing machine and a dishwasher, and on day two, spent a considerable amount of time trying to talk me into putting on a wash. The kitchen has everything you need – particularly for a longer stay – and at the other end of room, there’s an L-shaped couch that’s perfect for tired grown-ups after a long day sightseeing with kids. It was exactly like the one we had seven years ago, and I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic for those days (though not so much for the sleepless nights).

Once we’d unpacked (us: clothes, kids: My Little Ponies, books, hairbands, a plastic door from a doll’s house, a fairy door, more books, teddies, and a Pillow Pet) we set off for the short walk down to Kenmare town. Again the nostalgia hit – back then we had a double buggy, now we had three kids running through the autumn leaves ahead of us.

Kenmare walk - Office Mum

A little bigger this time around – and an extra one

Walk from Kenmare Bay Hotel to Kenmare

The walk into town is beautiful

Three minutes later (it really is three minutes) we were in the town centre, making our way slowly along the street, peering into shop windows and checking menus outside restaurants.

Kenmare is definitely a foodie town, with 46 eateries to choose from, and much like last time, we eschewed the more “proper” restaurants for somewhere we’d be less likely to worry about the kids making noise.

READ MORE http://officemum.ie/a-place-you-have-to-go-twice-kenmare-bay-hotel/

Many Thanks to Andrea and her family for visiting us at the Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort

 

 

5 family friendly activities in Kenmare

Enjoy all of these fantastic family activity centres in the Kenmare area when you book you next stay at the Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort

  1. Star Outdoors Star Outdoors activity centre offers activities for all the family in all weather conditions, enjoy water sports, archery and hill walking in Kenmare. Wide selection of water activities feature sailing, boat trips, kayaking, canoeing, pedal boats, doughnut and powerboat rides and a water trampoline and slide.

raft-building-team-building-cropped

Professional instructors are available at Star Outdoors activity centre to help and can be hired to look after you or your group. If you have no experience they will always provide instruction for you to get maximum enjoyment from your visit.

A day visit to Star Outdoors, Kenmare, is a must for an active family and great fun for Hen/stag groups!

Website: http://www.staroutdoors.ie/

  1. Eclipse Activity Centre Enjoy a wide selection of Outdoor Activities, there is something to suit everyone. The Eclipse Centre is set in the heart of the rugged Irish countryside located along the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way, amidst stunning scenery of the McGillicuddy Reeks and nestled between the colourful and cultural towns of Kenmare, Sneem and Killarney in the South West of Ireland.  13731673_10153606524670689_809025398646413825_n

Some of what is on offer include: Coasteering & Gorge Walking, Orienteering, Military assault course, Mud surfing, Horse riding and pony trekking for all the family, Kayaking, Fly fishing on our private lake or river, Mountain biking, Archery.

Great for Families, Hen & Stags, Team Building, school tours & Summer camps. A day at Eclipse will be unforgettable. Web: http://www.eclipseireland.com/

  1. Seafari, the original Kenmare Bay Sea safari, founded by Raymond Ross, marine biologist, sailor, photographer, singer/entertainer/comedian, lover of all things marine and proud to be an Irishman! Enjoy a majestic cruise full of laughter & fun, providing unforgettable memories.

Seafari cruises invite you to explore the prolific wildlife of Kenmare Bay on Ireland’s premier seal-watching and eco-nature boat trip. Enjoy a 2 hour comfortable, sheltered cruise into the magical and tranquil waters of Kenmare Bay. Visit seal colonies, look out for secret castles, playful otters as well as a wealth of bird-life along the way.

White-tailed sea eagles have recently been re-introduced into Kerry and there are regular sightings.

Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits are offered on all cruises, blankets if you are feeling a bit chilly and for those feeling a nip in the air there is a shot of rum to warm you up.

Perfect for families, and groups. Web: http://www.seafariireland.com/

 

  1. Molly Gallivans Cottage & Bonane Heritage Park

Molly Gallivan’s 200 year old cottage and farm is family run business, situated between Kenmare and Glengarriff on the Beara peninsula, in the picturesque South West of Ireland.  Experience the simple country lifestyle in rural Ireland before the days of electricity and modern conveniences. Enjoy farm life, complete with animals, fowl and traditional farm machinery.

At Bonane Heritage Park there are several archaeological treasures all of which are accessible along 2000 metres of gravelled walkway, interpretive boards will tell the history & story of each. Amongst the sites are Ancient Stone Circles, Fulacht Fiadh (means ‘cooking pot’), Bullaun Stone (said to have held water that was used for medicinal purposes), Standing Stone, Ringfort & Famine House Ruins.

After your visit you can enjoy a traditional Irish meal or home baking in Molly’s old teashop. You can also browse in the unique craft shop for some local made products.

Website: http://mollygallivans.com/the-experience

http://www.bonaneheritagepark.com/

 

  1. Dromquinna Stables

Dromquinna Stables, is a family run equestrian centre, just 5kms outside Kenmare.

On offer are horses and ponies that will suit everyone, beginner to experienced rider alike. Experience beautiful rides, along the shores of the Kenmare Bay and through lush woodland into the mountains with breathtaking views of the Beara and Iveragh peninsulas.

Also available are farm rides to the sea for the whole family. Lessons also available with one of the 4 qualified staff in all-weather arenas.

Bring your kids to join a Saturday morning Pony Club where they will learn how to groom, tack and look after their pony. Or come and try your skills at some Polocrosse.

Web: http://www.dromquinna-stables.com/

 

 

 

Kenmare Bay has 1000 Tripadvisor reviews

The Kenmare Bay Hotel has reached 1000 reviews on Tripadvisor!
A Big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful guests & your great reviews! If you have stayed with us and haven’t had a chance to review our hotel, we would love a review! www.Tripadvisor.ie. We are  the 3rd Top hotel in Kenmare.

With a selection of hotel accommodation to suit everyone, self catering homes & Luxury lodges. Enjoy a full leisure centre and loads of children’s facilities, plus the ultimate Wedding venue  and fabulous food that is sourced locally – The Kenmare Bay has it all!

In the local area, enjoy activity centres that will satisfy all. Star Outdoors, Eclipse Activity Centre, Dromquinna Riding Stables, Seafari, Bonane Heritage Park  – all in the nearby vicinity.

There is something for everyone at the Kenmare Bay, ideally located on the Wild Atlantic Way, The Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Kenmare Bay Hotel again soon!

Ring of Beara Cycle Race Kenmare 2016

The Ring of Beara Cycle Race Kenmare, on 28th May 2016 was quite fantastic!

Starting in Kenmare and finishing in Kenmare, cyclists enjoyed unspoilt beauty & spectacular scenery. Participants had a choice of an exciting 140km or 110km cycle by the rugged Wild Atlantic Way coastal route of the Beara Peninsula.

The Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare is organised by the Kenmare Marketing & Events Group with the help of local professional event management company Elite Event Management.

This years funds raised will be distributed to two nominated charities: Southwest Counselling and Cancer Connect.

Well done to all cyclists that took part, and a massive thank you to all the organisers and volunteers without whom, this event would not be possible!

The Ring of Beara Cycle Race
Selfie Station

At the Kenmare Bay Hotel, we enjoyed looking after all the cyclists, and made sure they were well fed and watered before and after the race!

Looking forward to 2017 Ring of Beara already!  Book your accommodation early, it is sure to fill up again very soon. Cyclists can avail of our cycle storage, drying facilities and can ease away the aches and pains in our jacuzzi, steam room and sauna at the Bay Leisure Centre

See you in 2017!

25 Things you should know about Beara

25 things you should know about Beara  – courtesy of www.bearatourism.com

The Kenmare Bay Hotel is ideally located to explore the Beara peninsula, as well as the Ring of Kerry – giving you the best of the South West!

  1. The Celts first landed in Ireland at Garnish near the westernmost end of the peninsula.
  2. The Beara Peninsula was named after a Spanish princess, Princess Beara.
  3. The highest waterfall in Ireland and the UK is the Mare’s Tail in Adrigole.
  4. The warmest place in Ireland is by Adrigole Bridge in Adrigole.
  5. The oldest writing on a stone in Ireland is pre-Ogham and can be found in Glentastel, Lauragh.
  6. Berehaven harbour is the second safest natural harbour in the world.
  7. The Cailleach Beara is one of the oldest mythological antiquities in Ireland.
  8. The four mythological Children of Lir are buried in Allihies.
  9. 511 historical sites, some dating back to 2000 B.C. can be found on the Beara Peninsula, making it the location of one of the highest number of antiquities in one area in Ireland. Bonane Valley has many fine examples.
  10. The Beara Peninsula is the only peninsula in Ireland that is located in two counties — Cork & Kerry.
  11. O Sullivan Beare is the only Irish chieftain whom Queen Elizabeth I of England did not pardon after the battle of Kinsale .
  12. O Sulivan Beare’s march in 1603 is the most famous march in Irish history.
  13. The freshwater mussels that live in the Ardgroom area are over 100 years old–the oldest living shellfish on the peninsula.
  14. In 1796, the French longboat landed in Bere island and Wolfe Tone anchored in Berehaven harbour at the same time.
  15. In 1914, Berehaven harbour was the most fortified harbour in western Europe with the cannons on bere Island.
  16. After one hundred years of being mined, the copper mines in Allihies are so deep and extensive that they go under the sea.
  17. The Dursey Cable Car is the only cable car in Ireland.
  18. The Glengarriff Forest is home to the oldest oak trees in Ireland.
  19. The Beara Peninsula is home to one of the rarest birds in Ireland — the Chough.
  20. Ballydonegan in Allihies is the only beach in Ireland made from crushed stone; the stone was taken from the copper mines
  21. The tallest birch in Ireland is a downy birch, 25m high growing in Lauragh
  22. The tallest ogham stone in the world can be found in Eyeries.
  23. In the Viking age Dursey Island was used as a slave depot.
  24. Blackball in Cahermore was a volcanic area.
  25. The Beara Peninsula is the most scenic route in Ireland.

 

Q & A with our Wedding Manager, Tom

Hi Tom, What is it about Kenmare Bay Hotel that makes it such a popular wedding venue?

The Kenmare Bay Hotel has a great reputation for quality and service. We pride ourselves on making each wedding as special as possible and I feel that each Bride and Groom appreciate the personal approach we take. Our food is second to none and we have a wide variety of accommodation options so the Kenmare Bay is extremely accommodating to all.

If you could give a bride one piece of advice in planning her wedding what would it be?

If I could give one piece of advice, it would probably be to organise your day according to when you want your Band/DJ to start. A lot of people make the mistake of planning from the church, but ideally if you plan back from the Band/DJ starting, you are allowing yourself a better idea as to when the church/civil service should start, when the dinner should be served taking into account speeches and allowing time for the music set-up. Your day should run smoothly and no time should be lost. It is only 1 day and we like to see each couple enjoy it to the fullest.

I have only been to Kenmare once but it is a stunning little town. What is there for wedding couples and their guests to do on the day before/day after the wedding?

We offer quite a few options at the hotel such as music and light snacks to sit down meals & buffets. The local area also has so much to offer such as Boat Cruises on the Kenmare Bay. We like to cater to each couple’s requirements as everyone if different but we guarantee to have something for everyone.

What is on offer when it comes to the wedding menu at Kenmare Bay Hotel?

Our standard wedding menu is made up of 4 courses and consists of choice of 2 starters, a soup or a sorbet, 2 main courses and a dessert medley or 1 dessert. We offer a complimentary tasting prior to your wedding day to ensure you are happy with the menu you have chosen. All dietary requirements can be accommodated with prior notice. I can also talk to you about a particular budget you may have and I can tailor your menu and package to suit this

How did you begin working with weddings?

I worked in a very busy Kildare Hotel where we did over 250 Weddings a year, along with over a 100 Functions , it was a very busy environment but I enjoyed it very much. My wife is from Kenmare and we decided to move to Kenmare, where I have looked after every wedding since the current owners have taken over 6 Years Ag

What do you enjoy doing when you are not planning a wedding?

I have 2 Boys 7 & 4 that keep me busy. My hobbies include Golf, sailing and Hill Walking.

What is your favourite flavour wedding cake?

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but if you offered me a Chocolate Biscuit Cake with Malteser & Hazelnut, I would not and could not say no.

visit – www.kenmarebayhotel.com/weddings and book your dream wedding today!