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