Visitors looking to take in the magnificent outdoors in Ireland’s re-branded Reeks District have three new places to stay to choose from, including a boutique townhouse hotel, a revitalised, historic climbing inn, and a Dark Skies holiday package at a luxury lakeside lodge.
Providing a range of price points, the three will offer more accommodation options for those looking to take advantage of the region’s gorgeous scenery and incredible outdoors, including the Reeks District’s range of Signature Experiences, such as climbing Carrauntoohil, cycling the Gap of Dunloe mountain pass, and surfing on Inch Beach.
Kingstons Bar & Townhouse, Killorglin – Kingston’s Bar has graced Killorglin since 1889, with current owners Aoife and Erwin Kingston the fourth generation of the family to run this quirky, old-world themed pub. This summer sees the addition of the boutique Townhouse in an adjacent building. The Townhouse comprises 12 luxe en-suite bedrooms decorated in a contemporary style and named after the local peaks, with the superior Carrauntoohil Room offering views over 17th century Castle Conway, which is illuminated at night. The Townhouse is also home to a drying room, sauna, gun safe, fish and game filleting station, disinfection zone (to protect rivers from hazardous species) and bike storage. Room-only doubles are from €120 (+353 66 66 9761178, kingstonstownhouse.com)
Climbers Inn, Glencar – Dating back to 1879, the Climbers Inn is one of the oldest walking and climbing accommodation offerings in Ireland. Set in the hamlet of Glencar and surrounded by woodland in the foothills of Carrauntoohil, the inn is under new ownership and has been totally refurbished for 2018. The inn offers climbers, walkers and cyclists a range of affordable accommodation choices, including a a campsite, bunkhouse, double rooms with en-suite facilities, and a chic two-bedroom apartment. Following a day exploring the Reeks District, guests can relax fireside in the inn’s traditional lounge bar, or dine on fine pub grub on a welcoming terrace. The inn is also home to a simple post office and a general store. B&B doubles are from €80 per night (+353 66 976 0101, climbersinn.com)
Dark Sky Experience at Caragh Lake House, Caragh Lake – The Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve is one of only four Gold Tier Dark Sky reserves in the world, and from this summer, high-end holiday villa Caragh Lake House is offering guests the chance to explore the heavens in pure luxury. Guests at the six-bedroom villa perched on the edge of Caragh Lake can take in the wonders of the universe, thanks to an introductory talk by a local astronomer, use of an eight-inch Dobsonian telescope for the duration of the stay, and a collection of stargazing books for children and grown-ups. The house also offers a Weber BBQ, indoor open fireplace, boat and bike hire. and gardens with private lake access. Four night’s self-catering is from €1,200 for 12 people. The Dark Sky Experience is offered at no extra charge (+353 66 976 9195, caraghlakehouse.com)
Wrapped in some of Ireland’s most breathtaking scenery, the Reeks District on the south-west coast is a stone’s throw from Kerry Airport, a two-hour drive from Shannon and four hours from Dublin. Stretching from Ireland’s highest peak Carrauntoohil (1,038m above sea level) to the Blue Flag beaches of Castlemaine Harbour, the region is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, with a wide range of activities to suit everyone, from stand-up paddle boarding on Caragh Lake to hiking Carrauntoohil. Home to one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, Puck Fair, the Reeks District also boasts colourful towns offering quaint Irish pubs and many wonderful restaurants that serve home-cooked food, such as succulent Kerry lamb and Cromane oysters.
Main picture | Coomloughra Horsehoe, Reeks District