The Best Hotels to Book in Killarney, Ireland, for Every Traveller

Muckross Park Hotel has an enviable location within Killarney National Park
Muckross Park Hotel has an enviable location within Killarney National Park | Courtesy of Muckross Park Hotel & Spa /

Take on the trails of the first national park in Ireland, then head back to town for hotel-brewed beers, farm-fresh food and flickering fires at these on-point places to stay – bookable with Culture Trip.

The County Kerry town of Killarney has attracted tourists for more than 200 years – more recently for the neighbouring national park, the first in Ireland, created in 1932 as a natural wonderland of scenic lakes, lush peaks and countless waterfalls. But it’s not just the wilderness that makes visiting this corner of southwest Ireland worthwhile. With a collection of 19th-century buildings, cosy pubs and excellent restaurants, spending time in town rewards the curious, too. Whatever type of traveller you are, we’ve handpicked just the right Killarney hotels.

1. Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa


Brown-toned bar area at Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa, with many soft seats by tables and a white piano
Courtesy of Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa /

Locavores are spoiled for choice at this grand-looking hotel, with two restaurants focused on locally grown produce. The Café du Parc promises one of the best brunches in town and an all-day menu where modern Irish cooking takes centre stage. A little more formal, the Tan Yard combines an atmospheric setting for seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced from surrounding farms. A big spa and a snug late-night bar complete the impressive features.

2. Great Southern Killarney


Classically styled room with double bed, antique-style chairs, table and a sofa at Great Southern Killarney
Courtesy of Great Southern Killarney /

Lovers of refinement should book themselves a stay in the stately surrounds of this sophisticated hotel. The Great Southern Killarney was built in 1854, with the remit “to take the visitor’s breath away” – and it certainly remains among the most impressive hotels in the town. Together with a deluxe spa, fine dining and immaculate service, the hotel has rooms that offer guests the epitome of traditional sophistication – with many of them overlooking the splendid hotel gardens.

3. The Europe Hotel & Resort


Exterior of the Europe Hotel & Resort, lit up at night, as seen from outdoor seating area, looking over the water
Courtesy of The Europe Hotel & Resort /

Nature buffs who enjoy a little luxury will find the perfect combination of high-end comfort and spectacular views at the Europe Hotel & Resort. It has a rare and enviable lakeside setting, along with smart contemporary design that makes the most of it. Guests have direct access to the stunning natural beauty of the area, as well as activities including horse riding and lake boating. When you’re done, there’s a swish spa to soak tired limbs, and farm-to-fork dining in the lake-view restaurants.

4. Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel

Indoor pool area with handrail at Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa, with loungers and chairs beside it
Courtesy of Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa /

If fine wining and dining is high on your holiday priorities, this hotel in Killarney provides some of the best in the region. The twice AA Rosette-winning Lake Room restaurant offers fine cuisine cooked from the freshest seasonal and locally sourced produce. A stock of superb wines is stored in the cavernous wine cellar too. Plush guest rooms, lake views and a spa with a heated indoor pool complete the five-star experience.

5. Muckross Park Hotel & Spa


Double bed in brown-and-cream room with desk, desk chair, two armchairs and a table at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Muckross Park Hotel & Spa /

Fans of the historical can immerse themselves in the past at the richly storied Muckross Park Hotel. The first inn on the site operated as a hunting lodge at the end of the 19th century. Within a few years, the Herbert family turned it into the Herbert Arms, which was the first hotel to open in Killarney. While it has certainly undergone plenty of changes in the 200 years since – not least the addition of five-star facilities – a palpable sense of the past remains.

6. The Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments


View over the Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments, with countryside and lakes all around
Courtesy of The Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments /

Travelling families with kids in tow are sure to find the Gleneagle Hotel just what they’re looking for. Rooms and suites cater for groups of all sizes, while apartments offer the convenience of a self-catering option – some are even pet-friendly. But it’s the family-focused facilities that really shine, including full-size and splash pools, a kids’ club, and sports diversions for all ages. A location on the edge of town also puts the great outdoors on your doorstep.

7. Killarney Avenue Hotel


Wooden-beamed dining area at Killarney Avenue Hotel, with several tables set for four people
Courtesy of Killarney Avenue Hotel /

If your perfect evening is holed up in a traditional Irish pub, then the snug and welcoming Kenmare Rooms at the Killarney Avenue Hotel is just the ticket. Find yourself a cosy corner with a pint of Guinness and kick back with the locals to enjoy some live music. A town centre location also means plenty of other local pubs are within an easy stroll, plus you have the famous Golden Gate entrance to Killarney National Park just opposite.

8. The Ross


Man walks through bar area at the Ross, with several cushioned seats by tables and at the bar
Courtesy of The Ross /

Visitors with an eye for flamboyant design will love the Ross hotel, set in the heart of Killarney town. Rooms are a riot of crushed velvet, bold patterns and exotic tones, while huge suites also add flickering fireplaces. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at the Cellar restaurant, or head to the jazzy surrounds of the Lane for creative cocktails and gourmet finger food. Another bar with a plush and playful vibe is the Pink Lounge, where gin and fizz is their speciality.

9. The International Hotel Killarney


Two double beds in a room with desk, desk chair, table, two chairs and wooden cabinet at the International Hotel Killarney
Courtesy of The International Hotel Killarney /

Travellers with a taste for the traditional will find that the International Hotel Killarney pushes all the right buttons. Built in the mid 1800s, the storied building originally stood at the entrance to Killarney Railway Station. It opened as a hotel in 1906, and little has changed in appearance since . Guest rooms are finished in the style of old-school elegance, though with contemporary comforts that include pillow-top mattress and jacuzzi tubs in some.

10. Randles Hotel and Spa


Outdoor seating area at Randles Hotel and Spa, with seats at tables, cushioned seats by fireplace and mountain views
Courtesy of Randles Hotel and Spa /

For those who like a pamper, this hotel in Killarney has the spa facilities to provide everything to delight and de-stress. The Zen Day Spa offers a 20m (65ft) heated pool, a sauna and steam rooms, plus a long list of luxuriously indulgent beauty and massage treatments. The rest of the hotel is a picture of traditional elegance, nowhere more so that in the sumptuous guest rooms. Also, ale-lovers: don’t forget to sample the hotel Killarney Brew craft beer.

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