Killarney with Kids
As you wake up in your comfortable room in Killarney with Kids at The Lake Hotel, overlooking majestic castle ruins and breathtaking mountains, unfortunately, it is not, in my case, to the sound of the breeze blowing in the reeds on the lake but to a billowing two-year-old!
At least our room is so well laid out that the cot which the hotel happily supplied is located in a darker corner of the room which is more sleep-inducing for all!
The two double beds mean we can all share one space but it doesn’t feel full. Having floor length balcony windows overlooking the lake ensures vast amounts of light fall in when you do eventually acknowledge the day and open the curtains. Then you experience the impact of this view and who knows even the kids might quieten down for a minute to take it in and look out for the deer who seem to the be only other ones up!
At least there is one advantage to being up early, the dining room is not too busy, we are given a window table and high chair quickly and the huge selection on the buffet means that hungry tummies are taken care of efficiently. Being given custom designed kids colouring books and crayons on arrival ensures that the adults actually get to read the paper or gaze out the window for a moment or two!
The location of the hotel means that there is nearly too much to do in terms of walks and activities, so once breakfasted and dressed for the fresh spring day that it is, we head over to the bicycle rental shop across the road from the hotel. As we are guests at the hotel, we get great attention and are soon off, one adult bike with kids trailer, one child’s bike and one adult, bottles of water from the hotel shop and off we set, hotel map in hand. The cycle from the hotel up to Muckross is beautiful and only about 15 minutes and everyone is delighted with the ease of the cycle path and views around, the horses and carts and wild deer complete the nature lesson. By the time we reach Muckross, we feel we all deserve a morning muffin and coffee. Again the self-service nature of the restaurant there and outdoor seating areas means it works really well for us with the kids. As it is a bright day, we sit outside and the framed hedging garden beside us is like a mini maze for the children, they chase each other around with glee and we can see them at all times so again there seems to be an opportunity to relax! As nap time is approaching we head back to the hotel and once the smallest is settled in, I gladly volunteer to stay in the room and gaze out the window with a good book open on the Kindle, free wifi through the building ensures I have a stress free and quiet hour to absorb the natural beauty all around. Once the peace is shattered it is time for some lunch and as the children’s menus are good, we stay put and order pasta, burgers for father and son, a mini roast of the day and fresh fish with vegetables of the day. Again the view and helpful, friendly staff ensure we are served promptly and have all we need. As we are all having such a pleasant time, a Lake Hotel Knickerbocker Glory is ordered for the kids, we soon discover one will not be enough so a second arrives and is still a much reminded moment of our stay! Then we have to walk it off, so we drive up to the town and walk into the Demesne along with half of Killarney it seems. It is a wonderful amenity to have in your town and yet you feel away from everything. Again our detailed hotel map ensures we don’t miss any monuments of note and are aware of the history of each building we pass. Just being able to let the children run ahead and wander across the fields is great, a freedom we don’t get to enjoy too often. After a quick potter around the shops in the town and watching some excellent buskers, the evening begins to draw in so we head back to our base. A handy teatime snack of toasted sandwiches for the children in the bar is arranged, then it’s the usual bath and pyjamas routine before settling down in the room with a movie.
Except as we are away, one of the friendly and experienced hotel Receptionists is coming to babysit while the adults get a romantic, relaxing dinner in the Castlelough Restaurant, the hotels old dining room. As soon as all children are settled and the babysitter is in situ, we escape to the Piano Lounge and enjoy an aperitif, feeling a warm glow after such a lovely day. Another window seat is offered for dinner and as we look out onto the floodlit ruins of the McCarthy Mor Castle on the hotel lawn, we comment on the difference between the room at breakfast and at dinner. It is completely dark outside except for the moon as there are no buildings in the area at all, it is all National Park. A delicious dinner follows with helpful information on all dishes and we accept the invitation to enjoy our digestif in the lounge within earshot of the Irish music starting up the in bar. At that point, we have to acknowledge the reality of another early morning to come and we retreat up the stairs. All that fresh air and good food mean a good nights sleep for all.
On departure, we make the promise to the children (and ourselves!) to return as soon as possible to The Lake Hotel.
Killarney with Kids a great place to spend time with the whole family.