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“Great stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kenmare Bay Hotel

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Kenmare Bay Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sneem Road, Kenmare, Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kenmare
Paisley, Scotland
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Great stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2007

We stayed at the Kenmare Bay Hotel on the first and second of September, After booking we noticed a couple of dodgy reviews in trip advisor and contacted the hotel for some reassurance; they could not have been more helpful.
First of all their sales manager contacted us to allay our fears and then he offered us an upgrade to ensure that we enjoyed our stay. A few days before we arrived he contacted us to offer a further upgrade (I think that this was down to the popularity of the place and consequent shortage of standard rooms) and we found ourselves in one of the new houses on site, equipped to a very high standard and with all the ameneties of home.
Although we did not eat dinner in the restaurant as the hotel was very busy, we ate breakfast there and were very impressed, both with the standard of food and with the courteous, friendly and efficient service; in fact all of the staff in the hotel were helpful and friendly throughout our stay.
The hotel enjoys a beautiful situation close to the lakes of Killarney and the Ring of Kerry and Kenmare itself is an interesting town with many excellent restaurants.
I would have no hesitation in recommending the hotel to anyone, even though there is some development work in progress.

  • Liked — Beautiful scenery and accomodation, friendly and helpful staff
  • Disliked — Busy restaurant
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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799 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

family break with two kids. we stayed in the holiday homes attached to the Hotel with full use of the hotel facilities including great pool and leisure facilities, there was also a kids club which the kids really enjoyed, the hotel organised baby sitters. hotel within walking distance of town centre (with Kids). great breakfast spacious accomodation safe garden. plenty restaurants close by. we were even relaxed after our five day stay. try it
plenty for the kids to do!!

Stayed August 2007
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

This hotel was recommended in a reputable travel guide and described as having uninspired hotel rooms with great views that almost make up for modest accomodations. The views were okay, nothing really to speak of and we stayed in 5 hotels in this region for this vacation.

The one good thing i can say about the hotel is that it has a path that leads to the charming town of Kenmare with many shops and cafes. It's a 5 minute walk or less. I enjoyed spending an afternoon shopping there. I hadn't had italian style pizza in ages (we're living in EU and dont' have it nearby like we do in the states) so I was looking forward to eating at a local pizza place among the shops but they were completely booked until 10pm that night. Lesson - book dinners even at pizza places ahead of time in the height of tourist season.

Overall the Kenmare hotel it'self was just awful and their photos misleading. It's true that they renovated the lobby which is new but done in a very tacky taste. But we don't live in the lobby, so that didn't phase me; it's just an observation. The group in front of me had trouble checking in - some problem with room availability. We did not, thankfully..?

Our room was across the parking lot and up a fight of stairs. There were no elevators in that part of the hotel - I'm not sure if they had elevators to the upper levels elsewhere? - so we carried our heavy suitcases upstairs. Turns out we stayed in the older section which you could tell as soon as you entered the stairwell - if the key attached to the long block with room number printed on it wasn't indication already.

There were carpet stains in the hallway. The room had stains on the carpet, a brownish stain on the comforter (don't want to think about that), and cobwebs in the corner. The bed sheets were white and crisp and clean at least or I would have run out of the room at that point. The windows were old and didn't close tightly. When they were latched there was a breeze still coming in. The bathroom was disgusting. Although it was surface cleaned it was in need of renovation. The linoleum floor was old, discolored, and stained. It was patched in places. The rubber non-slip tub and shower mats provided were both originally white but yellowed with age. I wouldn't let the kids use the bathtub. There was black mold in the shower stall and you could see that they had painted the wall above the shower tiles but that the black mold was starting to show through again. We asked for a room for 2 adults and 2 kids and it had a double bed and pullout couch. The TV was large and had about 10 channels total.

The welcome binder in the room explained that this was a 3 Star room and if interested you could call reception to switch to a new 4 star room for this visit or a future one. I called and there were none available, nor could we see one. I asked about the pice difference and they said it would be 20 euro increase per person per night. I don't recall the total that would've brought the bill to, but remembered it was about 40 Euros MORE per night than the cost of staying at the FIVE star Hotel Dunloe Castle in Killarney, which is a world apart from this experience. See my review on Trip Advisor for that one, a classy but yet still family friendly hotel about an hour's drive from Kenmare. If I could do it over again I would have stayed at Hotel Dunloe Castle and just diven to Kenmare for a visit - very do-able.

Breakfast and dinner was included in the room rate at the Kenmare hotel, so i rationalized that at least I was getting something for "free" for this lower rate and pit of a room. The food was tasteless and we're not picky eaters. I cannot emphasize how tasteless the food was... My husband asked me to pass the "flavor" and meant the salt shaker, it was that bad. We had dinner there twice and 3 breakfasts there. The breakfasts were so-so and just something to fill you up. Don't expect an enjoyable meal, just fuel.

After checking in at dinner time we called the front desk to make a reservation for dinner (required, apparently). The woman made it seem as though she was squeezing us in, but we were able to come down in 15 minutes which was nice. When we arrived there was no one eating there and we spent the time swatting 2 bees away from us at dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. We were able to kill the one bee that landed on our table during breakfast. I also have to mention the decorations here were just plain ugly, shiny fabric gold chairs with brown swirls.

My husband who worked at restaurants years ago in touristy areas said it looked like they were expecting busloads of people. We did see 2-3 busses parked outside the front of the hotel each of the 3 nights we were there, so he was right.

There is construction going on still at the property. We weren't affected by the noise though in the front corner of the hotel opposite the lobby entrance. The vacation townhomes directly across the driveway were being used and the next section is under construction next to them.

Walking to the lobby one morning I was able to see the new 4 star rooms that had been renovated and have a keycard instead of a key on a block. Most of the doors were open because they were cleaning them (probably a departing bus load of tourists?). They looked nice, like in a Comfort Inn sort of way - not what would be considered 4 star. The ones facing the back of the building however had views of huge mountains of dirt and construction debris.

They provide internet access, but it's something like 1 euro for 10(?) minutes and I wasn't able to access my web based email account from there. If you want to print something the computer tells you that's another 1,25 Euro charge.

They have laundry service which we used because we were nearing the end of our trip and needed to. The woman at the front desk said there were no hotel laundry facilities, no laundromats nearby and wouldn't tell me the name of the place they use for same day service even though I asked her politely. She also said they didn't have a telephone book for me to use because they go missing if left in rooms but if I want a number she would get it for me. (How many hotel telephone books have you stolen? Come on!). We had a large laundry basket sized pile of clothes and it cost 30 euro to launder. It was back by the end of the day as promised.

I would NEVER return to this hotel nor would I recommend it to anyone. Even if you stay in the renovated rooms you are paying too much compared to your other 5 star options, already mentioned.

The hotel lobby arranged horseback riding for us at a nearby stable. It was a nice trail ride. We also went to Moll's Gap nearby to Kissane Sheep Farm (they have a website for more info) to see a sheepherding demonstration, sheep shearing, and you can feed the lambs by bottle. That was a nice detour and the owners are lovely and informative. Like I mentioned before the shopping in Kenmare is nice too. Definitely visit the area, just don't choose this hotel!

Stayed August 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2007

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for one night. We stayed in one of the new rooms which was very nice. It was spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The hotel looks impressive but I felt the bar left it down badly. I couldn't believe that the small little bar we were in was the main bar. It could only seat about twenty people comfortably. We had our main meal in the bar as the menu looked good, but the food didn't impress us much. The bar food is brought up from the main restaurant kitchen and it was cold by the time it reached us. It was replaced with profuse apologies from the bar manager, but still it wasn't great. The location of the hotel is great, its only a short pleasant stroll into Kenmare town. I would definetly stay at this hotel again, but I would dine in town.

  • Liked — Its new modern feel and decor and cleanliness
  • Disliked — The teeny tiny bar!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2007

Stayed in this hotel recently. Really enjoyed stay. Had room in new section. Well decorated. Spotless. Housekeeping did good check daily. Meal in restaurant was good experience. Bar food on another evening was lovely but bar was a bit small and quiet.
Great choices for breakfast. Leisure centre fab. All staff very courteous. Would reccomend a stay here. Got great value by booking online.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2007

Great stay in a great town

Stayed in Kenmare recently in the Kenmare Bay Hotel. The hotel was clean and comfortable, nice and close to the town centre which has lovely pubs and restaurants. We enjoyed the swimming pool, especially as the weather wasn’t the best. We didn’t have dinner in the restaurant but did have a very tasty lunch in the bar. Would definitely recommend this hotel to couples and families.

  • Liked — -
  • Disliked — -
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donegal Town, Ireland
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

I recently stayed in the Kenmare Bay and to be honest can't quite see where some of the unfavourable reviews lately have come from.
Granted when I stayed I was in the new part of the hotel, which is out of this world by the way but for someone to say the place was not clean or the service was not up to scratch, I just don't get it.
We had never been to Kenmare before and on our first morning we asked reception about the local attractions. The girl spent half an hour with us giving us all the information we could possibly want. Not only that but she actually booked our trips for us. In most hotels you would be shown the brochure stand and be left to find your own way.
I met the accommodation manager in the corridor on one of the mornings and she stopped to speak to me and my daughter, she was so pleasant and helpful and gave us a "no problem" attitude for anything we wanted.
I think the hotel is beautiful, the health club is fabulous, the kids camp is a real bonus again with wonderful staff and I can't wait to return and try out the houses on the grounds.

Very Satisfied.

  • Liked — Magnificient Surroundings Outstanding Staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kenmare Bay Hotel

Address: Sneem Road, Kenmare, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Kerry > Kenmare
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kenmare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Kenmare Bay Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on spacious landscaped gardens with panoramic views of the breathtaking surrounding area & short walk from Kenmare town. ... more   less 
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