Europe Top Pick
Luxury Hotel • Spa
When the 5 Star Hotel Europe opened in Killarney many years ago there was a tremendous fuss - it actually caused a countrywide stir - it was something really different - really luxurious - really special - and it still is - only even better!
The Europe Hotel & Resort re-opened in 2008 after a multi-million euro makeover and rebranding, and this spectacular 5 Star Hotel and Resort is again causing great excitement for it exceeds even the most discerning traveller’s expectations.
The accommodation is absolutely fabulous. Lakeview bedrooms, most with balconies, have panoramic views of the magnificent McGillicuddy Reeks and Lough Lein whilst Golfside rooms, of which most also have balconies, overlook the 16th Fairway of Killarney’s Mahony Point Golf Course. There are one bedroom suites, as well as two Penthouse Suites which are out of this world, and the suite to beat all suites - the Presidential Suite.
The décor throughout Hotel Europe is divinely elegant and chic – magnificent drapes and fabulous furnishings. We, of course, headed straight for the hip Crystal Bar for a glass of Champagne after our drive from Dublin. That got us off to a great start and a glorious weekend. There are two principal dining options, as well as a Spa Cafe, the ultra hip elegant Brasserie Restaurant, with terrace for al fresco dining. At lunchtime they do "Small Snacks" such as Scampi with rocket leaves and a lemon and cracked pepper mayonnaise or Burratta Cheese with mixed leaves, vine cherry tomato and truffle dressing. Main courses will include casual dishes such as the old favourite Fish 'n Chips – beer battered fillets of cod with home cut chips and tartare sauce or classic Beef Stroganoff. In the evenings the Brasserie menu has lovely starters such as a tian of smoked salmon and crab salad with avocado mousse and apple as well as Kerry lamb croquette with Sneem black pudding, baby turnip and red pepper jam.
Mains are reasonable priced and might include barbary duck fillet with a port jus as well as sole on the bone and vegan and vegetarian options. Turbot is simply sauteed and served on sauteed greens with creamed potatoes, whilst seared Tiger Prawns are served with stirfried vegetables and Basmati rice. One of The Brasserie's main features are their cracking steaks, flame cooked in front of you on an open grill - delicious fillets, succulent sirloins and eye catching rib-eyes.
The Panorama Restaurant is aptly named because you have amazing views of all that Killarney is famous for. It is open for breakfast and dinner with the emphasis on fine dining highlighting Irish and International cuisine and local suppliers.
To begin with, starters include poached fillet of Atlantic cod and mussel velouté, Dingle Bay Oysters or even foie gras torchon. For mains, choose from pan-fried fillet steak, prime Irish Angus beef or roast loin of Kerry venison. If you can't agree on that there are of course a myriad of individual dishes such as Pan fried wild Atlantic Turbot with leeks and black garlic, roast monkfish or scorched hake with a red pepper curry.
Now, to put the icing on the cake, The Europe Hotel has a splendid state of the art Spa - ESPA at The Europe, with sixteen treatment rooms. You can pamper yourself on your own or with your significant other – as they say nowadays – in the couples shower or laconium. There are ice fountains, rock sauna and crystal steam rooms, vitality pools with infinity edge, air recliners as well as outdoor pools and lifestyle showers. You can luxuriate away to your heart’s delight and emerge totally de-stressed, which is what we all need in this ever faster world of today. There are two indoor tennis courts, indoor children’s play areas, Haflinger ponies for gentle trekking around the grounds – they are subject to availability so do check – and fishing, boating and kayaking on the Lakes of Killarney from their own private pier. You are surrounded by Golf Courses – it is Heaven.
Be sure to book a Spa Treatment
The Inside-Outside Hot tub is a must
Be sure to get the lake-view room
Have a drink in the Library
Next to the hopping town of Kilkenny