First Look: Dunloe Hotel and Gardens’ €19 million redesign
Latest five star hotel refurbishment
The blocky hotel set in the Macgillycuddy Reeks is the essence of contemporary modern style. The vast six-metre high lobby is decorated like an old style library with glass windows. It was designed by Swiss company Monoplan using a mixture of tile and wood with the stained glass panels.
The hotel takes full advantage of the raised site in the Macgillycuddy Reeks. The dining room with a double-height ceiling sucks the Gap of Dunloe into the room. The scenery is spectacular.
The hotel is set in 64 acres of the former Dunloe Castle built by the Norman Fitzgeralds in 1215 as part of the Kerry Defence area, used to patrol and monitor the Gap of Dunloe. The grounds of the castle are now beautiful gardens, open to the public, with rare trees from around the world. There is also a bucolic field with mini Austrian Hafflinger ponies and cows lowing in the field. The hotel is dog friendly.
The hotel prides itself on being family friendly and has a number of family suites that sleep up to five. There is a great outdoor playground in the Gardens and children can go trekking and kayaking nearby.
The bedrooms all have balconies with furniture and are decorated with strong colours like red velvet chairs and blue specially-woven carpets. Rooms are extra large and have plenty of space for relaxing. Needless to say the beds are very comfortable.
The spa has a 25m pool with stunning full-height windows. There is a steam room, sauna and gym for relaxing. Spa treatments are also available.
Dunloe is part of the Liebherr group of three hotels, the Europe and Ard na Sidhe. The Liebherr Group are a German crane manufacturing company, manufacturing in Kerry since the 1950s.
When the founder of the company, Hans Liebherr, opened a production site in 1958 in Killarney, there was a shortage of accommodations in the region for visitors. He subsequently had a guest house built.
A short while later, the company acquired a plot directly by a lake. Instead of the factory that had originally been planned for the site, he erected his first hotel called “The Europe” in the idyllic countryside. In this way, he created the basis for a new business area - the Liebherr hotels.
Within a few years, two further hotels opened in Kerry, the Dunloe and Ard na Sidhe Country House. Both are in an exquisite locations and offer their guests a particularly high level of comfort. The group now operates six first-class hotels in Ireland, Austria and Germany. They all have one thing in common: their high standards of quality.
There is a story that Liebherr was to locate in Mallow with the help of Sean Lemass, however some cute Kerry businessmen got wind of that and brought him out to see a site at Beaufort. He was entranced and immediately bought it. Building a crane factory on the Lakes of Killarney must have seemed a very eccentric thing to do, but Liebherr are still here and employ over 800 skilled workers in the area.
A one night stay with breakfast and dinner costs from €175pp, thedunloe.com.