aghadoe heights viewing park
this is about 2 miles from killarney town on the limerick road there is an old graveyard and ruin of a church and tower, there is also a hotel aghadoe heights hotel & spa, now dont let this place fool you from the outside this is a bit if an eyesore but inside is a real treat and the spa.... what can i say??? this place should be listed in the sictionary under the definition of luxert but the real star of the show here is the veiw the best time is the early evening great light for photos and the crowds are nowhere to be seen.
Aghadoe Heights - views over Killarney
Aghadoe is located at the top of the hill looking over Killarney.
From here you get a spectacular view across to the Killarney National Park, lakes and islands.
It is really worth a drive up here to take in the view.
Imagine how it would look on a sunny day!
Lakes of Killarney from Aghadoe Heights
Just 4 km outside Killarney, Aghadoe Heights command a magnificent view over the Killarney National Park with its lakes, mountains and islands, including Innisfallen Island - the site of the first university outside the Roman Empire, where princes from all over Europe came to be educated. In the distance you can also see Ross Castle. Apart from the great scenery, you can explore the ruins of 13th century Parkavonear Castle and of the old Romanesque church, but, to tell you the truth, I didn't see them, only the stone construction (a stub of a round tower?) in my last picture.
Some pictures of the fascinating ruins of the church and Ross Castle can be found on the web. See address below.
Aghadoe Height of Misery
I have just returned from a weekend (Friday to Sunday) of misery in the Aghadoe Heights Hotel. My husband and I were met with a hostile attitude at Reception when we arrived. This hostility arose from our Internet booking which allowed us 2 breakfasts and 2 evening meals. Reception disputed this telling us that we were only entitled to 2 breakfasts and 1 evening meal. After much discussion we were eventually shown to our room with a promise that the matter would be investigated. They eventually, reluctantly agreed to honour our Internet booking. Evening meal on Friday was OK but evening meal on Saturday was a disaster! We were strategically placed beside the dining room exit. We had just completed our main course when we were approached by Ms Chawke, Manager and asked to move and finish our meal in the adjoining lounge bar. The excuse given was they had overbooked and we were such “nice people” we were asked to move. Following this, we observed that no one else had been requested to move. We feel that we were being punished because of that “second evening meal”. We were made to feel that we were being observed and treated as “those two in room 207”. Awful hotel, appalling architecture, poor breakfast and incompetent and mean spirited management. After registering our complaints with Reception, we were promised a phone call from the Reservations Manager. To date, we have heard nothing. Aghadoe Heights Hotel 5 star prices, 1 star quality. We will not be back!
Fantastic hotel, deserves all 5 stars
My husband and I stayed in Aghadoe Heights hotel for a weekend break at the start of December as we felt in need of a little pampering. All I can say is we got so much pampering that it was a wrench to leave. From the moment we arrived we were waited on hand on foot, I have never stayed in a hotel where the staff are more attentive or pleasant. The general managers Pat and Marie were very much in attendance and go out of their way to make you welcome. We had a lakeview room which was fantastic, the view is just staggering. This view carries through to the lovely relaxing lounge area and dining room and nothing can beat the early morning view of the lakes. Breakfast in the morning in the dining room is wonderful, so much so that lunch was out of the question! We ate in Fredericks Dining room in the hotel both nights as why anyone would want to leave to go elsewhere is beyond me. The food and service was excellent with a lovely wine list. I treated myself in the spa and this was another highlight of the trip, so relaxing and luxurious. Thank you Aghadoe, we will be back!
We have just returned from a lovely and magical weekend in the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa. Upon arrival at the Aghadoe, we were given a warm welcome and a tour of the hotel. We booked the advertised 2-night-special-getaway on the hotel's website (which clearly indicates 2 nights' accomodation in a lakeside room with 2 breakfasts and 1 evening meal). The table d'hote dinner at the hotel restaurant (Frederick's) on our first night was so succulent that we decided to dine a la carte in Frederick's on our second night. I availed of a spa treatment on Saturday morning which was out of this world! I spent 2 and a half hours in complete relaxation mode and the therapists were nothing short of miracle workers. I am still feeling the benefits several days later. A swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub was a tonic for my boyfriend and I on Saturday afternoon. A walk around the old cemetery and down some of the narrow country lanes adjacent to the hotel helped to clear the cobwebs of a busy 'city-mind'. It is unfortunate that the couple below allowed a quibble about a meal colour their stay and that they did not experience the tranquility that is readily available at the Aghadoe Heights. It is, sadly, their loss! I'd go back tomorrow - and stay for longer....
a little overrated
we have just come back from a weekend in the Aghadoe heights. We went with another couple who flew over from the UK for the weekend.
Good points: The views form the lakeside rooms, the spa is out of this world.
Bad points: Not a very attractive building, the restaurant is not up to scratch for a 5 star hotel.
Some of the staff are a little rude and insincere.
Incorrect starters, Steak returned as not cooked as requested, wrong coffees given, eggs not cooked properly at breakfast, staff unsure how to handle these situations and not really a cosy atmosphere
I would possibly travel there again for a spa weekend but to be honest there are better hotels in Kerry that really are 5 star and where mistakes don't get made.
Loved it More the Second Time Round!!
After listening to Matt Cooper on the Last Word he spoke about Trip Advisor and his guest speaker highly recommended it. I've only ever used it once but I had heard the Aghadoe Heights Hotel was undergoing a huge refurbishment and was eager to revisit so I logged on to see what others thought of the new decor etc before I returned to the scenic Aghadoe for another long awaited visit.
I have to say I was disappointed to read the review "The Height of Mysery". It gives the users of trip advisor a false impression in my opinion.
Anyhow, back to my review. Arriving in the evening we decided to head straight up for dinner. Louise on reception had our luggage taken to our room while we relaxed at the Heights Lounge sipping a glass of vino prior to succlent dining. I love to eat but hate the bloated, can hardly move feeling. This was different. While I was pleasantly full and my taste buds totally satisfied, I wasn't "fit for bed" and enjoyed another drink and the conversation of the bar man Shane who had remembered us from our previous visit. We sat in the cream curved couches looking out at the night sky and Ross Castle which clearly lit up and the dots of light through out the town.
The decor both at the reception area and the Heights Lounge is different but cleverly matched with each foot sinking int the piled high carpets.
The media room is a big plus to the hotel with photos on the wall of the famous visitors to Aghadoe Heights.
Again I enjoyed treatments at the Aveda Spa. I had requested Norma who I was very impressed with on my last visit and I was greeted by none other than Norma who asked "You must have enjoyed your Hot Stone Massage to be returning for another". A lovely girl, friendly and professional.
Our room was large and spacious as before and the view of the lakes made the whole concept of getting up the the morning a lot less difficult.
On checking out we were greeted by Louise again who was as chirpy as she was on checkin. She asked if we enjoyed our stay and I replied
"We will defintely be back to Aghadoe"!
Beautiful Ireland - a condensed account
Hello and yes, we've been away again. This time a week driving around Ireland, with Alex's mum Chris in tow. We had a load of things planned for the week, but quickly realised that things move a little slower in Ireland......distances took twice as long as predicted to drive - due to the winding narrow roads, lack of passing lanes, plus the huge amount of tractors we encountered!! Hence we didn't tick everything off the must-see list......I think we would have needed another month. But what we did see was spectacular. Here is the condensed version.
Day One: We flew from Heathrow at 6.55am to Belfast, where we picked up a car at the airport and headed straight up to the north coast of Northern Ireland. It was a huge day - first we went to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is a 20m long, 1m wide rope bridge that sways 30m above the water, joining the cliffs to a small rocky island. The views along this coastline are spectacular. www.northantrim.com/carrick_a_rede.htm Next we continued along the coast to the Giant's Causeway, which is an amazing area with hexagonal stone columns stacked by the ocean - so named as it looks like the work of giants. Again, more fantastic cliffs and coastal views here. www.northantrim.com/causeway.htm
Worn out by all of this, we headed to the worlds oldest legal distillery, Bushmills, and did a tour, which took us through the factory and ended with a taste of Bushmill's finest whiskey. Chris was one of the 4 lucky chosen ones on the tour that got to do a special whiskey tasting session at the end - comparing 11 different drops. www.bushmills.com/
Last stop for the day was at the "romantic ruins" of Dunluce Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking over the water, and a great place for more photos. The castle is right on the cliff edge, and apparently back in 1639 part of the castle including the kitchen collapsed into the sea. www.northantrim.com/dunlucecastle.htm
We then headed to our B&B, which was in a small village called Carrigans, which is about 10mins drive from the city of Londonderry. Carrigans is just over the border, in the Republic of Ireland. We were running really late due to a big car accident/traffic diversions and were lucky our rooms were still available when we arrived......and pretty glad they were, as this was the fanciest B&B you have ever seen! Every inch of the place was decorated/filled with all sorts of collectables/dolls/you name it - not our taste, but remarkable. The room was fully stocked with more toiletries than I have at home, and breakfast was a never ending feast. We were sad to leave.
Day Two: First stop was to the Grianan of Aileach, which is a 2000 year old stone fort on top of a hill, near a town called Burt. It had a really special feel about it, and the views from here are amazing, across loughs to the sea and mountains. www.stonepages.com/ireland/grianan.html
Next a scenic drive around the Rossguill Peninsula, to see the Atlantic Ocean and more stunning coastal scenery. We then headed south, again the landscape was just amazing, but so different from the morning - mountains and rocky farming land and ribbons of roads in between the loughs.
Stopped for lunch in Letterkenny and then gaped at the amazing limestone plateaus we passed as we drove towards Sligo, and our B&B in the beachside, wind-blown suburb of Strandhill. Our B&B here was the total opposite to the previous night - pretty basic - but it wasn't all bad, as the Atlantic was literally across the road from our room.
Day Three: After another "healthy" Irish Breakfast, we headed through, yep, more spectacular countryside to Kylemore Abbey, which is located at the base of a mountain on the shore of a lough - another great photo opportunity! www.kylemoreabbey.com
After a lunch of irish stew and needing a break from touring, we headed to our final stop for the day, Galway, and our centrally located B&B. We had the afternoon to wander around Galway and then relaxed over some fine wine and then supposedly "the best" fish and chips in Galway, which were disappointingly bad.
Day Four: More fried treats for brekkie and back on the road, first stop was at Dunguaire Castle. It is a small, restored castle on the edge of Galway Bay, which holds medieval banquets. As always, we climbed to the top of the tower for a view along the bay. www.shannonheritage.com/Dunguaire_Day.htm
Next to one of Ireland's most famous sights, the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are, of course, spectacular, and there is a small castle like tower that you can climb for an even better view of the coast line, and the Aran Islands in the distance.
Next we caught a car ferry from Killimer to Tarbert, across the River Shannon, which took about 20mins, and headed to a town called Listowel for lunch - where we ended up having an unscheduled extended delay. This was due to a problem on the way there, which involved a small trailer wheel flying across the road at our car and damaging the tyre. We had a couple of hours delay whilst a very friendly AA (like NRMA) representative helped us with the purchase of a new tyre etc at his service station nearby.
Anyhoo, back on the road, we headed to Killarney, and our large B&B, for an early dinner and an early night. Killarney was really busy due to a big Gaelic football match the next day, so we didn't spend much time there.
Day Five: I had given up on the Irish Breakfasts by now, though Alex & Chris managed to eat them for a couple more days.... Before leaving Killarney, we drove up above the town to Aghadoe Heights, which gives beautiful views over Killarney and its National Park. We then headed towards our next destination, Kilkenny, taking a scenic route through farmland and saw plenty of tractors (read: got stuck behind plenty of tractors). We stopped off at Kells Priory - ruins of a monastic site that date back to 1193, before arriving in Kilkenny. Our B&B was 1km from the centre of town, and was run by the most helpful people in Ireland.
After a delicious lunch, we visited the impressive Kilkenny Castle, which is known as "one of Ireland's most magnificent fortresses". www.historic.irishcastles.com/kilkenny.htm. That night we went to Ireland's Pub of the Year for a gourmet meal and slept well.
Day Six: With another delicious breakfast under the by now bulging belt, we hit the road to Dublin. We stopped off on the way for a photo at the Meeting of the Waters, where two rivers come together, which is near the small town of Avoca which features in the TV show Ballykissangel.
Then we were back to reality and the city of Dublin. First we dropped off our bags at the hotel and then dropped off the hire car. We then had a leisurely wander through St Stephens Green and hit the shops on Grafton Street, the shopping heart of Dublin. Looking for some liquid refreshment, we went to the Temple Bar area. It is one of the oldest areas of the city, and the cobbled streets are lined with pubs and restaurants, though it is commonly known as a bit of a tourist trap. After a refreshing ale, we had a look at the grounds of Trinity College - Ireland's premier university. Then it was back to Temple Bar for a traditional meal, washed down with a tasty (aussie) red. Finished the night with a wander along the Liffey River, and then a walk up O'Connell St to our hotel.
Day Seven: After a surprisingly small breakfast for all of us, we headed to Dublin's premier tourist attraction, the Guinness Brewery & Storehouse. We did the tour, where you learn about the history of Guinness etc, but the best part is the end of the tour which leaves you in the Gravity Bar at the top of the building, where you can sip your complimentary morning Guinness, and enjoy the 360 deg panoramic view of the city. www.guinnessstorehouse.com/index.asp
Just enough time for some more food, so back to the banks of the Liffey, and a pub lunch of Steak & Guinness pies, to top off the holiday nicely. Then jumped in a taxi to the airport and back to London.
Well, we learned that a week was not enough to see Ireland, but it certainly gave us a feel for the country.
We really enjoyed:
*the spectacular and varied scenery
*the friendly locals
*food food food
We didn't enjoy so much:
*the prices - Ireland is expensive!
For the whole trip we had a joke about how we really wanted to see a rabbit in the countryside. Each day we would look for the elusive rabbit, but to no avail. When we were on the runway at Dublin airport, literally seconds from takeoff, Chris looked out the plane window and said "a rabbit". And there one was, on the grass by the runway. We loved Ireland.
thinking if a visit in Feb 07
Hello. My girlfriend and i are thinking of renting a camprvan and driving from dublin to county kerry for the weekend in early February. Since we have limited time and a desire for a romantic time I was wondering if i could tap all your wisdom about where to go....a nice hotel by a lake would be ideal or a place to park the van and "camp" (sleep in the van) for the night by a lake perhaps...any thoughts?
RE: thinking if a visit in Feb 07
There are some nice areas on the lake outside Killarney. I'm not sure about camping facilities, but the Tourist Board people there could probably help you. One hotel, Muckross Park, is a bit posh but beautiful and with good restaurants.
RE: thinking if a visit in Feb 07
That's quite a lot to cover in one weekend. You'll be driving most of the weekend. You might consider Kilkenny which is a lot closer to Dublin.
RE: thinking if a visit in Feb 07
in fact that distance is do-able, BUT it makes sense only when you intend to see scenic places "on the way"
Dont hesitate to camp "wild" on a parking, close to a river, what-ever - I have done it 100x in Ireland and never had any problem
RE: RE: thinking if a visit in Feb 07
One of the best views of the lakes is aghadoe heights viewing park, there is a big public car park and it is right beside the aghadoe heights hotel (which is a VERY nice hotel,
wherever you stay Im sure You will LOVE kerry It is MY favourite place in the world
have a great trip