We covered a lot of ground on this day, and it was brimming with excitement! There were several site inspections on the schedule, with our first stop at the exquisite Great Southern Killarney Hotel.
Located amidst the tranquil surroundings of the majestic McGillycuddy Reeks and the serene shores of Lough Leane, the Great Southern Killarney Hotel is a luxurious retreat that seamlessly blends timeless elegance with contemporary sophistication. The hotel’s charming Victorian façade exudes a sense of grandeur and opulence, while the impeccably appointed interiors are adorned with plush furnishings, artwork, and antique fixtures that radiate an air of refined grace. Many notable figures have stayed here, and their visits are memorialized on the walls.
After a scenic drive, we enjoyed a private tour of the Killarney Brewing & Distilling Company. The brewery is housed in the former Killarney Mineral Water building and the restoration process not only preserved the original charm, but the aesthetic of the industrial machinery was curated in a way to be pleasing to the eye from the inside and out.
It’s a hidden gem that tantalizes the senses with its exceptional craft beers and spirits. The atmospheric brewery and distillery offer a fascinating glimpse into the age-old art of beer and whiskey-making, where visitors can witness the meticulous brewing process and sample the award-winning products, from the crisp and refreshing golden ale to the smooth and complex single malt whiskey. The rustic taproom exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere, with exposed brick walls, wooden barrels, and quirky décor, providing the perfect backdrop to unwind and enjoy a pint or a dram.
Our whirlwind tour continued in Adare, in the lush countryside of County Limerick. The village is bursting with character. Points of interest include the impressive ruins of the Franciscan friary, and a 19th-century neo-Gothic church. Adare is also renowned for its world-class golf courses, including the majestic Adare Manor Golf Club, which boasts a challenging and scenic course that attracts golfers from around the globe. Our main focus was a site inspection of Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa.
From the moment we were greeted by the David Fitzgerald, I was hooked. What began as a 4-bedroom bed and breakfast has blossomed into an 89-room award-winning, four-star hotel, spanning more than 44 acres of landscaped gardens. Mr. Fitzgerald gave us an overview of his parents’ vision, and we see how the family’s hands-on involvement and commitment bolstered the success of the business. From a children’s corner lovingly dedicated to patriarch of the family, to an organic garden still supervised by his mother, family is at the heart of the hotel.
Naturally the afternoon kicked off with a delicious lunch in the hotel’s pub.
The tour ended with gifts and a personal assurance that our client would be well taken care of. I could not love this more!
Next, we were off for a tour of King John’s Castle in Limerick. Situated on a commanding position overlooking the majestic River Shannon is King John’s Castle. Built in the 13th century by King John, the castle’s imposing walls and towers stand as a testament to its former power and prestige. Visitors can explore the castle’s many exhibits, from the fascinating interactive displays that showcase the castle’s rich heritage to the medieval banqueting hall that transports visitors back in time to the castle’s heyday. The stunning views from the castle’s battlements offer a breathtaking panorama of the city of Limerick, while the castle’s charming courtyard provides a tranquil oasis for reflection and relaxation.
And here’s what the skyline looks like at night.
Dinner was on our own, and I ended up dining with our guide and another agent (who is in the process of relocating to Ireland) at our hotel. The wealth of information shared was immeasurable. And the curry shrimp was excellent too! Ha!
Check back soon for my final Emerald Island post in this series, and what was at one time the world’s largest telescope built in the 1840s!
The Emerald Isle – Dublin / The Emerald Isle – Kilkenny / The Emerald Isle – Kenmare and Killarney
The Emerald Isle – Killarney, Adare, and Limerick / The Emerald Isle – County Offlay
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