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Rustic Retreats

Checking In: Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Hugging the banks of the River Sheen, the 300-acre Sheen Falls Lodge estate is primely positioned for exploring South West Ireland. Fringed by mountains, waterfalls, and beaches, the lodge itself is set in the heart of Kenmare Bay.

With an old-school temperament, welcomes are warm and sleeping quarters extremely comfortable. On entry, guests are greeted by artist Christine Bowen’s vibrant floral mural at reception, as well as an affable team ready to assist with any queries.

The Vibe

Authentically Irish.

The Rooms

Bedrooms are calming and prioritise comfort – note the large, beckoning beds. ‘Interiors channel Kenmare Bay’s palette’ – think marshy greens, pure blues, and soft yellows – with modern touches (namely contemporary wooden bedside tables and desks) peppered across the space. Suites come with a separate drawing room, plus some rather special views, and bathrooms (stocked with Elemis) are all marble.

Those seeking a little more space can avail of one of five traditional thatched cottages situated on the estate. Make best use of the hotel’s amenities and then retreat to your private cottage to settle down with a book and a cup of Barry’s tea or bundle up on the sofa to watch a film when the weather takes a turn.

The Little Extras 

Take five at Easanna Wellness & Spa where you can enjoy a whole host of facilities, from an indoor heated pool to a fitness suite complete with state-of-the-art equipment. Book in for a spa treatment – there are five treatment rooms at Easanna including a couple’s room and wet room, a manicure and pedicure suite, a hair and makeup salon, and a relaxation room. Choose from Elemis and Irish organic range, Voya, for your treatments.

The Food + Drink

Breakfast is served in the main dining room. After a simple selection of breads and pastries are brought to the table, choose from a mixture of fresh fruits, a choice of cereals and porridge, as well as hot plate options – choose from omelettes, pancakes, a full Irish, and more…

For a simple lunch, stop by The Stables Brasserie & Bar, housed in the former stables, and tuck into something simple and hearty – soup of the day with homemade brown bread or beer-battered catch of the day with mushy peas and tartare sauce are just the ticket. Alternatively, venture to The Sheen Lounge, an ideal place to plop yourself down for afternoon tea in the comfort of a lounge fitted with deep-cushioned sofas and a roaring log fire. The light-flooded space is a great place to relax for a spell after a lengthy walk.

Fancy a pre- or post-dinner tipple? Head to The Sheen Bar, where the menu features 90 whiskeys, as well as a solid selection of Irish craft beers and ciders. Gin lovers can choose from over 20 bottles, including 12 Irish styles. Come dinnertime, The Falls Restaurant (which is closed on Sunday and Monday nights) plates up seasonal fare with menus influenced by Kerry’s bounty – ‘farmhouse cheese, Atlantic seafood, Hereford beef’, and so on… Gentle piano music accompanies your meal and the dress code here is ‘smart casual’. A menu highlight – the halibut served with Oscietra Caviar and Champagne sauce; dessert-wise, the apricot tart is a winner.

Don’t neglect The Wine Cellar, ‘hidden beneath Sheen Falls Lodge’. Request a tour and select your own wine from more than 800 labels; ‘private wine or spirit tastings’ are also available.

The To-Do List

There’s a lot to explore in these parts. Try your hand at falconry, fly fishing, clay-pigeon shooting, archery, and more on the estate. Bikes are available complimentary, as are rackets for use on the floodlit Savanna tennis courts overlooking the water.

Beyond the estate there are any number of directions in which you can venture on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Portmagee and the Skellig Islands are good goal posts, while closer to home you’ll find the heritage town of Kenmare (a five-minute drive from the hotel). Try your hand at a chocolate-making class with Lorge, or give golf a swing at one of the many surrounding courses. Heading out for the day? Visit Maison Gourmet to pick up butter-laden provisions en route to your next adventure.

What to Pack

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