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“Heaven schmeaven- THIS is where I want to go when I die.”
Review of Sheen Falls Lodge

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Sheen Falls Lodge
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kenmare
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Heaven schmeaven- THIS is where I want to go when I die.”
Reviewed 27 January 2009

Fantastic... Where do I even start. This place makes you feel like royalty, but in such an inviting and natural way as if it was actually your own mansionlike home, where you belong. After two nights here I felt completely entitled to this kind of luxury, and will in the future be even harder to please. The staff were excellent. We arrived after driving around Kerry for the day, probably looking a little worse for wear. In some places it would take less than that to make the staff treat you like something the cat dragged in, but not here! The staff were exceptionally correct and helpful, offered valet service, and the woman who showed us to our room managed to tell us without sounding snooty that formal wear was required in the restaurant, and that they also had an informal lounge where they served dinner. When we got to our room I literally jumped up and down. (After the member of staff had left...)
It was the biggest hotelroom I have ever stayed in. I saw someones comment about the decor being dated, and maybe a little, but it was still lovely. Huge bed, with the nicest pillows I have ever slept on. Nice clean gleaming bathroom with lovely Molton Brown products.
And we had a view of the falls from our window.
The hotel had just opened after being closed for winter, and there were only a few guests. This added to the luxurious atmosphere, and I did truly feel like a queen in my own castle.
We didn't try the formal restaurant, the food seemed unnecessarily elaborate, but not very modern. So we had a gorgeous meal in the lounge, the goatscheese starter was splendid, and we had fantastic wine thanks to the absolutely brilliant sommelier.
The next morning continued in the same style with a glorious breakfast, where the fresh strawberries and flaked almonds to put on the cereal really did top it off. We decided that one night just wasn't enough in this paradise, so we booked in for another night. This meant we got to enjoy the cosy and relaxed bar and the inviting library. It makes you feel like you are in a film, but at the same time you feel so at home that you just want to curl up in the sofa with a book and a cocktail. (At least that is the alter ego I became in this place.) We also spent some time in the spa, with jaccuzzi, pool, sauna and steamroom. Great, but at this stage we expected nothing less. The next morning I tried the salmon bagel for breakfast- delicious. The grounds around the hotel are lovely, and Kenmare itself charming.

  • Liked — The inviting luxury, that makes you feel like you are the kind of person who lives in a mansion.
  • Disliked — It's too far to walk to Kenmare village, if you want to go to another restaurant or bar.
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank EndlessAdventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Cork
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2008

Like the previous reviewers, I stayed at the Sheen Falls Lodge last weekend - but I seem to have enjoyed the experience far more!
While we only stayed one night, it felt like much longer and we left on Sunday totally relaxed.
From the moment we arrived, the reception and service we got from all staff was amazing. Friendly, but not overly so.
We spent almost two hours on Saturday evening relaxing in the drawing room with the paper, looking out at Kenmare Bay - the only time we were distured was when a waiter brought us drinks from the bar!
Dinner in La Cascade was really amazing, and our wine waiter was very helpful - he was delighted when we chose a Hungarian wine, and later suggested a dessert wine from close to his own home.
Cocktails in the bar were also very good.
We weren't really bothered by the burglar alarm going off on Sunday morning. Staff closed the doors to the restaurant and it wasn't so loud. They were also very apologetic, and explained that the weather the night before had caused a power outage, which was at the root of the problem.
I do agree that the pool area is quite dated, but that's really the only criticism I could make, and it certainly didn't impact on our enjoyment of a lovely stay.
What makes Sheen Falls is the setting and the quality of service - it's the kind of place where you could arrive for a weekend, and neither want nor need to leave once.
All in all, Sheen Falls is wonderful for a romantic getaway. Yes, it's expensive - but there are great deals available at the moment.

  • Liked — Huge bed, relaxing atmosphere
  • Disliked — Liked everything
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank CorkTouristOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
135 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2008

We staying two nights at sheen falls last weekend and for a 5 star hotel we were not very impressed. The location is excellent, and most of the staff were brilliant but the hotel is very dated.

The rooms are large but the décor is very drab and the king size bed we booked (and they rang to confirm two days before we arrived) turned out to be two single beds pushed together so there was a gap in the middle. The bathroom was nice and spacious but the shower has very little pressure in it.

We ate in the “fine dining” restaurant and while the food was nice, it was like they were trying to make it as complicated as possible just to prove that they could do it. There were four of us at dinner and the two guys were still hungry when we had finished all the courses. Our waiter and sommelier were fantastic and there was nothing more they could have done for us.

The spa was also a little dated, they had a very strange pool that you could not really swim in, a Jacuzzi that was quite nice, and a steam room (that would take three people if you were well acquainted) and a sauna. You did not get the impression that it was very clean, even though they left the cleaning products on the floor.

The main issue we had with this was that on our final morning the hotel was having problems with the electricity. Nothing they could do about that – so fine. We went down for breakfast and just as we sat down a fire alarm started to go off and continued to do so for 45 minutes. None of the staff even mentioned it or explained what was going on.

I mentioned at checkout that I was unimpressed with the fire alarm that morning, she proceeded to tell me that it was not the fire alarm and go on about why it was going off. After about 5 minutes of this I gave up and she then said sorry if it interrupted your breakfast. I found that particularly annoying since when staying at a five star hotel you don’t expect to be lectured at by the staff and we left early with headaches.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelCork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
137 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2008

We're just back from a stay at Sheen Falls, and I don't think we'd be in a rush to return.

Firstly, the good bits... The rooms are large, the location is stunning, the staff are extrememly well trained.

The not so good...
The beds. Surely one of the most important things in a hotel. Our bed was two singles pushed together. Now, I've stayed in places where the beds were pushed together before, but usually they have a thick matress cover over them so you don't notice it. There was actually a 3 or four inch gap here, and the mattresses were sagging, so there was also roll.

The alarm and lack of electricity!
There were electricity problems on our second day. I had a shower before going to breakfast, (with the bathroom lights going on and off) but couldn't dry my hair as the fuse in the hairdryer then blew. We went down to breakfast only to have to endure a BLARING alarm for over 40 minutes. Wet hair, ear-piercing alarm... as you can imagine it didn't make for a relaxing morning. We asked for brown toast a couple of times, but it never materialised. There wasn't a word of explanation or apology from any member of staff about the alarm, even though we asked what was going on. They eventually shut the breakfast room door which lessened the noise slightly. The lift was unoperable of course with the electricity problems, and we were on the top floor. I went over to the spa later on, and the alarm had stopped in the main building, but was going over there.

The directions and outdoor lighting.
We came into Sheen Falls from the Killarney direction, as I imagine everyone does. However in the pitch dark, driving through a storm, the sign on the gate wasn't lit. Once we got into the car park, the path lights are arranged at a height to completely dazzle drivers. Again, dark, pelting rain, a lack of any lit signs, we couldn't actually find reception and ended up going in through the spa! We discovered there was another gate further along the next day, and that signs to reception do exist if you come in that gate, but they just aren't lit. So in summer daylight I'm sure it's fine.

The spa isn't great.
Small pool. Dated looking tiling. Odd unattended bottles of bleach, toilet cleaner and cleaning products in a pile by the drinking fountain and on the floor by the changing rooms. Neon yellow warning tape strapped onto some columns guarding some broken floor tiles. Generally run down.

Decor.
The public areas are nice, feels like original country house. This rooms and corridors are stuck in the late eighties! Floral flouncy patterns. Pink spotted carpets, multicoloured quilts. Yikes.

Food.
We ate in both the bar and in La Cascade. We weren't really blown away by either. The bar food is ordinary, and the restaurant food is too far the other direction for my tastes. They embellish every item on the plate, it was technically perfect, but over-complicated.

Drink and prices.
Cocktails were good. ~15 euro each. Bar wine by the glass is around 8.50, stout is 5 euro.

There is a really good sommelier, he suggested some lovely and interesting wines with our meal, and answered our questions well. The cheese board was an excellent showcase of irish cheeses, well described by the waiter. The in-house pianist was entertaining. The staff really are impressive, shame about the dated facilites and electrical problems.

  • Liked — Staff were amazing
  • Disliked — Bad beds, old decor, electrical problems.
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank pwurple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2008

We are quick to hand out 5 stars for good hotels. To such an extent that truly spectacular hotels are merely rated as "very good". Sheen Falls is a 6 star hotel and probably the best my wife & I have ever been to.
It starts with the relaxed unforced service from the staff. They set one at ease, happy to chat casually if invited to do so - yet making all the guests feel like royalty. There is something beautifully Irish about this, as a classless society that is naturally friendly.
The location is deep in the Kerry Mountains right on a waterfall. Often one feels that spending a bit extra for a hotel is not worthwhile, as you end up only sleeping there. At Sheen Falls, the hotel itself is at the core of all activities - as diverse as fishing, walking, clay pigeon shooting or simply driving around the Ring of Kerry.
We loved it and will be going back. Autumn is a good time, as the forests in the mountains explode into colour and most of the tourists are gone.

  • Liked — Luxury
  • Disliked — Noisy Children (Americans!!)
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Purplehaze777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
115 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2008

If it's luxury you are looking for Sheen Falls is the place to go. We had a beautiful large bedroom with a large ensuite, huge soft towels and bathrobes and fab Molton Brown products, everything you need is supplied and our room overlooked the falls with a window ledge to sit on while enjoying the view. Breakfast is superb with a great selection of fresh fruit, cereal, cheeses, cold meats and hot dishes. Dinner was also delicious with a large choice and a vast wine menu - luckily they have a dedicated wine waiter to help you choose. Their spa isn't really a spa, it's more like a few treatment rooms in the leisure centre, however, the product is Yonka which I love and the treatments we had were superb so it's a pity it's not a better spa as there is no relaxation area.
The staff in every area are extremely professional, polite, helpful and pleasant at all times.
I would highly recommend it for a special occasion and will definately return.

  • Liked — Location, views, bedrooms, food, staff...........
  • Disliked — Would prefer a Spa but the product and treatments were lovely
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Rox09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alltech@elivefree.net
Level Contributor
193 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2008

Just back from a 2 night stay with my husband. The location is perfect. All bedrooms would appear to have views of the Sheen river/or falls. Our bedroom was very clean and very spacious. The bed (albeit two beds together) was the largest we've ever slept on. Bathroom was large and immaculate. There are lots of lovely reception rooms where one can have a drink in peace alternatively the small bar although intimate was buzzing when we were there. We sampled quite a few delicious cocktails and the barman was very pleasant. All staff are courteous and friendly as one would expect but there is no stiffness or aloofness as can often be the case in 5 star establishments. The Cascade restaurant for formal dining was lovely and the food was good. Breakfast was fantastic with an array of fruits, cereals, breads and pastires as well as a wide selection of cooked breakfasts to choose from - my husband at beautiful fresh fish on both mornings, I had an omlette and delicious pancakes. We also had afternoon tea on the day of departure which was exquisite. Well worth the trip and if we can afford it we will definitely return.

  • Liked — Quality of service, decor, location, breakfast and cleanliness
  • Disliked — Jacuzzi out of order, swimming pool small and all treatments booked up
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iseult
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheen Falls Lodge

Property: Sheen Falls Lodge
Address: Sheen Falls Estate | Old Kenmare, Kenmare, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Kerry > Kenmare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kenmare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sheen Falls Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lovingly Restored Country Lodge dating from 1765, overlooking Kenmare Bay & Sheen River Falls. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheen Falls Kenmare
Sheen Falls Hotel Kenmare

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