This past weekend I returned to the Kenmare Bay Hotel and this time brought along my family too. It didn’t take much persuasion to encourage them to come join me and right from the moment we arrived everyone had a ball.
A wise man once told me that the secret to a happy holiday is to keep your wife and kids happy and then you will be happy too. The Kenmare Bay prides itself on being a family friendly hotel and it does this job very well. Everyone was happy.
As soon as we checked in to our Holiday lodge I was immediately impressed. Having cycled a sportive that morning before literally jumping into the car on the way to Kenmare, I had a bag of cycling clothing in need of a good wash. My normal routine is to wash them in the shower when staying in hotels, but low and behold there was a washer dryer in the kitchen. Just as I was about to turn on a rinse cycle I opened the cupboard beneath the sink only to find a packet of washing machine detergent tablets. This was a real first and also illustrated just how much attention to detail is emphasised in the hotel.
Wash now on it was time to go check in the bikes. On my last visit I had made some suggestions as to the location and facilities required by cyclists when storing their pride and joy (the wives and girlfriends can look after themselves but a five grand bike can’t ).
I was delighted to see a superb cycle storage area had been created that is both safe and secure. It also contains a work-stand and track pump which seem to be getting some use already. I was also impressed to see a sign indicating that the local Kenmare Cycling Club actually meet right outside the bike storage area alongside the leisure centre.
The girls were all excited to head off for a spin on the bikes so we followed a route reccomended by Lisa from the hotel and turned left at the entrance and then left again after about 500 meters onto a deserted back road that eventually brought us back along part of the Kerry Way right back to the hotel car park. In total it is a 3k loop and is perfect for young kids. Our girls are 10 and almost 8 and loved it.
That evening a relaxed meal in the hotel bar satisfied hungry appetites after a long day.
The following morning I met some members of the local club who brought me off for a lap of The Ring of Beara. The scenery was absolutely stunning, the company was great and the coffee stop in Casteltownbere really hit the spot. I was gone for almost 4 hours but luckily the rest of my family were very happily entertained in the modern pool and leisure centre. The girls also enjoyed playing in the playground alongside the leisure centre. It was really a bonus to be able to get a good training spin done whilst the rest of the family were happily entertained rather than waiting impatiently for my return. A quick dip in the jaccuzzi also helped to revive my now weary legs.
That afternoon we headed out to the Bonane Heritage Park where a good hill walk loosened out the legs and the kids also really enjoyed doing a bit of exploring. This gave an appetite for some chocolate at the nearby Benoit Lorge Chocolatier shop, which was a former post office. This is a nice 25k loop out and back form the hotel and would be suitable for teenagers or leisure cyclists. Turning left just after the bridge on the way out of town and then right brings you parallel to the main road but on a much quieter back road with plenty to look at along the way.
That evening we again ate in the Bar and were then entertained by the very talented Robin who sang Christy Moore better than Christy himself at a perfect volume to be heard whilst allowing quiet conversations to continue. The girls really enjoyed watching and listening to him.
Next day we cycled the 500m along the Kerry Way path right into the heart of Kenmare. This is a really safe way to bring kids into town on their bikes. Kenmare itself has much of what nearby Killarney has to offer in terms of shops, cafes and restaurants so you really get the feeling of being on holidays whilst exploring the compact town.
Too soon our stay came to an end but upon leaving when I asked if they would like to return to the Kenmare Bay Hotel again, there was a resounding chorus of ‘yesses’ from both the back and front seats of the car.
More details on all that The Kenmare Bay Hotel has to offer can be found HERE