As Unique as Ireland Itself
For such a small, unassuming town, lovely Kenmare offers a very high standard of accommodations and eateries. One resort hotel that helped establish Kenmare’s reputation is the graciously staffed Sheen Falls Lodge, cocooned within semitropical gardens and woodland walks beneath giant pine trees.
Its breathtaking setting, at the head of Kenmare Bay, between the River Sheen and its cascading waterfalls, can be enjoyed from most of the spacious, beautifully appointed rooms— yet guests still spend most of their time out in nature’s midst. The Gulf Stream warms the bay, accounting for the temperate climate and the profusion of ferns, palm trees, camellias, and fuchsia—is this Ireland? It’s the kind of weather that encourages guests to take up the myriad amenities offered by the lodge, including a 15-mile stretch of private salmon fishing on the River Sheen.
For those who venture beyond the lodge’s 300 acres there are six championship golf courses within a 50-mile radius (including Waterville, regularly listed as one of Ireland’s top five), or the lazy appeal of a motoring meander along the famously beautiful Beara Peninsula and Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.
But the day’s climax is back at the lodge, seated at its wide-windowed La Cascade Restaurant overlooking the floodlit falls. The well-known chef Chris Farrell oversees the all-Irish cuisine that has been repeatedly recognized for its use of ingredients from the immediate area. The end result is always exceptional, much like everything else at the Sheen Falls Lodge.