For us, a trip to Parknasilla is a staycation and somewhere we truly love. So this blog is about sharing the love! Since our two little ones were babies this has been a favourite of ours.
Without a doubt this area is one of Ireland's most picturesque. We have been here as a couple, In my 9th month of pregnancy (felt cheated not getting in to outdoor hot tubs) and with our two kids.
The hotel itself has enough grounds to keep you going for days. you will find fairy trails, forest paths, bridges, beaches, tennis courts and golf all within the resort. That combined with the spa, health centre, pool, playroom/kids club, bars and restaurant means you can take a few days total relaxation where you can even drink and not have to drive! (a lovely treat for parents with young children). From Dublin it’s a 4.5 hour drive to reach this idyllic haven in the first place so put away the car keys for a day or two and explore your new surroundings.
You have three choices at Parknasilla, all of which are within the hotel grounds.
Firstly you can chose to stay in the hotel itself. Rooms are lovely and there is a very special and homely feeling to the hotel. I love the library room for a little alone time! You can see room types and pics on the hotel website (www.parknasillaresort.com)
The courtyard contains two bed houses and are about 4 min walk to the main building. We tend to stay in the Villas. These are three bedroom houses and one of the highest standard of holiday houses in Ireland. We have stayed in similar set ups in Mulranny in Mayo, in Fota in Cork, in Mount wolseley in Carlow so get in touch if you would like info on those.
The houses have a real hotel feel with marble bathrooms, heated ensuite floors and large flat screen tvs. They have one bedroom downstairs and two upstairs and all are large and spacious (plenty of room for a cot in all of the bedrooms). There is an ensuite double upstairs and a main bathroom as well as a toilet down stairs. The Villas can be booked through Dream Ireland www.dreamireland.com. Contact me with any specific questions.
KIDS KIDS KIDS KIDS!!
As my focus is kids travel, I'm going to dive right in and show you why we love this place for our kids. Indoors and outdoors there are endless opportunities to have fun and grounds for children to run free and maybe even give you some space...🤞
There is a lovely outdoor seating area with the perfect area for children to play next to it (on fake lawn). While you sip coffee or something stronger they can play away close by.
My kids absolutely love the beach (whatever the weather). The feeling of the sand and stones, running in and out of the water, searching through rock pools for crabs and coral...messy play that just doesn't happen during the week at home or in creche! They often put on their crocs or wellies and head in to splash in what must seem like the best puddle of all! Move over Peppa 🐽
Hours of fun and free play all within the grounds. There are benches dotted around the walkways so you can sit back and watch them do their thing! Don't forget your buckets and spades! Try to turn off your "listening ears" for a bit and they might entertain themselves for longer than usual... 🤞
The grounds here are so extensive, no amount of photos will do it justice. There are points from which you will see seals on rocks not too far away. There is a golf course and multiple signed walking trails. There are boats that can be taken out with a guide from the hotel jetty.
Another essential for toddlers. Here you will find swings, slide, zip wire, see saw, play house etc.
And don't ignore the resident Owl!
Irish Weather... (Indoor play)
We all know you can't guarantee the weather here. We got married on a Saturday in August and it rained! You just have to make the most of it when it's good and there is nowhere more beautiful when the sun shines...just don't count on it!
There is a lovely play room here and in the school holidays, a supervised kids club.
We always stay in hotels with Swimming pools. Having taught baby and toddler swimming my two have been swimming literally since birth. It is the perfect activity for a rainy day, their development and to drain their energy so they can snuggle up beside me at one of the beautiful open fires in the bar afterwards while I sample a beverage or three. The pool and spa area at Parknasilla are beautiful. Floor to ceiling glass ensures stunning views and the outdoor hot tubs, heated loungers, salt room, sauna, steam rooms, rain showers etc. are something you can take turns enjoying while one of you minds the kids in the main pool. My absolute favourite is the outdoor hot tub. Views are breathtaking.
Once everyone is tired after an evening swim, it's time to focus on the bellies and this is such a lovely family time. You can of course prepare your own meals if you are in the courtyard or villas but we like to find a cosy spot in the bar and head there straight from the pool.
Dingle Gin is the house brand here and is a lovely blend... not that I had many...
If you do decide to take a holiday in Parknasilla or the general Sneem/Kenmare region then check out my blog "out and about with kids in the Kingdom"