So you flew into Kerry, is it true what they say about it being the world’s smallest airport?
This story may be apocryphal but it gives you an idea of the sort of place you are coming to. It was about 20 minutes from the Malton and, yes, it was about the size of a rural railway station.
What’s the vibe like; are they a friendly and accommodating bunch in this region?
You could say that! On arrival at the iconic Victorian-built hotel, the sound of singing fills the rather grand marbled lobby. An impromptu sing-along has started around the grand piano…’Oh Danny Boy the pipes the pipes etc etc’. The place is full of smiling happy people. Honestly, I’m not sure I have ever seen a hotel so alive.
Besides the singing and bonhomie, what did you get up to at the hotel?
We sat down for some good old-fashioned tea and cake. But forget delicate cream cakes and freshly baked scones, we were given a hearty slice of homemade sweet bread, made with Guinness and dark syrup. It would have sent Mary Berry into raptures.
Ok, so home-baked fancies ticked, what about a bit of luxury, was there a spa?
Oh yes, a trip to the spa and pool is a must (bring a swimming hat – crazy, eh?). Relax and unwind in the warm water pool, the jacuzzi is bubbly and the steam room and sauna are dreamy. What’s not to like?
Did you get up to any outdoor activities?
The countryside there is as beautiful and verdant as any you are ever likely to see. At the hotel there are 6 acres of beautiful private gardens to explore. There are ruined castles, overflowing rivers, wild deer, lakes and rowing boats. There is a time and place for sun loungers, but due to the rain, this wasn’t one of those times.
What was your room like?
The bedrooms are large and luxurious. We had a fabulous four-poster bed, with heavy draped curtains. It was so welcoming, extremely comfortable and all round very romantic.
You must have been hungry by this point, what was dinner like?
The hotel restaurant is smart but far from intimidating. We dined in garden room restaurant, which is one of the two resturants that the hotel has to offer. The service was attentive and jovial. We went for the signature fish dish, which was beautifully cooked and went perfectly with a glass (oh, ok, a bottle) of Abadia de San Campio Albarino 2014.
Ok, be honest, did you go on one of those funny horse drawn carts filled with tourists?
They are called jaunting cars and, yes, we did… why not? This is a place to leave pretention behind. A little home-spun wisdom from a local, as we careered across the countryside, was actually the perfect end to a brilliant stay.
Visit The Malton. Rooms from £130 (based on average rates for a standard room) Email: email@example.com, Phone: +353 64 6638000 International or (064) 6638000 Local, Post: The Malton, East Avenue Road, Killarney, Co.Kerry, V93 R866, Ireland.