A former railway hotel that first opened in 1895, this 500-acre property on Kenmare Bay hosted Charles de Gaulle and Irish hero Eamon de Valera in its heyday. Those two would be surprised at Parknasilla Resort’s current iteration, which feels somewhat American, at least in a smattering of villas and lodges with open plans and oversize suburban-home-style furniture. The rooms in the main house are more traditionally Irish, with dark-wood beds, antique china and Waterford Crystal vases and lamps, and brocade-upholstered armchairs. They’re a bit old-fashioned, but there’s something comforting about that—as there is in the obliging staff, a group with the easy, effective air of seasoned experts. They’re particularly accommodating for families, and spacious villas make the hotel a good place for vacations with young kids or a bunch of cousins; there’s even a special spa menu for kids.
Willow trees surround the hotel and 12-hole golf course; the hotel’s name comes from the Irish phrase Pairc na Saileac, which means “field of willow trees.”