Trident Hospitality Hard to Beat. Surrender's Sweet.

Trident Hospitality Hard to Beat. 
Surrender's Soft and Sweet.

Always a warm welcome at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale. It is the stop for us when we visit the harbour town and not just because the hotel has one of the most spectacular locations in the country. That welcome, from manager Hal McElroy and his team, is so friendly, so helpful. Makes one inclined to come again. A really lovely place to stay, good rooms, good food, and just about four minutes from the very heart of the town.

And of course I’m not downplaying the scenic location. Always love the view when I walk into a room here. The hotel consists of two wings at right angles to the main block and has been designed so that each room has a view of the water, some towards the town and port, some straight out across the bay and some over the fishing harbour and James Fort. Besides, the hotel is just a few minutes walk from the lively town centre with its restaurants (including the Michelin starred Bastion), boutiques, bars, and bookshops. It is the gateway to West Cork and also the first (or last) stop on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Lots to visit here, most notably Charlesfort. But don’t forget the wine museum in the smaller Desmond Castle. One of the new attractions is the Old Head Signal Tower and Lusitania Museum, a community effort alongside the famous Old Head. Good stories here and also splendid views over the ocean and the land, especially over the Old Head itself.

Usually, Hal and company arrange a bit of sun, but this time the December evening was uncompromising though at least it stayed dry on our short walk to and from the fabulous Finns Table for dinner. On check-in we were happy to hear we had been upgraded. Needless to say we enjoyed our stay in the Ringrone Suite with its extra space and facilities (including your own Nespresso machine). No problem catching up on the internet with a faultless Wi-Fi connection.
The Trident's Foredeck Bar for fair-weather sailors and sippers

Supporting local
The smallest rooms (and they are not really small at all) are the Superior. These have just a shower but no bath. But  they share much the same outstanding decor as the others, the colours of the fabrics and the walls, all calm and soothing. While walking along the corridors, I am always struck by the restful colour combination, mainly white and grey on the walls, blue and grey in the carpet, and a little extra colour in the curtains. All very peaceful throughout.

In all there are 75 refurbished bedrooms including an executive wing comprising 30 rooms and a penthouse floor of 9 luxury suites, all with breathtaking views. The hotel has a private marina, onsite parking and a wide range of state of the art facilities for conferences and is an unforgettable venue for family occasions.

How about a pre-dinner drink? Just stroll down to the Wharf Bar and take your pick. It is here that most of the daily dining, including dinner, takes place. There is excellent service here too by the way. The bar has a nautical feel – designed by local yacht designer, Rob Jacob, to resemble elements of an old sailing ship; it is complete with portholes, decking, vaulted panel & beam ceiling and rope-wound galleon masts. It is a friendly informal place and as well as eating and drinking, you’ll have the chance to watch golf or football in one or two corners.
Nearby Sandycove

Evening view from the restaurant
We have enjoyed a few dinners in the main restaurant, Pier 1, where you’ll see boats and even a ship or two just outside. Don’t forget to study the collection of Knuttle on the walls. It is also where’ll you’ll take breakfast. They lay on quite a spread here, with real cheese (Gubbeen, Carrigaline for example) and ham included. Loads of fruit too, plus breads and cereals. And a choice of hot dishes of course, including the full Irish (and any variation you wish) and a fish option. I choose the pancakes on this occasion and certainly enjoyed them while CL tucked into her Eggs Benedict (eggs and bacon from local producers).

And if the manager has missed you when checking in, you’ll almost certainly see him at Pier One for breakfast. Here he moves around and chats to everyone and anyone, wondering how they got on the day before, their plans for the day ahead, and if he can help! You don’t see that level of service in too many places!