Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Randles, a fixture on Muckross Road since 1906, always changing for the better

Randles, a fixture in Killarney since 1906, always changing for the better

View across the lake from Ross Castle

The Randles Court Hotel, best known as Randles, on Killarney’s Muckross Road, seems to have been there forever. But the secret to success here is to never stand still and that policy has benefitted the family since they first welcomed guests back in 1906.  Behind the scenes is where it all happens, an ongoing velvet revolution, their offering constantly improving, nowadays under proprietor Tom Randles.

Just a few examples for you, most of them in recent months. They had a big celebration in Croke Park, not unusual for Kerry teams, where Randles Hotel won the AIBF Solar Evolution Business All-Star Renewable Project of the Year. The sustainability journey is a team effort and Tom was delighted to accept the award.

Randles Hotel. Wigg Bar & Conservatory (Pic: Randles)

“Over the last 18 months, we have made great strides in our entire sustainability plan, which was no easy task when you have a property dating back over 116 years, but we love a challenge at Randles… Our journey to retrofitting our property began with moving away from fossil fuels as our primary heat source by utilising renewable air-to-water heat pumps for space heating, domestic hot water generation & Leisure Centre pool water, ventilation and domestic hot water application.”

And more celebrations for the hotel when they were awarded the TripAdvisor 2023 Travelers’ Choice award winner. “The coveted award celebrates businesses that have consistently received great guest reviews on TripAdvisor over the last 12 months, placing us among the 10% of all listings on TripAdvisor globally.”

Muckross gardens

Did you know you can bring your dog to Randles? This has been going on for quite a while. They just love rolling out the red carpet for their four-legged friends. “We ensure our guests with pups enjoy a pawsitive experience with us. Our canine guests can choose an overnight stay with their owners. Killarney National Park is accessible from our doorstep offering lots of trails and walkways for you and your dog to explore.”

And the exercise is not just for dogs. Did you spot those bikes on the way in? “Those new Raleigh bikes are ready to help you celebrate and explore Killarney National Park from our doorstep and travel the many wonderful cycle pathways on offer.”

Pizza at Wiggs

And at the start of June, Tom announced the opening of the Randles Townhouse on Twitter: “The little sister of @randles_hotel, a 350 metre stroll away- Adults only - super comfy King beds - quiet space - 50” Smart TV -  Ultrafast Wifi -all the facilities of The Hotel - better prices. Book on 064-6635333.”

No standing still in the kitchen either. They have Bird Cages - choose from Charcuterie, Hotcuterie or Seacuterie - each as delicious as the other.

Welcome to the new Randles Townhouse

And they support local here in the ultra-comfortable Wiggs Bar and Conservatory, part of the original building dating back to 1906. 

“One such local independent supplier that Head Chef Michael works with is the family-run @tcroninbutchers, a traditional butcher serving the people of Killarney for 5 generations with the best of local beef, lamb, pork, bacon & poultry. We are delighted to be working with the gang at Cronin’s, ensuring the best quality meats.”

“Like ourselves, the Lynch family have been in business for generations and Chef Michael uses their Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella on their Pizzas, ensuring premium quality food always at Randles.”

Excellent nibbles: olives and  pesto

Indeed, I enjoyed one of their pizzas here along with a cool pint of the Killarney Blonde while CL tucked into the Sweet chicken grilled breast (Glazed brie, roast red pepper, marinated tomatoes, rocket, basil pesto) in a ciabatta. Quite a Wine List here also and a glass or two of L'Herbe Sainte Merlot from the Languedoc was enjoyed!

The breakfast menu is one of the very best, certainly the best we’ve had in a while. And it is served in The Court, a spectacular room by any standard. Some great choices on the menu include Cinnamon dusted French toast and locally smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and of course the Full Irish. Our pick was the Freshly made Crépes Normande filled with apple puree, served with maple syrup. By coincidence, I had the very same dish during a stay in 2014! Our server on this latest visit suggested adding a couple of rashers and I didn’t say no. Top class.

Ross Castle

Randles has long been a relaxing and friendly stop on the Ring of Kerry. It is very well situated, even for golfers with a whole series of top-notch courses close at hand, including Killarney, Beaufort, Tralee, Ring of Kerry, Dooks, Ballybunion, and Waterville.

Then in the park and in general, there’s Walking, Hiking, Climbing, Biking & Horseriding – make your own way or join one of the many guided experiences. But not all of us will want to be that active during a break. 

Deenagh Lodge for a cuppa (and more), all day long, at Killarney town entrance to National Park

And here the hotel is very well placed indeed for more leisurely sightseeing with the National Park (including Torc Waterfall) and the racecourse both easily reached by car while both Muckross House and Killarney House are each a few minutes walk away.

And even more relaxing possibilities in the hotel itself where leisure facilities include spa treatments. Here guests can unwind with an extensive range of holistic, non-clinical treatments and massages available.  The Leisure Club offers you the chance to enjoy an invigorating dip in the 20m indoor pool or relax in the steam room or sauna.

The pool at Randles

If you just want to warm your toes on a cold day or read your favourite newspaper, then check out the Drawing Room. Sink into the comfortable sofa while the fire blazes away. Or enjoy the views of the Kerry mountains while just soaking up the atmosphere of this room filled with antiques and comfortable sofas, harking back to the days when the original house was a rather splendid family home.

Our own bedroom was rather splendid also, with an excellent view out towards those mountains. It was perfect and that luxury bed meant a great night’s sleep, just in case they provide a sleep spray for your pillow! With WIFI available throughout the hotel, you can catch up with family and friends through social media and email. Widescreen TV, tea-making plus Espresso machine, bathrobes, toiletries, everything you’d need.

People enjoy the view from the Kerry Cliffs.

Not at all surprised that Randles are regular award winners. The hotel and its facilities are excellent and the standard all through including the decor and furnishings is superb.

* Car parking is not a problem here. There is limited room at the level of the hotel and the includes set-down. But there is a spacious underground car park as you drive in from the road. Lighting is automatic and excellent and a short set of steps takes you up to that lovely terrace and the entrance doors. And you may ring if you need help with luggage.

** Also on this trip. Visiting Dinis Cottage. Take a Walk. Take a Bike. Take a Hike.

*** Recent trip:

The Lobster Waterville

Skellig Experience Centre - The Monks Dinner

McGill Brewery, Waterville

Royal Hotel, Knightstown

A Right Royal Progress Through The Kingdom

Recent Kerry posts

Killarney's lovely Victoria Hotel

Dinner at The Ivy in Killarney

Dining at The Harrow Killarney

Excellent Lunch at Brehon Hotel

Seeing Red at the lovely Sneem Hotel

Lunch at Killarney Brewery & Distillery in Fossa.

Dingle Drive, Slea Head and more 

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