Showing posts with label Dromhall Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dromhall Hotel. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Randles Hotels Celebrate 50 Years

Ross Castle on the lakes, quite close to Randles Court and Dromhall hotels.
Randles Hotels Celebrate 50 Years
First she said she was six. A little later, Kay Randles admitted to maybe being sixteen when she and husband Neil started in the hotel business in 1964.  That was the year they purchased a bungalow across the road from their thriving garage business in Killarney and opened an 18 bedroom hotel on the site.

Sadly Neil died in 1987 and Kay was left to carry on managing the Dromhall and the other family businesses as well as rearing their six children, three of them at that stage involved in the family business. No stopping Kay and in 1992, The Rectory next door was purchased and another hotel built, this the Randles Court, a 4 star hotel.

The family decided to knock down the Dromhall in 1999 and in June of the following year, it was reopened as the brand new 72 bedroom, conference and banqueting hotel, that it is today, along with the well known Kayne’s Bar and Bistro which is attached to the hotel.
View from the terrace of Randles Court

So in 2014, the four star Dromhall celebrates 50 years in business and that means fifty years in her own hotel business for Kay who still continues to play a major role in its management. The young lady from Kilworth has come a long way from her days working up the ranks in the Victoria Hotel in Cork City. Her teenage dream of having her own guesthouse has been spectacularly surpassed. It was great to have a brief chat with her on a recent visit, even if we didn't get anywhere, not that I was pushing, about her true age back in 1964.

Daughter Susan is the Sales and Marketing Director at Randles Hotels and she is expecting a busy season. We met in the stylish and comfortable drawing room of Randles Court and indeed that style is present throughout the hotel, much of it thanks to Kay.

Susan says that not all diners now require a sit down three or four course meal and so the Randles menu has been adjusted, is more flexible. You can of course still get your big meals but, between the bar menu and the restaurant menu (and that Checkers Restaurant is another striking room), you can have small meals and in-between ones (light bites from seven euro) as well.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Kay Randles start
the celebrations earlier in May.

Everything from Marinated Olives for two euro to a steak. The steaks, served with a Knockanore Smoked Cheese, Onion and Mushroom Tart, Garlic and Rosemary infused Tomato and Pommery Mustard Cream, are supplied by Cronin’s and are as popular as ever.

Late in the evening, we enjoyed some banter and a lovely glass of Rioja in Wiggs Bar and The Conservatory. Wiggs Killarney Bar brings you back in time as it is part of the original building dating back to 1906. Even the stained glass feature has been maintained. Indeed, the original facade of the Rectory has also been maintained and fronts the hotel's reception area.

Our room in Randles Court, by the way, had everything we needed, including WI-FI and views of the mountains, but we also enjoyed some very comfortable furniture and there was no shortage of paintings on the walls. Indeed, you’ll see lots of paintings and sculptures and occasional furniture throughout the hotel, in the rooms and along the corridors. Kay has been collecting for a long time!

The facade of the old rectory was maintained.

And the same high standard is seen in the breakfast room. Terrific service and quite a menu here as well, including the ever popular Full Irish! And they do list their suppliers. On the day, I picked the freshly made Crèpes Normande with Apple Purée. A slightly different start to yet another lovely day in Killarney.

The adjacent Dromhall is another four star hotel and you may check out its many facilities here. We didn’t get to visit this time but we did eat there about a year ago and it was a very enjoyable meal indeed as you can see in this post. And you’ll find a previous review of Randles Court here.

Jarveys pick up passengers in hotel car park

Both hotels are within minutes of Killarney town centre and are ideally situated as a base for the nearby National Park and also the spectacular Ring of Kerry. Killarney is one of my favourite towns as there is so much do in the immediate area and even more in the general County Kerry area. Either of the Randles hotels would make a terrific base if you are following the newly established Wild Atlantic Way.

Other posts on this trip:
The new Heather Restaurant. Eat in style at the Gap of Dunloe.
Twenty Four Hours in Killarney. New bus services.

If you do get to Kerry you may not want to leave. I have details of things to do and see available in my Corkman on Tour blog. See the Kerry portfolio here.

Crèpes Normande for breakfast.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Killarney with Lake Hotel in foreground


The Killarney Royal Hotel was the base for a recent three night stay in the Kingdom. Centrally situated, this old four star is very comfortable with a fine bar and restaurant. The room was well furnished and very spacious and the staff were friendly all through. It doesn't have a car park but there are at least four close by including one on the Lewis Road where it will cost you just €3.00 for a 24 hour stay.

We had a couple of meals included in the deal and our first evening meal was in the bar/bistro of the Royal. Enjoyed my starter of Kerry Coast Fish Croquettes with leaves. The main course was excellent: Braised Lamb Shank served on a celeriac Mash with a rich onion and Port Wine Sauce. The choice of desserts was fairly standard. I was tempted by the Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble, augmented by some fresh fruit and cream, and it proved a fine finish to the substantial meal.

Wine was a 2009 14.5% Kleine Zalze Pinotage that cost €27.00. A smashing fruity red that went very well indeed with the main course. The following evening, we enjoyed another wine from the Kleine Zalze stable, this an excellent Chenin Blanc at €25.00.
Killarney Lake

The full restaurant was open for this meal on a busy St Patrick's Day and I started with the Deep Fried Crispy Duck Confit Spring Rolls with a seasonal salad and a sweet chilli sauce. Good light starter.

Main course was top class and somewhat lighter than the evening before, as you'd expect: Fennel Seed Seared Salmon on med style ratatouille with a basil pesto and seasonal vegetables.

The dessert, while pleasant enough, didn't really live up to the name: Orange and Cointreau Parfait with Strawberries and a strawberry coulis. Not too much sign of either orange or Cointreau.

Just to say, the seasonal veg served here were really good and that also proved to be the case when we met some friends for a meal out on the following evening. Chapter 40 was closed, due to re-open in April I think; we had been to Treyvaud’s and Gaby’s previously; we had suggestions for Bricín and the Stone Chat but neither could fit in four at the required time.
Path up Torc mountain

Weir Bridge nr Dinis Cottage
On our friends’ recommendations, we booked the Kayne’s Bistro in the Dromhall Hotel where we had enjoyed a light light lunch on one of the days and had spotted a Bridgestone sign on the door. I very much enjoyed my Sea Bass here served on potato mash and with stir fry vegetables.

Again dessert choice was fairly standard but I was happy enough with my apple tart and custard.

The wine was a Paula Sauvignon Blanc from Argentina (priced in the low 20s). Had I tasted blind, I’d have thought I was drinking a New Zealand SB. An excellent drink and good value as well.

We had the usual big choice for breakfast in the hotel and that usually set us up well for the day. But there was always time for a coffee and or a pastry. One of the places to do that in Killarney is the Lir Cafe. This busy little spot is best known for its hot chocolate which is poured in over a few mini-marshmallows. Very popular indeed. 

And no bad place either to pick up some tempting edible gifts as Lir sells a range of chocolates including their own creations.
To check out what we did and saw, click here