Thursday 14 December 2017

Falling for five star luxury at the Sheen Falls

The scenery is second-to-none at the Sheen Falls, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
The scenery is second-to-none at the Sheen Falls, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
The main pool at the Sheen Falls.
The bedrooms are spacious light and airy.

Nessa Hurley

The picturesque Sheen Falls Lodge is set among 300 acres of beautiful woodlands and cascading waterfalls in Kenmare, Co Kerry.

I arrived on a Friday afternoon with my mom to enjoy the new Mums & Daughters package.

The porter looked aghast that we had carried our small wheelie weekend bags ourselves from the car park, and immediately relieved us of them. It set the tone for a weekend of luxury where everything was catered for, with nothing too much trouble for the efficient and friendly staff.

The hotel directory in our room revealed all kinds of services, including that an advance phone call to reception can have your car delivered outside the front door from the car park (which was 100 meters away). I imagined only the really posh used to this kind of luxury availed of this.

We were in heaven in our enormous deluxe twin room which had spectacular views of the cascading waterfalls and surrounding woodlands. We also had a balcony and a spacious bathroom with twins sinks, shower and a huge Jacuzzi bath (which was out of order but given there is a Jacuzzi in the Spa is hardly a disappointment).

It’s the thoughtful little extras that come with five star living that make it all the more special: the welcome chocolates; a hideaway iron and ironing board in the wardrobe; a shoe cleaning service; someone to turn the beds down and close the curtains in the evenings; and of course the infamous fluffy bathrobes and slippers!

We headed for breakfast before taking a scenic drive to Waterville, on Saturday morning. My mother opted for the fish of the day, which was plaice and, I’m told, very tasty. I opted for scrambled eggs and tomatoes. We both also had fresh squeezed juice and fruit salads from the buffet, along with copious amounts of coffee and buttery toast.

On our return, I headed to the Spa while my mother headed for her make-up appointment. The pool was quiet and at one stage I even had it all to myself. I followed my swim with few minutes in each of the Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

Refreshed, it was now my turn for a make-up appointment. The session began with a consultation, followed with a relaxing lie down while I had my face cleansed and moisturized.

I asked for 60’s style make-up with liquid liner. Concealer, powder, bronzer and blusher were all carefully and expertly applied, followed by eye shadow. At this point I was asked to review the progress so far to see if it was to my liking, and it was. The liquid liner and mascara were then applied, followed with a neutral coloured lipstick. The finished result was exactly what I asked for. It was bolder than I would have dared to apply myself and took a bit of getting used to, but after a while I was loving it. My mother was delighted with her make-up too, which looked natural and glowing.

We donned our glad rags and headed for the award winning La Cascade restaurant for dinner. Dining out is usually a one option affair for me, as a vegetarian, and when a review of the menu revealed zero options I imagined a half-hearted vegetable stir fry coming my way. It was with relief, amazement and joy that I was informed, on enquiring, that there was a vegetarian menu – an entire menu! It contained two starters and three mains, which were also available as starters.

I had the deep fried goat’s cheese for starters, followed by mushroom and spiced pumpkin risotto for main course, and both were delicious. My mother opted for the chicken consommé followed by the venison with fig sauce, which she enjoyed thoroughly, especially the fig sauce.

The restaurant has an impressive 1000 wines on offer from over 50 regions with daily tours of the cellar at 6pm. I had the Pinot Noir which the sommelier advised would not overpower the risotto, while my mother who likes white, relatively sweet wine had the Chardonnay.

The next morning I rang to have our bags brought down after another relaxing breakfast. This time I had the French toast which was almost too pretty to eat surrounded by fresh seasonal berries, while my mom had the full Irish Breakfast. When the porter arrived I found myself handing him my keys when asked if I’d like the car brought around – I’d become one of them, even if it was just for a weekend.

The new Sheen Falls Mums & Daughters – Time to Cherish package is available now until Dec 23rd 2010. The package includes two night's accommodation with Irish breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening in La Cascade restaurant. It includes a make-up application each as well as complimentary use of The Health Club. Retail therapy is also included with a €50.00 voucher per person to spend in the exclusive interiors store The White Room or in fashion boutiques Bijou or Simplicity, all located in Kenmare. It costs €345 per person sharing a deluxe room.

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