The Ban Cheile* and I were really looking forward to our three-day stay on  Valentia Island (Kerry, Ireland). We jokingly decided we’d go to South West Cork to see if we can follow the Force as it were.  All true Star Wars fans know by now that the amazing scene at the end of The Force Awakens, where Luke Skywalker makes his big entrance, was shot on a tiny monastic island off the Kerry coast called Skellig Michael. We decided it was time for us to return to the area to see what the influence of the Force might have had on the place and to treat ourselves to a chill-out long weekend in the process.

We arrived early the previous day to our hotel, The Royal Valentia Hotel. We’d stayed there some years earlier when it was little more than a hostel and were looking forward to seeing the new improved version. A lot of renovation work had been carried out in the rooms and we were pleased to see that none of the building work had taken away from the charm of the place.

Our spacious room with a harbour view was a welcome sight after a five-hour drive from Dublin. The four poster bed, jacuzzi bath and bay window, with stunning sea views, went a long way towards easing us into our little adventure. Although the window from the shower looking into the bedroom was a little too quirky!

A couple of pints of Guinness led us to a look at the menu and to be honest we were a little deflated. The excellent seafood everyone talked about on Trip Advisor turned into a bog standard pan seared salmon and mash with garden veg and scampi and chips!  The food was tasty if unimaginative and the deep fried Brie starter didn’t succeed in raising the bar any.

Meal over the comfy bed beckoned and once the very helpful staff managed to turn up the heating in our room, we called it a day and got some beauty sleep before our tour of the island kicked off early the next day.

We had a magnificent stay on Valentia and the unseasonably fine weather stayed with us for the whole trip. You can read about our 3-day adventure here.

The Royal Valentia Hotel was one of the highlights of our stay. The room was perfect with probably the most comfortable hotel bed either of us had ever experienced. The olde worlde charm of the hotel added to the overall feel of relaxed enjoyment we had hoped for and the staff were absolutely lovely, efficient and friendly.

The breakfast menu featured all of the usual suspects and the Full Irish breakfast certainly was full.

The only downside was the limited menu, more like a pub grub offering than a hotel evening menu. The joint was bacon and cabbage every evening and only the soup and pasta dishes changed while we were there. The staple fare of salmon, scampi, pasta, and steak wasn’t changed for the whole stay and that was a little disappointing, especially since seafood would have been an expected feature given the location. However, the food itself was well prepared and plentiful and didn’t disappoint when it came to taste.

I’d happily recommend a stay at this hotel for the atmosphere, friendly staff, comfortable bed and amazing scenery.

7/10 points.


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