- Excellent Seaside Resort Hotel
- Superb food, exceptional wine and great themed breaks - check out the New Summer Menu at La Marine!
- Very friendly staff and family-run (5 generations!)
We love the idea of a “staycation”, especially when we have good summer weather, and for Irish people the idea of a seaside location with great food, pampering and lots of activities, is just too good to resist. Added to that is the avoidance of airports – which get more stressful by the season – no language problems and guaranteed friendly and luxurious ambiance. The only question is where to go?
Well the seaside town of Rosslare is nestled in the sunny south-east of Ireland and has been a favourite holiday destination among Irish people for years. And indeed Kelly’s Resort Hotel is something of an institution at this stage, consistently proving a hit with each new generation. Perhaps the secret of their success is in keeping up with the trends and most importantly, in keeping their guests happy. I have been before and spent a couple of days there again recently and was more impressed than ever with this delightful hotel.
Here are 118 bedrooms and suites, and this time I stayed in one of the new SeaSpa rooms situated just above the Spa and looking out on to the beach. I awoke to the sound of the sea and looked out at rolling waves and palm trees. Could this be Ireland? I was totally captivated! The room had a private little balcony with two chairs, and inside a desk area, comfortable sitting area, very luxurious contemporary furnishings and a super bathroom with separate bath and shower. It was the glass fronted sea-facing aspect with beautifully landscaped grounds that I particularly loved looking out at as I enjoyed a pot of coffee and the weekend newspapers.
THE STAFF AT KELLY’S
It is very unusual to meet so many exceptionally friendly staff in any one hotel. The secret here seems to be that it is rather like one big family, with some staff clocking up over forty years of service and many others in excess of thirty!
The present owner Bill Kelly is the fourth generation Kelly to run the hotel, his daughter Laura joined this year, and his family have been to the forefront of the Irish hospitality industry since 1895. He has overseen a range of developments in the last number of years including the creation of the spa and the modernisation of all the bedrooms. Bill has a keen interest in wine and they have their own range of imported wines. We learnt that Bill’s wife Isabelle Avril is the daughter of leading French wine-maker Paul Avril, from Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Food is very much part of the experience for guests at Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa as most opt for full board and several day packages. Accordingly there are full lunch and dinner menus which change daily and offer a whole array of choice.
The restaurant is well appointed and service is excellent. We enjoyed Scallops and a Crab Tartlet followed by Duck and Monkfish. We went on to sample the cheese board – which is a trolley of fresh farmhouse cheeses delivered to the table to make your choice. There are dishes to suit every taste, portions are generous and the food is of the highest standard. Plenty of attention to detail here.
The last time I visited, I decided to try the La Marine bistro style restaurant, instead of the Beaches for a change. Very popular with local 'foodie' folk living around Rosslare, and of course the many people who have holiday homes in this seaside town. It is bright and cheerful, great menu choices, excellent value and of course fabulous wine choices. I am constantly amazed at the exceptional value and quality wine choices at Kelly's and great wines by the glass mean none of those dreaded quarter bottles! There is an Early Bird menu - 2 courses €20, 3 courses €25, with a choice from five dishes in each course. The A La Carte also has a few specials for each night, and so being a fresh fish lover, I opted for the Special of the night which was a really generous moist and flavourful piece of ho spendHalibut served on a bed of Cannellini Beans, Chorizo, onions and peppers. I started with a delicious goat's cheese stuffed sweet chilli pepper. Both dishes were very generously portioned - and enjoyed with a beautifully balanced Chardonnay. Perfect!
KELLY’S WINE COLLECTION
The hotel’s cellers provide many wines which are difficult to find elsewhere. Most of the wines in the collection are directly imported from top French wine producing regions – Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Alsace and Langeudoc. The producers have all been visited by the Kelly family and their hotel team and there is a great passion for the wines at this hotel that mark it out from any other Irish hotel I have visited.
Of course there are wines from The New World also, including New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, but there is a definite Old World preference here.
What is remarkable, and certainly worth a mention, is that Kelly’s offer top quality wines at exceptionally good prices for their hotel guests, making this hotel a wine-lovers dream destination.
SEASPA AT KELLY’S
While the Aqua Club Leisure Centre is popular with children and adults alike, it is the deluxe Spa known as SEASPA opened in 2004 which marks the hotel out as a world-class holistic destination. The Seawater Vitality Pool is outstanding, and with Seaweed Baths and Rainforest Showers, Mud Rooms, Yoga Area and a Bio Sauna together with 9 treatment rooms, this is a serious stand-alone spa facility. My sister and I, who had not met for months living as we do in different sides of the country, spent a thoroughly enjoyable morning in SEASPA enjoying the Thermal Suite before a heavenly Stress Buster treatment which rid of us of any residual winter stress. We spent an hour after that relaxing and catching up in the Relaxation Room – a total cocoon of peace and harmony.
What many of the regular guests at Kelly’s enjoy, as well as the wonderful food, wine and music and dancing every night, is the themed breaks that are held from February through to May and again at the end of the high season. These breaks include Wine Appreciation & Tastings; Cookery Demonstrations; Ballroom Dancing; Painting Workshops; Golf Clinics; Bridge Workshops; Style & Fashion Tutorials; Home & Garden Clinics; Art Classes and Gardening Workshops. Contact the hotel directly to see what is on to make your holiday complete.
It is much more than a hotel, Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa is a wonderful experience.