We are The Killarney Park
In the old stories, there is magic in a name
Legends say that a name holds the power and essence of a thing in its syllables. Our name may be simple, but there is real magic in those three words. They sum up everything we care about most.
Killarney. Our parents were born here, we grew up here and now we are raising our families here. We have spent our lives rooted in this community, immersed in its heritage and history. We know this wonderful town like the back of our hands, and our greatest joy is to share its secrets and splendours with you. A little bit of local knowledge goes a long way when you are in the business of making memories.
Park. The magnificent natural wonder on our doorstep, Killarney National Park. Its immense beauty and precious ecological significance are the backdrop of every choice we make for the hotel. We share a strong sense of responsibility to cherish and protect it for future generations, which drives us to strive towards sustainability in everything we do.
Hotel. The warm heart of hospitality. Five-star luxury requires an eye for beauty and an ear to the ground. It requires genuine, constant care, down to the smallest detail. We know that hospitality is an artform. A craft. It is the work of our lives, and a labour of love passed down through the generations. Because we are family-owned and independent, we have the privilege of getting to know our guests individually, and the freedom to offer you a fully personalised experience. That’s a luxury we never take for granted.
Three words. Three inspirations. Together, they are more than a name. They are the heart of The Killarney Park Hotel, and we put that heart into everything we do. You will see it in the gracious rooms designed to envelop you in warmth, with everything you could ever need or want at your fingertips. You will taste it in the exquisite local ingredients our chefs select and prepare for you each day. You will feel it in the thoughtful, intimate service that anticipates without imposing: the ingenuity and wit of the concierge, who has been known to work a miracle or two; the peaceful ambiance and gentle care that surrounds you in The Spa; and most of all, in the heartfelt smiles that greet you at every turn.
A family history of hospitality
Our story begins all the way back in the 1930s, in a very different Ireland than the one we know today. An excited fourteen-year-old girl named Marie O’Sullivan set out on an adventure. She packed her bag and arrived in Killarney to work in her aunt’s busy guest house. Marie was bright and ambitious, excited to see something new and ready to work hard for her bed and board. After ten years of learning everything she could about taking care of guests, what Marie actually earned was an opportunity. Her aunt was ready to retire, and knew her own children had their own plans. As a recognition of all the dedication Marie had shown over the years, she offered her niece the chance to buy the guest house on favourable terms. Marie didn’t hesitate for a second.
It was a time of great uncertainty everywhere, in the middle of the second World War year. In those days, banks were not in the habit of giving out business loans to single girls in their early twenties. In fact, it was practically unheard of. But Marie was ahead of her time. She was so certain, so committed and confident, that somehow she managed to convince the bankers to lend her the necessary funds. It was a humble enough beginning, but it was a start, and that was all she needed. Marie threw her heart and soul into the business, determined to make it a success. Step by step, she grew her aunt’s little guesthouse into a hotel with a glowing reputation, back before hotels had stars at all, let alone five of them. Along the way, she married Marcus Treacy, a local school teacher, and had five children. The whole family worked side by side, day by day, to care for their guests. While The Ross was small and unpretentious, Marie’s standards were high, and her philosophy was simple: to do the right thing, and to do it well, every time.
When Marie’s son Padraig grew up and married his wife Janet, they continued to work side by side with Marie until she finally decided it was time to retire. In turn, she offered them the opportunity to take over The Ross, just as her aunt had done for her. Following closely in her footsteps, they gave their lives to the hotel, and raised their own children there. Marcus (named after his grandfather) and Ciara spent summers washing dishes and sneaking slices of apple pie in the back kitchen, absorbing the wisdom and lessons about hospitality their grandmother passed down.
In 1990, when Padraig had an opportunity to purchase the perfect site just down the street from The Ross, he took a leaf from his mother’s book and leapt at the chance. That was the beginning of The Killarney Park Hotel.
Now, Marcus has taken the helm of The Killarney Park, while Ciara manages The Ross in its new incarnation as a 29 room boutique hotel. Padraig and Janet are still on site most days, still looking for opportunities to nurture the hotels and their guests, carrying on Marie’s legacy of whole-hearted Irish hospitality.