When we visited Ard na Sidhe Country House (Gaelic for Hill of the Fairies) there appeared to be no-one about. The lovely wooded prize-winning gardens, with paths leading down to little grassy areas by the lake where there are benches to sit on and dream, were deserted. Most of the guests, we were told, were out playing golf. These golfing hotels are left like the Marie Celeste during the day, and lucky non-golfers may have the place to themselves.
This handsome Victorian stone house was built by a Lady Gordon in 1913, and is so romantic that you can be as fanciful as you like. It certainly feels as if there are fairies about; indeed, behind the house is a fairy hill, with passages said to lead to a large cave. But these little creatures do not like to be seen.
All credit must be given to Killarney Hotels for keeping the house quite uncommercialized and unspoiled, and bringing in Roy Lancaster to advise them on the gardens. There are no facilities here apart from natural ones. But guests are given complimentary use of the Leisure Centre and Spa at the group's nearby sister hotels. Bedrooms (spacious) are in the main house and in the Garden House. They're very quiet and tranquil, and all have impressive antiques that Lady Gordon might well have chosen herself, as well as excellent bathrooms.