The K Club
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes Irish breakfast and a 20 percent discount on spa treatments
- Grand country estate with garden and river views and luxe, color-saturated interiors
- Two Arnold Palmer–designed golf courses; the Palmer course hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup
- Afternoon tea in the elegant Chinese drawing room, with hand-painted wallpaper and Waterford crystal chandeliers
What To Know
- Golfers should book tee times in advance and wear proper attire: collared shirts and tailored shorts
- The Byerley Turk restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday; the dress code is smart casual
- WiFi is free
- Museum-quality art collection, including paintings by Ireland’s best-known artist, Jack B. Yeats
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Rolling green fields and wispy weeping willows along the River Liffey set the pastoral stage for this restored 19th-century Georgian mansion in County Kildare. Set on 550 acres, the Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club, affectionately known as the K Club, is a luxe but laid-back golf and spa retreat. The interiors, by Dublin-based Peter Johnson, mix colorful fabrics (rich tones of red, green and blue) with traditional dark wood furniture and 16th-century antiques, and the lavish public spaces feature ornate ceilings bedecked with crystal chandeliers and fireplaces framed by carved mantles. The walls are adorned with museum-worthy oil paintings by Irish masters and contemporary artists.
Bed and Bath
The hotel’s 69 unique guestrooms, including nine suites, are spacious (400 to 440 square feet) and comfortably appointed in country manor style. Tall windows swathed in formal curtains open to views of the gardens and river. Original oil paintings and prints framed in gold are arranged on wallpapered walls while the four-poster and canopy beds are outfitted with Frette linens and floral spreads. The bathrooms feature hand-painted murals and Irish-made Voya bath products.
Designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, the hotel’s two courses are among Europe’s best. Tee off on the Palmer Course, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006, or practice your swing on the Smurfit Course, the setting for several European championships. Aspiring horticulturists can take a 30-minute garden walk that meanders along the banks of the Liffey. Anglers can cast their lines into the river in the hope of catching a plump wild brown trout or into the estate’s stocked lakes for rainbows and perch. Country pursuits such as falconry, clay pigeon shooting, and horseback riding are also available. The 20,000-square-foot K Spa offers treatments that incorporate organic seaweed oil. Sip an Irish whiskey at the Vintage Crop bar before settling in for a multi-course dinner at the fabulously formal Byerley Turk, rich with brocade wall coverings, Irish crystal, and monogrammed linens.
In the Area
Along with golf, Kildare is renowned for its thoroughbreds. Visitors can learn about famous horses at the Irish National Stud by wandering among paddocks. Two prominent gardens are nearby: the Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachara’s Garden, designed in 1999 by Martin Hallinan to pay homage to the patron saint of gardeners. During the summer months, the Butterfly Farm in Straffan is all aflutter. A handful of local gastropubs, such as Harte’s of Kildare, offer respite with hearty fare and Irish brews. Dublin is a 22-mile drive to the east.
How to Get There
We visited the K Club recently to enjoy a weekend away from Dublin. The K Club seemed to foot the bill, being out of the city but not too far.
The hotel reminds you of a bygone era - grand and imposing. However, upon entering the lobby, the friendliness of the staff tends to take over. We arrived mid-morning and to wait for our room, we were directed to their lounge or drawing room. Both are more formal lounges with gorgeous art collections.
Rooms are generously proportioned. Ours had double basins, separate bath and shower. Furnishings complement the feel of the hotel, also quite "old world."
The spa is quite a walk from the hotel, especially if your room is on the opposite of the property like ours was. We found the pool a little overrun, but the treatments were outstanding.
The club has several restaurants on-premise, although several are located at the clubhouses on both golf courses. This requires a short drive, but the hotel driver is always happy to help. For the two nights, we chose the restaurants at the clubhouses. Of the two, we found that the Asian restaurant was the better option. For lunch, you will generally find the best options at the clubhouses, too. Breakfast is a busy affair - the hotel has many rooms and the chaos at the buffet evidences this.
A highlight is the bar which boasts excellent cocktails and an amazing whiskey collection.
Finally, it's possible to organise several activities with the club. We organised the clay pigeon shooting, which is a short drive away, but well worth it.
While we enjoyed the K Club, I would probably return only if we were keen on a round of golf. As a destination country hotel, without the golf, it is good, but sadly, not great.
Checked in today at the K Club and was so looking forward to it. I have to tell you in my opinion the hotel is quite dated. Our driver told us the hotel is for sale, so apparently the owner isn't putting any money into it. The worst part is that most rooms don't have air conditioning but if you want a room with ac you have to upgrade. I will steer clear of the K Club on my next trip to the area.
Fantastic location, super staff throughout and the ambiance is top drawer everywhere. The place is immaculate. Rooms nicely appointed, spacious and comfortable. Bars very good as well. The Byerley Turk Restaurant is super. Really enjoyed the weekend.
Fantastic. Attentive and caring staff. Excellent bar and food. Ryder Cup Course very nice. An actual and real gym, and while not a lap pool, an excellent one.
You’re not in downtown Dublin. It’s more of a hideaway. But Dublin is an easy access.
Enjoyed it, Chrisc
This is the 2nd time we have stayed and absolutely loved it!The staff are always very friendly and attentive. Lovely grounds to walk around. Enjoyed eating in the golf club and K Thai. Would highly recommend and look forward to staying again in the future!