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
My wife and I stayed Sun.13th. The golf was great, the accomodation excellent, but the food in the Byerley Turk restaurant was extraordinarily poor. The hotel might be 5 star, but I'm afraid the restaurant warrants maybe 1star !
If you are staying here, eat out.
We stayed here because two of the husbands were playing golf. We had a wonderful stay! The standard room was very large with a wonderful view looking over the grounds & the stream behind the hotel. The bed was very comfortable & the bathroom was wonderful with a great shower. We thought that the breakfast buffet was very good with a great deal of choices. We also ordered from the hot menu which was very good. Wait staff needs to be a little more attentive though.The hotel is lovely with several rooms for reading or relaxing. Staff is very attentive & friendly. Beautiful grounds for walking around in peace & quiet. If you want AC be sure to ask for a room with AC at the time of booking. Would come again & highly recommend!
Over promise-and, overall, under deliver.
The golf was great. Despite awful weather the club house staff were really excellent: friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Overall the service was good and efficient. The question is, what does the K club want to be? As a golf resort it is fine, even good; as a top class hotel; something to aspire to. Very friendly staff- but when faults were reported and not resolved- no acknowledgement.
As for dining, the signature restaurant (The Byerley Turk) has aspirations towards fine dining/destination status but has some way to go. Compared with a previous stay about 18 months ago, the experience was disappointing. It was nothing like as good as other restaurants in the Dublin area, such as Glovers Alley. The sommelier was excellent and the staff willing, if a bit inexperienced ( undertrained) but overall the evening was underwhelming. Foie gras was served too cold and the amuse bouches were not particularly engaging. The whole experience (food - wise) was less interesting than, for example, a good chain hotel like Sofitel. The breakfast (River room) was good - tasty options on the continental selection plus a good menu. By comparison, the service is a bit hit and miss. Again, not good enough for a five (or even four) star hotel. A sense of corners being cut. K-Thai was good, by its own lights: hot, tasty and filling. The snack bar at the golf club (Ryder cup/Palmer course) was a welcome oasis on a wet day. However, staff generally seemed obsessed with their electronic tills, rather than really focused on clients. Overall perhaps a slight concern that a cynical view has crept in that ‘good enough’ is enough for a captive audience. A shame, and a lack of ambition for a venue that could and should be one of Ireland’s show pieces.