Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Kenmare, Ireland, Sheen Falls Lodge stands as a beacon of luxury and tranquility. Once a 17th-century fishing lodge, this exquisite five-star haven has been transformed into a retreat where nature, history, and heritage converge to offer an unforgettable experience. Situated just minutes from the charming town of Kenmare, Sheen Falls Lodge invites guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Irish countryside while indulging in unparalleled luxury. In this comprehensive hotel review, we’ll delve into the enchanting allure of Sheen Falls Lodge, exploring its accommodations, amenities, dining experiences, and surrounding attractions.

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When it comes to 5-star hotels in Ireland, you can’t get much better than Sheen Falls Lodge, cradled in the heart of Kenmare Bay. Travelling to Ireland, especially to the kingdom of Kerry, is a magical experience that can only be topped off by staying in a luxurious 5-star hotel like Sheen Falls. 5-star hotels in Ireland are the best of the best when it comes to luxury, hospitality, and quality. They offer an experience that you won’t easily forget. Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare takes Irish hospitality to the next level, and it should be experienced, whether you are on an Irish staycation or whether you are simply visiting the Emerald Isle for the first time.

Sheen Falls Lodge exterior, showcasing its elegant architecture amidst lush greenery in Kenmare, Ireland.
The entrance of Sheen Falls Lodge, in Kenmare, Ireland one of the best 5 star hotels in Ireland.

Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, Ireland boasts verdant mountains and valleys, heaths, lakes, cliffs, and a dramatic coastline battered by the surrounding seas. From Downpatrick Head to Kilkee Cliffs, Ireland is a land celebrating hospitality and sharing, raised on the literature of James Joyce. Guinness gushes from the taps of Temple Bar in Dublin on Saint Patrick’s Day, and there is nothing quite like the Irish craic. Ireland has all this to offer and more. From its small towns to its country villages, from the Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim coast to the hikes of Connemara, Ireland has a magnificent selection of the best nature has to offer. 

Water cascading at Sheen Falls waterfall in Kenmare Ireland.

5-star hotels in Ireland

Every corner of Ireland has its own castle or stately manor, many of which have been turned into luxurious 5-star hotels. We have been lucky enough to have stayed in some of the best 5-star hotels in Ireland, including the majestic Ashford Castle so we know what to look for when it comes to luxury stays in Ireland. Sheen Falls Lodge is a Relais & Châteaux hotel that has 5-star luxury but so much more!

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Arrival and Welcome at Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Ireland

As you approach Sheen Falls Lodge, a sense of serenity envelops you. The sprawling estate is surrounded by lush woodlands, cascading waterfalls, and the tranquil waters of Kenmare Bay. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with warm Irish hospitality and a sense of exclusivity that sets the tone for an exceptional stay. The staff at Sheen Falls Lodge are renowned for their attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of your visit exceeds expectations.

When we arrived for our stay, it was the heaviest rainfall we had seen in Ireland for a long time (and that is saying a lot about Irish weather!) On entry, guests are greeted by artist Christine Bowen’s vibrant floral mural at reception. Scott, the hotel manager, was on hand to welcome us in to roaring open fires and a homely, cosy atmosphere. The hotel receptionist even walked us personally to our room.

Cosy fireplace in reception at Sheen Falls Lodge, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests to relax. The decor resembles that of a country hunting lodge.
Sheen Falls Lodge's elegant lobby, welcoming guests with its stylish décor and impeccable hospitality. Located in Kenmare, Ireland, Sheen Falls Lodge is one of Ireland's most elegant 5-star hotels.

We don’t know about you, but we don’t like 5-star hotels that feel snobby and stuffy. When it comes to 5-star luxury in Ireland, we look for an authentic and genuine feeling from the moment we arrive. There is a reason why Sheen Falls Lodge was voted the No. 1 hotel resort in Europe by Conde Nast Traveller

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Where is Sheen Falls Lodge?

Sheen Falls Lodge is located near the colourful village of Kenmare in County Kerry. Kenmare is the gateway to the Beara Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, the Killarney Lakes, and the southern part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Magical, breathtaking scenery is everywhere. Surrounded by purple heather-covered mountains, Kenmare is one of the spots in Ireland that the Irish themselves like best. It just epitomises Irish charm.

Scenic view from Sheen Falls Lodge, showcasing the stunning natural surroundings and tranquil ambiance.
Cosy fireplace in a suite at Sheen Falls Lodge, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests to relax.

Kenmare is known for its piano-jazz ambience, trad sessions in the pub, its collection of old Irish whiskeys, and the dishes prepared from salmon caught in the nearby river. There are unrivalled views of Kenmare Bay, the McGuillicuddy Reeks, and cascading Sheen waterfalls. All of this, combined with outstanding Irish hospitality and Celtic legends, creates a pervading sense of magic.

Sheen Falls Lodge's iconic waterfall, a mesmerizing natural wonder that adds to the hotel's charm.

Kenmare is known in Irish as “Neidin” (the little nest) because the town “nestles” amongst the surrounding mountains, which are such a prominent feature of the landscape. The town also benefits from being a coastal town positioned on the estuary of Kenmare Bay. It is an award-winning heritage town, a serene, pretty place that bustles at an Irish pace. Its reputation for warm and welcoming hospitality is renowned.

Sheen Falls Lodge's outdoor garden, provides a perfect spot to unwind and admire the scenic beauty of Kenmare, Ireland.

Cradled in the heart of Kenmare Bay, Sheen Falls Lodge is the perfect springboard for discovering the rugid beauty of the south-west of Ireland. It is the perfect place to create everlasting memories.

Family-friendly accommodations at Sheen Falls Lodge, ensuring a memorable stay for guests of all ages.

What to pack for Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Ireland

Sheen Falls Lodge, a Country Retreat

The Sheen Falls Lodge Estate and its history have always been connected to salmon fishing and deer hunting. The 300-acre estate is often visited by wandering deer. A cottage on the grounds became the base for the First Earl of Kerry for the pursuit of fishing and hunting. In 1988, the property was sold to a Danish family who took on the task of developing the guest house into a 5-star luxury hotel. It opened its doors to guests in April 1991 and has been a member of Relais & Châteaux since then.

Sheen Falls Lodge's outdoor terrace, providing a perfect spot to unwind and admire the scenic beauty of Kenmare, Ireland.
Sheen Falls Lodge's iconic waterfall, a mesmerizing natural wonder that adds to the hotel's charm.
Indoor relaxation area at Sheen Falls Lodge, offering a tranquil sanctuary for guests to unwind.

The hotel has undergone a fairly recent transformation to recreate the original purpose of the hunting lodge and make it a decadent home away from home. When you first enter the hotel, you are greeted by an open, roaring fire with a prominent stag head hanging above it, adding to the country hunting lodge atmosphere.


There are little design touches everywhere that add to the feeling of being in a hunting lodge. Antler chandeliers hang over the beautiful marble entrance and creative artwork by local artist Christine Bowen. The vibe here is authentically Irish.

Sheen Falls Lodge's elegant lobby, welcoming guests with its stylish décor and impeccable hospitality. Located in Kenmare, Ireland, Sheen Falls Lodge is one of Ireland's most luxurious hotels.

Bowen’s iconic mural adorns the hotel reception wall as well as a fabulous botanical mural in The Falls restaurant. Drawing on Kenmare for inspiration, you’ll find Bowen’s paintings hanging in multitudes throughout the hotel. Hues of green, peach, and cream create a homely yet decadently relaxing atmosphere, and quality traditional furnishings add to that country home vibe. The hotel feels comfortable and luxurious, but not showy!

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How Many Bedrooms does Sheen Falls Lodge Have?

Sheen Falls Lodge has 72 rooms to choose from, and every room is a room with a view. There are 60 rooms, 12 incredible suites, and 5 private cottages, so there is a suitable style of accommodation to suit everyone. You can choose between luxurious rooms and sensational suites, each unique and beautifully understated in palettes that reflect the seasons. Riverside, you’ll enjoy the gentle babble of the cascading Sheen Falls by your window, while bayside, you’ll find sweeping views over Kenmare Bay, with the constantly changing seascape for company.

Sheen Falls Lodge's exclusive suites, featuring spacious layouts and luxurious furnishings.

Luxurious Accommodations at Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare

Sheen Falls Lodge offers a range of luxurious accommodations to suit every taste and preference. From elegantly appointed rooms to spacious suites and private cottages, each space is meticulously designed to provide the utmost comfort and relaxation. Guests can expect plush furnishings, sumptuous bedding, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or a solo escape, Sheen Falls Lodge offers the perfect sanctuary for your stay.

Check out our guide to the best places for a romantic break in Ireland.

Bedrooms are calming and prioritise comfort. The beds are large and beckoning. Interiors channel the colour palette of Kenmare Bay – think marshy greens, pure blues, and soft yellows – with modern touches (namely contemporary wooden bedside tables and desks) peppered across the space. Suites come with a separate drawing room plus some rather special views, and bathrooms (stocked with Elemis) are all marble.

Selection of books, including a book on best-loved Yeats poetry, at Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Ireland.

We stayed in room 209, one of the hotel’s luxurious Signature Suites. Our room was breathtaking! A chic and cosy haven that was spacious, stylish, and beautifully furnished. The star of the show was a wrap-around wall of windows facing the waterfall. We don’t think we have ever seen anything quite as beautiful. Double doors opened out to a spacious balcony overlooking the River Sheen. Our room was sumptuous and relaxing, with neutral tones and soothing shades of green. We still can’t believe that we got to go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the cascading waterfall.

Romantic getaway in a Signature Suite at Sheen Falls Lodge, offering couples a dreamy escape in the heart of Kenmare, Ireland.
Irish apple juice and crystal glasses are laid out on a table in a Signature Suite in Sheen Falls, Lodge, Kenmare, Ireland.
Wooden, vintage alarm clock sits on a bedside locker in a Signature Suite in Sheen Falls Lodge, one of Ireland's bext hotels.
Reading book on a coffee table at Sheen Falls Lodge, Ireland.

We had a separate seating area to relax and watch TV (if you could take your eyes off the scenery framed by the windows!) and a large marble bathroom with his and her sinks, Elemis products and the fluffiest towels to just wrap yourself up in.

Luxurious guest room at Sheen Falls Lodge, featuring modern amenities and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Irish books on a table in Sheen Falls Lodge in Ireland.
Luxurious bathroom at Sheen Falls Lodge, featuring elegant design and upscale amenities for guests' comfort.

Five historic thatched cottages are available for anyone looking for a bit more space on the estate. Be sure to utilize all of the hotel’s services, and when the weather turns chilly, curl up on the couch with a movie or read a book in front of the fire, a glass of wine in hand, in your own cottage.

Amenities and Activities at Sheen Falls Lodge

At Sheen Falls Lodge, the opportunities for relaxation and recreation are endless. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the onsite Easanna Spa, where expert therapists offer a range of holistic therapies designed to nourish the body, mind, and soul. Choose from Elemis and the Irish organic range, Voya, for your treatments.

For those seeking adventure, the surrounding area offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, golfing, and horseback riding. Back at the lodge, guests can unwind in the indoor heated pool, sauna, or steam room, or simply soak up the serene ambiance on the scenic terrace overlooking the falls.

Dining at Sheen Falls Lodge

The hotel prides itself on its exquisite dining options, from the elegant Falls Restaurant to the more intimate Sheen Lounge/Bistro. The Falls Restaurant serves guests innovative cuisine with a unique twist on traditional Irish fare. Seasonal menus reflect the richness of Kerry’s bounty: estate-smoked salmon, mountain lamb, vension, organic vegetables, and microherbs grown locally. The team sources the finest from beyond the county too – farmhouse cheese, Atlantic seafood, and Hereford beef – to create gorgeous seasonal dishes.

Sheen Falls Lodge's dining options, perfect for intimate gatherings or special celebrations.
Goats cheese tartlet at Falls restaurant.
Luxury dining in one of Ireland's 5 star hotels.

The ambiance in the restaurant is so romantic. Dulcet tones from the piano player in the corner add to the phenomenal views of the tumbling falls outside. The Falls restaurant is the ultimate in fine dining; they have earned two AA Rosettes for cooking, and they plan to impress you, which they most certainly do. The dining staff are incredibly knowledgeable and will recommend pre-dinner cocktails and wine to go with every course. They also describe exactly what is on your plate as they bring it to you, adding to the whole dining experience.

Luxury dining at Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Ireland.
Basket of truffle chips served at The Falls restaurant in Sheen Falls Lodge.
Fine dining at Sheen Falls Lodge Ireland.
Souffle at Sheen Falls Lodge one of the best 5 star hotels in Ireland.
Chocolate dessert in Sheen Falls Lodge.

We were so impressed that it definitely made it into our top five dining experiences ever!

The dress code is smart/casual, so be sure to dress appropriately.

The Falls restaurant set up for evening service.

The Sheen Lounge is the perfect spot for afternoon tea or lunch, while later in the day it makes an ideal spot for bistro-style dining. You’ll find deep-seated sofas, luxurious armchairs, and a roaring log fire to curl up in front of. Sink into a leather armchair in the old-school authentic Sheen Bar and try a Signature cocktail before dinner.

Sheen Falls Lodge's afternoon tea service, a delightful experience of indulgence and sophistication.
Pre dinner cocktail at Sheen Falls Lodge in Ireland.

Diners can also select from an impressive wine collection. Hidden beneath Sheen Falls Lodge, secret stairs lead to a legendary cellar, one of the largest in Ireland. Celebrated the world over, their impressive wine collection houses more than 10,000 bottles, sourced from 18 different countries. You can request a tour of this vaulted cavern and select your own wine from more than 800 labels. You can also host a private dinner party, arrange an intimate table for two, or experience a private whiskey, gin or port tasting deep beneath the lodge. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this very special space.

Sheen Falls Lodge's wine cellar, offering an impressive selection of fine wines from around the world.
Sheen Falls Lodge's wine cellar, offering an impressive selection of fine wines from around the world.
Sheen Falls Lodge's wine cellar, offering an impressive selection of fine wines from around the world.

Things to do at Sheen Falls Lodge

Facilities available at Sheen Falls Lodge include:

  • Indoor heated pool
  • Sauna
  • Steam room
  • Jacuzzi
  • 5 Treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite, wet room and 2 single treatment rooms
  • Manicure and pedicure suite
  • Hair and makeup salon
  • A vast array of beauty and holistic therapies at Easanna Spa
  • Relaxation room serving complimentary herbal teas when taking a treatment
  • Fitness Suite with state-of-the art equipment
  • Personal training with Body by Finn
  • One-to-one yoga sessions
  • Complimentary Guest Bicycles

Bikes are available complimentary, as are rackets for use on the floodlit Savanna tennis courts overlooking the water.

Spa retreat at Sheen Falls Lodge, offering relaxation and rejuvenation with serene ambiance and indulgent treatments.
Spa retreat at Sheen Falls Lodge, offering relaxation and rejuvenation with serene ambiance and indulgent treatments.
Luxury amenities at Sheen Falls Lodge, including a swimming pool, fitness center, and outdoor activities.

Sheen Falls Lodge has so many other amenities for you to enjoy during your time there. The hotel owns exclusive fishing rights over the River Sheen, so guests can try their hand at fishing with their resident ghillie, Brendan. We think you know by now just how much of a fan of birds of prey that Ronan is, having tried it at both Mount Falcon and The Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny, so he was very excited to see that you can try falconry and hawk walks in this 5-star hotel. Witness the unique relationship the hawks have with their falconer while learning how to handle and fly these magnificent birds for yourself.

Sheen Falls Lodge's outdoor activities, including a walk hawk, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding, amidst stunning landscapes.
Breathtaking aerial view of Sheen Falls waterfalls, showcasing its idyllic location amid Kenmare's scenic beauty.

Why not saddle up and try horseback riding at Sheen Falls Lodge? It is a fun and relaxing way to spend the morning or afternoon cantering through beautiful country lanes, along leafy riverside trails, and through forested mountain paths. Or enjoy the ultimate country pursuit with clay-pigeon shooting. You can also try your hand at archery, kayaking, or paddleboarding, or relax and enjoy a trip back in time with a romantic horse and carriage ride around the estate.

Woman standing beside autumn leaves at Sheen Falls Lodge Ireland

If golf is your vibe, you can tee off in a golfer’s paradise. The southwest of Ireland is heaven for golfers, and Kerry’s countryside is dotted with beautiful scenic courses that rank as some of Europe’s finest. Closest to this amazing 5-star hotel in Ireland are the 18-hole Kenmare Golf Club and the Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club. Designed by Ireland’s foremost designer, Eddie Hackett, both are courses of particular exception.

Sheen Falls Lodge's iconic waterfall, a mesmerizing natural wonder that adds to the hotel's charm.
Indoor area at Sheen Falls Lodge, offering a tranquil sanctuary for guests to unwind.

Or simply do as we did and take your camera on a walk through the beautiful grounds and enjoy practicing your nature photography. If you feel like you need some help, sign up for a photography excursion with the hotel’s seasoned photographer and learn how to get the very best from the majestic and dramatic countryside beyond the estate. Make sure to check out the vintage 1936 Buick they have parked at the entrance to the hotel.

1936 Buick at Sheen Falls Lodge one of Ireland's best 5-star hotels, located in Kenmare, Ireland.
Sunset over Sheen Falls waterfall, painting the sky with hues of orange and pink, creating a magical atmosphere.
Breathtaking view of the bridge at Sheen Falls Lodge, showcasing its idyllic location amid Kenmare's scenic beauty.
Sheen Falls Lodge's charming gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picturesque outdoor ceremony.
Scenic view from Sheen Falls Lodge, showcasing the stunning natural surroundings and tranquil ambiance.
Spectacular sunrise at Sheen Falls Lodge, casting a golden glow over the tranquil countryside.
Woman standing near Sheen falls waterfall in Kenmare Kerry. Sheen Falls Lodge's iconic waterfall, a mesmerizing natural wonder that adds to the hotel's charm.

Exploring Kenmare and Beyond

What not to see, more like? This is Kenmare, after all. You could wander around the charming, colourful village of Kenmare, grab a meal in Packie’s, or head off on the 110-mile Ring of Kerry. While Sheen Falls Lodge offers a secluded retreat from the outside world, the charming town of Kenmare is just minutes away, waiting to be explored. Known as the “Jewel in the Ring of Kerry,” Kenmare boasts a wealth of historic landmarks, boutique shops, art galleries, and lively pubs. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, visit the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre to learn about the town’s rich heritage, or simply soak up the ambiance of this picturesque Irish village.

Another scenic drive worth taking is the Ring of Beara, which leaves Kenmare on the N71 towards Glengarriff by crossing the suspension bridge. Make sure to stop and visit Lorge Chocolatier. Benoit Lorge creates luxury, hand-made, high-end confectionery using top-quality ingredients. The range includes truffles, bars, chocolate boxes, hot chocolate, chocolate spreads, nougat, marshmallows, jams, and chutneys. Grab a bag of mixed chocolates to nibble as you continue your drive!

Bonane Heritage Park has an abundance of well-preserved multi-period archaeological sites from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages right up to pre-famine times, while Molly Gallivans Cottage and Traditional Farm give insight into what life was like in rural Ireland.

You could tip over to Killarney, or you could drive to Glengariff over the Caha Pass. The tunnels of the Caha Pass were cleaved from the rocks to form the border with County Cork. You can enjoy spectacular views of Bantry Bay. Visit nearby attractions such as Muckross House and Gardens, Killarney National Park, or the iconic Skellig Islands, each offering its own unique glimpse into Ireland’s history and culture. Or you could simply do as we did and relax. The hotel is so relaxing and luxurious that you will struggle to want to leave it.

We really hope you enjoyed our review of one of the most beautiful 5-star hotels in Ireland. Sheen Falls Lodge is everything that you would expect from a 5-star country retreat and much more. Sheen Falls Lodge stands as a testament to the timeless allure of Irish hospitality and natural beauty.

From its idyllic setting amidst the wilds of Kerry to its luxurious accommodations, world-class amenities, and gourmet dining experiences, Sheen Falls Lodge offers a truly unforgettable escape for discerning travellers. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a taste of Irish charm, Sheen Falls Lodge invites you to experience the magic of Kenmare and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Sheen Falls Lodge's wedding venue, offering couples a fairy-tale setting for their special day.

Are you ready for your Ireland vacation?

About us

We are Nicola and Ronan Lavin experts in finding unique accommodation all over the world. Voted as the Top 6 Travel Bloggers in Ireland by Stellar Magazine and the Top 10 Travel Influencers in Ireland by readers of the Irish Independent, we are dedicated to helping you find authentic and immersive travel experiences to help you plan your perfect vacation.

**Disclaimer: We were invited to stay and review Sheen Falls Lodge, meaning our stay and one evening dinner in The Falls restaurant were complimentary. However, all opinions are our own, and we are never obliged to write a blog post. We do it because we genuinely loved our time in one of the most beautiful 5-star hotels in Ireland, and we would be more than happy to pay for this stay ourselves. Working with hotels has allowed us to create content you love and build a strong reputation in the travel industry. Trust is the most important thing to us, and we want you to love every hotel we recommend to you.

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