Muckross Park Hotel
Sean O’Driscoll is one of the great hotel managers. In just a few short years he has taken all the potential of the Muckross Park Hotel and made it real. Corralling an operation of this size, with its many disparate elements – from spa to weddings to serious dining, into a cohesive entity is no small feat. But two visits, over the space of five months, showed just how much progress is being made to get every element of the hotel up to top speed.
Underlying all the elements at self-improvement, however, is Mr O’Driscoll’s profound culture of hospitality, which means the focus of the MPH is always on the guest’s well-being. And people are relexed here: you can see that they enjoy the space, enjoy the luxury, and enjoy the food. And the food is a core element of the hotel, thanks to head chef John O’Leary’s splendid cooking, which showcases the foods of County Kerry and of the Wild Atlantic Way. His sympathy and care for his ingredients – Ted Browne’s crabmeat; local gamebirds; De Roiste pudding; Kerry mountain lamb – is palpable, and he creates an alluring tableau on each plate, with dishes such as monkfish with miso, black potato, De Roiste black pudding; turnip, shallot, Coolea cheese and Stag Ban sauce. It’s worth noting too that the dining rooms uses the Coravin system for fine wines, so you can drink some truly excellent wines here that would otherwise be unaffordable. It’s also worth noting that breakfast is really imaginative and fun.
Mr O’Leary and Mr O’Driscoll are forging a mighty partnership in the MPH, and we reckon they’ve only just begun...
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