Legit Luxury & A Sensational Spa in Killarney’s The Europe Hotel

Okay, gorge.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve stayed in a five star hotel.

Spoilers: it’s three times, and all of them have been press trips. So when Killarney’s The Europe Hotel & Resort invited me down for a group two night stay this month, I was there.

Exhausted and in the throes of a three-day hangover (thank you, Style Awards), I arrived to the Europe ready for some relaxation, rejuvenation, and a much need recharge.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a five star girlie. I generally don’t treat myself to such luxury in normal life, partially because it rarely occurs to me, and mainly because I can scarcely afford it.

But after a few days in the Europe, I understood fully why people treat themselves like this. Really.

The hotel’s new premier lakeview rooms – where we were staying – have been recently renovated… and they’re absolutely gorgeous.

The space is modern, but with a traditional and homey feel. The view of Lough Léin is stunning, the lights are contemporary and add a bit of fun to the room, and bed is, well…. the bed is great.

After devouring my complimentary cheese board and golden chocolate nuts (legit), I dove beneath the covers and snoozed until pre-dinner drinks. Eventually rising and getting myself sorted, all I could think about was how excited I was to get back to my room later, get comfortable, and enjoy the space some more.

But first, dinner. And I couldn’t write about the Europe without mentioning the food.

On our first night we dined in the Brasserie where I enjoyed a classic cod and chips and the ultimate starter throwback – a prawn cocktail. Both were delicious. The next evening, we were treated to a meal in the Panorama, a fine dining experience where the food was second to none, the views were breathtaking, and the pre-starter was served on a rock.

Here, I opted for scallops and a main that I’ve been thinking about ever since I consumed it: a truffle and mushroom risotto that was beyond what I ever thought risotto could be. The portions were also massive – a rarity for fine dining.

All of the hotel’s restaurants offer extensive menus with options for coeliac, vegans and vegetarians alike. The food in the next-to-spa restaurant, Riva, was even incredible. Located right next to the ESPA spa, guests can wander in in their slippers and robes in between treatments for a bite to eat.

I popped down for a glass of rosé and a seafood courgette pasta before my facial, and honestly, it was next level. The rain was pouring, I was satisfied, and my face was entirely ready to be nano-dermabrased (no, that’s not a word).

The Europe’s ESPA spa is 50,000 sq feet of pure bliss. Treatment rooms, relaxing pods, heated beds, a sauna, an infinity pool… you name it, chances are the ESPA spa has got it.

Award-winning (and rightfully so), the spa is the ideal way to spend a rainy afternoon. Grab your book, nab a protein ball (complimentary), and settle down in front of the stunning glass front and ease into that incredible tranquility.

When you’re fully immersed, pop up and go for a treatment. Our group was invited to try the LED Nano-Dermabrasion Active Nutrients Facial, a new treatment that promises to restore radiance, nourish the skin, and tackle dullness.

First, I had a skin analysis with a Skin Vision Lamp, revealing what I already knew… I have super dry skin. Then after a cleanse, my therapist used a special nano-dermabrasion machine to exfoliate my skin – a process that I expected to at least be a little bit sore, but was literally pain-free.

Next, she placed a Light Salon LED Light on my face and left me to settle for 15 or so minutes. I had had LED skin treatments before, but never the mask kind. At first, the light was inordinately bright, but once my eyes adjusted I was more than happy to lay beneath the light and let it do its work.

The LED mask is there to lift and sculpt the face, and to renew the skin at a cellular level. The whole experience was extremely relaxing, and later at dinner the entire group looked a whole lot fresher than we had the previous evening.

The spa was incredible, the food was next level, and the room was beyond stunning, but the Europe also excelled when it came to general service. The staff were so friendly, so helpful, and so willing to go above and beyond for guests.

Such would be expected in a five star resort (and especially in a hotel boasting such a high reputation), but still, I was so taken aback by how welcome, how at home, I was made to feel in an environment that I haven’t spent a lot of time in.

And now I already can’t wait to go back.

Dinner, bed and breakfast packages in a lakeview room start from €615 for two people sharing. You can find out more about the Europe Hotel and Resort here

This writer was offered a trip in exchange for a fair and honest review.