IT’S not often I get to approach a hotel that looks like something from Atonement or Great Expectations; somewhere that filled my mind with images of horse drawn carts, high society ladies, lunching, wining, dining!
But it was easy for me to image these scenes when visiting Killashee Hotel in Naas, County Kildare.
The grandeur of the hotel; neo-gothic in style, grabbed my attention on the long driveway from the main Kilcullen Road, while the oval slanted bay windows, super high ceilings and lush grounds made an inquisitive soul like myself want to explore.
My arrival was marked by a rain shower, dark clouds and flowers blossoming orange – they clashed with the grey sky.
I quickly and happily succumbed to my surroundings, for that read exploring the aforementioned lush grounds, nipping across for swim in the adjoining leisure centre, or simply sitting quietly inside one of the hotel reception rooms looking out at the orange blossoms and a summer sky now tinted blue, as well as grey.
Killashee felt unique, combining different worlds or should I say different times. The ornate windows and chandeliers in the old drawing rooms scream of old money. But right at the front, stands a modern stylish bar that tempted my first footsteps and new money from my purse.
Then there’s the snug, a small pub covered in old framed photos on richly coloured walls dotted with small fireplaces – somewhere easy to get stuck. It like felt the Rat Pack’s local, minus Frank, Sammy and Dean.
This best of both worlds theme may explain why the hotel is such a popular venue for wedding receptions: where a bride can feel fairytale-ish while swigging on a Guinness.
The hotel was once a convent, way back in 1927, and walking along the dark, mahogany stairwell and never-ending hallways you can sense the history.
The hallways are long – yes and a bit mazy – but the trade-off are the rooms at journey’s end – bright, airy and very airy comfortable.
Along the way, you can occupy your mind by looking at the paintings on the walls while sneaking a peak into the various function rooms and and array of functionees in attendance.
How fortunate to be here for an official engagement I thought…but even better to be here on holiday.