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Killarney | Ireland

Great Southern Killarney

Killarney's Leading Historic Hotel

ABOUT  |  HISTORY  |  Rooms |  Facilities  |  Booking  |  Contact

Originally Built In

Associated Family Names
Darley, Browne, 4th Viscount Kenmare
More information

Number of Rooms

Famous guests
Queen Victoria, Jackie Kennedy (the presidential suite is named after her), Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, Charlie Chaplin, and Tyrone Power

Type of Architecture 

Killarney, Ireland

Perfect for
Couples, Weddings, Family Gatherings, Spa Break

Property type


About Great Southern Killarney

The Great Southern Killarney, Killarney’s most renowned historic hotel, opened in 1854 and is located in the heart of Ireland’s most famous tourist town, Killarney. This hotel is perfectly located for exploring Ireland’s iconic Ring of Kerry along the Wild Atlantic Way. The magnificent facilities of Great Southern Killarney make it a destination in itself, including its own gourmet restaurant, ‘The Whiskey Corner’ situated within the hotel’s signature bar, The Killarney Wine Room which offers a wine-tasting experience, and the invigorating Health Club spa which offers a full range of treatments. Over the course of its remarkable history, Great Southern Killarney has remained true to its authentic Victorian charm and is known for its impeccable service and genuine hospitality.

Our history

Grand Railway Hotel

Killarney is the proud birthplace of Irish tourism, and The Great Southern Killarney, has been a focal point of this lively and bustling tourist town since 1854. Killarney was chosen as the location for the Great Southern and Western Railway Company to build a “Grand Hotel” outside of Dublin that year. In order to construct a railroad station and hotel, they needed 40 acres of land at the railhead, and wanted it for free. A portion of the land in question belonged to Lord Kenmare’s vast estate, which spanned from Killarney to Kenmare. Despite the value of signing over the land, Lord Kenmare had a special garden he had lovingly developed over a long period of time on the piece the railway wanted. Despite his reservations about losing the site, the parties eventually agreed that the Great Southern and Western Railway Company could build their new hotel under two conditions: The Brownes (Lord Kenmare’s family) would have free rail travel whenever they wished, and should they be delayed in getting to the station, the train in question would hold departure until the Brownes had boarded safely. Once these conditions were met, the Killarney Railway Junction Company ran a design competition in order to choose an architect for the hotel. The hotel was eventually designed by an architect other than the competition winner, for reasons that remain mysterious to this day. The final architect, Mr Frederick Darley, was the official architect to Trinity College, and had also designed Merchant’s Hall in Dublin, the Kings Inn Library, and a Magnetic Observatory at Trinity.

Our Rooms

Our Gallery

Events & Activities


From its inception as Killarney’s first luxury hotel in the Victorian era, Great Southern Killarney has a remarkable history of hosting exceptional occasions for dignitaries & visitors from across the globe. To this day, wedding celebrations are recognised as the pinnacle of these events at Great Southern Killarney. From the moment you choose Great Southern for your wedding, you are assured of a spectacular occasion, full of delightful memories, for you both, and for your guests.
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Meeting & Events

As the first events centre established outside of Dublin in 1968, Great Southern Killarney, has a long and proud tradition of hosting top class national and international events. Great Southern Killarney's purpose built events centre has undergone many enhancements over the years and today it stands as an exceptionally flexible self-contained space for up to 950 delegates.


Brownes Bar is home to a well established and ample Whiskey Corner which sits comfortably in its own majestic "corner" of the hotel's signature bar. An impressive elaborate mahogany cabinet with glass mirrors etched with “uisce beata” houses a collection of over 100 of the world’s finest whiskies hailing from Ireland, Scotland, America, Canada, Wales and Japan.

Health Club

Experience Great Southern’s Health Club and Beauty Rooms with its bright and spacious swimming pool overlooking the gardens. Following your dip, warm yourself in the Sauna or Jacuzzi, before refreshing with an invigorating monsoon shower. Drop into the gym to complete a full body workout. Take precious time for yourself in The Beauty Rooms to harmonise and heal, where facial and body treatments are available to awaken your natural wellbeing


Booking Request

Great Southern Killarney
Town Centre, Avenue, Killarney
Co. Kerry, V93 R866, Ireland