This article originally appeared on WanderWithWonder.com.
On my recent travels to Ireland, I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Butler Arms Hotel. It’s located in the small resort village of Waterville, which rests on Ireland’s rugged Wild Atlantic Way. Nestled along Ballinskelligs Bay, on the Ring of Kerry, Waterville is known for its championship golf courses, lake and sea fishing, and as the home of the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival.
From this luxury boutique hotel, I storm watched from the comfort of my room, walked the promenade along the seafront and spotted Charlie Chaplin, explored a stone fort, and drove the Skellig Ring, which made Lonely Planet’s Top Ten for 2017.
(Photo (above): Courtesy of the Butler Arms Hotel)
History of the Butler Arms Hotel
The Butler Arms Hotel opened its doors in 1884 as a fishing lodge. In 1916, Martin and Mary Huggard purchased the hotel, and under Mary’s directorship, it became an internationally known luxury hotel. Over the years, the hotel has had many famous guests including Charlie Chaplin (who stayed at the hotel each year with his family for over ten years), Walt Disney, and more recently the cast of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.”
One hundred years later, the fourth generation manages the hotel, and you’ll see sisters Louise and Paula Huggard at the front desk and chatting with guests.
Butler Arms Hotel—Luxury Along the Bay
Set along the main road facing Ballinskelligs Bay, it’s not hard to miss the castle-like architecture of the Butler Arms Hotel.
I adored the hotel’s lobby as the decor made me feel like I’d walked into a country lodge with its plaid carpet, antiques, and arched hallways. I arrived on a wet and blustery day, so the fireplace burned with a couple of peat logs. The staff warmly greeted me, and in a matter of minutes, I was shown to my room.
A Room with an Atlantic View
I stayed in an executive Atlantic view room that featured two twin beds, two sitting areas (one facing a fireplace and one facing the window), a floor-to-ceiling bay window and a large bathroom with a soaking tub and shower. The room also included a desk, free Wi-Fi, multi-channel television, and complimentary water.
After a long flight confined in an airplane, I thoroughly enjoyed the spaciousness of the room. Another feature I adored was the viewing window. Throughout my stay, the stormy show of waves crashing on the beach held me captive. With the palm trees in view, it almost had the feel of a tropical storm.
Another feature I appreciated was the large granite bathroom with heated floors and towel rails. There is nothing quite like the luxury of getting out of the shower with a heated towel waiting.
In total, the hotel has 36 rooms, and they come in standard or executive rooms with garden or Atlantic views. Other features of the hotel include multiple sitting rooms where guests can gather to socialize or read a book next to a fire as well as a bar for guests only that opens in the evenings. There is also a billiards room.
Dining at the Butler Arms Hotel
There are three options for dining at the Butler Arms Hotel. At Fishermen’s Bar, guests can experience elevated pub food in an Irish pub with lots of dark wood, seating nooks, and fishing memorabilia. The bar is well-known for its signature dishes—seafood pie, roast rump of lamb, smoked salmon sandwich and crab claws. They also have a signature beer, the Huggard Pale Ale, from a family recipe.
Read about more of my Ireland adventures here:
- What to Do and Where to Stay in Waterville, Ireland
- Lonely Planet Got it Right – The Skellig Ring is a Must in Ireland
- Driving Ireland’s Skellig Ring on Valentia Island
- The Beauty of Ireland’s Ballaghisheen Pass