The walls are lined with silk, there's a private sauna, and the views are superlative. The penthouse suite at Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa offers the ultimate Irish experience

How many toilets does a hotel room need? Six in the case of the penthouse suite at Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa in Ireland. Pop your keycard in the slot in the lift for the exclusive ascent to the top floor and you'll find the first four in the lobby (presumably for those in your entourage not fit to grace the loos within). Step inside your suite and you'll find each of its two bedrooms has a private "throne" in their respective bathrooms.

Oh, life on the penthouse circuit. A quick walk around this covetable space reveals much about the ways of the rich. Back out in the lobby a door leads to a kitchen where your "butler" will rustle up a snack, just in case the room-service menu does not appeal. Inside the hallowed doors there's another (designer) kitchen, should you feel like slumming it and making that snack yourself.

The lounge/diner is the size of a respectable studio flat, with a wall of windows offering unrivalled views of the lakes of Killarney and the Kerry mountains. Within, two long sofas are perfectly positioned for averting your gaze to the giant flat-screen TV that hangs on the wall. Or, at the press of a button, a cinema screen rolls down, a projector emerges from the ceiling, the curtains close and the main feature begins. To the rear, a table which seats up to 20 waits to be laid for dinner. Fancy an aperitif? There's draught beer on tap in the bar. Just the refreshment you need after slaving over emails in the adjoining private business centre. Log off and enjoy a glass of champers in the hot tub on the terrace, watching yet another TV (one of five) or listening to music piped around the suite. Then again, you might just want to drink in the views of the shape-shifting, colour-changing panorama. No man-made folly, however lush, can beat that.

The location

No worries about the paparazzi here, the 75-suite hotel is tucked in the rolling green countryside outside Killarney town - though the stark Sixties structure is bound to encourage double-takes from passers-by.

The comfort factor

The walls are lined with silk, bedsheets are woven from the same and the cushions are finished with ostrich feathers. Italian furnishings are complemented by individual pieces by Mies van der Rohe and Arne Jacobsen. And there's art by Patrick Scott and Maria Simonds-Gooding.

The bathroom

There's a shower in the guests' en-suite, a bath (with TV) in your own. And a private sauna, too.

The food and drink

The Lake Room Restaurant offers formal dining without the stuffiness - and great views of the lakes. Yet I have a gripe: while the menu was impressive, the taste didn't quite live up to the top-class presentation.

The people

In the penthouse? Home-grown Man Utd players and Irish pop stars: this is Wags territory. Elsewhere, a good social mix of old and young, couples and families, mainly from Ireland and Europe.

The area

The sleek, modern Aveda Concept Spa could easily delay you from exploring the area. But, there are those lakes to fish and plenty of golf. You could walk in the hills or take the car for a spin around the glorious Ring of Kerry and play dodge the coaches.

The access

Limited wheelchair access. Children welcome

The damage

From €2,500 (£1,785) per night in the penthouse. Elsewhere, €250 (£178) per night, including breakfast.

The address

Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland (00 353 64 31766;

The author travelled with Tourism Ireland (0800-039 7000;


* The lavish Belle Etoile Suite at Le Meurice in Paris (00 33 1 44 581 010; has a huge landscaped terrace.

* The dramatic Penthouse at The Setai in Miami (00 1 305 520 6000; has its own rooftop pool.