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The Kingsley 4.0

Cork, County Cork, Ireland

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Review Summary

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  • Superb views of River Lee from common areas and rooms
  • Elegant rooms with flat-screen TVs and electric kettles
  • Two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom penthouse with full-size kitchens
  • Two restaurants, lounge, bar, afternoon tea, and 24-hour room service
  • Indoor pool and hot tub, plus outdoor hot tub overlooking the river
  • Fitness center with a Kinesis studio and fitness classes
  • Spa with a Thermal Suite and maternity and men’s treatments
  • Seven meeting and event facilities with audiovisual equipment
  • Summer kids' club (for a fee)
  • Free Wi-Fi, public computer with Internet, and parking


  • Far from the city center
  • Complaints about the AC and food quality and service
  • Room service costs a small fee
  • Children have limited pool hours (pro for some)

Bottom Line

The Kingsley is an elegant four-pearl property with charming views of the River Lee, though it's outside of the city center, which is an eight-minute drive away. Features include a large indoor pool, two hot tubs, a diversified spa, and multiple dining options that include two restaurants and a lobby lounge. Its 131 rooms follow the same sophisticated decor as the rest of the hotel and offer flat-screen TVs along with sleek walk-in showers and separate tubs. Two-bedroom apartments with full-size kitchens are available as well. The property caters mostly to couples looking for a refined atmosphere; travelers seeking something closer to the city center might want to check out the River Lee Hotel. 

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Large, elegant hotel attracting couples on romantic getaways

The Kingsley is a sophisticated hotel with history. The property was originally home to the Lee Baths (from 1934 to 1986), which were open-air swimming pools where locals gathered. Today the grand white and gray building has elegant interiors that feature glossy marble floors, chandeliers, and dark wooden furniture. Throughout the hotel are large pieces of petrified wood and framed abstract art creating a polished yet artistic atmosphere. The Springboard restaurant has a relaxed vibe with exposed-brick walls, basic wooden tables with printed chairs, and floor-to-ceiling windows, while Fishers Bar looks like a traditional pub with a wooden bar and floors and cozy chairs clustered here and there. The Fairbanks Restaurant and K Lounge have a stylish vibe with contemporary chairs, a cream-and-burgundy color scheme, and large hanging lamps. The clientele here is mostly couples, who can be seen gathering in one of the several on-site dining options or around the pool.


Far from the city center, but within driving distance of most attractions and dining

The Kingsley sits on the banks of the River Lee and across the street from Cork County Council. It’s outside the city center, though only an eight-minute drive to its attractions like St. Patrick’s Street and the English Market. The hotel’s location makes it an easy 13-minute drive to Blarney Castle or a 14-minute walk to the University College Cork. It’s a 10-minute walk to the Mardyke Sports Ground where rugby and hockey matches are held. There aren't many food options nearby, though the bus stop outside of the hotel can easily take travelers to other parts of the city. Cork Airport is about a 10-minute drive from here.


Sophisticated rooms with luxurious bathrooms, plus two-bedroom apartments with kitchens

Rooms are spacious and beautifully designed in rich shades of gold and gray, with sophisticated patterns, contemporary chairs or velour couches, heavy drapes, and artwork depicting pastoral scenes or flora. Suites have separate living room areas, while two-bedroom apartments have full-size kitchens. There's also a three-bedroom penthouse that has a meeting room, kitchen, deck with a hot tub, and fireplaces. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and some have lovely views of the River Lee. Bathrooms are luxurious and sleek with either black and white tile or marble floors. They have separate showers and tubs, spacious counters or drawers, hairdryers, and toiletries that come with vanity kits. Some complaints have been made about issues with the air-conditioning, however.


Wellness facilities including spa, pool, hot tub, and fitness center; two restaurants; and meeting rooms

The Kingsley's features are what make it a destination unto itself. The hotel has a spa that offers services like massages and beauty treatments as well as maternity and men’s treatments, a Thermal Suite, and a makeup studio. There's a lovely indoor pool that's suitable for lap swimming, as well as a hot tub. Children are limited to certain pool hours during the day. There’s also an outdoor hot tub that overlooks the river. The property has a fully equipped fitness center with a fleet of cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights, though some of the equipment is a bit dated. But guests can also make use of fitness classes and a Kinesis studio that allows for zero-impact exercises.

The Kingsley has two lovely restaurants: the Springboard serves bistro cuisine for lunch and dinner, while Fairbanks has a classier atmosphere. Both restaurants emphasize fresh, locally sourced produce. The K Lounge is a relaxed lobby venue that serves up light snacks, lunch, and afternoon tea. Fishers Bar serves traditional ciders and whiskeys. There’s a breakfast buffet that’s not included in the room rates, and 24-hour room service is available, but incurs a small fee. Guests have mixed reviews concerning the food quality and service.

Seven meeting and event rooms with audiovisual equipment are available for business events or weddings. Business travelers can make use of free Wi-Fi and a public computer. Other features include a summer kids' club for a fee and free parking. 

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