SneemSecretHarbour is a superb luxury hideaway overlooking the sea in the beautiful area of Oysterbed on the Ring of Kerry. Just 3km from Sneem village, it is very convenient to shops, bars, restaurants and other facilities. The Ring of Kerry is unsurpassed for its natural beauty and our house, located on a large, private, elevated site takes full advantage of this wonderful scenery, providing breathtaking views of the sea and mountains.
SneemSecretHarbour is the perfect choice for guests seeking relaxation and absolute peace and quiet, in a very private and exclusive location, with a good choice of shops, restaurants and bars nearby. The area also offers a huge variety of outdoor pursuits to cater for all ages and interests. See below for more information.
We meet all our guests on arrival and take great care to personally ensure that we are welcoming you to a home that is supremely comfortable, superbly equipped, luxuriously relaxing and spotlessly clean so that you can make the very most of every moment of your stay and truly enjoy this 'little piece of heaven' that is SneemSecretHarbour.
We built SneemSecretHarbour in 2007. It is located towards the end of a short, very quiet cul-de-sac, on an elevated site overlooking the sea. It is the only house on our 7 acres of private, unspoilt natural countryside that is covered in red sandstone rock outcrops with stands of birch, willow, holly, rowan, rhododendron, furze, ferns and heathers that provide glorious colour all year round and give home to a wonderful selection of all kinds of wildlife, that you can observe, especially first thing in the morning, with the help of the binoculars that we provide for your convenience.
The house has a traditional stone finish on the outside while the interior is modern and contemporary with a palette of colours, plants, pictures and furnishings that is warm, welcoming and wonderfully relaxing. It is superbly equipped and with constant care and attention to detail we try to ensure that our guests have everything necessary to provide them with a luxuriously relaxing and memorable stay.
A paved patio area, with furniture, runs along the entire rear of the house that is south facing and enjoys sunshine all day. There is a large first floor deck that is accessed from Bedroom 3 (and also by means of an outside stairway at rear of house), where you can enjoy spectacular views of the grounds and the surrounding sea and mountains. This deck area is very peaceful and completely private - a perfect place for reading or painting, enjoying a coffee in the morning sunshine or a quiet relaxed drink in the evening.
For outdoors, the options are unlimited - the beach, swimming, snorkelling, windsurfing, canoeing, boating, fishing, hillwalking, cycling, golfing, horseriding, walking, birdwatching, painting, boat trips, sightseeing ....and indoors, reading, painting (art materials supplied), music, luxury spa treatments in the nearby hotels - all available locally and easily organised. Let us know if you have a hobby or an interest in any particular activity that you would like to do during your stay - we will be delighted to advise you on the best local operators and help you book/organise the activities in advance of your arrival, if necessary.
WALKING and hiking are a huge part of the great outdoors in this area. There is an incredible choice and variety of walks and treks and never enough time! We are very keen walkers (we met hillwalking and got married on top of a mountain!). Walking maps are available from Sneem Tourist Office and the Geopark Centre in the village, and walking guides can be arranged, if required. We can also provide maps and suggest some wonderful looped walks in the area. The Kerry Way practically passes our door and at over 200km, it is one of Ireland's longest signposted walking trails and also one of the most popular. It passes through some of the most isolated and dramatic countryside and offers a spectacular choice of gentle or rugged routes - from beaches to mountains, short trails to 4 day treks! Sneem is surrounded by mountains and Ireland's highest peak, Carrantouhill (1039 metres) and the Macgillacuddy Reeks are visible from the deck and are within easy driving distance from the house. Further afield on the Dingle Penninsula is Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest mountain.
KAYAKING, Snorkelling and Diving is available at nearby Oysterbed harbour, and with its myriad of islands it is a truly magical place for these activities. We are familiar with some of the local Kayaking and Dive centres and will be happy to assist you in arranging classes and/or day outings. The bay is sheltered and safe, and enjoys the benefits of the Gulf Stream with some wonderful wildlife - watch out for the residents!... the curious seals, herons, cormorants, oyster catchers and also the dolphins that regularly visit the harbour. Watch out also for the White Tailed Eagles that have recently been re-introduced into Ireland after an absence of almost 100 years. These majestic birds are regular visitors flying directly over our house and on to Oysterbed Harbour on their foraging route between Killarney National Park and Kenmare Bay.
FISHING. Kerry is a paradise for anglers and you'll be spoilt for choice! If you ever dreamt of catching a salmon, then catch your first salmon while staying with us! We can put you in contact with some of the local Fisheries Managers and help you organise everything - boats, rods, gear, licenses, ghillies, etc. for a perfect day's fishing. If you would like to try some sea fishing, we can recommend some local boat operators to take you out for a memorable experience.
SNEEM, meaning ‘knot’ in Irish is called ‘The Knot in the Ring’ and is just 3km from the house, convenient for shops, bars, restaurants and other facilities. It is the ideal location for guests looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The village is divided in the middle by a bridge over the falls in the Sneem River that forms the focal point of the village and provides dramatic views. It has all the necessary services of any small town or village along with lots of interesting shops, restaurants, cafes, a 4 Star hotel, and a wonderful selection of traditional Irish pubs. These serve terrific food at very reasonable prices, have regular live traditional Irish music sessions and always a friendly welcome. Try D. O'Shea's pub in the North Square where Gearbhan and Mary will give you a very warm welcome, a great pint of Guinness and wonderful food that is served all day and can be enjoyed sitting beside a roasting turf fire if the weather is cold outside or outside on the deck overlooking the Sneem River.
Take only a short stroll from the house and the road ends at OYSTERBED PIER. The scenery here is breathtaking and a stroll to the pier early in the morning, where you can sit and soak up the silence, is heavenly. It is also a lovely place for swimming. Chat to some of the local fishermen who operate their fishing boats from the pier, and from whom you can buy some fresh fish from their daily catch. If you would like to explore the bay or try some sea angling, we can suggest some local operators who do boat trips out the bay for sightseeing and fishing.
Less than 2km from the house is the 5-Star PARKNASILLA Hotel and Spa, with its magnificent gardens, golf course and labyrinth of walks. This is one of Europe's finest hotels and has a rich heritage dating back to 1692. George Bernard Shaw described Parknasilla as a place that ‘does not belong to any world that you and I have ever worked or lived in. It is part of our dream world’ It is a nearby gem that you simply must visit. 'Parknasilla' comes from the Irish ‘Pairc na Saileac’, meaning ‘Field of the Willow Trees’. The marked pathways and tracks that wind through the hotel's extensive woodlands and islands are set amid spectacular, lush scenery. The walks are designed so that you can choose a short walk lasting about 30 minutes or a longer route taking up to 2 hours. When you finish up back at the hotel, you can then reward yourself with a drink in the bar or afternoon tea and sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful ambiance and comfort of this unique hotel. Non-residents are always very welcome in the bar and restaurants, and also in the pool, gym and spa.
MUCKROSS HOUSE & Gardens in the Killarney National Park is a spectacular 45 minute drive from the house, taking the R568 road from Sneem via Molls Gap. Stop along the way for coffee and pancakes at The Strawberry Field, or for lunch in the Avoca restaurant at Molls Gap and enjoy what must be one of the most spectacular scenic views from any table! Give yourself lots of time to explore Muckross - the gardens are magnificent (no entrance charge), the restaurant is excellent and reasonably priced and Muckross House is wonderful (entrance charge).