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Hotel Review: The Royal Valentia Hotel in Knightstown, Ireland

The four poster bed in our Deluxe Four Poster Room with a Sea View at The Royal Valentia Hotel. Damask wallpaper covers the wall behind the bed.

Take the Valentia Island Car Ferry to Knightstown for the best view of The Royal Valentia Hotel. It’s also the most convenient way to arrive, as the ferry practically drops you off at the hotel’s doorstep. Located in Knightstown on Valentia Island, along Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way, the Royal Valentia Hotel is a great place to stay if you’re driving the Ring of Kerry or adventuring out to Skellig Michael

When you walk in, you’ll be graciously greeted and given an actual key attached to a substantial keyring for your room. That’s not the only touch that calls back to another era when you arrive. There isn’t an elevator, so unless your room is on the ground level, you’ll walk up a grand staircase to your room. If you can, pack light so you’re not lugging large wheeled suitcases up flights like we did on our second visit to the hotel. 

Our room was worth the effort. To be fair, Chris carried our suitcases up all the stairs. He’s a gentleman. I married well. 

A fun-to-know fact: The Royal Valentia Hotel has welcomed guests since 1833 but didn’t have royal in its name until 1869. Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Arthur, paid the hotel a visit that year. More than a decade before that, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII, also stayed in the hotel. 

Our Deluxe Four Poster Room (Sea View) at The Royal Valentia Hotel

Our Deluxe Four Poster Room with a Sea View. The edge of the four poster bed, two chairs, and a table with coffee service can be seen in front of windows that look out to Valentia Harbour.

We’ve stayed at the Royal Valentia twice. Both of our stays have been in a Deluxe Four Poster Room (Sea View) room, the most upscale tier of rooms the hotel offers. They’re the perfect balance of Victorian elegance and modern luxury. A chandelier hangs above the four-poster bed. The television is tucked inside an armoire. Depending on which room you’re in, there may be a wall covered with damask wallpaper. A table and set of chairs are positioned within a trio of windows so that you can take in views of Valentia Harbour and the Iveragh Peninsula while you sip your morning coffee. The en suite bathroom features a large soaking tub, and a separate shower, and it even has heated towel racks. 

Dining at The Royal Valentia Hotel

Dinner at The Royal Velentia Hotel's Royal Bar and Restaurant. Irish Beef and Guinness Stew served with Chips (as requested) and Fish and Chips in the background.
Guinness and Beef Stew served with a side of chips instead of mashed potatoes (per special request) and The Royal Wild Fish and Chips.

The Royal Bar and Restaurant on the property is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Depending on where you’re seated, you might enjoy a view of Valentia Harbour while you dine. Its atmosphere is a mix of cozy and classy. Service is friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. Their lunch and dinner menus have upscale comfort foods, handhelds, and fun regional standards like The Royal Wild Fish and Chips. From the bar you can order an assortment of beers, gin and tonics, whiskeys, and craft cocktails. On our first visit, I ended my meal with an espresso martini for dessert that was quite marvelous. 

Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Instead of the typical buffet style hotel breakfast, you sit down, relax, and order from a menu. They offer everything from Full Irish Breakfast to pastries. On our first visit, Chris ordered their Mini Breakfast and I had their Fluffy Pancakes served with bacon and maple syrup. I also ordered a cappuccino. It gave us a great start to our day. 

Travel Tip: Make lunch and dinner reservations in advance because the restaurant is popular with locals as well as guests. 


When we stayed for a night in the middle of high season (July 25th), the room was €204 (about $222). On our first stay during shoulder season, our room cost €184. 

Would We Stay Again?

Our first stay at The Royal Valentia Hotel was while driving the Ring of Kerry. We enjoyed it so much that we booked it when we reserved our spots on a boat heading out to Skellig Michael. I want to visit the area again so that we can spend another night. There are, after all, parts of Valentia Island and the surrounding area that we’ve yet to explore.

Note: WiFi on the island can be slow at times. You might be disappointed if you plan to do a lot of internet-based work during your stay. We were able to check emails and stay plenty connected. I don’t think it’s a constant issue but a now-and-then one.  

Hotel Contact Information:

The Royal Valentia Hotel Knightstown, Valentia Island
Co. Kerry
+353 (0)66 9476144

For another great stay along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, check out our review of The Trident Hotel in Kinsale

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