Abandoned – Waterville Beach (Reenroe) Hotel


Driving from Cahirciveen to Sneem or somewhere last week, we passed through Waterville.  From the main road I could see this derelict building in the distance and was curious to know what it was. So we turned off the road, towards the coast, to get a closer look (because, as you know, I’m nosey like that), and parked the car beside the beautiful sandy beach nearby.

Reenroe Hotel

The central block rising into the air gave me the impression that this might once have been a factory or a college, but as we drew nearer it became obvious that it had been a hotel.  An avenue, long overgrown, and dotted at the sides with large boulders (such as the one on the right hand side of the photo), led up to the building. Instead of following the avenue all the way though, we opted to cut across the grass to avoid the cattle that were staring, menacingly, at us. Well….they *looked* menacing.

Inside the walls of the Reenroe Hotel

I didn’t venture into the hotel. I had no hard hat and wasn’t particularly in the humour of having falling debris landing on me. As it was, there was no need to go further than the windows, as every bit of glass in the place had been smashed,whether through vandalism, gradual deterioration, or storm damage. Glass littered the floors of the bedrooms and the ground outside. Reenroe Hotel bedroom This is the first bedroom we looked into. Green ivy trailed from the window frame into the room, and what was once part of a wardrobe lay flat on the floor. Huge spiders webs stretched across the en-suite, and the sanitary ware was strewn around, both inside and out. Seven years bad luck for whoever broken the mirror, although its demolition could possibly be attributed to the collapsing ceiling. Reenroe Hotel En-suite

Bedroom Number Two still had a bed in it, and the wardrobes were still intact, although well worn.

A little bit of varnish and they’ll be grand.

Reenroe Hotel Bedroom

And onto Bedroom Number Three which looks like a fire might have taken place there due to the blackness of the ceiling and walls.

Reenroe Hotel Bedroom

Bedroom Number Four! Complete with carpet (underlay), curtains, mattress and headboard. It even has a phone line.

  Reenroe Hotel

Back outside, steps led up to the rear of the hotel, and to what was once the leisure centre foyer.

Waterville Beach Hotel Reenroe Hotel Reception

Himself thought the big metal spirally object was some sort of suspended ceiling.

All I know is, whatever it is, it’s dead!


Below is the main foyer of the hotel – swanky or what?

Waterville Beach Hotel

Come in, come in! Take the weight off your feet!

Waterville Beach Hotel

I’ll just fire up the ‘leccy’, which seems to have cut out for some reason…

Waterville Beach Hotel

Erm….on second thoughts, forget about the leccy.

Who needs power?

Have a swim!  There’s water in the pool.  A bottle of Jif and a big crane and it should be grand.

Reenroe Hotel Swimming Pool

Seriously though, I’d imagine it was lovely to lounge around in the pool and to look out at the sea.

It’s a fabulous spot.

Reenroe Beach

You’d wonder why a hotel like that ever closed.

About the Reenroe Hotel

It appears that, at one stage, in the late 90s, planning permission was sought for a four star, 120 bedroom hotel and leisure centre at a cost of €30million.  One objection halted the development, and it took ten years before planning permission was eventually granted in 2007.  Of course it was then that the Celtic Tiger had a bit of a mishap and the economy collapsed. The new hotel was never built, but it doesn’t explain why the existing hotel fell into such disrepair. Presumably it wasn’t doing any business. Waterville Beach HOtel Reenroe Hotel

For Sale!

The land the hotel sits on is now for sale. In 2010, 110 acres were listed for €150,000.  A listing at Property.ie, however, which was updated earlier this year, details 136 acres with the price ‘on application’.

Also on the land is this farmhouse.

Old Farmhouse at Reenroe

A handy little doer-upper.

Cottage at Reenroe Hotel

Whoever buys it will have to dispose of the current hotel and ask the current tenants to ‘moove’ out.

(Photo Credit: Property.ie)




10 thoughts on “Abandoned – Waterville Beach (Reenroe) Hotel

  1. Pingback: Waterville Beach Hotel | John Finn Photography

  2. I used to own shares in this hotel….sad to see it so…we had great plans for it..

  3. Brilliant page. I was actually looking for info about the Waterville Lake Hotel that my uncle worked in back in the 70’s, I remember going there back in the 80’s and seeing a little swimming pool and a woman playing the harp inside(not in the swimming pool lol) but there didn’t seem to be anybody staying there. I think that one closed for a while too but seems to be reopened nowadays.
    I’d love to know how many of these type hotel ruins are scattered along the coast of Ireland.
    It would be great if people that stayed here back in its heyday somehow shared photos they took then but maybe that will happen in time.

  4. i have just very recently visited the site while staying at cill rialaig.
    i had fel to ruin a bit more . someone told me that the site had been bought and i could see some stones next to it and a new water supply was made
    the stucture of the building looked good, i hope they do soemthing with it greetings wilma . lovely foto’s

  5. The hotel and land have now been sold, rumour is to a consortium from overseas for several million! Believe they will be knocking down and building another in its place.

    As for the Waterville lake hotel it’s no more. It closed about 18 months ago and was demolished early 2017. It is part of a new golf complex being built in Waterville. There is a new hotel going in, apartments for holidays, new golf course and massive golf shop cum bar.

  6. I enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos. It is sad to see others dreams and investments dashed.
    I have been looking for information about this area because apparentley 4K from Waterville is where my ancestors lived. Can anyone please help guide me in the direction of where I can find such records. Thank you.

  7. There was also a runway parallel to the beach where you would often spot a visiting plane or as it was, my dad flying there with us from farranfore.
    Happy days they were!
    I was in the pool there once age 9ish and impressed the lifeguard with my flying knowledge as I was flying as well, she was taking flying lessons with my instructor!!!

  8. I agree, it’s very sad to see. We live not too far away and walk the sandy beach beside it (called Reenroe Beach) often. The hotel is often referred to as Reenroe hotel and I believe that most people who walk the beach wonder about the building, and it’s past, not least because the architecture looks so urban and out of place – Definitely an eyesore… But at least a creepily mysterious one! (Anyone looking to set a horror movie in South-west Kerry – You know where to go)

  9. One of my best summers was 1982 when I waitressed at the hotel while at college. There was so much fun there! Great family hotel – lots of events. Some of the staff stayed in that house on the land but most of us stayed in the hotel. I remember sunbathing on the roof and sneaking in the downstairs window of the staff dining room after a late night dancing to Brush Shiels in Cahirciveen So sad to see what has become of this place. I hope laughter returns.

  10. I done the same as you last year, i had been for a run on the beach and then ventured in to the hotel… seeing the old pool… i remember going there as a kid while my parents went to the dance and we played on the snooker tables.
    Apparntly they will have a camp site. but wonder what will happen as they are looking to knock down mains and build a 40 bed hotel there with wedding and conference facilities.. going from having nothing to having lots of choice.

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