19/01/2011 05:59 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Hotel Review: The Malton, Killarney, Ireland

With its old-fashioned country house charm and the Killarney National Park on its doorstep, The Malton is the perfect antidote to city stress – and had the seal of approval from Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy.

The Malton

The USP: The Malton boasts six acres of gardens, 150 years of history and some quirky touches to brighten up the 'stepped back in time to a Victorian house party' feel – the huge staircases were even designed to allow two ladies in hooped dresses to pass each other comfortably, a fact which delights the heart even if you're in jeans.

Book it now if:
You fancy some old world charm while you follow in Princess Grace and Jackie O's footsteps, as the glamorous duo have both stayed here over the years. Although the jewel bright velvet chairs and funky modern silk lamps keep it firmly in modern-day territory, the old white wedding cake style exterior and occasional century-old wonky corridor mean you can live out your corset-ripping period drama fantasies.

Bedding down:
The rooms are split between the main house and the newer Garden wing, but all decorated in updated classic style. If you can stretch to a deluxe room, they've had an added injection of chic and the bathrooms all have the hotel's own herbal Damana range.

Feed me:
There's two restaurants including the main Garden room with its huge gilded dome and ceiling decorated in miles of gold leaf, and locally sourced ingredients on the menu. Or Peppers Steak & Seafood Grill has around six steak options as well as oysters and crab.

Easily bored:
Head to the spa for a dip in the heated swimming pool or to relax in the steam room. It's all slightly dated, the tiny sauna is only really big enough for one, so you might have to wait your turn, and the view in to the poolside from the path to the conference centre is slightly unnerving though. Or hit the great outdoors, and explore Killarney National Park, home to Ireland's highest mountains, and 26,000 acres of stunning woodlands, lakes and waterfalls. There's various walks, depending if you want a hike or a gentle amble, you can take a boat trip across Middle Lake from Dinis Cottage to Muckross House. Ross Castle is nearby too – you can choose a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car or saddle up yourself from around £30 at Killarney Riding Stables. Check out our Starter for 10 guide for more activity suggestions.

What's the damage: Rooms cost from around £74.45.

Point me in the right direction: The Malton hotel, Town Centre, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland (+353 64 663 8000/

The Malton