Just a few miles outside Waterville, along the fine Inny strand, are the ruins of the former Reenroe (Rinn Rua or Waterville Beach) Hotel. Along the pristine coastline the building stands out as quite a bit of an eyesore that can be seen from quite a distance.
The hotel opened its doors in 1972, was run by the Huggard family, but had to close for business only about two decades later in the early nineties. The hotel included a leisure centre with swimming pool, a dance hall and even its own airstrip to cater for private planes.
A few years after its closure, the Kerry Park and Golf Country Club attempted to open a holiday village and hotel complex. A few years later in 2004 the Eccleston Ltd. hotel group tried getting planning permission for a €30 million new development on the site. After a lengthy process in which the plans were initially refused, planning permission was granted in 2007 but the economic recession threw a spanner in the works, plans were halted, and the site has been lying idle ever since.
The site in 2018 makes for an interesting visit. The surrounding countryside – once upon a time well maintained hotel grounds – is grazed by sheep whilst the former hotel sits there empty and slowing decaying. The roof of the foyer and leisure centre has collapsed but the main tower seems to be in good state. Most of the site is easily accessible but the tower and staircases have been properly boarded shut. It is quite eerie to witness the remains of the swimming pool, kitchens and bedrooms!
The 113-acre site is for sale for around €150,000 euro which still includes planning permission for a 120-bedroom hotel. Kerry County council refused to consider it a Derelict Site in 2012, citing it “does not detract from the scenic amenity of the area”, meaning it does not have the legal capacity to order the owner to clean up the mess.