Staying at HI - Killarney International, Co Kerry Hostel is like staying at school camp -- and if you are really unlucky, there may even be a whole bunch of noisy schoolchildren taking over the whole hostel during your stay!
If you have a car, this hostel is easily accessible, with plenty of space to park your car. However, if you do not have a car, this hostel is a long way out of town -- approximately six kilometers. Having said that, there is a bus (279 service) which will drop you about two hundred meters from the hostel. Unfortunately the bus only operates every two hours, and even fewer on the weekend. If you appreciate a good walk, there is a brand new walking track called Fossa Way, which is just off the roadway and backs onto the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. It is a nice, flat walk, but a long way if you are carrying a backpack. Also, there is a pub about two hundred meters from the hostel, and that is it -- no shop anywhere close by. Be sure to bring all your own food if you are going to stay.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are dorm rooms and private rooms available at this hostel. The dorm rooms are especially cramped, and there are no lockers/safe facilities to store your belongings. It is very cluttered with a room full of people and their things. There is a sink in the room but no hooks for hanging items. The beds are spring mattresses and are extremely uncomfortable. The small height of the bunk beds means that you cannot sit on the bottom bunk without hitting your head. The bathrooms are quite spacious and there is a chair for your belongings inside the shower cubicle. There are no ledges in the shower for soap or anything.
The self-contained kitchen is a huge positive about this hostel. There are three oven/stove units, a number of fridges, and plenty of bench space to prepare your food. There is a large dining room, which also means that it is suitable for groups of people. There is a cafe area which also sells freshly baked cakes and coffee. The lounge rooms are gloriously big, with fireplaces that are lit in the evening. There is also a TV in one of the lounge rooms, and there is a movie shown nightly. There are board games and a book exchange, so whether you are with a friend or traveling solo, there are things to keep you occupied. Wi-Fi is also included in the price, and works only in the common area. There is only one washing machine, so expect a queue if the hostel is busy.
The hostel can also organise day trips to the Ring of Kerry and Dingle; however, if you shop around in town or online you will be able to find a cheaper travel company who picks up from the hostel. The hostel does not allow friends to visit. Overall this is a quiet hostel with charm and potential -- great if you are traveling in a group, not too bad if you are solo. Most importantly, you should have some form of transport if you wish to stay here.