The River Lee Hotel Review, Cork Ireland

By Scarlett Shepherd

Post may contain affiliate links.

During a trip to Cork Ireland in July 2023, we stayed at the River Lee Hotel in a deluxe room. Overall, our experience at this hotel was AMAZING, and we would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to stay in Cork. This hotel is available to book though

The River Lee Hotel is a part of the Doyle Collection, which has hotels all over the world in England, Ireland and the USA.

The River Lee Hotel is one of three locations in Ireland, with the other two both being in Dublin.

The River Lee Hotel has a great location in Cork city centre, and in a short walk you can be at lots of great restaurants and attractions. For example, the English Market is a 10 minute walk, Cork City Gaol is 25 minutes, and the beautiful Fitzgerald Park is 15 minutes on foot.

The Deluxe Room

During our stay we opted for the deluxe room with one king bed and a travel cot, and this room was simply AMAZING!

All the deluxe rooms are located on the 5th floor, and to get up there you must swipe your key card to activate the lift.

The room was large with loads of space for the travel cot. This was also the first hotel that has had the cot already set up with sheets before our arrival. They also placed towels in there for the baby too.

There was a large window at the back of the room, which was a little like a mini enclosed balcony, which had a large window at the front and 2 smaller ones each side, which opened to let air in.

The bathroom was also very large and came with both a bath and shower, which were separate from each other. Having the baby with us, we were appreciative of the bath. In the bathroom there were great amenities in the form of 2 bathrobes and slippers, shower caps, a dental kit, a shaving kit and The White Company shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion.

Along with the great amenities in the bathroom, the room also came with a Nespresso coffee machine, with both caffeinated and decaffeinated pods. There was also a kettle with tea making facilities tucked away in the wardrobe. I also liked that the room came with a little note pad and pen, as I find that many hotels today have taken away this added touch with cost cutting measures, but we appreciated that it was still there at The River Lee.

Along with all these great added extras, the room also had all the basics that you would expect in the form of a safe which was big enough to store a laptop in, a large 55 inch TV, free wifi, nice quality towels, a mini fridge, desk, and a comfortable bed.

However, the best part of this room was the turndown service in the evening, and the staff’s attention to detail. Like most hotels, there was the normal room cleaning service during the day, which the staff did a great job with keeping the room immaculate. Then there was also the turndown service of an evening. Here the staff would give the room another quick clean, replace any used towels, and turn down the bed. However, it did not stop there. The staff would also leave 2 bottles of water, along with glasses at either side of the bed, so that you can quench those late-night thirsts. They also set up hot chocolate making facilities on the desk, by leaving out the kettle along with 2 cups, milk, and sachets of hot chocolate. It was this attention to detail that made our stay extra special.

Nevertheless, there is still more great perks that come with the deluxe room, and this is in the form of the executive lounge. At the end of one of the corridors on the 5th floor you will find the executive lounge. To enter you will need to swipe your key card. The lounge is for the guests staying in the deluxe rooms only, and we LOVED this extra perk.

The lounge is a large well-designed space with lots of places to sit and relax, or there are chairs with tables where you could get some work done. At the back of the lounge there is a small area where you can help yourself to drinks. There were bottles of still and sparkling water, along with a selection of some flavoured drinks too. There was a coffee machine which would make most types of coffee. There was also a small snack area, where in the morning you could choose from a selection of pastries, fruit, and yoghurt. Then in the afternoon and evening this would change to a selection of various snacks including crisps, brownies, nuts, rocky road and nut bars. This also included gluten free options too.

Services and Facilities

Gym and pool

Having access to the hotels gym and pool is included for all guests of the hotel. This is a great perk of this hotel, and a great way to relax. The pool area has been designed very well and has a 20m pool.



There is onsite parking at the hotel which is located underground. There is easy access from the car park to the hotel via a lift which takes you straight from the car park to the hotel reception area. The car park is behind barriers, and you need to get a ticket as you enter the car park, which you then give to the reception staff each time you want to leave, and they will validate the ticket for you. There is a cost of €10 per day for parking.

Food and Drink


When booking our room, we opted for an option which included breakfast, and I am glad that we did, because breakfast was brilliant.

Within our included breakfast we had access to the continental buffet, which consisted of lovely fresh honey, jams, spreads, cereal, pastries, and bread.

We also got access to the hot breakfast menu, which you order and they prepare fresh for you. We asked our server, and they said that we could order as much as we liked from the cooked breakfast menu, which was brilliant, because it was difficult to choose just one thing.

Throughout our stay we tried the eggs benedict, traditional Irish breakfast (minus the black pudding, which we asked to be removed) and the pancakes. Everything that we had for breakfast was amazing, and I would recommend it all.

The traditional Irish breakfast tasted fresh with good quality meat. The eggs benedict had perfectly cooked poached eggs and a lovely Hollandaise sauce. Lastly, the pancakes were some of the best that I have had outside of the USA, they were light and fluffy and complemented by a delicious sauce.

The breakfast was probably THE BEST hotel breakfast that we have ever had.

The Grill Room

One night during our stay we opted to have a dinner at the Grill Room, which is a restaurant onsite at the hotel.

The Grill Room had a good menu with lots of good classic options such as steak, local fish, and duck. We opted to try the 32oz Tomahawk steak cooked medium, which was to share. The steak came with two included sides, and a choice of sauce. We choose onion rings and chips for the sides and peppercorn sauce.

When placing the order, we were advised that this steak would come with a delay of around 25-30 mins. However, we experienced much slower service than this, and from ordering, it was 55 minutes until we got our food.

For the steak, it was more medium-well than just medium, and it was a good size with a nice flavour. The star of the show though was the sides and sauce. The onion rings were crisp and crunchy, but not greasy, and the chips were perfectly cooked and flavourful.

For dessert we opted for a crème brulee, and this was very good. The top was perfectly crunchy with a good snap, and the middle was creamy with a hint of citrus which I liked.

Overall, dinner was nice although a bit slow. It was not the best steak we have ever had, but it was okay. The sides and sauces though were lovely, and the desert was thoroughly enjoyed.


Overall, we would highly recommend The River Lee Hotel to anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Cork, and we will definitely be staying here again. It is absolutely worth stopping at the hotel for breakfast in the morning, before setting off for a day around Cork, where this hotel is centrally located. The staff were brilliant with great attention to detail. The deluxe room was amazing, and we loved the executive lounge. All the facilities were of a very high quality throughout the hotel, and the staff did a great job of keeping everything spotlessly clean.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *