Welcome to our 4 Star Hotel in Kerry
Located on the seafront in Waterville Village on the Wild Atlantic Way, overlooking the spectacular Ballinskelligs Bay, The Butler Arms Hotel is a property like no other.
As one of the Wild Atlantic Way Hotels, The Butler Arms Hotel is a property like no other. Offering an incredible 36 bedroom hotel which was established in 1884 by the Huggard family, it has been welcoming guests exploring the Ring of Kerry ever since with warm and friendly Irish hospitality. Our much-loved hotel, treasured for its homely intimate atmosphere has recently gotten new homeowners and joined the fantastic Press Up Hospitality Group, of which our warm Irish welcomes remain the same!
History of The Butler Arms
There have been many notable celebrities visit including Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Douglas, who have flocked to the area to enjoy the stunning scenery and world class golf resorts. The hotel is nestled between Hog’s Head Golf Club and Waterville Golf Links.
As well as the unbeatable views, the large hotel features the spacious Charlie’s Restaurant, serving up a popular fine-dining restaurant experience as well as our cosy Fishermen’s Bar. Both of which offer a mouth watering selection of the region’s finest seafood, caught daily by local fishermen in the bountiful waters of this part of the coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way and complimented with a superb wine list.
History of The Butler Arms Hotel Waterville Kerry
The Butler Arms Hotel showcases the wonders of this unique part of Kerry on the world stage, welcoming both international and local guests. Guests and local people mingle very comfortably in the Fishermen’s bar and visitors often spend long evenings being regaled with local folklore whilst part-taking of a small tincture or two from the bar’s multifarious stockpile.
The hotel is within easy reach of a host of activities and attractions but, also provides the perfect hideaway in which to relax and indulge yourself. Whether you want to explore the local countryside of Waterville or the famous Ring of Kerry, relax on the beaches, or have an action-packed sporting holiday, we will be happy to help with the arrangements.
In more recent years Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, stayed in the hotel whilst on a golfing holiday with their young family. American Football player Dan Marino, Ice Hockey player Wayne Gretzy, Cricketer Sir Ian Botham all stayed while taking part in the Annual Carr Golf Father & Son Competition which takes place every August.
Probably the most famous guest to have stayed in the Butler Arms, Charlie Chaplin was one of Hollywood’s first true movie stars. He, along with his family holidayed at the hotel for many years. What was exceptional about Charlie Chaplin was that his everyday look was as pedestrian as the local men who mingled with him and who treated him like one of their own. This gave him the kind of anonymity that he craved and was one of the reasons why he returned year after year. He sought no special treatment and quite often went on fishing expeditions with his fellow hotel guests.
In 2014 and 2015 the Butler Arms welcomed the cast and crew of Stars Wars “The Force Awakens”. They came to the area to shoot scenes on the UNSECO site Skelligs Michael. The crew of Star Wars Episode VII booked the entire hotel, Butler Arms, out in September 2014 and again in September 2015 for Episode VIII. The ensemble included Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, JJ Abrams as well as Kathleen Lucas.
One of the world’s most well-known bankers and Financier JP Morgan stayed in the Butler Arms in the early 1900s. Morgan was so impressed by the quality of the food in the Hotel that he immediately sought a new acquisition for the hotel’s Head Chef Kathy Buckley. Morgan after delicate negotiations with Buckley convinced her to come to the US and become cook at his mansion in his native Hartford Connecticut.
Early in 1923 a very special guest was invited to dinner at Morgan’s mansion. A close friend of Morgan, Calvin Coolidge was just weeks away from taking the oath of Office as President of the United States. Coolidge was also very impressed by Kathy Buckley and invited her to become head of the White House kitchens, a job she retained under subsequent presidents, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1946 Walt Disney, the very famous Hollywood star of that time, came to stay at Butler Arms. He was in Ireland at the time on a two-week research assignment for a movie he was planning to base on Irish folklore. The reason for Disney’s 1946 trip recently came to light with the resurgence of a letter written by Matthew Murphy, The Irish Console in San Francisco, to the Department of Foreign Affairs seeking to set up a meeting between Disney and the then Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera, to discuss a film with the working name Darby O ‘Gill and the Little People. During his time in Waterville in November 1946, Mary Huggard proprietor of the hotel sent her staff out with bowls of Leprechaun Trifle and Puce Pudding with Slainte Sauce. Disney was invited to sit around the turf fire as local Seanchai Tadhg Murphy unleashed his arsenal of folk tales translated from Irish.