Smugglers inn waterville owned by the hunt family | The Smugglers Inn, Waterville, Co. Kerry

A smugglers history
& Philosophy

Welcome to The Smugglers Inn, a Failte Ireland registered Inn which was originally a 180 year old farmhouse. A unique hotel on edge of Ireland overlooking the beautiful Kerry Coastline. With two world class golf courses on its door steps as well as a restaurant praised by gastronomic writers throughout the world.

smugglers inn

We've been about for a while 🙂

In 1980 it was restored by the Hunt Family into a Accommodation with Gourmet Restaurant and Beach Bar. Since then we have become renowned world wide for our warm welcome and superb restaurant.


View outside the Smugglers Inn

Henry Hunt and his team have earned a devoted following for their seasonal menus. The dishes are inspired by Ireland’s changing seasons and offerings. The Smugglers Inn Restaurant philosophy is to create a menu that is not only exciting and innovative, but also sources the finest of sustainable seafood as well as grown ingredients which are locally sourced. There is an abundance of regional produce on our doorstep such as fresh seafood & shellfish from Daly’s, Cromane, local fishermen and organic vegetables from local suppliers all creating dishes full of flavour and aroma.

Henry Hunt - Chef & Proprietor

chef henry hunt

Spanning over 5 generations


The Smugglers Inn, which is a restored Farm House, spans over 5 generations since approx 1779 when Lucille Fogarty Hunt's Great Great Grandfather moved to Waterville as a young manand settled in Murreagh.

His son then moved to the village to open a butcher Shop called Fogartys. The Fogarty Family who lived in the old farmhouse which is now The Smugglers Inn. Lucille'a great grand parents and grandfather PT Fogarty wiyth grand aunts Mary, Bridget and Ellen.

The Fogartys Farmed and Slaughtered their own livestock, they produced their own Black Pudding and Corned Beef. So the love of producing good food started generations ago. The shop is still in the Fogarty Family known today as Centra in Waterville Village.
Lucille Fogarty-Hunt at the start of the renovations to The Smugglers Inn in 1979

smugglers inn restaurant

Smugglers Inn Restaurant overlooking Ballinskellig Bay

The original Fogartys, it is said, travelled after the Soup Cart in Famine Times from Co. Tipperary. They settled in this area, Murreagh, bought a small house and Farmed the land.
When all the elders that were left in the house passed on, Henry's Grandfather, Paddy, let the house out as a Holiday Rental for a few years but then the house got into bad repair and was unlived in for many years. In the late 70's Paddy Fogarty, Henry's Grandfather, gave the old Ruin / House to his daughter Lucille and her Husband Harry.

They developed the old home into a gourmet Restaurant using all local fresh produce.

Harry had been trained under the acclaimed chef Frank Hunt in the U.K. also in France and spent some time working with the P + O Cruise Liners.

waterville golf course smugglers

The Smugglers Inn is located next door to the world class golf course, The Waterville Golf Links

The doors of the Smugglers opened on Easter Saturday 1980. It has now been taken over by Henry, their son, which is now 3 generations of chefs in the Hunt Family.

Henry worked with his Dad Harry for a number of years learning the ropes before attending Ballymaloe Cookery School and studying Hotel Management. He is widely experienced in International Cuisine having worked in The Smugglers Cove in The Grand Cayman, Bondi Beach Hotel in Sydney and in Surfers Paradise - a Greek Style Restaurant where Henry first came across one of his signature Ketafi Pastry dishes .

Henry has also worked in l'Ecrivan in Dublin, The Old School House in Ballsbridge and Halo Restaurant in The Morrison Hotel. He also has The Hilton in Switzerland, No Escapes in Chamonix and The Fat Duck with Heston Bloomenthal to add to his repertoire.

So with the history behind The Smugglers Inn and the vast experience gained by Henry in the last few years it is no wonder that The Smugglers Inn is one of the top Seafood Restaurants in all of Ireland backed by Awards from Good Food Ireland, Taste of Ireland and Georgina Campbell.

why the name?


In 1700, when Ireland was under UK rule, the native Irish were banned from trading with any other country. So a lot of Smuggling was done in small county coastal areas, as the UK duty boats only watched the big ports like Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Galway.

The French and Spanish smuggled in Wine, Brandy and Gold, while the Irish exported Wool and Poteen (an illegal Irish Whiskey).


The original Smugglers Inn built in 1779

Cliff Road, Waterville,

Co. Kerry, V23 CY99
Call ​​+353 (0)87 3929011

The Smugglers Inn beachfront Hotel is located on Cliff Road, Waterville, Co.Kerry. Built in 1779. the restored farm house spans 5 generations of food, quality and Irish tradition.

smugglers cafe

Smugglers cafe
If visiting Portmagee on your visit to Co.Kerry don't forget to pop into our sister Smugglers cafe for the best coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch in Portmagee. Learn More

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