Stay at Lough Eske Castle near Donegal in Northern Ireland

Lough Eske Castle HotelLough Eske Castle is a legendary building in a storybook location just outside Donegal Town in Northern Ireland. The original castle has been transformed into Donegal’s first and only five star Hotel & Spa. It retains an historical aura while incorporating every modern convenience into large, comfortable rooms.

Dating back to the 1400’s, this meticulously restored hotel is nestled within a 43-acre forest of massive, ancient trees. The estate hugs the shores of Lough Eske and is close to the Bluestack Mountains—a perfect setting for unspoiled views of the Irish countryside.

The hotel encompasses 95 guest rooms including a two-bedroom Presidential Suite, 15 luxurious suites, 65 deluxe rooms and 14 courtyard rooms.  The best part of our room (for me–I needed relaxation time) was a large bathroom with dual sinks and a luxurious tub into which soothing warm water flowed from multiple streams.  Stylish rooms are made more pleasant with additional table and chairs or couches and a desk. Wi-fi is free, a convenience that’s not so common in luxury properties but welcome for this journalsit.

Drinks and appetizers for our group were served in the “red” room, so called because the décor, including the chandelier and its light bulbs, was red. Next to it was the “green” room, similarly furnished. I could just imagine a bride and groom exchanging vows in the large ballroom with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the stunning landscape. The original tower is now a reading/sitting room, although there are four large suites in the old castle space.spa pool Lough Eske Castle

Spa Solis with its 17 metre swimming pool, fitness centre and treatment suites sits in the footprint of the Castle’s original greenhouse. Too bad we didn’t have a chance to experience any the spa’s amenities–seven treatment rooms including two couples treatment rooms with jet bath and steam rooms, a fully equipped thermal suite consisting of an ice fountain, sauna, steam room circular showers, heated tiled benches, and infinity pool. But I’ll dream of returning to pamper myself next time.

Fountains, bronze statues, and roaming geese add charm to the grounds, a stunning combination of formal gardens, lawn, and woodland areas. Service is impeccable and the food delicious (I enjoyed cod lightly pan-fried with just a hint of crispness served on a bed of mashed potatoes with spinach).

Lough Eske Castle, a Solis property, is the only Irish hotel designated a World Luxury Hotel, and it has won the Luxury Country Hotel title two years in a row. It has also been voted Wedding and Castle Venue of the Year by Ireland’s largest wedding website.  www.solishotels.com/lougheskecastle

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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