Luxury Hotels in Ireland

The Solis Lough Eske Castle- Donegal – Ireland
Set in the picturesque County Donegal in North West Ireland, the majestic Gaelic Lough Eske Castle has more than just a story to tell. The hotel was secretly buzzing with a serious wedding arrangement when we arrived but it was still business as usual for the hotel guests.

On arrival, and as you enter the hotel, one can certainly see why it would be every bride’s dream location. Its history alone is colourful simply because of the varied list of owners it has had; starting with the O’Donnells, the founding fathers of Donegal in the 15th Century, to the Brookes in the 18th Century, the Whites in the 19th, the Swans in the 20th, moving over to American ownership before returning to become Irish again today. Every Castle tells a story but what makes Lough Eske Castle an ideal MICE destination for Executive Traveller is its setting, the carefully planned architecture to create spacious and workable events spaces adaptable to both social occasions like weddings, christenings, private parties, as well as corporate events. One can even exclusively hire the entire castle if one so desired. It is rumoured that a certain American Company did just that!

Function Rooms
The function rooms include a 6,800sq.ft Ballroom, a fully air-conditioned ballroom, flooded with daylight with floor to ceiling bay windows, which extend from the middle half of the room. The Ballroom subdivides into 3 separate, soundproof units or a combination. What makes this room ideal is that Ballroom II and III allows delegates direct access to elevated gardens and an adjacent terrace overlooking the spectacular Blue Stack Mountains. This makes it a perfect venue for pre-dinner cocktails or coffee breaks.
There is also the 1,205 sq ft Glencar Suite with its spacious fully air-conditioned designated boardroom with natural daylight and oakwood panelling throughout. It can be divided into two equal soundproof units (Glencar I and Glencar II) each with its own wall-mounted LCD Screen. The rooms can also be and beautiful outdoor space.

Team Building Activities and the Great Outdoors
Apart from some interesting culinary activities with the in-house The Castle works with AdventureDonegal.com and together with the Donegal community, groups and individuals can take advantage of:
• Hiking and Biking through the Blue Stack Mountains
• World Class Golf
• Pristine Beaches
• Water Sports
• Horseback Riding on sandy beaches
• Superb Fishing with a boat on Lough Eske
• Coastal Sailing
• Scuba Diving
• Tour of Donegal Town itself on the Waterbus to learn about its history
• Tour of Slieve League (the highest cliff face in Europe) including Glencorlmcille and Ardara
• Day trips to seaside cliffs, gardens, waterfalls, mountains as visit other castles, ruins and historic sites with 5 minutes to an hour’s drive away.
As a hotel, the Castle spaciously sleeps 96 guests on single occupancy and 192 with double /twin occupancy. For larger groups, the hotel collaborates with another 4-star property 5 minutes drive away.

The Spa at Lough Eske Castle

In the unusual setting of an original glasshouse of the old castle, delegates can enjoy the Spa Solis Experience at Lough Eske Castle. This is where you spend an hour to a full day to relax, unwind, or simply indulge your senses with their unique Incentives package. The Spa Solis is a complete fitness, leisure and relaxation centre using Aromatherapy Associates unique product range to promote the heating powers of natural plant extracts.

The Spa has 8 very spacious treatment rooms, two of which are couple suites with jet bath and steam room. It also has a thermal suite equipped with an ice fountain, sauna, steam room, samarium, tropical experience showers, heated bench and an infinity pool. There is also a relaxation are facing into the gardens.
Other facilities include a 17m indoor heated pool, a fully equipped state-of-the-art fitness centre. Specialist staff are available for consultation.

Wining and Dining
The main dining experience is in the Cedars Grill but private dining is available all round the hotel with pre-drinks in the Gallery or Oak Bar where groups can learn how to “pull” a good pint of Guinness. You can also enjoy a delightful bistro menu at the Lobby Lounge.

How to get there
There are several ways to travel to Lough Eske Castle dependant on how much of Ireland you want to see before you arrive. First, it is very practical for a helicopter to land on the grounds of the castle, which itself is located 5km or 5 minutes drive from the quaint Donegal country town with traditional Irish pubs and shops. You can also travel through the following airports:
• Sligo Airport - 60km (an hour’s drive)
• City of Derry Airport - 85 km (an hour’s drive)
• Ireland West Airport Knock Airport - 135km, about 2 hour’s drive*
• Belfast International Airport 180 km, within 2 ½ hr drive
• Dublin International Airport 220km, about 3 hour’s drive

*Please note that the Ireland West Knock Airport levies a Development Fee (Service Charge) of 10 Euros applicable to all departing passenger, aged 12 and above for the use of its facilities. The Development fee goes towards providing passenger and airline services and the ongoing maintenance and operation of the airport.
Parking Facilities:
Valet parking to a spacious and secure car park
Car Hire and Chauffeur Drive Car Service available.

Executive Traveller 2003