For many years, driving the lonely road joining Recess Village with the Clifden-Leenaun route, we passed this brilliantly-located Lodge/Hotel and wondered what it would be like to stay there ? Finally we decided to give it a try, and the fact that an intended 2 night stay extended to 3 nights surely says something positive.
The Lodge is described in one guidebook as "akin to a family home where guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the peace", and in our view it lives-up to that promise. It's quite compact (13 bedrooms), with two comfortable "Sitting-Rooms", a lovely Dining-Room, and a small Bar. The Bedrooms are named after famous Irish literary figures - ours being the George Bernard Shaw Room - and pictures of these "greats" are interspersed with the eclectic mix of paintings & prints displayed throughout this attractive House (lurking amidst the "literary giants" we also observed one Eamonn deValera, and then searched in vain for "The Big Fellow", Michael Collins !)
Our welcome was warm, and we were very impressed with our Room, which looked-out onto Lough Inagh. The offer of tea and (warm) scones helped us settle-in, and we soon began to savour our surroundings and unwind.
Dinner (Euro 49) - we ate here for three nights - is generally quite good, our favourite Starter being a particularly tasty "Black Pudding Spring-Roll", and as for Mains the winner definitely was the "Monkfish Special of the Day". Bearing in mind the size of the Lodge, they have an excellently-chosen and very fairly-priced Winelist, so well done to them !
But the real core ingredients which make a stay here most enjoyable are the Hosts : Maire and Dominic - both of them extremely attentive (not intrusive), and, as a bonus for those interested, Gaeilge binn blasta acu beirt ! Maire would remind you of the best style of "Bean a' Ti" - warm, committed, helpful, reliable, and producing a "cupan tae" at (almost) any time you feel even slightly thirsty ! For his part, Dominic is equally warm, as well as being shrewd, energetic, responsive, erudite, and possessing a slightly wicked sense of humour (we grinned when he was directing a large group of Americans to the Dining-Room "turn LEFT - if you want your Dinner, you've got to become DEMOCRATS !)
Even with two wonderful people running the show, not everything runs smoothly all the time. Breakfast, for example, can be a bit of a struggle - the buffet display of fruits, juices, cereals, breads etc. is great, but you gamble when you order from the "cooked" menu, as you may not get exactly what you order, and the Chef shows a definite tendency to "over-cook" your food. Coffee here won't win any Rosettes either - the Owners should go and experience "the real thing" somewhere like "Mocha Beans" in Galway/Westport or more nearby, "Upstairs/Downstairs" in Clifden. And inexperienced staff can let you down in other ways too : in an almost empty Bar, an extremely polite young American lady had to ask the Barperson for a cloth to wipe an unacceptably dirty table, and the same American had to request a "Finger-Bowl" to go with her portion of Mussels - not great on the lady's very first visit to Ireland with her Irish husband eh ?
Mentioning these lapses may seem picky, but Maire & Dominic do such an excellent job that it seems a shame when they appear let-down. (To give them due credit, they responded well when we gave them some honest feedback on what we had experienced or observed !)
So, overall, would we go to "Lough Inagh Lodge" again ? We think we would. This place is quiet (some guests might feel tempted to recall the memorable John Wayne line "too durned quiet" ?) but we like peace, tranquility and stunning scenery, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves. What Maire and Dominic offer here they do extremely well almost all of the time - go neiri an t-adh leo !
For a reasonable supplement you should book a de-luxe room with views over Lough Inagh
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.