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“Nice but not nice enough”

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Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Donegal Town
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Nice but not nice enough”
Reviewed May 12, 2013 via mobile

Chose solis lough eske for wedding anniversary trip. It's a nice hotel in the main, but for 190 euro per night we were disappointed with the stains on the bedroom carpet, the lack of temperature control in the deluxe ground floor room (the underfloor hearing in the bathroom seemed to b stuck at max and when they turned it off it still hasn't cooled down 24 hours later), and the slightly off milk on the table at breakfast. I have travelled extensively and I wasn't impressed by this. When I mentioned the issues at check out the receptionist seemed to have no idea what to say or how to handle it...so perhaps I was the first customer ever to mention things could have been better. Again, not what you'd expect from a 5 star establishment. The table in the dining room was worn with scratches through the stain to bare wood. On the plus side, the staff were pleasant and we had dinner in the restaurant and it was lovely. So overall a bit of a let down in some areas.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 16, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Solis Lough Eske Castle to celebrate your recent wedding anniversary and for taking time to post your review.

It's great to hear that you were impressed with our restaurant, our staff and the service but I'm disappointed that you encountered the issues that you mentioned and would like to offer you our sincere apologies.

I can assure you that this does not reflect our usual high standards and I hope that you will give us another chance by returning to stay with us again in the not too distant future.

if you would like to discuss any aspect of your stay further with me, please feel free to contact me at the hotel during office hours on +353 7497 25100.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (472)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Dallas, TX
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights at this hotel as part of our package on Spectre tours. From the moment we stepped into this hotel we knew it was going to be a special experience. Our room was beautiful and spacious with a very modern bathroom (heated floors, huge shower and soaking tub). The service was exemplary and everything perfect ( with exception to spotty wifi connection.) We ate at the bar and the food/service was excellent. This hotel met all our expectations and I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cynthia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you sinceresly for such a positive review and for your very kind recommendation. It was our pleasure to welcome you both for your recent Sceptre Tours two night stay and we are delighted that you had such a "special experience" and that all of your expectations were met.

It's wonderful to hear that you were happy with every aspect of your stay - from the "beautiful and spacious guestroom" to the "excellent food" and the "exemplary service" you received from our team.

I do hope that you will return to stay with us again sometime in the future.

In the meantime, thank you again and best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013

after spending the last couple of years experiencing a piece of heaven in fermanagh, every few weeks, we have now found a wonderfull comparison in donegal.
it was by accident we came across the lough eske castle as our regular hotel/resort couldnt fit us in and it was to our advantage that we came to this paradise in donegal.

what do you want for a 4-5 day break, nice clean hotel, nice location, friendly staff, good food, good drink in a comfortable lounge, great service... well, thats what you will get at lough eske and more.. the setting of the hotel in a secluded forest with plenty of walks and fresh, clean air.

on arrival we were greeted at reception by Geraldine who was very efficient and very chatty and had everything prepared for us, so there was no delay getting our room.
which was a gem in the lough eske crown, a second floor suite, with a massive bed, sitting room, lavish bathroom with all the top products..
the view from the suite was of the beautifully laid out gardens and walk ways.. the decor was very calming and fresh. the heating in the room was perfect and easily adjustable..
on visiting the gallery bar we were amazed by the quick attention we recieved even though the bar was buzzing.. the food was superb and very well priced needless to say the staff were impeccable in manner. attention to detail and friendliness.. it didnt take us long to be on first name terms with gallery team or TEAM JIMMY, as he likes them to be known,,lol
apart from jimmy, the man,, peter, nigel, gregg, thomas, and rachael kept the ball rolling always with a sincere chat and making time to chat to the guests and friendly smiles.. you could only feel at ease in the bar along with good musical entertainment..
the next night we tried the Cedar restaurant and what a feast we got served up, starting with chicken liver mousse and the cedar salad, followed by a perfect rack of lamb and supreme chicken with the smoothest potatoes you can imagine complete with fresh veg.
again the service (Anya ) as with the food was first class. the meat was falling of the bone and the chicken was so moist it was nearly clucking, just perfect. we needed a break before we had the chocolate treat and ice creams and then a good rest was needed.

so after 5 days ( 4 nights ) of being pampered and spoiled we had to have our final breakfast which again is up to the 5 star standard of lough eske, massive choice of food, great service again and an egg chef, true, eggs to suit all tastes..
on departure we got a friendly send off, or maybe it was a relieved send off !!!!!lol
and we will def., return to this fabulous location, if only for the friendship of the staff at a quality hotel.. 5 star all round..*****
cheers
S & D
ps,,,we didnt try the Spa but its on the list

Room Tip: pot luck,,,,,,,,,,they are all good
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Materialistic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

A sincere thank you for taking time to review your recent four night stay with us and for your many fantastic comments!

I am delighted that you have found your "paradise in Donegal" in Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa and that you had such a wonderful time during your stay. I have passed your many kind compliments on to the team (especially to Geraldine and Team Jimmy!) and as always, they are delighted to get such encouraging feedback.

It's wonderful to receive such positivity in relation to every aspect of your stay and I am delighted that you are intending to return for another visit.

Looking forward to welcoming you back again very soon.

Kind regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kildare
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Stayed here on Apr 15 for 4 nights.
We stayed in the courtyard room which was very nice although the room was too hot and there was no way to control the temp (only a stat in the bathroom). We brought this up at reception who said they would look into it, but was never resolved.
Now, let me explain the title of this review.... 8.50 for a glass of wine is a joke (a very bad one)!!! Considering a glass of wine down the road in Harvey's Point is 3 Euro cheaper....You just CANT JUSTIFY that difference!
Would like to mention Jimmy in the bar, who was very friendly.
Pool area was very nice too. Food was good.
Overall a nice stay but nearly choked on the wine!!! Go eleswhere if you plan on having a few drinks(in particular wine).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank curefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa recently and for taking time to post your review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your overall stay and that you enjoyed the pool area and the quality of the food - I have passed your kind compliments on to Jimmy who, as always, is delighted!

I am disappointed that you encountered an issue with the heating problem in your room and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience and for the fact that it was not resolved for you at the time. I can assure you that this is not our usual high standard of service and I have now brought this to the attention of our engineering department who will be double checking the heating systems to ensure that this is not a problem going forward.

I regret that you were dissatisfied with the price of our wine as we feel that €8.50 per glass is appropriate and represents good value for a quality, hand selected wine served by highly trained service professionals in ambient surroundings. Lough Eske Castle is a restored historic five star property with very high standards and we feel that our services are comparably priced to those of our equal competitors.

It's great to hear that, overall, you enjoyed your visit and I do hope that you will return to stay with us again in the very near future.

Kind regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Simply the best Irish hotel we have ever been to.
The staff were fantastic and attentive without overdoing it.
The hotel is set in the countryside and is peaceful and quiet. The rooms were perfect and anything we needed was attended to without hesitation or fuss.
Other hoteliers should stay here just to see exactly how it should be done.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful endorsement of Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa and for your very high recommendation.

It was our pleasure to welcome you for your recent stay and we are thrilled that you had such a wonderful experience.

Each member of our service team is carefully selected and continuously trained to provide superior hospitality and service and I am delighted that you experienced our high standards at first hand.

Your kind comments are very much appreciated - the team delight in receiving this type of encouraging feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Lough Eske in the very near future.

Best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This property was one of four we stayed at on a recent trip to Ireland and it blew the others out if the water! The service and facilities were phenomenal! We had dinner at the gallery bar and food was delicious. By far the highlight though was Nigel, our bartender! The quintessential Irishman - he was warm, witty, and engaging! We loved the evening we spent at the bar being entertained by him! Would love to spend a whole week at Lough Eske as there are many things in the area to see and do!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynnae R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the ladies and gentlemen at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, I would like to thank you for your wonderful review and for your very kind and encouraging comments.

Your compliments regarding our facilities and service are wonderful and we are delighted that you had such a great experience with us at the castle. Nigel is delighted with your very flattering remarks and would like to pass on his personal best wishes to you.

Perhaps you will come back to stay with us again to enjoy some more of Nigel's banter and to take in the many local things to see and do in the area that you didn't get around to doing during your trip! The local area has so much to offer.

We look forward to possibly meeting you again and welcoming you back to Lough Eske Castle sometime in the not too distant future.

Very best wishes from the team and kind regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We had travelled quite a distance to get to the hotel, which resulted in us having a late lunch at 3pm. When we asked to make a reservation for dinner in the restaurant, we were offered 6.30pm,( too early) or 9.30pm ( too late). We couldn't get a table in the bar either at the time we wanted to eat (between 7.30 and 8.30). We ended up having to drive to Donegal town and look for a restaurant. This meant that my husband couldn't have wine with our meal as he was driving! At breakfast the following morning, we stood and waited for 20 mins at the hot food service, only to find out that people ahead of us were waiting for crepes prepared by the chef, made to order. All we wanted were scrambled eggs with salmon. We were then told by the chef that the scrambled eggs were self serve along with other items, except salmon which we could not find! We eventually found the salmon tucked away in another area entirely, along with the bread and cereals but by that time we had eaten our breakfasts.There were only two toasters so we had to wait our turn to use one, by which time our breakfasts were cold. There were no side plates at our table. We asked a waitress clearing a table nearby for some extra butter as we only had two very small flower shaped portions and she simply handed us the (exposed) butter from that used table! The hotel may be 5 star but the dining experience is nowhere near. The swimming pool is in a seperate building outside but we were not told this. We had been told we could wear the dressing gowns and flip flops down to the pool, which we did, only to be unaware of the walk in the cold outside. There was no attendant at the desk so we had to help ourselves to towels. The steam room was out of order and there was no sauna.Overall it was a very disappointing experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank girlabouttown31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SolisLoughEske, Guest Relations Manager at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was our pleasure to welcome you both to Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa for your recent stay.

I am genuinely disappointed regarding the issues you encountered in relation to breakfast service and in relation to being unable to reserve a table for dinner at a suitable time. Please be assured that these issues do not reflect our usual high standards and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused and for the disappointment you experienced.

I have noted all of your concerns and will be raising each and every one of them with the relevant leaders and management in order to prevent this from occuring again.

If you would like to discuss these issues with me any further, please feel free to call me personally at the hotel during office hours - you can contact me at +353 7497 25100.

I do hope that you will give Lough Eske Castle another chance to prove its worth and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Mark
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa

Property: Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
Address: Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Ireland
Location: Ireland > County Donegal > Donegal Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Donegal Town
#3 Business Hotel in Donegal Town
#3 Family Hotel in Donegal Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lough Eske Castle, a Solís Hotel & Spa is a historic castle dating to the 15th century and closely identified with the O'Donnell Clan, the founding fathers of Donegal. Set in a secluded storybook location within 43 acres of native woodland on the shores of Lough Eske with the dramatic Bluestack Mountains as a stunning backdrop, it is the ideal place to relax and experience superior hospitality and exceptional friendly service. Winner of the 'World's Best Luxury Country Hotel' title in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and topping 'My Guide Ireland's Top 10 Hotels in Ireland, this lovingly restored castle hotel blends its historic past with a dash of contemporary luxury where you can escape into a world of relaxed elegance. From the spa to the dining table to your beautifully appointed guestroom, we provide a truly accommodating environment where our dedication to the guest is thoughtful, reliable, consistent and complete - a place where superb service and superior amenities make every day here a perfect day. Step into Solís Lough Eske Castle, and you step into an imposing Tudor-baronial castle, lavishly refurbished in 2007 and extended to create the modern comforts and graceful luxury of a world class boutique hotel. With stunning views and easy access to the great outdoors, the natural, unspoiled landscape is as magnificent as the hotel itself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lough Eske Castle Hotel Donegal Town
Solis Lough Eske Castle Donegal
Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel

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