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“A relaxing retreat”

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Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Donegal Town
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast NIreland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A relaxing retreat”
Reviewed June 22, 2013

My husband and I spent an overnight here with a very good offer from Travelzoo.
We had a fabulous room and a great meal and were made very welcome. Unfortunately we did not arrive early enough to take advantage of the swimming pool or Spa.
The hotel has a very modern interior and the rooms are spacious and have free Wi-Fi which was much appreciated. I really liked the little touches like free bottled water.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maryconnolly
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, July 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire team at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa, I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us recently and for taking time to share your experience.

It's great to hear that you were so impressed with your room, your meal, the 'little touches' and that you felt so welcomed - everything that we strive to do in order to make your time with us at the castle so special!

It was unfortunate that you did not have time to enjoy the spa or pool but perphaps you will return for another visit in the not too distant future - we look forward to welcoming you back on that occasion.

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.
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2,276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (462)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

We stayed several nights as part of a group and had a deluxe room which was quiet, large and luxurious with a huge and very comfortable bed. The large bathroom was amazing, all marble tiles and granite top, two wash basins, bath, a separate large shower and separate w.c., both behind glass doors. Lovely shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion too. Whilst the back of the hotel is purpose built and blends in very well, the main part of the castle with the public rooms is 'olde worlde' with fire places, one of which was lit every morning even though it was May, albeit a cold May. The grounds of the hotel are delightful with many beautiful bronze statues, some in unexpected places, well worth a stroll around. The spa is great too. It really is all very much as shown on the hotel's website.

We had two evening meals in the bar. The menu is a bit restricted with only one vegetarian main but what we had was good and reasonably priced, unfortunately though we didn't think that 8.50+ euros for a glass of wine was reasonable. As for breakfast, well, that was really plentiful, everything you could think of, from omelettes and pancakes freshly made in front of you to delicious bread and butter pudding plus all the usual juices, toast, cold meats, smoked salmon etc. A veritable feast we looked forward to every morning. We didn't dine in Cedars so can't comment on that.

We found the staff to be really friendly and helpful, from the cheerful 'good morning' from housekeeping staff as we passed rooms they were working in to the helpful staff at reception who gave us a small map of the area around Lough Eske, very useful for taking a walk, and told us about the only pub with live music that's open every night in Donegal town (the Reel Inn, just a few miles down the road from the hotel) to the waiters and waitresses who were all very cheerful. Having left something behind we received an email from the hotel within a few hours of leaving and the item was sent on at cost in a most efficient manner.

We really enjoyed our stay at the hotel and were only sorry to have to leave!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Caravellejet
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, June 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a pleasure to welcome you and your group for your recent stay at Solis Lough Eske Castle and thank you so much for your wonderful review.

We are all delighted to hear that you were so impressed with every aspect of the hotel and that you had such a great overall experience. Your kind compliments are very encouraging for the entire team and are genuinely appreciated.

I sincerely hope that you will return to Lough Eske for another visit in the not too distant future and we look forward to welcoming you back on that occasion.

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.
sacramento, ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights as part of a fly/drive package. The grounds, hotel, and room were beautiful. The bathroom was great with a nice deep soaking tub and separate shower and two sinks - great for spreading out.

Breakfast in the morning was delicious, as was the dinner in the bar, and room service.

The staff were all friendly but not overly warm.

My only complaint about the place is there is this overwhelming feeling of pretentiousness here. We didn't find our stay very relaxing other than when we were in our room, hence the room service on our second night. It feels really peculiar writing this because I had really hoped that I would love Lough Eske Castle.

Everything at the hotel is excellent but it feels like text book hospitality without much personality or warmth.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank climberjoy
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, June 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was an honour for the team at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa to welcome you to Donegal and to Lough Eske for your two night stay as part of your fly/drive package.

We are all delighted that you felt everything at the hotel was excellent and your kind comments regarding the grounds, the hotel, the food, your room and room service are very much appreciated - very encouraging compliments for the entire team.

However, it is disappointing to hear that you felt a sense of pretentiousness during your stay as the fine balance of personal and professional service that we strive to provide each and every guest with has always been one of our key strengths. We continually receive very positive feedback from guests regarding the genuine and friendly Donegal welcome that they experience at Lough Eske Castle.

Our team consistently prioritises guest needs and always do their best to ensure that each and every guest receives a warm welcome, professional and friendly service and a fond farewell on departure and it's unfortunate that this did not come across to you during your time with us.

If and when you return to Ireland I would be delighted to welcome you back to Lough Eske and for you to give us a second chance to show you the genuine Donegal hospitality for which we are so well known.

Best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 16, 2013

I booked one night as a birthday treat for my wife. On arrival 3pm the room was not ready. We checked in and waited in the bar, enjoyed a beer and an hour later went back to reception and we were taken to our room which was a Courtyard room. Initial thoughts were positive but on closer inspection the room too was just alright. Stains on rug, fabric on seats plucked and worn, matt paint behind the bed different from finish of the walls and so was noticeable. Drinks in the fridge very poor and were bar bottles of Coke. 1 tub of Pringles, bar of Toblerone and a pack of mints were found in a drawer, I thought, strange selection and my wife thought someone had left them behind. Then we found the price list. lol

We had high expectations of the food which were dashed also. I ordered a soup starter,
to be followed by a sharing platter that we both could enjoy. The platter arrived in the bar first and the waitress ordered the other waiter back to the kitchen with it before it reached us. We were then showen to our table were my soup awaited. 15 minutes later soup done the waiter who brought the sharing starter entered the dining room again with the sharing platter once again. It was clearly sitting on the hot plate all that time in the kitchen. Miscommunication. We ordered steaks and these were under seasoned , tasteless, and chewy. The meal was very disappointing. Over priced. I even witnessed another guest return a burger to the kitchen because of plastic, what looked like a label in her burger. Shocking given the hotels status. Next morning awoken by a black work van outside the room door, this would mean we could not open the curtains to maintain privacy and or to let the light in that the room relied on. workmen began cutting grass etc... as joiners drilled and so on. Not good. Finally like on arrival and we were not able to check in, we could not complete our check out either. As the receptionist swiped the card several times, saying there were no lines out on either card readers transactions were cancelled several times. We went on our way as the receptionist had preauthorised the card on arrival so she was happy to let us leave and so we left trusting it would go through once their method of payment came back online.

Wish I had read the reviews on trip advisor as my particular experience concurs with other average views... Nice hotel let down badly by its food in the bar.

CREDIT were credit is due though. The breakfast was great and very welcomed. Full traditional irish fry up barr soda bread. Which the chef did not do!!! I was told. strange.

Wish I had of had the fry up the evening before as it was better and tastier by far than the steak dinner that disappointed us... Think this has been a one off visit for us. Could do better Castle Eske and appreciate this was just my particular experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin M
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, June 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa recently - it was a pleasure to welcome you both to the castle to celebrate the occasion of your wife's birthday.

It's very disappointing for all of us to hear that you encountered problems at check in/out, with your room and with your meal - all of which were most definitely not up to our usual high standards. I would like to offer you our sincere apologies for each and every issue you encountered and for the disappointment and inconvenience you experienced - please be assured that I will be following all of them up with our departmental managers in order to prevent these problems from occuring in future.

We genuinely appreciate you highlighting your concerns as they assist us in achieving the service perfection that we strive for and help in ensuring that our guests are provided with the best quality experiences going forward.

With that in mind, I genuinely hope that you will give the team at Lough Eske Castle a second chance to provide you with that wow experience for which we are renowned and that you will return for another visit sometime 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.
Belleair Beach
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised by the luxurious accommodations with the complimentary use of the spa as a relaxing highlight. The room is extremely large with a sitting area, eating area and spacious area for storage. The bath includes a tub for two with candles, and a separate shower with rainfall feature. The spa was wonderful with steam rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and pool along with a peaceful relaxation room overlooking the courtyard garden. We had a light dinner in the bar restaurant where the food was better than average. Our only complaint was that we had called for service to the front desk and the line went unanswered on two separate occasions, and one request went undelivered. Not a huge deal, I just went to the bar myself for ice and wineglasses, but a slight inconvenience. Overall, I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank belleairbeachtravel
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, June 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was an honour to welcome you for your recent visit to Solis Lough Eske Castle and we are delighted that you were pleasantly surprised and suitably impressed with your overall experience.

Your kind comments regarding your guest room, the spa and the bar/restaurant are genuinely appreciated by the entire team here at the castle.

Apologies for the inconvenience you experienced with the unanswered calls to the front desk - be assured I will follow this up with our FOH manager in order to prevent this from occurring again in future.

A sincere thank you for your high recommendation and I do hope you will return to stay with us again 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.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We've had the most wonderful break in the Lough Eske castle hotel. It was so good that we extended our stay to 4 nights. The location is spectacular, the rooms are more like suites but the stand out for us was the staff. Very special mention to Jimmy, Nigel and Marie for making our stay so memorable. They couldn't have looked after us better - it was really like being home from home but with absolutely top class hospitality. Thank you all for making our stay so memorable and we are already looking forward to a return visit. Very special thanks to Jimmy for the tip re parking at Slieve League - you're a true gem!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carol J
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, June 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

The ladies and gentlemen of Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa were delighted to welcome you for your recent four night stay.

Everyone here is thrilled that you had such a great time with us and that you were so impressed with our beautiful location, our guest rooms and most of all by our staff who genuinely delight in making your experience at the castle both memorable and enjoyable. Jimmy, Nigel and Marie are chuffed with your very kind compliments and it's wonderful to hear that you received that extra special personal service that we aim to give our guests.

To describe your stay as 'home from home with top class hospitality' is a wonderful endorsement of service standards - I'm delighted you are planning to return to stay with us again and we all look forward to welcoming you back to Lough Eske on that occasion.

In the meantime, best wishes and kind regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cookstown
1 review
Reviewed June 3, 2013

We were a walk in stay for my Fiancee and myself for a romantic night away.
They assumed she was the Mrs which pleased her but nevertheless was not correct.
The staff were 100% across the board from Concierge, Reception, Restaurant and Bar and everyone could not have been more courteous, pleasant,helpful and accommodating with every aspect of our stay whatever the request.
Bed and quilt were so comfortable that I had to buy a new quilt for our home the next day and we are on the lookout for a new mattress.
Dinner in the restaurant was superb as was the bar banter in the bar afterwards.
We had a courtyard room so it was ideal for us smokers to get outside and have a puff.
Faults ? They may seem petty and are not big faults but for a 5 star hotel you expect everything perfect.
The room carpet could have done with a good clean and the hairdrier was woeful.
Every type of tea in the room you could imagine except plain old tea and all the coffee was all decaf.
Given the room size the TV was a bit small and a common fault which is the same for most hotels nowadays is lack of decent lighting.
For breakfast the staff and the Chef cooking the omelets to order were first class but the rest of the hot food on offer was very poor and no poached eggs available.
On the whole excellent stay and we can't say enough about the staff and need to repeat that they could not have been more courteous, pleasant,helpful and accommodating with every aspect of our stay whatever the request.

Room Tip: Courtyard rooms are great for smokers
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidnDonnaCookstown
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, June 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you sincerely for your kind review of your recent romantic stay with us at Solis Lough Eske Castle. It was a delight to welcome you both and it's wonderful to hear that you had such an enjoyable time here at the castle.

Your compliments regarding our staff are very much appreciated - each and every one of them genuinely care about making your visit special and are passionate about sharing the Lough Eske experience with every individual guest.

It's unfortunate that you encountered some issues during your stay and I will bring each one to the attention of senior management - we really appreciate your constructive feedback which assists us in our quest for perfection!

Again, thank you for your many compliments and we look forward to welcoming you back to the castle sometime very soon.

Kind 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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Additional Information about Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa

Property: Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
Address: Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Ireland
Phone Number:
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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