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“overall a good experience”

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Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Donegal Town
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“overall a good experience”
Reviewed November 15, 2013

stayed here for 3 days in November 2013. Overall it was a very good experience as a first time in a 5*hotel, we stayed in a deluxe double room which was really nice but had an absolutely horrendous view of some sort of grey concrete walls and not much else, so if you are going to this hotel make sure you have a decent view, also on one of the days, noise from outside was really awfull and very loud when a bin lorry or some other sort of vehicle was there.(for 2 hours solid) it was deafening even with the windows closed. also the room keycard did not work for our room more than once before needing replaced, we needed 5 keycards over the few days which meant going down to reception each time,it was inconvenient and annoying as the reception staff acted as if it was our fault, these are the negative points.On the plus side,the food was excellent, the breakfast is amazing with eggs/pancakes cooked to order, the buffet breakfast section was also so so good and lasted us until dinner time, the dinner was also amazing, and the restaurant staff were really helpful and so friendly, nothing was too much trouble for them. We also used the spa on 2 occasions, it is really beautifull and the service and facilities were excellent, the girls in the spa could not do enough for us and we felt really special.I would say the strengths of this hotel are the hotel itself and surrounding area.(minus the bad views).Also the food & the spa as the staff in both these areas are a credit to the hotel, the negative points would be the reception staff, who could do with some training in how to make the guests feel they are not doing them a favour just speaking to them. Overall I would love to come back to this hotel if a good special offer comes along, ( £220.00 for 2 nights for 2 people including breakfast) but would ask for a room with a better view,

Room Tip: ask for a room with a good view
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ann D
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, November 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time to share your recent experience at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa. We were delighted to welcome you to Donegal for your three night stay with us and it's great to hear that you had an enjoyable experience.

It's disappointing that you encountered some issues and that you felt the service in some areas was not what it should have been - please accept my apologies and be assured that these issues do not reflect our usual high standards. We will use your valuable feedback to help us improve in future.

Your many positive comments regarding the castle, the food, the spa, and staff are genuinely appreciated and it's great to hear that you intend to return for another visit. We look forward to welcoming you back 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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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We stayed for two nights in November on a Fri & Sat night.

The first night we arrived we were shown to our Courtyard room which was spacious with nice decor. The room however had a tiled floor with underfloor heating.The concierge further informed us that we could not regulate the heat in our room. So we were at the mercy of the hotel to regulate the heat, and alas unfortunately at times during the day our room was indeed quite cold. We had to go to the main hotel to warm up after a walk along the lake. The opposite was true at night and the room was just too warm and this made for a very uncomfortable sleep.

The concierge who was very pleasant showed us the rest of the room and then dropped the bombshell that the plasma screen television was not working. I said this was fine, would it be rectified in the morning? to which he informed me that it was highly unlikely as a new TV system was put in two weeks before and it had not worked since. I was most irate that for this price (and in a leisure hotel) such a basic function as a TV was not available. The fact that this had been a problem for over two weeks and was still not fixed beggared belief...

Breakfast was served in Cedars Restaurant the next day and we arrived at 10.20 am (breakfast is served until 11am). They were obviously busy so we were told to wait on the lounge seating outside. I think a hotel that claims to be of this standard should/could manage its breakfast room much better. The restaurant is clearly too small to cater for the numbers at peak times.

After 10 minutes we were shown to an adjoining room which was then set up with a few covered tables and we were informed we could have breakfast here. Continental and cooked breakfast was offered with limited fruit (and eggs cooked to order). It all seemed a bit disorganized and hurried, we had three different servers coming to take our tea and toast order (which was cold and appeared to have been sitting in its basket for some time). We were asked if we would like other egg dishes from the kitchen such as Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine. I opted for the former and i was served a soggy muffin with wet poached eggs dripping onto a slice of ham, ladled over this was an overly buttered Hollandaise sauce that was actually quite sickening. So disappointed with this I simply opted for the continental fare thereafter.

The next day we arrived much earlier and were seated in Cedars were there was more choice, so we felt a little cheated that we were not given the same choice the previous morning.

The meal in Cedars Restaurant on the Saturday was fine, if somewhat limited on choices from the table d'hote menu. The waiting staff were very attentive without being over the top. The decor and ambiance was pleasant and we enjoyed our meal.

We used the spa facilities: pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room all were clean and functional if a little small for the size of the hotel. If there were anymore than 8 in the area with the jacuzzi/steam room/sauna and the place would be positively crowded.

The bar area is quite small and adjoining rooms although 'cosy' filled up quite quickly both evenings. After you have been to the spa and had your dinner that is all the hotel offers by way of public space. Unless of course they have the TV fixed then you can go to your room..

All in all a nice hotel with lovely decor and a fabulous location. The exterior of the building lit up at night on the approach is quite stunning.

Would i spend in excess of €650 on two nights at the Lough Eske Hotel again (including wine for dinner and at €16 for a pint of Guinness and G&T?! )?.No. They definitely have their price point too high for whats on offer and at €15 for a 6km taxi into town the local taxi men know that fools and there money are easy parted..

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank PJMCM1969
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, November 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at Solis Lough Eske Castle for your recent two night stay and for taking time to provide us with your detailed feedback, which I have shared with the entire team.

It's disappointing to hear of the various issues you encountered during your stay - especially regarding our food/beverage prices, your room heating, the problem with the TV and breakfast. These issues do not reflect our usual high standards and I would like to offer both of you my sincere apologies for the disappointment and inconvenience you experienced. Please be assured that I will be following up each and every issue you have mentioned with senior management - your much appreciated feedback will be used to help improve our future service standards.

I'm delighted to hear that you were impressed with the location and style of the hotel and I do hope that you will return to give us another chance to experience the wow factor 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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 11, 2013

My partner and I stayed for two nights. We pulled up at the front doors- enjoyed valet parking and had a our bags carried to the front desk. Some problems finding our reservation, but the lady checking us in made us feel very welcome and quickly sorted it out.

Taken down to room and shown around facilities. Loved the swipe cards for access- swipe cards with magnetic strips are so temperamental with mobile phones.
Room was exquisite- enormous bed, twin sinks & mirrors in bathroom. Bit dissapointed that the TV in our room didn't work during our stay.

Had dinner at Cedars Restaurant on our first night. Amazing food & service- just be aware of €40 bottles of wine!

Pool and spa facilities were great since the weather outside was quite wintery during our stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James P
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, November 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a pleasure to welcome you to Solis Lough Eske Castle recently and thank you for taking time to share your experience.

I'm delighted to hear that you were so impressed with the hotel, facilities and service and that you had such an enjoyable stay.

Apologies for the issue with the TV as we have been experiencing a problem with the system recently which has now been fully rectified.

Your kind comments are genuinely appreciated and I do hope that you will return for another visit in the not too distant future.

Best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Having recently stayed with yourselves for my fiancées 40th birthday,I can't thank you all enough for making it quite a rememberable experience.
From ,Mary who put the package together,Geraldine who was so helpful in doing a cake for Sharon and to the waitresses who sang "happy birthday" at dinner.
Nigel your cocktails were amazing and Jimmy,Emer and Leona(to name but a few)and all the staff at the gallery bar.
And last but not least the staff in the spa area.
All of you are a credit to yourselves and well and truly put Donegal on the 5* map!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Burtonport
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, November 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a pleasure to welcome you to Solis Lough Eske Castle recently to celebrate the occasion of your fiancées 40th birthday and thank you sincerely for your wonderful review.

Your many kind compliments are genuinely appreciated and we are delighted that you both had such a memorable and enjoyable experience. I have shared your comments with the entire team and they are thrilled - especially Mary, Geraldine, Sharon, Nigel, Jimmy, Emer, Leona and the Spa and Gallery Bar staff who you give special mentions to!

I do hope that you will return for another visit sometime soon and we look forward to welcoming you back to Lough Eske Castle on that occasion.

Best regards,

Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

My husband booked a two night stay for my birthday and it was wonderful !! On arrival, we were greeted at the reception desk very warmly and taken to our room and showed around the room and explained how everything worked. The room was very spacious, and extremely comfortable with a massive bed. The bathroom was beautiful with plenty of room to move around. A nice touch in the room was the coffee & tea facilities with coffee maker and lovely local pottery mugs to drink from. The bed was very comfortable and huge !!

We had our first nights meal in Cedars Restaurant which was outstanding, and the dessert was way too pretty to eat, but absolutely delicious ... breakfast was a totally relaxing experience and the staff were amazing, with friendly, efficient service. Second nights dinner was in the Gallery Bar with friendly staff and excellent food. We used the pool, gym, steam room and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it ... an excellent way to relax and chill out on a wet November day.

The hotel is beautiful, with amazing decor and comfort, but the staff really made it a special stay and certainly a birthday treat that I will remember for many years.

A big thank you to everyone at Lough Eske Castle and I would truly recommend everyone to experience this beautiful hotel and staff that any management team should be extremely proud of.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SHPtourist
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, November 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

We were delighted to welcome you and your husband to Solis Lough Eske Castle for your two night stay to celebrate your birthday.

I'm thrilled to hear that you had such a wonderful experience and your wonderful comments regarding the castle, your room, Spa Solis, the food and of course the staff/service are genuinely appreciated by us all. We are indeed very proud of the castle and of the level of personalised service provided by the team to each and every guest.

I do hope that you will return for another visit in the very near future and we look forward to meeting you both again.

Best regards,
Mark
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

Of all the Irish accommodation we had in almost 3 weeks the Solis Lough Eske was definitely one of the top 3. Service was excellent and professional, the spa, pool, décor, statuary, quality, attention to detail, food and ambiance the best. We enjoyed a short walk to the Lough and some stunning views, which might benefit from a few more directional signs. Speaking of signs, as in all of Ireland, the more signage the better and do not just rely on GPS as we ended up coming in the service entrance. Guests should not expect this to be in the heart of Donegal town but that is part of the experience.

Room Tip: You can choose a room in the castle itself or one of the lovely new rooms in the newer extensions.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pamela092
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, November 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at Solis Lough Eske Castle during your recent trip to Ireland. We are thrilled to learn that you consider us in the top three of all the hotels you stayed at during your three weeks of travelling!

Your kind compliments are genuinely appreciated by the entire team and I have taken your advice about signage on board. It's great to hear that you enjoyed the hotel and our facilities so much.

I do hope you will return to stay with us again during your next visit to Ireland.

Best regards,

Mark
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Londonderry Northern Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

The castle and it's ammenities are excellent. My wife and I stayed for one night and enjoyed the spa and pool. We had booked the restaurant for dinner, my wife ordered scallops and I ordered the Fish soup as starters. The scallops were beautifully cooked, but 18 euros for three scallops? Vastly overpriced, no matter how good they were. The fish soup was watery and I expected some pieces of fish in it but was disappointed. 9 euros for the soup was also extortionate. There were only four tables being used that night in the restaurant so I was amazed that when I had ordered duck as a main course, I was presented with rack of lamb. The waitress realised the mistake right away and the rack of lamb and my wife's main course of lamb shank was whisked away with apologies. However, there followed a wait of over 20 minutes to get our order correct. Not good for a 5 star premises and particularly at those prices! However the mains were good when they eventually arrived. A bottle of Cote du Rhone accompanied the meal at an eyewatering 33 euros! Nice surroundings and facilities but definitely overpriced. Might go back sometime if I win the lottery!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank themurds
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, November 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a pleasure to welcome you both to Solis Lough Eske Castle for your recent stay and thank you sincerely for sharing your experience.

I'm delighted to hear that you were impressed with the castle, its surroundings and with the hotel amenities.

However, I'm sorry to hear that you you felt our food and beverages were over priced and that the service you received in Cedars Restaurant was not what it should have been. Please accept my apologies and be assured that I will discuss these shortcomings with our Food and Beverage Manager in order to help improve our services going forward.

We do feel that our prices are in line with other five star properties in Ireland and represent great value for the standard of products and services we provide for our each of our guests. However, we do respect your views and your feedback is very much appreciated.

I sincerely hope that you will return for another visit sometime in the not too distant future.

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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