At a Glance
This beautifully restored castle property in Donegal offers five-star amenities and makes a fabulous base for exploring the region’s incredible landscapes.
- The expansive Presidential Suite with private tower access and butler service
- The excellent restaurant, Cedars Grill
- The garden spa with seven treatment rooms and an indoor pool
Lough Eske Castle, which dates to the mid-19th century, has long been Donegal’s only five-star hotel option. Accessible by a forested drive that rings the picturesque Lough Eske, the turreted castle seems to be from the pages of a storybook. The interiors are gracious, with a large oak staircase leading to the castle suites, and grand common spaces decorated with plush velvet furnishings, candelabras and peaked gothic windows. This setting is made even cozier by roaring fireplaces.
The 94 rooms are spread between the castle, annexes connected to the castle and six detached garden suites. The top accommodations are the four suites located within the castle; each is elegant and comfortable, with red and gold silk accents and antique furniture. Garden suites are cozy and airy with sprawling marble bathrooms, and are set just a few steps from the main castle in the flowering gardens. The spacious Presidential Suite offers private tower access and butler service.
Cedar Grill restaurant is famed for being one of the best in Donegal, and the food here is artistically and deliciously prepared with ingredients sourced from the Wild Atlantic Way, the 1,500-mile route that winds down Ireland’s western coast. There is also an abundant breakfast buffet, and afternoon tea can be served in the gracious living rooms. Indagare tip: Harvey’s Point, a nearby hotel and restaurant set on Lough Eske, is a good option for dinner and drinks off property, as its cuisine is excellent and live music is often performed.
Next to the castle, the serene, greenhouse-inspired spa features Yonka products and boasts multiple treatment rooms, a light-filled indoor pool and multiple hydrotherapy programs. There is also a well-equipped fitness center.
Donegal’s majestic landscapes are the true draw of the region, and Lough Eske can arrange a slew of excursions, ranging from boat charters and hikes to nighttime photography, when the Northern Lights can occasionally be captured.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families who want to explore Donegal and stay in the area’s only true five-star hotel.
Written by Kira Reinke