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Lough Eske Castle

Lough Eske Castle

Situated on expansive manicured grounds, Lough Eske Castle is a 17th-century upscale hotel. Originally built in the 1400s and rebuilt after the fire in the early 1900s, the castle opened to the public as a hotel in 2007 with 97 deluxe bedrooms overlooking the Bluestack Mountains. While there are a range of room types available, each with its own character, all rooms have the same deluxe ambiance as the rest of the hotel with top of the line amenities. The rooms all contain tranquil hues, thick carpets, dark wood, and lightly patterned furniture. The marble bathrooms are spacious with a double vanity unit.

There are a few options for dining at the castle including the Oak Bar and Boardroom, the relaxed Gallery Bar and Lobby Lounge, and the more formal Cedars Restaurant. All of the restaurants are committed to high-quality cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Our rating: Deluxe

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Rooms

The numerous deluxe bedrooms are sprawled over the main castle building, adjacent wing, and garden-level courtyard rooms. While all the rooms vary slightly in shape and size due to the variety of room types and intricacies within the historic castle building, all rooms have top of the line amenities. Tranquil hues, thick plush carpets, separate seating areas, dark wood, and lightly patterned furniture is standard across the board in all rooms.

Location

Nestled into the dramatic Donegal landscape and surrounded by mountain and lake scenery, Lough Eske Castle is pleasantly situated. The location offers you the benefit of a remote stay, while being within close proximity to the surrounding area’s attractions. Donegal town is just a 15-minute drive away, while the Slieve League cliffs and Glenveagh National Park can both be reached within an hours' drive.

Food and drink

The quality of the cuisine matches the rest of the upscale property. You can choose to opt for the more casual Oak Bar or Gallery Bar and Lobby Lounge, both serving light bites and an extensive menu of cocktails and beverages. The more formal Cedars Restaurant serves breakfast, dinner, and Sunday lunch. Breakfast consists of an extensive buffet, egg and pancake stations, in addition to a menu offering a range of cooked to order options. Dinner is an elegant affair with a high-end menu and variety of choices. All of the dining options available at Lough Eske serve food prepared with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.

Facilities and activities

In addition to walking trails scattered around the property, the hotel has a fitness room with a range of cardiovascular and strength training equipment. The on-site spa, CARA Organic Beauty Spa, provides a range of beauty treatments to be booked in advance, along with an extensive thermal suite, available to spa guests. Next door to the spa is a heated swimming pool, which is available to all guests.

Our opinion

Rich in history, Lough Eske is an upscale castle stay with high-grade food, service and rooms.

County Donegal tour ideas

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Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Glen House

      Glen House

      Medium

      Ideally located on the Wild Atlantic Way on the Inishowen Peninsula, Glen House is an 18th-century manor providing a home-away-from-home experience. The upscale B&B has most of the amenities of a standard hotel, while the hospitality and warm touches differentiate it from the rest.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Landscape of Glenveagh National Park

      Glenveagh National Park

      County Donegal

      Explore the wild and rugged scenery of the mountainous valley of Glenveagh, its oak and birch forest offering scenic walking. Protected as a national park, it’s also home to 19th-century Glenveagh Castle, a flamboyantly decorated showpiece with formal gardens.

    • Copper still

      Sliabh Liag Distillers

      County Donegal

      Using traditional heritage, local ingredients and hard-won experience, Sliabh Liag Distillers produces a Maritime Gin seasoned with local seaweed and botanicals. A guided tour presents the history, legend and technical processes behind this family-run, craft-gin distillery in Donegal.

    • Slieve League cliffs

      Slieve League cliffs hike

      County Donegal

      Explore some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League in Donegal on a guided walk along the striking coast, taking in far-reaching views of distant counties, sweeping cliff vistas, ruins and local marine life and wildlife.