Arrival/Check-In: After driving for a couple of hours, taking the scenic route along country roads — once even stopping to wait for the crossing of cows — we arrived at the beautiful Lough Erne Resort. We drove to the front, passing one of the golf course’s par-3 holes, and were directed to park a few yards from the front door, where Patty, who was helpful for our entire stay, took our belongings. We entered a building that looked as if it was built 300 years ago but had actually been constructed in 2001. We were booked into the Nick Faldo suite, named after the professional British golfer and designer of the Lough Erne course.
Guest Quarters: The room was spectacular, with views looking out over Castle Hume Lough and “Cygnets Rest,” the 18th hole of the Faldo course. The entrance to the room opened to a hallway that took the guest to either the bedroom suite on the right or to the sitting room to the left. A full bath was off this hallway. The sitting room was large, with a desk, several sitting areas and a door to an outside second-story stone patio overlooking the course. Every room in the hotel was furnished with antiques. The bedroom had a king-sized canopy bed flanked with matching ornately carved Victorian nightstands, a massive vanity in the same style and a huge armoire; there was a sitting area near the window. The room was large enough to handle all this heavy mahogany furniture with ease. Just off the bedroom was a complete master bath with all the necessary amenities one would expect at a 5-star property like Lough Erne.
Services/Amenities: Besides having a world-class golf course steps away (see the Golf column in our September 2012 issue), this 5-star resort exceeds expectations. Chef Noel McMeel was awarded Best Chef – Fermanagh, sponsored by Tipperary Water, so it is imperative you try the Catalina Restaurant. The name comes from the Catalina flying boats that landed in the lough and were serviced here during World War II. Noel brings the best of country Irish cuisine with avant-garde style.
Other venues include The Blarney Bar, home to 101 single malt Irish whiskeys, the second-largest collection in Ireland. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch of Irish smoked salmon after my round of golf. The resort has many fine restaurants, including the Loughside Bar & Grill at the golf course.
Make sure you book a treatment at The Thai Spa prior to your arrival, as it is popular and appointments book up early. Not only does the spa follow traditional Thai treatments, but the therapists are from Thailand.
The Experience: You can’t beat the hotel for its beauty and location. Couple this with great cuisine, a spa, golf and other outdoor activities, and it is a must-stop in Northern Ireland.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- Iron and ironing board
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- State-of-the-art fitness center
Lough Erne Resort
BT93 7ED Northern Ireland
tel 44 28 6632 3230
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