• Cyril McAree

Donegal’s Only Five-Star Hotel Lough Eske Castle Celebrates 10 Years

Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel and Spa in Donegal celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 14th last. Donegal’s only 5-star hotel has a rich history that dates back to the 1400’s with an 1860’s Jacobean front. Run as a hotel for 9 years until a fire in 1939 when a ballroom curtain caught fire and a long journey from the closest fire brigade in Derry resulted in the majority of the castle’s wooden interior structure being destroyed. 60 years on and a €40million investment later, the hotel was refurbished to its current glory as well as adding the 6000ft sq. award winning Spa Solis, gourmet Cedars Restaurant and a 4000ft sq. ballroom to it’s repertoire. Despite opening at the beginning of the financial downturn, Lough Eske Castle has seen revenues double, currently operating at €9m. Occupancy has also continued to rise and has grown by 38% since 2007 as well as the average room rate growing by 43% with international guest stays increasing by 15%.

Head of Tourism with Donegal County Council, Barney McLaughlin said: “Donegal has received several high profile awards in the past year including being named ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic Traveller and ‘Ireland’s Hidden Gem’ by the Independent Travel. The collaborative approach to marketing and shared knowledge in the tourism sector in Donegal is helping visitor numbers see positive growth.” “Lough Eske Castle as Donegal’s only five-star hotel is also a major draw for visitors to thecounty. The castle is listed on the tourism website www.govisitdonegal.com and has seen arise in visitor traffic, rising 15% from last year.”

Managing Director of Lough Eske Castle, Seán Carney said: “In our tenth year of trading Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa we are delighted to have such a strong year with over 6% increase in revenue year on year. We very much value our local community and feel we have a large responsibility to the county. Since opening the hotel we have sponsored over €70,000 in local charities and invested over €7m into the local Donegal economy. Our team are also incredibly important to us and we are gratified 2017 has been an exceptional year for the castle truly reflecting our teams efforts. We have had the great honour of receiving multiple awards this year including three Irish Hospitality Awards, being been named No.3 in the top hotels in Ireland by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award and the Quality Employer Award under the Medium Hotels, Irish Hotels Federation 2017. Thank you to all of our guests and industry colleagues for the support over the last 10 years.”

To celebrate 10 years of success the ladies and gentlemen of Lough Eske Castle are delighted to offer the same 2007 nightly rate they opened with, ten years ago. Guests will pay only €175 midweek up until March 2018 .

Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa - 10th Anniversary Offer

€175 for one night or €325 for two night’s midweek and enjoy:

- Daily full Irish breakfast in Cedars Restaurant

- €40 food credit for the Table d’Hote menu in Cedars Restaurant on one evening

- 30% off any pre-booked spa treatment over 60 minutes at Spa Solís

- Use of indoor swimming pool and fitness centre

Subject to availability, midweek from now until March 2018

Top ten facts from Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa to toast the 10th anniversary:

1) Revenue has doubled since opening in 2007, with operating profit today at €9m

2) Out of the 186 staff members at the castle today, over 70% are from County Donegal

3) Lough Eske Castle has donated or sponsored over €70k to local charities over the last

10 years

4) In the last 10 years there have been 382,778 resident guests at the castle, and over

3000 four legged guests. Dogs are always welcome!

5) The team at the award winning Spa Solis have given over 50,000 spa treatments

6) There are a mind-blowing 87 cocktails on offer at The Gallery Bar

7) Previous resident owner, Major General White and his horse are interred on the castle


8) There have been 102 proposals in the castle tower since 2007, of which 101 said yes!

9) Lough Eske Castle has invested over €7m in the Donegal economy since 2007

10) Over the last 10 years the Ladies and Gentlemen of Lough Eske Castle have escorted

guests through the castle and grounds on over 3,500 complimentary history tours.

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