Solis Hotels & Spa – Lough Eske Castle

We recently stayed at the award winning Lough Eske Castle part of the prestigious Solis Hotels & Spa which was founded by legendary hotelier Horst Schulze, who also founded the Ritz Carlton chain. The hotel is conveniently situated less than one hour from Derry with excellent daily connections from numerous UK cities to a variety of Irish airports.

Lough Eske Castle has been recognised by the Hotel industry with awards from World Luxury Hotel AwardsLuxury Country Hotel 2009 and 2010, Condé Nast Traveller-World’s Top New Hotels, US travel expert Stephanie Abrams cited it in Top Castle Hotels 2010 and it was also awarded Ireland’s Best Spa Manager – IBPA 2009 and 2010.

The Castle service team deliver an impressively friendly proactive quality service from all departments, no surprise perhaps considering its General Manager Jeroen Quick has an absolute wealth of experience. He was General Manager with the world famous Wolfgang Puck restaurant and catering operation and he hosted President Obama’s Inaugural Ball. He also worked closely with Chicago Chef Art Smith who was Oprah Winfrey’s Chef and close contributor/friend to the Obama family.

So what does the Lough Eske Castle offer? Luxurious guest rooms including a two bed presidential suite, there’s an excellent award winning Cedar Grill Restaurant with executive Chef Philipp and for business there are Boardroom and Ballroom suites that offer functions for up to 400 guests. For relaxation you can delight in the Castle’s magnificent Spa with 8 treatment rooms, exercise in the 17m swimming pool, luxuriate in the thermal suite and even try the unique Aromatherapy Associates product range which promotes the healing powers of natural plant extracts.

Plus there’s the opportunity to engage with the great outdoors. Nestling between Donegal and the famous Blue Stack Mountains the Castle provides an abundance of options with some of the finest hiking, mountain biking and surfing in the whole of Ireland. You can enjoy fishing on Lough Eske, golf on any of Donegals four championship links courses or perhaps explore Slieve League, Europe’s highest cliff face.

For all this luxury and choice, Lough Eske Castle offers rates that are hugely competitive, often 25% more affordable than main city locations.

We welcome the opportunity to assist you, to share our wonderful experience and to enjoy true value and satisfaction from a quality venue.

To see more of Lough Eske Castle, please click this link to our Picassa photo album.

Ireland – Open For Business

There seems to be an awakening, a change in awareness and perception of the cost. It’s good to see and most of all it’s fundamentally declaring Ireland is open for business and is competitive.

We have recently returned from a familiarisation trip to Dublin and its surrounding areas organised by Tourism Ireland and like other event organisers on the visit we were pleasantly surprised not just at the competitive prices but also at the positive attitude to doing business.

This is after all an island of entrepreneurs. A place where family owned doesn’t mean in need of investment, as in most of the UK, but instead is likely to mean a property that has received substantial investment in the last five years and a business now looking to do a deal to try to achieve a return.
This is the place where, or so it feels, everybody knows everybody. And all it takes to make something happen-almost anything to happen- is to find the right person to ask.

This is the Island that may have taken some time shrugging off its poverty but once it did, bot there was no stopping it.Until now. There is no denying that the recent worldwide economic downturn has hit Ireland hard.

David Boyce, Deputy Director Tourism, based in London, says “Business is tight. Things are tough-hence we at Tourism Ireland will do everything we can do to facilitate business”.

This is a place that has always offered some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery combined with its most hospitable people but it also now offers some of the most sophisticated and stylish venues. The level of investment in hotels and meetings industry infrastructure in the past five years has been truly staggering and organisers and now spoilt for choice. Rates inevitability crept up when business was good but now the Irish need event business and there are some amazing deals to be done.

Ireland still offers all the warmth, friendliness and hospitality that it always has. From the smile of a doorman to the helpful receptionist. All combined with the enthusiasm and can-do attitude that makes Ireland such a pleasure to do business in.

We look forward to September and the opening of the new Dublin Convention Centre, a world class conference venue  with a capacity of 8000 delegates  and the latest technical av systems, supported by a huge choice of hotels providing  competitive rates and excellent food. It looks like Dublin will be the place to host your next significant conference.