A sedate two hour drive from Belfast, and just outside the Co. Fermanagh town of Enniskillen, sprawls this magnificent retreat. Set on its own private 600 acre peninsula, the Resort’s sweeping vista encompasses two silvery lakes dotted with dozen of tiny islands.
The Resort is divided into the main hotel with 51 rooms and suites, and 61 detached two and three-bed lodges, many with a charming turret-style design. Its pale cream exterior stands out dramatically from the verdant backdrop, and the old world heritage and new world luxury style ethos ensures everything from the foyer, restaurants and library to the bedrooms and suites themselves, exude traditional elegance and antique touches. Step into the bedroom and you’re immediately wowed with that uninterrupted lake view. A claw-foot bath and separate shower keep the luxe touches coming.
The Thai Spa tempts with an array of Asian treatments. Your journey East begins with an Aroma Crystal Steam Room, Light Therapy Sauna and Tropical Rain Shower, before your Thai therapist delivers a rejuvenating elixir. Treat yourself to a Ritual Thai massage, exotic body scrub, botanical body wrap, or detoxifying mud rasul for up to four people before skipping carefree to the infinity pool for a few languid lakeview laps.
The 10th hole at Lough Erne is arguably one of the most daunting in golf, because the green is almost completely surrounded by water. This is one of the many breathtaking features of the par-72 Championship examination designed by Nick Faldo, and opened in July 2009. Along with the tantalising 10th, water comes into play at 13 other holes on a course measuring 7,167 yards off the back sticks.
The complex includes the Loughside Clubhouse that has every golfing facility imaginable. Completing the attractions is the mature par-72 Castle Hume Championship parkland course that was opened in 1991, and has Shaun Donnelly the Club professional.
Head Chef Noel McMeel has worked wonders with local produce to bring culinary excellence to your plate. From breakfast to evening dinner, everything from the service and presentation to the food and drink is second to none. His menu of modern Irish cuisine includes Salad of Kilkeel Crab and Loin of Finnebrogue Venison in The Catalina restaurant, Irish Oak Smoked Salmon and Slow Braised Telfords Pork Belly on The Blaney Bar’s ‘Grazing Menu’ and The Loughside Bar & Grill’s Kettyle Fermanagh Prime Beef Grill ensemble to satiate all you golfers.
Binoculars in the bedroom, double baths in the sumptuous suites and a voucher for Free Tours of the nearby Belleek Pottery are among our faves. If you fancy a splurge, overnight in the Faldo Suite with its fabulous four poster bed overlooking stunning views across that eponymous course. The Resort was recently named Hotel of the Year at the 2011 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards - a heartily deserved plaudit.