Lough Eske Castle, Hotel & Spa
Lough Eske Castle, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal
I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to stay in the scenic Lough Eske over the weekend, thanks to a Groupon email that caught my eye last week. This five star hotel and spa is located just outside Donegal Town and was perfect for a weekend away and as we saw the last of a wedding party leave, we realised it would be a whopper spot for a reception. From the moment you arrive, someone is there to lend a hand and the Donegal accents makes it all the bit sweeter.
What has it got?
Rooms: The hotel has the option of wheelchair accessible rooms with either a standard ensuite or a wheelchair accessible ensuite. I opted for the latter and it had all of the correct bars and handrails fitted in the bathroom. It also had a seat fitted in the roll-in shower with the option of a handheld shower head or the fixed rain shower head. The only problem was that the sinks were placed at a regular height so I wasn’t able to wash my face at the basin.
Seating: Throughout the hotel, there are various seating areas with couches and armchairs. In the dining area and bar, the tables all have moveable chairs with arm rests.
Doors: The doors are all very large and easy to open. At the ramped entrance to the hotel, there is a push-button to open the automatic doors.
Ground: There’s a mixture of carpet, marble and wooden floors.
Stairs: The front entrance has a number of steps but there is a entrance to the side and at the back of the hotel with a ramp. Inside the hotel, there is a lift that has access to every floor.
Bathrooms: The wheelchair bathrooms beside the bar and restaurant are approximately 60×90 in size.
Spaciousness: There is a lot of space here, especially in the accessible bedrooms.
Helpfulness of Staff: The staff are very friendly here and incredibly accommodating.
Parking: They have three wheelchair parking spots available beside the ramped entrance of the hotel.
It’s unusual for spas to have considered access requirements so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could use almost all of their facilities.
Treatments: All of the treatment rooms were very large and can accommodate a wheelchair. You will need to take into consideration if you need assistance getting on and off the tables. The entrance to the sauna and steam room had large doors and my chair could fit through and I requested a chair so I could use the aromatherapy showers, and they provided a moveable shower chair and it worked perfectly. However, there is no harness for the pool but there are handrails to assist you in.
Doors: The doors are all very wide and easy to open.
Ground: Stone and marble floor.
Stairs: The public entrance (from the general car park) to the spa has a ramp and there is one step into the spa from the hotel courtyard.
Bathrooms: Their bathrooms are very large and fit a wheelchair perfectly. The sinks are quite high and difficult to use if you want to wash your face at the basin. They have no fitted shower seats but you can request a chair for the shower.
Helpfulness of Staff: The staff are wonderful here and can assist in any way to make your visit easier.
Parking: There is wheelchair parking available in the general car park.
Why did it lose points? The hotel lost a mark simply because the sinks in the accessible hotel bathrooms were far too high for any wheelchair user. The distance between the accessible hotel entrance and the spa was quite far with an uneven gravel surface so some assistance might be required there. Other than that, the hotel and spa was incredibly easy to use and I can’t wait for my next visit.