This review was first published on Essential Hotel's Online Travel Magazine Back in 2014 so it will contain some out of date information. The review is from the days prior to Wedding Photography becoming my main photography work.
When staying somewhere for the first time it can be good not to have too many preconceived ideas about what to expect; but it’s hard not to have high expectations about a Hotel which TripAdvisor consistently ranks as among the best in Ireland.
Harvey’s Point Hotel is four star rated and situated a few miles outside Donegal Town, on the banks of Lough Eske. We’d arranged to stay on a Sunday evening, giving us the chance to sample their locally renowned Sunday Carvery – and a busy car-park showed we weren’t the only ones!
Despite this, check in was quick and friendly and the receptionist advised us that Sean, the concierge, would be with us momentarily to show us to our suite. It was luxurious, comfortable and a huge size. Sean, exuded genuine Irish charm as he freely chatted and pointed out the in-room facilities, including a Jacuzzi bath – which when filled, produced an unusual tinged yellow colour water! He explained this was due to its journey through the neighbouring peat bogs.
The spaciousness of the suite – with a lobby, and then a dressing area/kitchenette separating the main room from the corridor meant external noise was all but non-existent in the room. And the bay window gave a view over the neighbouring Lakeside Suites to Lough Eske beyond – gorgeous.
By then it was time to head down for lunch. Noel, the Hotel Manager and Cabaret compere, greeted us on arrival at the Ballroom, and introduced us to Danny, who’d be looking after our table. To say the hotel favours a personal touch would be an understatement.
The next couple of hours were both relaxing and indulgent as we sampled and savoured the great range and quality of food on offer. Carvery’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s easy to see why Harvey’s Point Hotel has been voted best overall winner for the past three years at the Great Irish Carvery Awards!
As we were finishing, we got to experience first-hand the ultimate customer service that makes this hotel shine. After asking was there anything else we needed, my other half said as a joke, could they keep any of her favourite dessert that might be left over. Straight off, Danny offered to have some wrapped and sent to our room.
And I have to say, it was the perfect midnight snack!!
Early evening gave us a chance to wander around the banks of the Lough; watching the sunset, and the hotel’s ambiance change from light and airy to more intimately lit. Harvey’s Point has a special kind of atmosphere – one that encourages slowing down and simply relaxing. Even a complete stranger approaching and asking could he take your photograph to include in a hotel review couldn’t spoil the atmosphere….
Later we settled into the Hotels’ Bar; the log fire ensuring the slight chill in the autumn air didn’t intrude. Customer service was excellent again. By the time we’d ‘recovered’ from the carvery it was too late to order food from the bar food menu (the staff had actually left for the evening), but rather than just leave it at that, Marie asked was there anything she could prepare for us. Shortly afterwards supper was served at our table with a lovely plate of warm toast, and a selection of butter and jams.
By check out time, our one night stay had left us feeling as if we’d enjoyed a weekend break and thoughts wandered to when we might be lucky enough to get a chance to come back again. Put simply Harvey’s Point, it’s owners and staff know how to make guests feel welcome and create an experience that you’ll want to return to time and time again.
Prior to weddings being my main photography work I was, luckily, asked to write, and photograph, for hotel reviews & travel features.