Managing expectations has become more challenging than ever in recent times. Will a hotel break ever really be the same when the pastries are no longer piled high in a beautiful glossy mound?

With social distancing fully in force, will we ever feel the Céad Míle Fáilte we've heard so much about from the #1 Hotel in Ireland (according to TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Awards)? 

Harvey’s Point sits right on Lough Eske in South Donegal, not far from Donegal town, with a stunning view of the Bluestack Mountains. It has, for many years, had a reputation of a warm welcome, exceptional accommodation and true care.

Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

At the helm, Hotel Ambassador, Noel Cunningham, has charisma, an unrivalled wealth of local knowledge which he graciously shares with guests, and a genuine joie de vivre.

My partner and I were warmly welcomed to Harvey’s Point with a package of updated policies with regard to sanitising and extra measures taken by the hotel in the time of coronavirus.

Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

Our bedroom was sanitised with covers on door handles, hand sanitiser dotted around all areas of the hotel and all staff members wearing visors/masks and staying well back from guests.

The room itself was bigger than any I’ve ever stayed in and our time there was filled with personal touches; I particularly loved the jacuzzi bath; the chocolates on arrival; and the paper outside the room every morning. 

We ate in the bar on our first night, I had a zingy goat’s cheese salad for starters, a juicy steak for mains, and couldn’t manage a dessert (but I did manage a lovely Malbec*). 

Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

We had heard lots about the breakfast in Harvey’s Point from those who had been to stay pre-Covid. They have recently moved the meal into the ballroom (their wedding venue), which has the most gorgeous views over Lough Eske, to ensure adequate distance between tables.

Sadly, the era of pastries in a glossy mound is no more, and everything in singularly wrapped (as it should be), and while it does take away some of the glamour, it was nice to know that measures were being taken seriously.

I had beautiful porridge with some proper honey on the comb and the best scrambled eggs I’ve had in a hotel - none of that rubbery, been there for hours, thing. These were a velvety dream.

Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

Harvey’s Point doesn’t have a spa or a pool so we took a trip carefully prepared for us by Noel which took us from unspoiled beaches at Fintra to the highest mountains at Slieve League and back again in time for a gorgeous meal in hotel’s restaurant. The highlights of the meal included my starter, beetroot and apple panna cotta, and a beautiful Gavi di Gavi white wine.

All in all, we had a wonderful stay.

Before our trip, I believed that some of the best bits of hotel stays had been robbed from us due to Covid, but the staff in Harvey’s Point proved the devil is in the details; classical music in the bathroom, little tasters with compliments from the chef and most importantly, time and care for the guests. 

Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

The Details
We were gifted our stay at Harvey's Point for this review. For full rates of the hotel rooms and booking details check or email or call 074 922208

Harvey’s Point is located at Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal F94 E771

Other hotels in the area include:

  • Lough Eske Castle
  • Rathmullan House Hotel
  • The Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa

*If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can visit Ask About Alcohol