We spent three very enjoyable nights here in August. The ambition was to ditch the car for a few days and just enjoy the hotels and enjoy the beautiful sorroundings. The Lakes hotel sits on the shore of Loch Leanne and their is easy walking access to Muckross house and gardens. For more ambitious hikers both Torc mountain and Mangerton are also within hiking distance of the hotel.
The location is a a huge part of the attraction with this hotel. The easy access to the shore of the hotel makes for a beautiful bar area. On the first night we had a lovely dinner here. The food was good and the service was efficient if a little lacking in friendliness. This lack of friendliness from some staff was more than made up for by other staff members later in the stay. The barman gave us free coffees as guests of the hotel and engaged in friendly chats also.
We had a lovely stroll around the grounds on the first day also and up towards Muckross house. The weather was beautiful also and we enjoyed a lovely relaxing evening.
I took some time to enjoy the mountains during our stay also. Mountain running is a hobby of mine and I enjoyed the jog to the base of the mountain and the the run up and down. I am well familiar with Mangerton mountain, having spend a lot of time here over the years and it was a real pleasure to be able to jog there from the hotel. Weather was great too ! I elected to drive to Torc on the final day of our stay here , although hiking or jogging would have been possible. I had another lovely day jogging on the mountain in what was one of our hottest days of the Summer.
On our final evening we also sampled the fine dining, available here at The Lakes Hotel. The food was absolutely delicious. I had Guinea Fowl and Liana had duck. Starters were impressive too. I had a rich array of sea food and Liana had goats cheese. Desert was an orange souffle for me. I would absolutely recommend sampling the fine dining here. It was a real treat.
The rooms are lovely in an old fashioned way. There are a variety of room types available. We stayed in a simple room with lovely views over the lakes. There was no air conditioning, which didn’t bother us, despite the warm weather. It did mean we had to keep the curtains closed during the day however.
The bar had some nice live music on the Saturday night and some piano music on the Friday. The bar itself is very pleasant with a very pleasant veranda opening out on to the lakes.
Breakfast was nice with a mix of menu items and a buffet. I ordered deilicious kippers both morning and a generous helping from the buffet. The breakfast was in the dining hall where the fine dining was also served. The decor is old fashioned and the hotel overall retains a sense of old world charm that I find rare in hotels these days.
The hotel itself is still owned by the Huggard family who have been pioneers in Irish tourism for well over a hundred years. They are previous owners of Ashford Castle and Ballinahinch Castle continue to operate and own and operate the Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville.