…but are staying for five!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Loch Connell Lodge. I do not receive anything for this review. John just gave us a home away from home and a review is our “thank you” to him and his beautiful guest house.
When we came into Loch Connell Lodge through a huge open-plan kitchen and saw that bookshelf at the end of the hallway I knew we had chosen the right place to stay. And then our room was directly beside it. I was in heaven.
It was quite hard to find affordable accommodation that would allow a dog at the height of the school summer holiday season. As we didn’t know when our house sale would go through we could not book early and I spent a couple of days looking. Loch Connell Lodge popped up both on Air B&B and Booking.com (do not book anything via Booked.net. They seem to be a scam) but as the price was very reasonable and it was way further up North than we wanted to go I was reluctant to book. In the end, we said: “Let’s stay a week and enjoy ourselves and then look for something else!”
But gosh are we glad we did. Not only is Donegal’s wild beauty breathtaking but Loch Connell Lodge is a brilliant basis to visit all major attractions in the area from Mount Errigal, over Dooey Beach to Slieve League. Not to forget the Wild Atlantic Way that “Lost in Transit” & “Jits Into The Sunset” which I featured earlier in the year, traveled at the beginning of 2022 and in 2020 respectively. You can even reach the Giant’s Causeway on the UK side of Ireland in about 2 hours as well as Malin Head the most Northern place on the Island of Ireland.
The lake that gives the guest house its name lies in a valley at the foot of the lodge. You can reach it via a little path from the house. There goes a hiking path along the loch bordered by benches and many hidden treasures. From painted stones to little fairy doors. And when the midgets aren’t around it is a lovely place to relax. We enjoyed that many times on our evening walk with Sherky and you could hear my “Oh that is so lovely” ring up to the house. “Relaxed” & “full of creativity” is how I would describe staying here.
John, the landlord, had to diversify his income streams when the pandemic hit so he changed his home into this unconventional lodge. Loch Connell lodge is not only filled with books but also with art and many lovely little touches like the drum in the corner of the entrance or decorated glasses on shelves. John lives in a smaller house beside the lodge which also contains a gym as he is a martial arts teacher and likes to keep fit. When I told him:” Your guesthouse would be perfect for a writing retreat!” he enthusiastically mentioned that you could rent the whole house for yoga, meditation or painting retreats for example. Just make sure you get in contact early because in the summer holiday season it was often fully booked.
There are six rooms available one on the ground floor and the others upstairs. One is a single the others are doubles both with one or two beds. When we arrived John gave us a little tour and said that we could use the kitchen which astonished us as it is not explicitly mentioned on Booking.com. Besides the kitchen with a big table, there is a living room with a tv where you can watch Netflix and YouTube. And there is a smaller dining room too. Pets are not only allowed but welcomed. Besides our Sherky there were several other dogs, two cats, and a guinea pig guest at Loch Connell Lodge. And the best thing is: you do not have to pay extra. You can feel that John has traveled extensively and knows what you need in a home away from home.
You rarely find a gem like this in a guest house and its landlord. And you can imagine how happy we were when we asked if John can allow long-term stays and he said yes. So one week became 5 not only because this is a brilliant place to stay but also because we had to sort out some paperwork before we are actually looking for houses. But it might also have to do with the waterbed in our room. No, don’t get too naughty thoughts my dears, because in our experience it does not enhance the very private activities that are usually connected with water beds. However, it is like sleeping on a huge hot water bottle that cradles your back and you can sleep like a baby something we haven’t done for years.
If you decide to visit Ireland do not dismiss its wild North Donegal and most certainly check out John’s Loch Connell Lodge because he is very welcoming, the house is beautiful and the area is breathtaking. You can contact him by email or book via Air B&B and Booking.com.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember to book a holiday at Loch Connell Lodge in Donegal, Ireland if you can!