Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges is located in the heart of the waterways that dominate the geography of Fermanagh.
The family-run hotel has expanded its accommodation with stunning new waterfront lodges and recently added an even more decadent touch of luxury, with a £ 1.5million investment that added six Woodland Lodges with their own own private hot tubs.
The hotel itself is a popular choice for weddings, families, or those looking to relax by the water.
Arrival and location
Killyhevlin is just off the A4 towards Belfast, so it’s easy to see why a roadside hostel has stood on this site for hundreds of years. However, the modern hotel has been in the same family for decades. The town of Enniskillen is a short drive away. While one side of the hotel faces the road, the other side overlooks the serenity of Lough Erne. It even has its own jetty, as we’ll find out later.
We dodged the late afternoon traffic at Enniskillen (which is very congested, it seems), but Google Maps backed us up on very windy roads. We were greeted by festive lights and friendly front desk staff.
Within an hour of entering the parking lot, we were quickly checked in, settled into our Woodland Lodge, and splashed into the hotel health club pool. We were impressed with the pool, jacuzzi, outdoor hot tub, steam room, and sauna that were available during our stay.
There’s also a gym and spa treatments for those who want to be pampered. Outside there is a new padel court and a decent children’s play area. 8/10
Service and style
Down-to-earth and friendly service is the order of the day. We especially appreciated the attention the children received at breakfast when there was a huge buffet available. The kids even got to operate the pancake machine.
The hotel restaurant and breakfast room both felt spacious enough to accommodate the clamor of a busy weekend, even in these uncertain Covid times where a bit of social distancing is welcome.
There are incredible views of the water if you pick the right seat at the right time.
However, the staff seemed a bit overwhelmed at times. This was especially evident on Saturday night when we had dinner at the hotel’s Lakeside Bar and Grill. We have read many stories of staff shortages during the pandemic, perhaps once again Covid is partly to blame. 7/10
The accommodation was the real star of the show for my family as we were lucky enough to have one of the six new forest lodges located just above the waterline.
Yes the hot tub was used regularly and the kids thought they were living the rock star life. Relaxing in bubbling waters of 37 ° C and admiring a freezing lake was a highlight.
But for those worried that the hot tubs might be a bit fancy, we found the rest of the lodge to be quite luxurious. The living room has huge picture windows on two sides offering a 270 degree view of the landscape, wHere, we sipped hot coffee and winced as we watched the early morning rowers weave their way through the freezing air and glassy water.
There were comfy beds, roomy sofas, modern heating controls, and all the essentials for cooking like a microwave, dishwasher, ironing board, and toiletries. 9/10
The lodge provided excellent accommodation options for a tired family with children who had spent half the day in school and the other half on the road. We collapsed with pasta and meatballs on Friday night, quite content with life in our new surroundings.
On Saturday, we headed to the Lakeside Bar and Grill where the menu features many favorites, from fish and chips to Chinese-style curry. It’s not good food, but the portions were generous and the flavors good. While the service was a bit slow, the atmosphere was enhanced with live piano music and a pre-Christmas buzz.
The breakfasts were plentiful and plentiful: lots of choice and plentiful. A buffet had the usual fries as well as cereal and fruit, but the quality was good and we couldn’t resist the pastries and pancakes. Bonus points as they had pitchers of oat milk on request for those of us who don’t drink dairy. 7/10
If you are self-employed, there is no need to carry food and drink around the house. There are a lot of supermarkets nearby including a huge Tesco superstore just three minutes down the road. The prices of many items – beer and wine, in particular – seemed cheaper than in the Republic.
The Marble Arch Caves are a 340 million year old wonder and located just 14 miles southwest of the hotel. A morning visit was worth it as we marveled at this underground Grand Canyon and its impressive overglued stalagmite. marbrarchcaves.co.uk
The bottom line
Killyhevlin Lodges are a fantastic getaway, offering a bit of luxury and relaxation but with the facilities of a hotel (country club, spa, restaurant, and breakfast) – and Enniskillen is just down the road. The view over Lough Erne is truly special and would be a lovely place to relax, whatever the time of year.
It’s hard not to mention the elephant in the hall that is Center Parcs, which is a huge competition for hotels like this to attract families. The seaside resort of Longford offers more in terms of activities – but of course most of them cost more.
As for Killyhevlin, we found that there was enough in the health club and surrounding area to keep our family entertained but not too much planned for a few relaxing days. 8/10
Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges currently has festive midweek deals starting at £ 69 per person; or weekends from £ 175 per person sharing, valid for a Friday arrival from December 21 to February 22.
It includes hot breakfast, dinner one evening and use of the Killyhevlin Health Club. Or enjoy a self-catering lodge stay from £ 212.50 per night based on a minimum two-night stay.
For more information, see killyhevlin.com.
Gareth and his family were guests of the hotel.