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15th Jun 2019

Stunning Views Await At This Peaceful Lakeside Hotel In Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Kiara Keane

Set on the shores of Lough Ree in Co. Roscommon, the Hodson Bay is fairly synonymous with family breaks.

But the 4-star hotel actually has an entire adults-only retreat wing featuring deluxe rooms with floor to ceiling windows and sweeping views of the lake below, as I discovered when I was very kindly invited down to try it out for myself.

And waking up here after a day spent in the spa will have you feeling seriously rested and recharged.

It’s worth noting that while the spa area is off-limits to anyone under 18, the pool is not, which should definitely be kept in mind if you were hoping for a quiet dip of a Saturday morning.

Spa treatments use a fantastic range of Elemis products and whatever you end up going for, no visit would be complete without a visit to the outdoor hot tub with spectacular views over Lough Ree.

But the highlight of my stay by far was our dinner at the hotel’s fine dining L’Escale restaurant, where Head Chef John Burke ensures that everything is fresh, sustainable and locally sourced.

The seasonal menu features mains like supreme of chicken and braised short rib of prime beef, as well as plenty of fresh seafood, while vegetarians and vegans are spoiled for choice, too.

Just make sure you leave room for dessert – their coconut & vanilla pannacotta with passionfruit jelly was unbelievable.

As well as that, the hotel’s dedicated sommelier Andrzej (one of Ireland’s best) really knew his stuff when it came to pairing the perfect glass of wine with each course – which was great because wine knowledge in any shape or form is definitely not my strong point.

Very important side note – the Hodson Bay also does a complimentary pre-dinner wine and cheese tasting on Mondays and Saturdays for anyone staying in the retreat wing, which made for a fun start to our evening.

The Hodson Bay is only a 10 minute drive from Athlone Town’s bars and restaurants (where a visit to Ireland’s oldest pub, Sean’s Bar, definitely needs to be on your list), though you could happily spent a weekend in a relaxing bubble at the hotel spa and retreat wing – as I very much did.

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