€5 million expansion plans for Donegal hotel

ONE of Ireland’s largest property development and management companies, owned by Buncrana born Pat Doherty and his family, is to invest €5 million in an expansion of its five-star Lough Eske Castle Hotel.

The company which developed the Titanic Centre in Belfast recently lodged a planning application to add a two story extension with 24 luxury suites and bedrooms.

At present, it boasts 97 spacious rooms, the Lake Lodge – a private two-bedroom residence – and the awarding winning CARA Organic Beauty Spa.


Harcourt bought the old castle in 2007 and restored and renovated it into a luxurious five star hotel.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last week, Dónal Cox, General Manager, said: “This is due to demand we have seen for a luxury bedroom product which can cater for families and celebratory stays.”

He added the decision to expand reflected Lough Eske Castle’s increased business from international markets.

It is currently forecast to welcome 40 per cent more international guests this year than seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clement Gaffney, Group Hotel Operations Manager for Harcourt Developments, added that the investment would also see Lough Eske Castle recruit extra staff. ​

“With the investment of €5m into the expansion project, we will welcome more employees to the team, bringing our total employment to 235 staff at the property,” Mr Gaffney added.

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