A Marriage made in Hotel Heaven’ – The story of Harvey’s Point
“Most tourists who visit Ireland explain that among the things that impress them most about their stay is the natural beauty of our scenery and the genuine warmth of the people. But like many other businesses in recent years, the hotel and hospitality sector has had its fair share of hard times.
With this in mind, I took a trip to beautiful Donegal to visit one of Ireland’s leading hotels and to try and get an understanding of what business is like for them now.
Located just 10 minutes’ drive from Donegal town, on the shores of Lough Eske and at the foot of the Blue Stack Mountains, Harvey’s Point Resort Hotel is certainly something special. The winding roads that lead me the last few miles to the hotel and the surrounding lake, trees and mountains all conspire seamlessly to create the perfect hidden oasis.
Run by Deirdre McGlone and her Swiss-born husband Marc Gysling, the hotel has won many awards – it has been voted the No 1 hotel in Ireland by TripAdvisor’s army of reviewers from 2013 to 2017 and won Georgina Campbell ‘Hotel of the Year’ in 2017.
I’ve only just arrived and already I’m beginning to understand why. Noel Cunningham, the hotel’s general manager, is immediately on hand and greets me with a warm smile and a friendly handshake. Before long Deirdre appears, she too is brimming with zest and enthusiasm.
“Is everyone here as friendly as you pair,” I ask playfully.
“They are of course. Sure it doesn’t cost anything to smile,” she replies in a chirpy and upbeat tone.