A recent stay at Lough Erne Resort, a
luxurious golf resort in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
proved to be a wonderful experience in a truly enchanting
environment. Comprising 600 acres on a peninsula in the
Fermanagh lake district, the resort has two championship
golf courses: the Nick Faldo Championship Course and the
Lough Hume course.
Located two hours
by car from either Dublin or Belfast, the
resort is also reachable via seaplane or helicopter.
The Faldo Championship course, 7,167 yards
with Par 72, has stunning scenery of Lough Erne, 14 holes
with water features and another welcome sight: a Halfway
House mid-course offering refreshment. And at the tenth
hole, known as "Emerald Isle", the green is surrounded on
three sides by water.
The Nick Faldo Championship Course, designed by Nick Faldo,
is the only one of its kind in Ireland. If you’re taking
instruction at the Nick Faldo Academy you can use
their indoor and outdoor training facilities
and take advantage of their advanced video and computer
technology to track balls in flight and analyze your
The touring professional is
Rory McIlroy and Lynn McCool is the resident
When The Faldo Championship Course hosted the
Lough Erne Challenge--the Dual on the Lough between top
Irish golfers Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington—Rory
McIlroy set a Faldo Course Record of 68.
In 2011 and 2012 the Faldo Championship Course will host
the Faldo Series Grand Final and Faldo Series Ireland
As befits the saying about Ireland as a
place where the expected rarely happens and the unexpected
often does, there’s an unexpected find here:
The resort prides itself on offering the most authentic Thai
spa experience outside of Thailand. That’s right,
the highly trained spa staff comes directly
from Thailand. After a day swatting golf balls hither
and yon, you’re in for a treat at the
tranquil Thai Spa offering special golfer’s treatments
andpampering massages using a range of soothing Asian
botanical ingredients. Among such
pleasures as a full body massage, scalp
massage, foot massage or ginger scrub, guests can
also indulge in the spa’s special relaxation
rooms, exotic rain shower and crystal aroma steam room.
Pure bliss! And one evening before dinner I happily took a
plunge in the infinity pool.
While fruit smoothies are available at the
spa, if you want something stronger, head straight to the
Blaney Bar which offers an astounding array
of liquor, including over 100 varieties of Irish
And if there are six or more in your group, the hotel can
arrange a private Irish
Whiskey Tasting event in conjunction with the
nearby Bushmills distillery, Ireland’s oldest
distillery, and the only distillery in
Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey.
I thoroughly enjoyed the welcoming
fireplaces throughout and feeling very cozy in my plush and
romantic turreted cottage suite overlooking
Meals couldn’t have been tastier, prepared
with fresh local produce under the direction
of acclaimed Irish chef Noel McMeel and I still recall
the mouthwatering steak I had. And at the
full Irish breakfast (salmon, eggs, bacon, etc.) there
was even a bottle of Bushmills whiskey
standing next to the oatmeal. I was told it’s an Irish
tradition--and comes in handy when facing
the golf course in bracing weather!
Besides golf, there are other sporting
choices. There’s a Resident Game Angling
instructor, opportunities for salmon
fishing, helicopter and seaplane tours, flying lessons,
riding and 4x4 off road driving. If you
can’t bring yourself to leave this tranquil hideaway,
there are lodge homes for rent or purchase,
and owners are entitled to exclusive member privileges.
Lough Erne Resort definitely made an
impression on me as being unique in many ways,
particularly as a place where visitors can
play golf and “Thai” one on!
There are special golf packages throughout
the year and it’s a nice location for conferences,
weddings and romantic getaways, too.