I’ve been doing quite a lot of travelling this year – Iceland, Krakow and Prague to name a few, so I thought it was time to have a bit of RnR slightly closer to home. Although most of you know me as a Belfast girl, my mum’s side of the family come from Enniskillen so I spent quite a lot of time in Fermanagh when I was younger. There is no getting away from the beautiful countryside and being close to the water has somewhat of a magical feel – in my book the perfect setting for a relaxing night away.
The ‘Killy’ as mum calls it – to give it the proper name, Killyhevlin Hotel, Spa & Health Club is a member of Irish Country Hotels and situated on the road into Enniskillen. We often stop for Sunday carvery, but have never been lucky enough to stay.
The Killyhevlin has everything you want from a hotel – friendly welcome, bright and spacious rooms, and a bathroom built for two, no wait, make it ten. We were staying in The Cole Suite that had just a hint of a view of Lough Erne peeking out behind the window in the separate living area. We only stayed for one night, which was a bit of a shame to be honest, as it was so comfy and a place you could quite easily move into for a week. I tried as best I could to get my money’s worth by trying the Jacuzzi bath, luxury bath products and tinkering about with the extra facilities in the room. Sleeping quarters aside, two things really stood out for me – the beautiful meal and stunning Lough view in the newly opened Kove Restaurant and probably one of the best facials I’ve ever had in the Spa.
Regular G Spotters! will know that I love my grub and maybe it’s a unfair belief, but I never really think that eating in a hotel is going to be up to the same standard as eating in a restaurant. However, the three courses of loveliness in Kove have changed my mind and shut me up for good. Head Chef, Kevin Watson appears to add culinary creativity into each dish he produces and the flavours and the quality are evident in every bite. Traditional starters of Caesar Salad and Prawn Cocktail are mixed with the more adventurous Donegal Scallops and Fritto Misto and unlike most menus; I could probably have opted for everything on there. The Sirloin Steak for main was one of the best I’ve tasted and always having room for my dessert; the trio of chocolate hit the sugary spot.
Oh and not forgetting the view – the restaurant faces straight onto Lough Erne and the coming and goings of the boats passing up and down the Lough is both entertaining and somewhat therapeutic. Despite the rain falling (I realised about 20 years ago that it nearly always rains in Fermanagh) the view of the Lough is breathtaking and something that really adds to your overall experience in Kove.
After dinner we had a nightcap in the Boathouse bar, which was pretty busy and even had a few four legged creatures scampering around our feet. We worked out that these belonged to the families staying in the self-catering chalets that you can also hire if you want to explore the surrounding area on your own.
Up early, we had a quick breakfast back in Kove and I always get excited about the small things, so a free newspaper on the way in was a nice touch and honestly something I didn’t even think hotels did anymore – and then it was off to get our facials.
I’ve had a few facials in my time – but I can honestly say this was the best and most relaxing one to date. I opted for the Visible Brilliance Facial that claimed to ‘firm, rejuvenate and plump skin whilst helping to reduce dark circles and increase moisture levels by 61% and elasticity by 40% after just one treatment’ Woohoo I’ll take that! My beautician, Lisa had the right about of professionalism and friendliness. I find it hard to relax so she was calm and didn’t really speak to me so I could switch off and enjoy the experience.
Using Elemis products, which smelled divine, Lisa washed, cleansed, and exfoliated my face using lotions, potions and peels. Ok it mightn’t sound that different, but throw in hot towels on my feet, a relaxing arm, hand and head massage and I was one step closer to heaven.
Definitely on the verge of a little snooze, I can honestly say it was one of the best hours I have spent and at only £68 it was definitely worth the money. Mum had the Pro Collagen Quartz Lift Facial which was more suited for her type of skin and also gave a glowing report.
Although I loved the experience, what did it to my skin? Well a few people have said, in their words ‘I look glowing’ and I definitely think I look refresher and brighter and without being too optimistic, I felt 10 years younger.
We didn’t use the pool or health club area, only due to the fact that we didn’t have enough time. But there were lots of families and couples splashing about in the hot tub or pumping iron in the gym.
I know there are lots of hotels in Belfast and the surrounding areas, but this part of the world certainly has a special quality and something I think I have taken for granted of late. With a good wind behind you, travelling from Belfast to Enniskillen can only take 1hour 20mins so the distance is not a problem. If you do one thing this year, make sure you visit the Killyhevlin Hotel, Spa & Health Club to recharge your batteries and take a bit of time out for yourself. All I ask when you are coming back to Belfast – be sure and leave the rain behind you!
Contact: 02866 323481 or www.killyhevlin.com
By Grainne McGarvey. Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com