A Guide To The Best Hotels In Donegal: 19 Places To Stay In Donegal You’ll Love

2 photos of the Best Hotels In Donegal
Phot left: By Lough Eske. Photo right: By The Highlands Hotel on Facebook.

If you’re in search of the best hotels in Donegal, you’ve landed in the right place.

County Donegal is a stunning place to escape to for an adventurous weekend or a chilled break away, regardless of budget or time of year.

In the guide below, we’re going to take you through the best hotels Donegal has to offer, from hotels perched right on the beach to luxury resorts and more.

Related Donegal accommodation guides

The Best Hotels In Donegal (Our Favourites)

the best hotels in donegal
Photos via the Castle Inn Hotel

This guide contains everything from the best hotels in Donegal Town and cheap hotels to stay in to boutique hotels and more.

Note: As an Airbnb Associate and a Booking.com affiliate we make a small commission if you book via a link below. You won’t pay extra, but it helps us pay the bills (cheers if you do – we greatly appreciate it).

1. The Shandon

hot tub at the shandon spa
Photo by The Irish Road Trip

The Shandon Hotel and Spa is rated as one of our favourite hotels in Ireland. The four-star hotel overlooks the beautiful Sheephaven Bay and is just a short drive from Dunfanaghy.

There’s a reason this is one of the best spa hotels in Donegal. They have a variety of rooms from family suites to standard doubles, almost all of which offer incredible sea views. 

It’s the perfect place to relax by the sea with a thermal spa, relaxation room and outdoor hot tub, which has incredible views over the surrounding area.

You don’t even have to leave the hotel to eat, with a delicious onsite restaurant and bar serving daily. You can book a night or check prices here.

2. The Highlands Hotel

Photo of The Highlands Hotel
Photo via The Highlands Hotel on Facebook

Next up is one of the most overlooked hotels in Donegal. In the main street of Glenties, you’ll find this delightful hotel that has welcomed guests for over 50 years.

The Highlands has undergone recent renovations and offers a range of boutique rooms and new facilities for functions and weddings.

You’ll find a new bistro, bar and dining room serving up the best of the local produce and a range of drinks.

The hotel is just 40 minutes from Donegal Airport and with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the surrounding area from cycling to golf. You can book a night or check prices here.

Check prices + see more photos here

3. Mill Park Hotel

2 photos of Mill Park Hotel
Photos via Mill Park Hotel on Facebook

If you’re looking for somewhere close to Donegal Town, Mill Park Hotel is perfectly situated just outside of town off the N56.

The four-star hotel is the perfect base for exploring some of the nearby attractions including Donegal Castle and Donegal Bay, but you could also easily venture further afield on the Wild Atlantic Way.

They have beautifully decorated rooms from doubles to family rooms, as well as an enticing leisure centre with a heated pool and jacuzzi hot tub for complete relaxation.

It’s a popular setting for conferences and weddings with stunning gardens and facilities for a dream-like event. You can book a night or check prices here.

Check prices + see more photos here

4. Tara Hotel

tara hotel in donegal
Photos via the Tara Hotel

Overlooking Killybegs Harbour with views of the ocean and Donegal Hills, Tara Hotel is a casual hotel on the South West coast of Donegal.

They offer 26 modern rooms and five luxurious suites for a relaxing stay in style. You can also find the Turntable Restaurant at the hotel, which serves up both traditional and contemporary Irish favourites.

The Tara Hotel is perfect as a base for exploring some of Donegal’s Atlantic coast highlights such as the hidden gem of Largy Waterfall and further afield to Slieve League.

Check prices + see more photos here

The Best Luxury And 5 Star Hotels In Donegal

spa hotels in donegal
Photo via booking.com

The next section of our guide to the best hotels in Donegal is all about luxury hotels and 5 star stays (you can find lots more swanky places to stay in Donegal in our guide to the best Five star hotels in Donegal).

Below, you’ll find well-known hotels in Donegal, like the fabulous Lough Eske Castle Hotel, to lesser-known hotels, like the brilliant Sandhouse.

1. Lough Eske Castle Hotel

lough eske castle donegal
Photo via Lough Eske

You’ll see Lough Eske Castle top many guides to the best hotels in Donegal online, and there’s not mystery why – it’s a castle AND it’s 5 star.

If you’re after exquisite luxury, Lough Eske Castle Hotel is one of the most impressive hotels in Donegal.

It’s an award-winning resort, spa and wedding venue on the historic lakeside grounds of Lough Eske, just six kilometers away from Donegal town.

The castle accommodation offers a range of contemporary rooms from their Garden Suites to the more elegant Castle Suites, all of which have comfortable boutique amenities.

For a completely relaxing stay, you can indulge in the luxury spa onsite for some pampering and soothing therapies. If you’re looking for the ultimate splurge in Donegal, this is the place for you.

Check prices + see more photos here

2. Harvey’s Point

Harvey's hotel
Photo via Harvey’s Point Hotel

Harvey’s Point is one a a couple of Donegal hotels that is well on its way to 5 star status. Harvey’s Point is a popular luxury hotel on the edge of Lough Eske.

The idyllic setting of this stunning hotel is one of the real highlights of a stay here, with the lake and backdrop of the Bluestack Mountains to admire.

The large hotel has over 60 rooms designed with both comfort and luxury in mind and an award-winning cuisine and dining experience onsite in the restaurant and bar.

Whether you’re after a completely relaxing stay outside of Donegal town, or looking to explore the surrounding area, Harvey’s Point is a superb choice.

3. The Sandhouse Hotel

the sandhouse donegal
Photo via the Sandhouse Hotel

The Sandhouse is, in our opinion, one of the most overlooked of the many Donegal hotels. This four-star family run hotel and spa is located on the spectacular coastline of Donegal in Rossnowlagh.

This quiet ocean spot is the ideal place for an extra peaceful escape on the Wild Atlantic Way. Their sophisticated rooms incorporate the finest fabrics and vintage touches, with many offering panoramic views of the ocean.

The hotel’s services are top notch with a fine dining restaurant overlooking the bay and an inviting Marine Spa for an afternoon of relaxation.

It’s the perfect blend of old-world elegance and modern luxury near one of Donegal’s stunning Blue Flag beaches. 

Check prices + see more photos here

The Best Spa Hotels In Donegal

5 star hotels in donegal
Photo via Harvey’s Point Hotel

If you’re in search of spa hotels in Donegal you’re in luck – this gorgeous corner of Ireland is home to plenty of places that are perfect for a pamper.

Below, you’ll find a handful of hotels that are perfect for chilling in for a night or two with Redcastle Hotel, in particular, being a solid spot for a getaway.

1. Redcastle Spa Hotel

redcastle hotel donegal
Photo via the Redcastle Hotel

This oceanfront property is one of the most popular hotels in Donegal. This is an incredibly luxurious four-star resort on the shores of Lough Foyle on the Inishowen Peninsula.

The location will simply take your breath away, being right on the water at the top of Country Donegal below Malin Head.

The large luxury hotel has nearly 100 rooms and an incredible restaurant and bar. However, it’s the lavish spa that will complete your relaxing stay here.

With full pamper packages lasting from one hour up to all day, along with a pool, sauna and steam room, you’ll feel seriously rejuvenated after your time at Redcastle.

Check prices + see more photos here

2. Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa

Ballyliffin Hotel Donegal
Photo via Ballyliffin Spa Hotel Donegal

Ballyliffin Lodge is an award-winning hotel and spa on the Inishowen Peninsula. Located in Ballyliffin, you can easily explore the incredible surrounding area, including the golden beaches nearby and Malin Head further to the north.

If you prefer to stay in, then the onsite Rock Crystal Spa is where you can enjoy some pampering to escape the hectic nature of life.

From rejuvenating facials to full body massages, the spa draws on holistic and therapeutic practices to help you feel completely relaxed.

After your day of pampering, you can enjoy the great food at Jacks Bar and Restaurant and the elegant sea view rooms.

Check prices + see more photos here

3. Villa Rose Hotel and Spa

photo of Villa Rose Hotel and Spa
Photo via villarose.ie

Perfectly set in Ballybofey, you can easily explore the best of County Donegal from this central location.

Villa Rose is a four-star family run hotel and spa offering stylish rooms and a casual restaurant and bar.

You’ll certainly want to enjoy a treatment or two at their onsite award-winning spa. With seven treatment rooms and a range of unique packages, it’s the perfect place for some much-needed relaxation.

Their couple’s treatment packages are ideal for that romantic weekend away that you’ve been wanting to plan for a while.

Best Hotels In Donegal Town

Best Hotels In Donegal town
Photo left: Lough Eske. Photo right: The Highlands Hotel on Facebook

Our next section tackles the best hotels in Donegal Town. The Town is favoured by many looking for a base to explore Donegal from.

And, while there are far more B&Bs in Donegal Town that there are hotels, you’ll still find a handful of places that are worth your hard-earned cash.

1. The Abbey Hotel

2 photos of the abbey hotel
Photos via The Abbey Hotel on Facebook

The Abbey is one of the most popular hotels in Donegal Town. It overlooks Donegal Bay and the town’s main square, making it the perfect spot to stay right in the historic town centre.

You can easily walk to Donegal Castle and the train station or head further to nearby beaches and coastal drives.

The old-world style, stone hotel offers a range of simple yet elegant rooms and a delicious dining experience at The Market House.

It’s the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the best of what Donegal has to offer, while staying close to the buzz of the main streets.

2. The Central Hotel

2 photos of The Central Hotel
Photo via The Central Hotel on Facebook

If you’re in search of nice and central hotels in Donegal Town, look no further than the Central. You can’t really get more of a convenient location than this place.

It’s right in the middle of the historic town with views over Donegal Bay and within walking distance to Donegal Castle.

This affordable three-star hotel is one of the longest running in the North West and has a great reputation as a friendly yet polished place to spend the night.

You can also find plenty of culinary choices from their Burger Bar to Chapman’s Restaurant onsite, so you don’t have to wander too far for a good feed.

Check prices + see more photos here

Unique Places To Stay In Donegal

The final section of our guide contains 0 Donegal hotels… yep, 0! This section is dedicated to unique places to stay in Donegal.

Below, you’ll find everything from unique Airbnbs in Donegal to gorgeous cabins tucked away in the mountains.

Airbnbs

donegal hillpod airbnb
Photo via Airbnb

Many of my favourite places to stay in Donegal are Airbnbs. And the reason for this is that there’s no end to the number of unique Airbnbs that you’ll discover dotted right the way across the county.

From hobbit pods, like the one above, to luxury penthouse apartments tucked away at the side of mountains, there are plenty of quirky and luxury Airbnbs in Donegal.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up the most unique and unusual Airbnbs this mighty little county has to offer.

Glamping accommodation in Donegal

lakeside glamping
Photos via Lough Mardal Lodge Lakeside Glamping

If you’re looking for more unique accommodation in Donegal, glampsites are a great option! Glamping lets you experience the full joy of camping, except with more style and luxury and a comfortable night’s sleep in a proper bed.

There are plenty of places to go glamping in Donegal from cosy yurts to more structured wooden pods, as you’ll discover in this guide.

A couple of our favourites include Lough Mardal Lodge with fully insulated luxury yurts on a large 90-acre property and Wild Atlantic Camp in Cresslough which offers comfortable wooden pods and other camping facilities. 

Camp sites

Rosguill Holiday Park
Photo via Rosguill Holiday Park on Facebook

If you’d rather the full camping experience of sleeping under the stars in your own tent, there are plenty of great places to go camping in Donegal.

Holiday and caravan parks offer plenty of amenities with many being located around the Atlantic coast for the perfect beach getaway.

A couple of good options include the family owned Rosguill Holiday Park, which is a quiet camping spot in Gortnalughoge with ocean views from their camp sites.

And Tramore Beach Caravan Park is ideal for tents, motorhomes and caravans with plenty of facilities and direct beach access. Discover the best camping accommodation in Donegal here.

Donegal Cottages

outside the thatch
Photo used with permission of Mamore Cottages

Some of the most popular accommodation in Donegal comes in the forms of cottages, as you’ll discover in our guide to the most beautiful Donegal cottages.

Some have been carefully restored by the owner to keep their traditional architecture intact, while others have been completely modernised for a bit more luxury.

There’s only a handful of traditional thatched options left in Donegal, one being this rural romantic thatched cottage on the Fanad Peninsula which is perfect for a secluded holiday.

For a more comfortable option, you can check out this 5-star cottage that has been restored and offers access to a private beach near Lettermacaward. See more here.

Self-catering accommodation in Donegal

view from sitting area
Photo via Emma on Airbnb

If you want to have a fully self-contained holiday place that feels more like home, then there are plenty of options from self-catering hotel rooms to Airbnb houses to rent.

Many hotels in Donegal have some larger rooms with self-catering facilities such as a small kitchen available.

But, for a more unique type of holiday, you can find entire houses on Airbnb, which is perfect for large families or big group holidays where there’s plenty of room to entertain everyone. 

FAQs About Accommodation in Donegal

Since publishing our guide to the best Donegal attractions many years ago, we’ve have heaps (literally!) of questions about where to stay in Donegal

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best Donegal hotels for a weekend break?

  1. The Sandbox
  2. Redcastle Hotel
  3. The Highlands Hotel

What are the best hotels in Donegal to use as a base for exploring?

  1. Ballyliffin Lodge
  2. The Shandon
  3. The Tara Hotel

What are the best places to stay in Donegal if you’re visiting for the first time?

Personally, I think your best bet is to decide on the places you want to visit first, and then search Airbnb for places to rent near the majority of those places.

Donegal is a big county, and you want to minimize the amount of time you need to spend in the car, so picking a place to stay near the majority of the things you want to do is important.

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.