If you’re in search of hotels in Donegal near a beach, you’ve landed in the right spot!
There’s some stunning beaches in Donegal and, unsurprisingly enough, plenty of hotels have capitalised on this.
From boutique hotels overlooking the wild Atlantic to budget-stays in busy seaside towns, there’s heaps of beach hotels in Donegal!
Below, you’ll find some mighty hotels on the Donegal coast, with something to tickle most fancies. Dive on in!
Our favourite hotels in Donegal near a beach
The first section of our guide is packed with our favourite beach hotels in Donegal – these are places that one or more of our team have visited over the years.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the very popular Shandon Hotel to the brilliant Redcastle Hotel and more.
1. The Shandon Hotel
The Shandon Hotel and Spa overlooks Sheephaven Bay in Dunfanaghy. Many bedrooms offers guests a spectacular view of the sea, as does the lobby, the bar, the swimming pool, thermal spa and the outdoor hot tub.
Hotel guests enjoy free use of the leisure centre, where there is a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, kid’s pool and a small gym. Marvel at the ocean view in the a la carte Marbles Restaurant or take a ramble down to nearby Marble Hill Beach.
If you’re looking for hotels in Donegal near a beach to mark a special occasion, you won’t go wrong at The Shandon.
2. The Sandhouse Hotel
Set on the spectacular sandy beachfront of Rossnowlagh, this four-star hotel features four-poster beds and classic décor—great for a romantic break or a solo trip away by the sea.
Many of the rooms here offer sea views (check in advance) and the beautiful Glasshouse Restaurant looks out onto the waves (try and nab a seat by the window if you can!).
A full Irish breakfast is served every day in the Glasshouse Restaurant, which overlooks the beach and there’s a spa where you can book in for relaxing treatments such as the three-hour Be-All and End-All.
3. Inishowen Gateway Hotel
The Inishowen Gateway Hotel is arguably the most popular of the many hotels in Donegal near a beach. Located on the Inishowen peninsula, the Gateway Hotel is surrounded by endless things to do, like the excellent Inishowen 100.
Some of the rooms offer views over Lough Swilly and the Buncrana Golf Course. Onsite activities include the leisure club with its kid’s pool and the Seagrass Spa, golf and the Planet Active Kids Club.
Nearby is Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, famous for its rugged beauty, and where parts of Star Wars, The Last Jedi was filmed in 2016.
4. Redcastle Hotel
If you’ve read our guide to the best spa hotels in Donegal, you’ll have seen us rave about the Redcastle Hotel. Located near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula, this four-star resort is on the shores of Lough Foyle and was once part of the Redcastle Estate.
It has 93 bedrooms and luxury suites with ocean or parkland views and its own private nine-hole golf course, a swimming pool, gym and luxury spa.
There’s some excellent dining options available here, too. The Edge Restaurant is sat, quite literally, on the waters edge and is especially impressive at sunset. There’s also the Captain’s Bar for a more laid back buzz.
5. Rathmullan House Hotel
Rathmullan House is a Georgian, family-run country house that sits on the shores of Lough Swilly, a mere stone’s throw from the three-kilometre long, sandy beach. Set in seven acres of woody gardens, it makes for a great getaway when daily life feels far too hectic.
The uniquely decorated rooms include, in some cases, patio doors that lead outside to the garden and seating and come complete with robes for full-on relaxation.
The family rooms available cater for up to six people and have a separate bedroom for the children and travel cots for the very little ones.
6. Arnolds Hotel
This fourth generation family-owned and operated hotel in the picturesque village of Dunfanaghy overlooks Sheephaven Bay, and it’s a great choice for anyone who revels in a friendly hotel experience.
Horse riding, surfing, walking and golf are all activities you can enjoy nearby. If you can, stretch for one of the sea view rooms which ovvers stunning views out over the bay and the popular Killahoey Beach.
Dining wise, you’re spoiled for choice – there’s the more formal Arnolds Restaurant for your evening meals and there’s a popular burger bar on-site, too!
Other very popular Donegal beach hotels
Now that we have our favourite Donegal beach hotels out of the way, it’s time to see what else the county has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the Great Northern Hotel and the Allingham Arms Hotel to some often-overlooked hotels in Donegal near a beach.
1. Allingham Arms Hotel
This modern, elegant four-star hotel overlooks the sea and can be found in the coastal town of Bundoran, just a short stroll from the town’s beautiful beaches.
If you can, try and opt for a deluxe room which boasts breath-taking views of the sea. Each of these rooms are decked out with plush furnishings to make your stay that bit more comfy.
Food and drink wise, the hotel is home to the Oceans Restaurant where you can grab a tasty bite along with Quay West and Coolmore for after-dinner drinks.
2. Beach Hotel & Restaurant Downings
The Beach Hotel in Downings boasts 30 modern and stylish ensuite bedrooms with double, twin and adjoining family rooms, all accessible by lifts.
However, when booking, try and see if you can nab one of the rooms that offers views of Sheephaven Bay with Muckish Mountain in the background.
The hotel has two bars, the modern lounge and the traditional Teach An tSolias, where live entertainment is available at the weekends and every night during the summer months. This is one of the more popular hotels in Donegal near a beach for good reason.
3. The Great Northern Hotel
The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran, is a four-star, family-run property located on its own 18-hole golf course that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby, you will find several Blue Flag awarded beaches to saunter along.
For non-golfers, the hotel has a leisure centre, complete with a sauna and steam room and a jacuzzi for melting away your worries. There’s dedicated sea view rooms at the Great Northern where you’ll have the ocean and the Darty Mountains spread out in front of you.
4. The Ballyliffin Strand Hotel
Another of the more popular Donegal beach hotels is the Ballyliffin Strand on the Inishowen Peninsula and you can expect an authentic warm and friendly welcome upon arrival here.
This is a good base for exploring the peninsula, with everything from scenic drives and hikes to points of historical interest a short spin away.
5. Holyrood Hotel – Leisure Centre & Escape Spa
The Holyrood Hotel is a great place for a break in the north-west of Ireland, located in the heart of Bundoran, with breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a stroll along the beach to blow away all those cobwebs.
It’s one of the few hotels in the area with a swimming pool and there’s also an on-site spa, too, for those of you in need of some chill time.
From what we can tell (this may well be wrong) the rooms don’t have sea views, but the property is a short ramble away from the sand, if you’re looking to be close to the sea.
What Donegal beach hotels have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant hotels on the Donegal coast from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the various hotels in Donegal near a beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which are good for families?’ to ‘What ones are the fanciest?’.
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 beach hotels?
In our opinion, it’s hard to beat The Sandhouse Hotel, The Shandon Hotel and the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.
What hotels in Donegal near a beach are fanciest?
The Shandon Hotel and the Redcastle Hotel are arguably two of the more upscale hotels by the coast in Donegal.
Emma Baird is a lifestyle editor and novelist. She has worked in the communications industry for more than 25 years, and loves animals, the countryside and lingering in a great pub for the food and the craic.