This modern hotel on the Dublin side of Cavan town is an asset to the area, with a health and fitness club, conference and banqueting facilities making it a focal point for local activities. In common ownership with the adjacent Cavan Crystal Showroom and Visitor Centre, it offers guests the opportunity to tour the crystal factory - and even to cut your own crystal.
The striking contemporary design is not immediately obvious from the outside, but the tone is set in the foyer and public areas, including a three-storey atrium area which provides an impressive setting for the hotel's Atrium Bar.
Bedrooms are stylish and comfortable, with good amenities. And, at the Zest Health & Fitness Club, there's an impressive beauty salon and hair salon in addition to a pool and other leisure facilities.
Conference/banqueting (500/350); business centre, secretarial services, video conferencing. Leisure centre (swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, gym, treatment rooms, hair dressing).
Rooms 85 (3 suites incl. 1 Presidential, 66 executive; 2 family rooms, smoking rooms on request; 9 ground floor, 6 for disabled); Children welcome (under 4s free in parents' room, cots available free of charge, baby sitting). Lift; All day room service. Room rate from about €75. Closed 24 & 25 Dec.
Opus One Restaurant:
The restaurant is on the first floor, off the central atrium area, and has a smart but comfortable feeling, created by native Irish wood and mellow brickwork combined with contemporary furnishings.
Chef Dave Fitzgibbon has been with the hotel since 2003 and, cutting a bit of a culinary dash, he balances traditional dishes with some epicurean adventures. Creativity is the keynote and, for example, the ever-popular steak is upgraded to become Irish Sirloin Steak with Café de Paris Butter, Potato Espuma, Pickled Mushroom & Onion Tuile - a dish that will satisfy most, traditionalist or not.
Careful sourcing is seen in the use of ingredients such as the excellent local duck - typically in a starter of Confit Duck Wellington, Mushroom Foam & Purée, Warm Shallot & Raisin Chutney, for example, and main course of Breast of Thornhill Duckling, Almond & Onion Mousseline, Black Cherry Puree, Pickled Beetroot & Beech Mushrooms - and other quality products, such as Fermanagh free range chicken and Finnebrogue venison, both produced nearby in Northern Ireland.
Pretty desserts include updated classics like Apple Tarte Tartin with a Sour Apple Sorbet & Dust, and there's added interest with the cheese selection too, which is served with with Carrigbyrne Panna Cotta, Warm Date & Walnut Bread and Fig & Raisin Chutney.
An accessible wine list from the old and new world has plenty to choose from in the €20-25 range but there are some real treats on offer too, as well as an unusually good half-bottle selection.
Friendly staff are well trained and informed, making dinner at Opus One a pleasure - though be warned that the lunch menu is quite different. An unusual feature of this hotel restaurant is its ability to serve two very different markets at lunchtime, when the style is hearty and wholesome; and in the evening, when the same area is transformed into a fine dining destination.