Quietly situated in the hills just above Lough Arrow, Christy and Moira Tighe’s special hotel enjoys one of the finest views in Ireland - and it has earned a reputation as a luxurious retreat for discerning guests. Although the hotel has grown dramatically in recent years – new bedrooms were added in 2008, to facilitate its growing popularity as a wedding venue – the hospitable philosophy is unchanged, and this remains a wonderful place to stay.
Cromleach has always been renowned for its exceptionally high standards of both food and accommodation - and, most importantly, the Tighe family and their staff have the magic ingredient of genuine hospitality, doing everything possible to ensure comfort and relaxation for their guests.
Bedrooms vary more than formerly, however, and the choice in position, size and price ensures that a suitable option is available to more guests. All are thoughtfully furnished to make the most of their size and outlook - and stylishly decorated with a welcome emphasis on quality and comfort rather than fashion - but some are better suited to wedding guests rather than independent travellers, notably those furthest from reception.
Many have seating areas overlooking the lough with easy chairs to relax in, and all have well-planned bathrooms with lots of luxurious little extras - and housekeeping and attention to detail are invariably outstanding.
The area around Cromleach is beautiful and unspoilt, and the Tighes like nothing better than to introduce guests to the many places of interest and activities nearby but, for many, just being here is more than enough. There is plenty of comfortable lounging space foe guests to relax and take in the view, also a smart little bar, Nuada’s, where a light snack menu is available all day.
The first floor Diarmaid & Grainne’ banqueting suite provides for weddings of up to 180 guests, and it has a wonderful view over Lough Arrow - as does the beautiful Ciúnas Spa, which is a great amenity for all guests and particularly welcome for weddings.
And the Tighes are not content with pampering their guests - they have also embraced the fact that many of them like to travel with their four-legged friends, who are not only very welcome at Cromleach Lodge but they can be pampered too, by making an appointment with Cromleach’s professional dog groomer, Blathnaid O’Connell (call her directly, 071 9664678). Dogs may stay in the bedrooms with their owners, under supervision, and there are plenty of walks locally, or they can be walked on the hotel grounds.
Conferences/Banqueting (200/180); free broadband wi/fi. Children welcome (under 3 free in parents' room, cot available (€10), baby sitting arranged). Pets permitted by arrangement (stay in bedroom, no charge). Spa, sauna, steam room, massage, treatments, hair dressing. Garden; walking; fishing. Golf, equestrian and garden visits nearby.
Rooms 57 (21 executive, 9 ground floor, all no smoking). Lift; Room service (limited hours). Turndown service. B&B €75-99 pps, single €125. Short breaks and off-season value breaks available. Closed Mon & Tue in low season.
This contemporary restaurant is elegant and calm. Arranged to allow every table to take full advantage of the view, it is decorated in shades of cream and coffee, with black leather high backed chairs and stylish long seats at each end of the room - stripes of lime green, pale mauve, moss green and grey fit beautifully with the voile curtains embroidered in golds and lined in silk.
Moira Tighe (a former Chef of the Year) remains very involved with the kitchen, and works closely with her team. Menus are based on meticulously sourced ingredients - and the many regular guests who have grown attached to Cromleach will be glad to know that the wonderful food does not too much - specialities created by Moira over the years still feature, along with new dishes, as has always been the case.
Everything, from the first little amuse-bouche to the last petit four with coffee is a treat - and, as in all aspects of this exceptional place, service is flawless.