Although the entrance is off-putting and the building itself is not especially appealing, the bright and interesting interior of this contemporary hotel just outside the characterful village of Drumshanbo will quickly win you over - and the immediate surroundings are well maintained.
An attractive foyer area, with an open fire and a collection of striking paintings, has glazed doors at the far end - allowing a tantalising glimpse into a high-ceilinged bar; beyond this a clear lake view is seen through a wall of glass, with a deck for fine weather.
Accommodation - in spacious, comfortable rooms (some with balcony), furnished in an understated, modern style with fine views - includes some suites and family rooms, and self-catering apartments.
The difficulties of several years in recession are seen in some wear and tear in public areas, but guest rooms are well maintained and everything is kept very clean throughout the building.
Rushes Restaurant - which, strangely, is not in a waterside position - might not be a destination restaurant for visitors to the area who are staying elsewhere, but the food offered is pleasing for residents, and very acceptable bar meals are also served. Staff training could be improved in the restaurant, but any small delays or mistakes are easy to forget in the generally relaxed and helpful ambience.
This hotel is a great base for the many activities offered by on site, or nearby - and not just in summer. It's a fine destination for a winter trip too, with the warmth of open fires making it a welcoming place to come back to after long walks, a day out horseriding or cycling, And the Lough Allen Hotel has an ace up its sleeve in the staff, who are brilliant - extremely friendly and professional, they create the best of all reasons for guests to return.