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Don't miss these 3 grand hotels in northern Country Donegal

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In the last article we discussed a number of fun activities to be enjoyed in northern County Donegal while you are traversing the Wild Atlantic Way, but we glossed over where to eat and sleep. We’ll rectify that right now.

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Rathmullan

Rathmullan House is a 4-star luxury hotel that has some of the most beautiful interior spaces. Wandering the first floor, each room has its own distinct design, but every room is just as grand as the one before. The restaurant is also on the first floor and served a marvelous buffet of delicacies. The Potted Pork served in small white ramakins was to die for and they kept refreshing the supply as quickly as we devoured it.

Downstairs, they’ve recreated a pub-like atmosphere that is truly inviting. A great bar with local micro-brews has turned into a popular neighborhood attraction.

[for more photos of these hotels, click here]

Whether you’ve come for a relaxing massage, for the 15 meter indoor pool, or for the two mile beach, you can let your cares drift away in this idyllic location.

Dunfanaghy

Arnold’s Hotel started in 1922 and has grown to 30 rooms. The family has continuously managed the hotel since its inception and the fourth generation is now beginning to become involved. Situated across the street from the Killhoey beach (another Blue Flag Beach), the hotel has all sorts of recreational opportunities for guests. From surfing to cycling (e-bikes are available) to 18 holes of golf, it’s all nearby. They even have their own stables. (Read about riding on the beach and in the dunes.) Lunch here was a wonderful meal with some of the best brown bread in all of Ireland.

Downings

The Rossapenna Hotel & Golf Resort is where we met up with Grassroutes electric bikes for our ride along Atlantic Drive. Beautifully set across from Sheephaven Bay, this is known for its golf courses. Didn’t have the opportunity to play here, but according to their website:

“Golfers have been travelling to Rosapenna since the late 19th century when the Old Tom Morris links was ranked 3rd in the British Isles behind St.Andrews and Royal County Down. It was for this reason that great golfers of their time Harry Vardon, James Braid and Tom Ball holidayed in Rosapenna.

In 2003 Rosapenna Golf Resort opened it’s second course the Sandy Hills links designed by Pat Ruddy of European Club fame. In its relatively short lifetime Sandy Hills has been met with rave reviews and steadily climbed the rankings as it matures into one of Ireland’s finest modern links courses.”

The hotel rooms were spacious and quite, quite comfortable. My room overlooked Sheephaven Bay and although it was low tide, with the window open, you could still hear the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore. I especially liked the dark wooden vanity below the huge bowl sink in the restroom.

The Varden Restaurant is where you’ll dine and the food was wonderful. Enjoyed both dinner and breakfast here before we left.

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Click here for the index of all Wild Atlantic Way articles in this series

Previous article in the Wild Atlantic Way series: Donegal part one

Next article in the Wild Atlantic Way series: Southern County Donegal – part three

Why travel the Wild Atlantic Way? [Infographic]

Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about travel destinations, photography and tech topics across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at travel.dougbardwell@gmail.com with suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here. For travel ideas in Cleveland and around the world, check his Calendar of Events. To see his travel photo collection, see BardwellPhotography.com.

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