independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lakeside resort is a tranquil haven far away from hassles

MOST of the G8 delegates will probably be hard pressed to pinpoint Co Fermanagh on a map, but they're in for a treat.

Previous summits have been the focus of anti-capitalist skirmishes, but the world's most powerful leaders will be living in luxury in a haven of peace.

The Lough Erne Resort is a world away from the headaches of austerity and trade deals.

Set on a 600-acre peninsula, it affords dramatic views of the surrounding (and largely empty) lough.

Not that remoteness means lack of facitlities – as Northern Ireland's first five-star hotel it can satisfy every whim for the world politicians.

Chef Noel McMeel is one of the best regarded in Ireland, and can rustle up traditional Irish dishes with a new twist with ease in the resort's flagship Catalina Restaurant, with its relaxing waterside views.

And if the arguing goes long into the night, East and West might just strike a deal in the Blaney Bar, which boasts no fewer than 101 Irish whiskeys.

They can clear their heads on the Faldo Course – and no less a star than Rory McIlroy is the resort's touring professional.

Even the standard rooms (presumably for the civil servants) have free-standing baths, rain showers, Wi-Fi and monogrammed bathrobes and slippers.

The top-end Lodge Suites are private sanctuaries away from the main hotel, with their own lounge area, and some boasting private bars.

Dignitaries can forget about the hassles of countryside traffic jams – the resorts has no fewer than five helipads and a seaplane berth from which they can take off for the few minutes' flight to Enniskillen Airport.

And one thing is guaranteed – a warm welcome that will be a pleasant surprise for the leaders.

Irish Independent

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