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Raise a Glasson

Glasson Lakehouse is a chic vibrant countryside retreat that will have you running back.

You know you’ve visited an amazing place if you’ve booked a return trip before check-out – as happened me and my family when we visited Glasson Lakehouse in Athlone. Driving through the gates, it’s much like many impressive hotels in Ireland, with its landscape of green grounds and modern façade.

However, as you enter the lobby area, this is where it comes into its own with an impressively slick ranch-style area that is effortlessly cool, with old-style but modern furnishings, that sets the scene for the rest of the hotel. This is a chic vibrant countryside retreat that’s set across 180 acres, is dog friendly, has a ranch-style terrace, wooden hot tubs, a heated pool, a golf course and a gym. I mean, what more could you ask for?

One of the reasons I was so excited about this particular trip was because my dog Walter, a 10-year-old Basset Hound was joining us for his first ever holiday. After check-in, myself and my parents made our way to our lakeside bedroom, which was huge, much to Walter’s delight. The décor was ultra-cool but laid back and unassuming, nothing too flamboyant and was really well designed – it even had a record player and an old-style telephone.

Naturally Walter had a good sniff around and made himself right at home sussing out his new bed for the night. The floors were wooden, no carpet - perfect if there were to be any doggie accidents.

The main restaurant, Bonnie’s, has amazing food, in particular the breakfast. The pancakes were perfection as was the smashed avocado on toast. Executive chef Dee Adamson has created an exceptional menu that caters for all taste buds and she’s placed huge emphasis on using local produce, which is always wonderful to see.

Doggies can’t dine inside the restaurant, so we had lunch on the terrace, which is heated and quite big with wooden surroundings, firepits and an array of different furnishings for dining and drink set-ups.

We ended up staying there for hours because it was just so laid-back with cool upbeat music playing, unbelievable views and the atmosphere was effortless - which at times can be something hotels lack. For dinner that evening we ate inside instead and left Walter in the room to catch some winks.

When you’re away or even just dining out , it’s lovely to be waited on. The staff are so friendly, go with the flow and are full of chat but ultimately they just let you be, which is brilliant. You’d never be without anything, but there’s no checking in on you every two minutes, which can be so frustrating at times.

The facilities in Glasson Lakehouse make a lasting impression. For the most part Ireland is Baltic a lot of the time - let’s be real, it is. Luckily, there’s an outdoor heated swimming pool with loungers and a chic wooded fence surrounding it that overlooks Lough Ree.

The heavens decided to open when I went for a swim but it was totally fine because the pool was heated and was absolute bliss. Myself and my mom also had a dip in one of the three wooden hot-tubs and its set-up is so impressive – it overlooks the grounds and lake, and was spectacular to take in as we sipped on cosmopolitans cocktails.

If you fancy a pint, fear not because Glasson Lakehouse even has its own pub. Tom’s Fish & Tackle is a cosy shebeen-style bar located just off Bonnie’s Restaurant. It’s the perfect spot for a casual pint, post-dinner tipple, or a warming drink before taking on a round of golf or a fishing trip on the lake.

All in all, Glasson Lakehouse is a luxurious but unassuming laid back retreat in the Athlone countryside. I think Walter slept for a week afterwards - he never walked so much or had so much attention. From the stunning interiors, to the staff who were just so friendly, and of course the spacious rooms, facilities and food, it was unbelievably enjoyable.

A stay at Glasson Lakehouse starts from €170 BB in a King Room a night. Email to book now.

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