Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Newcastle

The Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains

I think we had probably the most perfect room in the resort. We had one of the huge bay window rooms at the front of the hotel (second floor), which gave us impossibly gorgeous views of the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea. And as our one full day (we stayed 2 nights) in Newcastle was cold, windy and wet, it was the ideal location from which to watch the elements battle it out!

Slieve Donard Entrance

Slieve Donard Entrance

We went for an afternoon stroll when we first arrived, and when the temperature began to drop and the wind picked up, we headed back to the hotel for a drink in the bar. This led to our meeting one of the wittiest and charming barman/waiter of our travels – Macine, who spent the next 2 evenings making our stay an absolute delight. We had the pleasure of his service (and that of his fellow waiter, TJ) the following night for our dinner in the Oak Restaurant.

We slept so soundly the both nights we were there, thanks to the extremely comfortable bed and pillows, aided by the light as air, but very cosy doona (or duvet). Breakfast was plentiful and fresh, with enough options to please everybody.

As mentioned, our one full day in Newcastle was more than a bit rained on, but we spent the day relaxing in the hotel – enjoyed a massage (Moses was an excellent massage therapist!), manicure, and lapped up the relaxation room and hot tub.

We dressed for dinner and enjoyed a drink in the bar, reading and chatting and watching the wedding guests in their finery before they headed to the ballroom. We went to the Oak Restaurant for dinner and were very impressed with the fine dining on offer and the excellent service (Macine and TJ took care of us – Macine making perfect suggestions with the wine: a Sancerre 2010 Les Celliers de la Pauline).


Panfried Kilkeel scallops & parsnip crisps

DINNER: Vincent’s fish cake (smoked trout, salmon & prawns), rocket salad, lime & dill mayonnaise; panfried kilkeel scallops and parsnip crisps, lemon & thyme veloute; spinach & brie crêpes served on chargrilled vegetables, sauté potatoes; pumpkin & leek strudel served on puy lentils and garlic potatoes; finishing with a cheese plate. At this point of our trip, we had been travelling around Ireland for a month, and this was one of the few non-vegetarian restaurants that actually offered vegetarian options for mains, and not just one, but TWO! (Most restaurants offer a couple in their starters, but very few have anything in their mains – fish is as close as you usually get!).

We had a wonderful time at the Slieve Donard Resort. I would highly recommend it if you are travelling to Newcastle.

SIDEBAR: interestingly, the GPS coordinates of the hotel (supplied by them to the GPS maps) took us to the wrong place – luckily, it took us straight past, so it was simple enough to turn around and head back, but still – people in charge of this kind of stuff need to get that fixed.

About bontaks

Nic is the the 'Bon' part of 'Bontaks.' Together we are Nic and John - two travel-addicted teachers who enjoy every opportunity to go places, meet people and experience life.

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