Soaking up a little lakeside tranquility

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel in Enniskillen is one of those places I know I’ll just have to return to.

It could be its enviable position in the Fermanagh lakelands, with fabulous views over beautiful Lough Erne.

Or maybe it’s the undeniable comfort that comes with a well-appointed first rate four-star hotel.

I suspect though, that I’ve been bitten by the same bug that has kept guests returning time after time to this landmark hotel over the past 40 years.

Owned by the Watson family, the Killyhevlin first opened its doors in 1976 and ever since then has been providing a luxurious escape from life’s hectic pace.

With its 71 guestrooms, 13 lakeside chalets, health club and Elemis spa, the Killyhevlin is one of Northern Ireland’s well-known and favourite hotels.

I paid a visit on a crisp winter afternoon - one of those days when the trees were just holding on to enough leaves to provide the last shades of glorious colour.

It was at that stage I realised that the Killyhevlin would be a fantastic spot to stay in whatever the weather and at any time of year.

The landscape is spectacular to enjoy either by a brisk walk along one of the lakeside paths or if you prefer the more leisurely activity of looking out at the scenery from a cosy armchair.

Our room - the Beckett Suite - was the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the idyllic lakeside view through large corner windows.

Sumptuously and tastefully decorated and with every comfort to make our stay a totally memorable one, the spacious suite gave us the dilemma of having to choose between wanting to enjoy the stay in our own little oasis of calm or checking out what else the hotel had to offer.

As it turned out, the Killyhevlin’s health club, with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub is also the perfect spot to relax mind and body.

As an added treat, I would highly recommend a visit to the hotel spa where you can choose from a range of luxurious treatments from cultures around the world.

It’s easy to leave your cares behind when you step into the spa as every effort has been made to create a true sanctuary for the body, mind and soul.

My therapist, Kirsty, put me instantly at ease as she explained my treatment - the Killyhevlin Signature Aroma Massage.

For the next blissful 45 minutes I literally didn’t have a care in the world as Kirsty’s skillful hands worked their magic to get rid of tension, particularly targeting my back, neck, face and scalp.

She then gently guided me into the relaxation area where I was able to ease myself back into the real world, tempting as it was to stay even longer.

The dining experience at Killyhevlin is also first rate.

The Kove restaurant has a lovely welcoming atmosphere, with attentive staff that share just the right amount of friendliness.

Beautifully decorated, the restaurant is the ideal setting for whatever you want from your dining experience - a romantic meal for two or a family gathering.

Kove is a proud member of Good Food Northern Ireland and this is reflected in the restaurant’s menu which offers a varied range of wholesome yet innovative dishes prepared from only the freshest local produce and served with great care and attention to detail.

There’s a wide choice to suit all tastes whether you opt for the a la carte or fixed menu.

Our four-course evening meal was simply delicious with just the right amount of food to satisfy without being overbearing.

Skilful little culinary twists had been added to our mains of chicken and ham hock, for instance to turn them into unforgettable dishes.

Breakfast, served again in Kove restaurant, was one of the tastiest hotel breakfasts I’ve ever experienced.

The buffet-style breakfast made for relaxed dining and again it was evident that wholesome, best quality produce had been chosen.

The mark of a good hotel is the lack of little niggles that you might want to change if you were staying longer. It might be something as trivial as a badly-pouring kettle or a lack of coat hangers.

For me, the Killyhevlin passed every test. I wouldn’t change a thing. It was perfect in every way.

That’s probably the best reason that I know I’ll be paying a return visit.