Monday, 30 July 2018

Sleeping in a Bubble Dome: Finn Lough Resort, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh


Disclaimer: This is an independent review, Mr. FFID and I paid for our stay at Finn Lough

Each year in December I publish a Christmas gift guide on the blog and make you believe that I'm helpful when in reality it's a wish list in disguise to send hints to Mr. FFID. I was delighted to see that my plan came to fruition last year when I found a gift voucher for a night in a bubble dome in Finn Lough under the Christmas tree.

Finn Lough is a five start resort located in the beautiful lakelands of Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. All I wanted was to stay in a cool looking bubble dome after spotting it on the Instagram feed of an American blogger I follow last year, I got totally 'influenced'... 

The minute I posted the picture of me inside the bubble on Instagram I received messages from people asking me about the experience and if it was worth the money so here it is, my full independent review.

How to get there without a car?

We don't drive but it was pretty straightforward to get there. We took the bus from Dublin Busáras to Belleek (route 30) and then a taxi to Finn Lough (17 min drive/£10). 

The resort

The building where you find the reception, the bars, the restaurant and catered suites is located close to the front gate. It was smaller than I thought it would be (I expected a huge fancy resort) but I loved the Scandinavian vibes of the design, it felt more like a big Danish house in the countryside. Check-in was at 3.30pm but many people (including us) got there early. Delicious freshly baked cookies and tea or coffee were offered to guests who were waiting for their accommodation to be ready. 
We came to stay in a bubble dome but there are actually three other types of accommodation available in the resort (waterside cottages, lakeside lodges and catered suites). Finn Lough is totally a couple destination and I saw only one family in the two days we spent there but you can really tell from the vibes that it's a romantic getaway. The atmosphere in the resort is really quiet so it's somewhere to go to rest, reconnect with nature or spend quality time with the other half.



The Bubble Domes


I booked a night in a regular bubble dome for £245 including breakfast for two (I made the reservation 5 months ahead of my stay). After check-in we were brought to our forest dome in a golf cart by a staff member. It's more to help with the luggage than anything as it's only a 6 minute walk from the reception. The domes have their own private locked gate and obviously you can't see the other bubbles from your own one. All the domes have 180° transparent walls and if you're lucky you can gaze up at the stars from your own bed, how cool is that? 

We stayed in bubble no. 2, the large room has been furnished tastefully with a fourposter bed, two slick chairs, an electric stove and a coffee table. There was a Nespresso machine with complimentary popcorn/tea/coffee/hot chocolate in there too. You're also provided with soft robes and an eye mask as it gets bright very early in summertime. There's a small separate 'room' which is the bathroom, the toilet is in the middle and the shower and sink on the side. It's modern but this is probably the bit that feels like 'glamping'. Unfortunately the zip of the door was broken so you couldn't really have total privacy when in the bathroom as you could close about 2/3 of it, that was the only downer about the room but no big deal for us. 

We loved our stay in the bubble and spent as much time as we could to make it worth it. It was the ultimate romantic stay and the perfect way to splurge for our anniversary. Unfortunately there were no stars that night as it was cloudy but I brought fairy lights which added a lovely touch. However it rained during the night and even though it woke us up we thought the sound of the rain on the bubble was so romantic (bring earplugs if you don't want to be woken up by that). One thing that you need to know too is that the bubble can get very warm if it's sunny or warm, especially with the heated floor always on. We were actually delighted that the weather wasn't too good.

For your information there's also a fancy premium dome available for £345 a night, with two bubbles combined and a stone bath overlooking the woods, maybe something for honeymooners.




Catered suites

A few weeks before our stay we decided to extend our trip by one night and I booked a catered suite (£160). The suites are located above the restaurant and ours was the cheapest so it didn't have a lakeside view but it was spacious, with a very comfortable king size bed and nice little touches to the decor. The bathroom was the highlight, big and featuring a large drench shower and roll top bath. 




Activities


You can avail of mountain bikes for 1.5h for free or you can hike around two miles of woodland trails if you feel like walking.

Another free activity is the vintage cinema on the reception floor where you can watch a movie, the room is truly stylish and you can bring drinks from the bar. 

Any of the following activities incur a fee: pedal kayaking (£25 per person), use of the spa (£55 per person), afternoon tea-tox (£18.95)...

There's a restaurant onsite (dinner from £35 per person) which we didn't eat try as we brought our own supplies but we had a quick look at their greenhouses and they grow their own herbs and vegetables. Breakfast was included and while their display of fruits, juices and cereals looked a bit sad they had a good choice of hot breakfast dishes. The Irish breakfast was very good so we stuck to it both mornings.

We booked a sundowner for our anniversary which comes up to £50 for two, included tipples and nibbles of our choice (four craft beers, nuts and s'mores) with blankets, a bench and a private fire pit by the lake. You have more options for additional extras too. Unfortunately we didn't experience any sunset that night but we totally enjoyed the experience and didn't regret spending the money. You have your private fire but you can still see other couples not too far, I think they try to space you out though. We actually witnessed an engagement proposal while we were there and I believe it's not an uncommon event. One thing to keep in mind, the smell of smoke will be all over your clothes so bring a spare set of clothes.

The following evening we used a picnic table by the lake and brought our own food and were lucky to get some beautiful sunny weather and view.




So, was it worth the money?


After I had posted a picture of the bubble I received questions from people asking if it was worth the money. Well, it was for us. Yes, accommodation is always pricey on this little island and we could have flown to continental Europe  and rented a house for a week somewhere cheap for this price but we were glad we splurged. It's a unique experience and we did it for a special occasion. It's really up to yourself to make it worth it, so in the context of this stay we applied the French saying 'Quand on aime on ne compte pas' which literally translates as 'when you love you don't count the cost'. 

Finn Lough
41 Letter Road
Aghnablaney
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Finn Lough's website








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