Finn lough, Bubble Dome Getaway - Travel #73
Dear friends, let me take you on an escape back to nature at Finn Lough hideaway. Located on a secluded peninsula alongside the Donegal and Fermanagh border on the shores of Lough Erne. Finn Lough hideaway is only about a 2 hour drive from Belfast in the United Kingdom and a 2.5 hour drive from Dublin in Ireland. This makes it an ideal location for a weekend getaway. I have travelled all around the world and I have to say that this may be the most tranquil place that I have been to. Perfect for unwinding, relaxing, disconnecting from our digital world and reconnecting with nature. Everything about Finn Lough allows you to be completely immersed into nature whilst still respecting it. This wonderful place was started in 1983 and has, from establishment to present day, remained a family owned and run business. As a travel writer, I strive to find unique and memorable stays. Anyone who chooses to stay at Finn Lough will not be disappointed, between the high quality finishing's, fresh food, tranquil setting and friendly staff, there is so much to love.
To find me, look for my Chihuahua's face
Welcome to Finn Lough Hideaway
" Perfect for unwinding, relaxing, disconnecting from our digital world and reconnecting with nature."
To say that 2020 was a huge year is an understatement. After everything, all the uncertainty, fear, isolation and unknown's, the one thing that I can always count on is that nature heals. In nature, is where I find peace and happiness. My partner and I were meant to get away for our anniversary, however with lockdown after lockdown, it was delayed. Finn Lough kept us informed with all the updates and were very accommodating to our new travel date requests. We opted to stay in one of their forest domes for two nights. I fell in love with the idea of staying in a bubble when I saw the photographs. I absolutely love animals and getting close to nature. The only thing is as I did grow up in Singapore, one of the most modern metropolitan cities of our time, camping is just not my thing. Staying in a bubble with see-thru walls and a four-poster bed, now that is more my style.
"In nature, is where I find peace and happiness."
When we arrived at Finn Lough, we were greeted by two lovely ladies at reception that took our bags and loaded us up into a golf cart. She then drove us through gorgeous winding forest trails to our bubble dome. Coming from the hustle and bustle of a city, the first thing that hits you is, the silence, then the wif of fresh air fills your lungs and instantly you feel your whole body relax. Unlike in a hotel where you have a key to your room, here you have a key to your front gate. Behind the gate is a little trail up to your private bubble dome. The entire area around your individual bubble domes are blocked off from other guests so you do not have to worry about anyone looking in on you in your bubble. The only eyes starring in at you are those of the birds, bugs and woodland creatures.
Golf cart transportation
"The wif of fresh air fills your lungs and instantly you feel your whole body relax."
The bubble dome has two doors. You cannot keep both of these doors open at the same time, well technically you can, but if you do, the bubble will deflate. The bubble is kept inflated by fresh filtered air from outside constantly being pumped in, literally bringing the outdoors in. The colour scheme is kept very neutral and the attention to detail is impeccable. I had informed Finn Lough prior to my arrival that I was vegan, they had already stocked my bubble with oat milk and vegan snacks. This may seem like a minor detail but to me, means so much. The bubble had a coffee machine, books, fluffy robes, big comfortable bed and the best rain shower ever. The bathroom is ensuite and is a completely covered part of the bubble so not even the woodland creatures can look in at you, preserving your privacy.
" The colour scheme is kept very neutral and the attention to detail is impeccable."
You would not think that a blow up bubble in the middle of the forest would have a better shower than a five-star hotel in New York City but somehow it does. The rain shower in the bubble had great water pressure and got as hot as you wanted it to go. For me, I like really hot showers so this was like heaven. The bathroom was stocked with handmade, organic, cruelty-free soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner that smelled so beautiful and fresh. The combination of cedarwood and lemongrass is just so complimentary and invigorating. To truly be relaxed you do have to soothe all of your senses and this is exactly what Finn Lough provides.
Best rain shower ever
"The combination of cedarwood and lemongrass is just so complimentary and invigorating."
When I travel, I usually spend minimal time inside my hotel. I get up early, spend the whole day exploring and go to bed fairly late at night. This trip was a little different as the uniqueness of the bubble was definitely to be enjoyed and soaked up. This stay was like a full mind, body and soul cleanse, a detox from all things 2020. There was just something so surreal about sitting in the peacefulness of the bubble surrounded by nature. I took the time to relax, reflect and meditate before heading out of the bubble to explore the incredible resort that is Finn Lough.
"This stay was like a full mind, body and soul cleanse, a detox from all things 2020."
The forest dome bubbles are not the only accommodation offered at Finn Lough hideaway. There are villas, suites and even a premium bubble dome that features a bath. The entire resort is on fairly flat ground with a few hills making it wheelchair accessible. However, the golf carts are available for you to call on should you require them to get around the resort. We decided to have a wonder around and check out the facilities. There are signs posted throughout so you are unlikely to get lost. I should also mention that Finn Lough is an adults only retreat so unfortunately, you will not be able to bring your little ones along. We strolled along the forest trail towards the lakeside bar.
"The entire resort is on fairly flat ground with a few hills making it wheelchair accessible."
We passed bicycles and kayaks on the way to the lakeside bar. These are free to use during your stay. We met a bartender called Ronaldo who was very friendly and we shared a common past of working on international cruise liners. He was extremely accommodating to any requests we made. As I am not a drinker, he was able to make some splendid and tasty mocktails and cocktails. He could whip up any drink that took your fancy. The setting and décor at the lakeside bar is exactly to my taste. I love wicker and earthy designs that take little away from the natural beauty of the surroundings. Nothing felt manufactured, everything was made with love as a one off piece. The herbs used for the drinks were all grown in planters at the bar itself, fresh, natural and free from any chemical interference. Healthy and sustainable.
"Nothing felt manufactured, everything was made with love as a one off piece."
After sipping on a few fresh and tasty drinks at the lakeside bar, it was time for dinner. We even had golf carts arrive to pick us up and take us to our dinner reservation. The outside design of the restaurant reminded me of Japanese architecture, with the long wooden windows. Once again, the attention to detail and the flexibility of the staff was unfaultable. The vegan options were vast, it was almost too hard to choose. On the first night, I had mushroom soup to start with a roasted vegetable gnocchi for my main. On the second evening, I went with a mushroom risotto. The vegetables were cooked just right so they still had a lovely crunch to them and they were so tasty. Later on I found out why, all of the vegetables are grown fresh on-site at Finn lough. The difference this makes in taste is incomparable. Once again, Finn Lough's dedication to quality and sustainability is to be applauded.
"The vegetables were cooked just right so they still had a lovely crunch to them and they were so tasty."
After enjoying a wholesome and delicious dinner, we headed back to our bubble to grab my partner's guitar. He is a professional musician who has played all over the world and I a stand-up comedian who has also performed around the world. 2020 saw devastation hit our industry. Entertainment was gone, just like that. This has been incredibly hard and for any of my fellow entertainers out there who may be reading this article, do not lose hope. The gift of music, of laughter and of entertainment in general is what keeps us as humans from losing hope. Regardless of what religion, ethnicity, financial status, sexual orientation or political view, entertainment and music especially brings us all together. Something not to be forgotten is that even though you may not be able to perform on a stage, in an arena or on a cruise ship for now, your talent is always with you. We sat in a room with a lit fire by the lake, empty to begin with and started to play some songs. Before long, we were joined by other guests who we had never met before, strangers, who sat with us and began to sing along too. We met 13 other guests and had a great night. We were all socially distanced in the new world that we have to get used to but for a few hours we could forget the devastation of the past year.
"Regardless of what religion, ethnicity, financial status, sexual orientation or political view, entertainment and music especially brings us all together."
After our heartfelt sing along session, I went over to roast some marshmallows before heading to bed. It was a sweet way to end a bitter-sweet evening. We walked back to our bubble where it was absolutely surreal to fall asleep under the stars. We were lucky enough to get a clear night with no cloud cover. In Ireland, trust me, that's unusual. Gazing up at the stars and appreciating how small we are in the universe. It is humbling, terrifying and calming all at the same time. We woke up to the sound of the birds singing and the sun peeping through our bubble. Our breakfast was delivered to our gate by a member of staff in a lovely wicker basket, all vegan of course. It was a wonderful, full breakfast in bed. Avocado on fresh bread with yogurt, muesli, fresh fruits, hot baked pastries, soy milk, oat milk and a selection of freshly squeezed juices. Who would of thought such a complete and tasty breakfast would come in a basket. Just when you think it can't get any better, the packaging within the basket was 100% compostable. Made from renewable plant materials that turns into compost within 90 days. I really love how Finn Lough is looking after our planet. After breakfast, it was time to enjoy the elements spa trail.
"The packaging within the basket was 100% compostable. Made from renewable plant materials that turns into compost within 90 days."
Gate to the elements spa trail
The elements spa trail was a highlight of our stay, it is a self-guided experience that takes you to a float room, Finnish sauna, herbal sauna, hot tub and relaxation room. The varying temperatures and textures invigorate your body. Each of the experiences are in separate wooden cabins in the forest. It is completely immersed in nature. We were greeted by a lovely staff member called Francesca, she explained the different cabins on the trail and allowed us to change into our swimming costumes and head off on our elements spa trail. There is even an opportunity to get into the lake by the Finnish sauna. Now the water in the lake was absolutely freezing and I have already told you that I love my hot showers. I do not do well in the cold but you know what, I was brave and I took the plunge. It was so cold. I had to run straight back into the sauna to warm up.
" The varying temperatures and textures invigorate your body."
The final part of the spa trail was to relax in the last cabin. It was filled with a selection of herbal teas, lots of books, a lovely warm fire and loads of comfortable places to sit. It was tranquil and the perfect way to wrap up such a relaxing experience. I have been to several spas in many different countries and this was certainly unique. The fact that you walk yourself through the trail gives it a really secluded feel. We were so relaxed that we headed back to our bubble and by this time, it was lightly raining. The combination of being so relaxed and laid out in the bubble with the sound of the rain was perfect for an afternoon nap.
"The combination of being so relaxed and laid out in the bubble with the sound of the rain was perfect for an afternoon nap."
After our nap, we walked around the resort and went on one of their many forest walks. The tails run in and around the resort and are clearly marked. It is a great way to appreciate the lovely rainforest that dominates this region. I was so excited to see so many healthy snails, slugs and bees along our walk. They are such an important part of our eco-system. I believe they even posed for me. As our time at Finn Lough drew to a close, before we left we met Derek. He is the wonderful gardener that tends to all the fresh vegetables grown on site. The amount of vegetables that they are growing is impressive. I definitely care about where my food comes from and so should you. Seeing it grown right in front of me was amazing.
Just a Chonky Bee
Finn Lough vegetable greenhouse
I couldn't recommend a stay at Finn Lough enough. It was everything I hoped it to be and more. The service was second to none and their dedication to sustainability and persevering the natural world around them is admirable. Once we left Finn Lough we headed to the stairway to heaven walk. I will finish this article by leaving you with photographs from our hike up the stairway to heaven.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on Finn Lough, Bubble Dome Getaway, thank you for reading, I look forward to sharing more adventures with you, until next time, Vegoutt Everybody!