It was a cold and dreary Wednesday morning on the north coast and so I decided on a whim, to check out the possibility of a short break to Donegal, for a couple of days relaxation. The only trouble was I wasn’t sure where exactly to go! A couple of my friends had recently visited the Shandon Hotel and spa near marble Hill and had passed on quite favourable reports. That was enough for me to check it out for myself. It was an hour and a half by car to the hotel which was beautifully situated overlooking the wild Donegal coastline. Having parked the car I was slightly confused as to where reception was located and so I climbed a set of stone steps leading up to the hotel front. Again I could’ve done with a little signpost pointing towards reception as it is not immediately obvious which way to go. Eventually I arrived in reception and was greeted in a very friendly manner by front of house staff. Having signed in I proceeded to the third floor where my room was situated. Room was spacious and had a lovely view over the fields to the ocean and the wild Atlantic way on a distant headland. This was a good room for me. I quickly located tea and coffee making facilities and sat done to enjoy my coffee with a view. The bathroom was large and modern and there was definitely a feeling that I had made a good choice of location. I decided to eat in the bar area later that evening and again the service was extra friendly and attentive. I chose mussels followed by chicken korma, accompanied by a pint of Guinness. Everything was good! The bar area was perhaps a little dated but the homely atmosphere more than made up for this. Breakfast next morning was excellent and again staff were courteous and helpful. Food was well presented and a good selection was available – we do love a hearty breakfast in Ireland! I had booked the Spa facilities for later that day and again all staff were courteous and professional. The wet area was clean and relaxing and my therapist was informative and capable. I suppose if I could make one negative comment it would be that the robe I was provided with was a little snug. The hotel is very well placed to enable those who love wild beaches and pleasant country walks to indulge themselves in any kind of weather. All in all the Shandon proved to be a good choice. It’s strength is in the friendly approach and attentiveness of its staff who found nothing beyond the realms of possibility. So if you fancy a nice break on the beautiful north Donegal coast then The Shandon Hotel and Spa is well worth a visit.