The Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town

Hotel Review


Abbey Hotel, Donegal
The Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town

The Abbey Hotel is located in the charming small town of Donegal in north west Ireland on Donegal Bay.  It overlooks the pedestrianised Diamond (main square) surrounded by attractive small shops, cafes and pubs.  The hotel is also ideally positioned for guests arriving by public transport as Bus Eireann operate regular services to the Diamond from Dublin, Derry, Sligo and Galway.

Abbey Hotel, The Diamond, Donegal Town
The hotel overlooks the Diamond (town square)

Due to its central position the hotel does not have its own car park but guests are recommended to use the Quay Street car park five minutes walk from the hotel (30 cents an hour) and with no charge overnight we only had to pay €1 for our entire stay.

Arrival and check-in:

Abbey Hotel Reception Area, Donegal
The Hotels Reception Area

The hotel has an inviting, spacious entrance lobby with a reception desk to one side.  We were warmly welcomed by a very pleasant member of staff who not only checked us into our room speedily but also surprised us with the news that we had been upgraded from a superior room to an executive suite.

The Room:

Executive Suite, Abbey Hotel, Donegal
Our luxurious suite

Leaving the lift, we couldn’t wait to unlock the door and stepping inside the room, what a treat there was in store for us.  The suite was everything we could have wished for and more.  Space had been utilised in the entrance hall to incorporate  a large wardrobe, luggage rack, wine fridge, Nespresso coffee maker, kettle and hospitality tray.

Abbey Hotel Bedroom, Donegal
Entrance to the room

Moving into the L shaped suite we found it to be tastefully furnished in calming shades of blue with coordinated soft furnishings and a chaise longue adding to the wow factor.  A dressing table/ workstation with information tablet was positioned in one corner with a circular table and chairs by one of the windows which overlooked the picturesque Diamond.

Abbey Hotel Bedroom, Donegal
Our gorgeous room

The huge bed was so comfortable that if felt as if we were sleeping on clouds and with master power switches both at the bedside and by the door there was no need to go around turning off individual lights and lamps.  A huge smart TV faced the bed and although we didn’t watch it much, it was perfectly positioned for us whilst leaning back on the cushions.

Abbey Hotel Bedroom, Donegal
Chaise lounge & dressing table in our suite

The stylish bathroom boasted both a large slipper bath and a separate rainfall shower cubicle.  Contemporary pebble tiling and a deluxe vanity washbasin added to its appeal along with luxurious scented toiletries and thick pile Egyptian towels.

Abbey Hotel Bath, Donegal
Our stylish slipper bath


The hotel offers a range of dining options from fine dining in its stylish restaurant to informal meals in the bar or food hall.

Abbey Hotel Market House Restaurant, Donegal
Dining in the hotel’s Market House Restaurant

Market House Restaurant – with views from the windows overlooking the Diamond the stylish restaurant has a convivial atmosphere.  Dishes are based on locally sourced produce with meat from local farms and fish fresh off the boats at nearby Killybegs.  Irish prime fillet steak cooked on the stone is one of their signature dishes along with a daily specials board.  Service is friendly and attentive with just the right balance of neither being rushed nor intrusive.

Market House Restaurant Gin and Wine Bar, Abbey Hotel, Donegal
The restaurant’s Gin and Wine Bar

Breakfast is served buffet style in the Market House restaurant each morning with a wide selection of everything you could possibly wish to start the day with.  Hot drinks and toast are then brought to the table with a friendly smile from the waiting staff.

Abbey Hotel Donegal, breakfast room
Breakfast is served in the Market House Restaurant

Abbey Bar – informal bar meals are served in the split level bar which seemed popular both with hotel guests and locals alike.  Live music takes place at weekends and occasionally mid-week for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Abbey Bar, Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town
The Abbey Bar 

Food Hall – accessed from outdoors or through the Market House restaurant, it is open daily serving soups, salads, sandwiches and deli items.

The Abbey Hotel Donegal Town's Food Hall
The hotel’s Food Hall and Deli

Out and About:

Donegal Castle –  explore the castle built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century overlooking the River Eske, with extensive additions two hundred years later.  Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle
Donegal Castle

Donegal Railway Heritage Centre – Donegal had the largest narrow gauge railway in the British Isles and this museum is based in one of the few remaining original station houses.  View rolling stock, interesting artefacts and model railways.  Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Donegal Railway Heritage Centre, Donegal Town
The Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Shopping – having a wander around the shops is an absolute delight as they are filled with small independents from stores offering Irish tweed, knitwear and local artisan jewellery.  Don’t miss Triona and Magee’s for tweed and the wonderful Four Master’s Bookshop all located close together overlooking the Diamond.

Hanna Hats, Donegal Town
Hanna Hats in Donegal

Five minutes walk from the Diamond on Tirconaill Street is the Hanna Hats factory and shop, established in 1924 and run by the third generation of the family.  It’s now Ireland’s only remaining handcrafted hat producer and an ideal opportunity to take home one of their stylish tweed hats or caps to keep you warm as well as being a wonderful reminder of visiting Donegal.  Hanna Hats

The Diamond, Donegal
Small shops many specialising in Irish tweed surround The Diamond

Donegal Bay – take a stroll along the scenic banks of the River Eske at the quayside.  Pleasure boat trips operate throughout the summer taking passengers out into Donegal Bay in search of seals off Seal Island amid the backdrop of the Bluestack Mountains.

River Eske, Donegal Town
The River Eske flowing into Donegal Bay

Further afield:  

Slieve League cliffs  (Sliabh Liag) – located on the south west coast of Donegal.  These cliffs stand 691m above the Atlantic Ocean and are one of the highest and most dramatic sea cliffs in Europe.  Either walk 1.7km or take the shuttle bus from the visitor centre to the Bunglas viewpoint for breath-taking views of the sea cliffs and across to Donegal Bay and Sligo.  Slieve League

Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal
The stunning Slieve League Cliffs 

Killybegs – an attractive small town with a natural harbour and the largest fishing port in Ireland.   As the town lies between Donegal Town and the Slieve League cliffs it makes a good stopping off point between the two.

Killybegs harbour, Co. Donegal
Killybegs harbour, Co. Donegal


Executive suite, Abbey Hotel, Donegal
Enjoying a pre-dinner drink in our suite

A superb hotel offering first class accommodation coupled with outstanding service from the dedicated team at The Abbey.  With dining options ranging from informal meals in the cosy bar-lounge to a fine dining experience in the Market House restaurant, there’s something for everyone’s tastes and budgets.

Details:  The Abbey Hotel, Diamond, Glebe, Donegal F94 AP8W

We were guests of  Tourism Ireland and the Abbey Hotel and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.


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The Abbey Hotel, Donegal



56 thoughts on “The Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town

  1. Looks fabulous Marion, what a treat to be upgraded. You look very glamourous with your champagne 🙂
    We were hoping to visit Ireland during our time in the UK, much depends on my dad’s health though

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful, quaint hotel! Looks to be a quiet little getaway, and the food services also look sublime. It’s true that the hotel experience can often make or break your impression of a city, so it looks like The Abbey Hotel really made your time in Donegal a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been to Donegal town many times, and each time, as we drove past the Abbey Hotel and through the Dimond, I always wondered about what it looked like inside. And now, thanks to your lovely post about it, I finally know! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a bright and beautiful Sunday! Aiva 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were so lucky to get an upgrade but we would have been happy with the standard rooms as they are lovely too. The Abbey Hotel is gorgeous and its setting in the heart of the charming town absolutely perfect. Thank you Miriam for taking an interest and for your much appreciated thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Marion, I have no idea how you’ve managed to even leave this hotel to see the beautiful surroundings ☺️. What a gorgeous looking room (that bath)! And the gin bar … it would certainly invited me already early in the afternoon! I can certainly see why your rating of this hotel is so high – it’s definitely a stunning place to rest after a day of exploring castles and shops!

    Liked by 3 people

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