“Just be certain to let the first door close before you open the next one,” said the friendly attendant, as he helped me roll my suitcase along the gravel path. We approached a rounded gate, reminiscent of something out of The Hobbit, and entered a green yard, with tall grasses, flowers and trees. The path narrowed, winding down towards the woods, where a brown, igloo-like entrance beckoned me forward.
I opened the door and stepped into a vestibule, complete with coat hooks, a mat and a place for my shoes. Heeding the attendant’s advice, I waited for the sounds of the first door to slap shut, then opened the next. Looking in, I was greeted with bright sunlight, and the same view I had encountered moments before – large, green trees, blue sky above, the stillness of the Irish woods enveloping me in all directions.
It was like stepping into a life-sized snow globe, minus the cold and the snow.
The room was dominated by a beautiful king-sized bed (complete with electric blankets). The space had all of the amenities of a sophisticated hotel room: hardwood floors, armchairs, a coffee machine and fresh baked shortbread cookies. The difference was the transparent walls around me and above – I was fully entrenched in the forest, but protected from the elements – this was forest bathing at its best.
The two-door entry through the vestibule provides a vacuum lock of the space, keeping the bubble adequately filled, from the floor to the arched ceiling above.
After putting down my bag and doing a 360-degree turn to marvel at my forest home, a second door off to the side piqued my curiosity. I zipped it open, revealing a very compact but functional bathroom, complete with toilet, sink, mirror and a shower head poking straight down from the ceiling. It was like transplanting a very comfortable hotel suite and plunking it right into the forest.
This is life in a bubble at Finn Lough Resort, located in the county Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. With lakes, hiking and caving nearby, it’s the perfect place to escape to during a visit to the Emerald Isle.
Be sure to make a reservation on the “Element Trail” at Finn Lough – a 2-hour spa trail loop in the forest complete with a float room, saunas, hot tubs and a relaxation lounge.
Photo Paula WorthingtonPre-dinner cocktails can take on a different meaning at Finn Lough. You can opt for a lakeside hot chocolate and S’mores (complete with blankets and a crackling fire), or sample gin and tonics with botanicals, produced from local distilleries.
After an afternoon of spa soaking, walking or bike riding through the rolling forest, the Resort’s dining room will beckon you with local specialities, home-grown produce and meticulously-prepared multi-course meals.
The best part about a stay at Finn Lough? Taking that flashlight-lit walk back up the quaint gravel path through the forest to your dome, curling up in bed under your heated covers, and enjoying a 180-degree view of the stars above.
Finn Lough Resort is located in the southwest corner of Northern Ireland and features 13 domes, as well as holiday homes and suites for rent. The domes are very popular, so inquire early for best availability.