• Harvey’s Point

    our story

    From a Donegal cottage to one of the famous hotels in Ireland
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The History of Harvey’s Point

Deirdre’s Diary

While on holidays in Donegal, Jody Gysling had occasion to visit Lough Eske. Here he found a little piece of Switzerland hidden away in the Hills of Donegal. The attraction of the snow capped Blue Stack Mountains was complimented by the friendly people and soon Jody was to make this wee corner of Ireland his home.

Jody bought an old cottage from two brothers by the name of Harvey. On what can only be described as a swamp, he painstakingly drew stones by tractor 10 miles away. Over the years, many friends came to visit and so with true Donegal hospitality, Jody entertained guests with fine food and wine.

The Restaurant in 1989 - The History of Harvey’s Point

Escaping the pressures of a hectic life in Switzerland, Jody decided to stay in Ireland and build a small guest house. He started out with four rooms and in 1989, Harvey’s Point was opened to the public with twenty bedrooms and a small restaurant.

At this time his brother, Marc had joined him in his crazy dream. Just before the hotel opened, Jody offered a young local girl called Deirdre a job for the summer. And what a long summer it has been!

Romance blossomed between Marc and Deirdre and together with Jody, they developed the business.

In 1996 Marc and Deirdre were married on Valentine’s Day at Harvey’s Point and now have three children. Carl, James and Christina.

Carl works in the kitchen on weekends and has shown great interest in learning the trade. Every year, there was reinvestment in the hotel. A new ballroom was added, the restaurant was extended and new bedrooms were built in 2005.  The new Lakeshore Suites came on stream in 2012 and our new look Harvey’s Restaurant Lounge and Bar in 2014.

Vintage Advert - The History of Harvey’s Point
Bedroom in 1989 - The History of Harvey’s Point

Business grew from strength to strength and Harvey’s Point became renowned for excellent cuisine and a warm Irish welcome in a truly special location.

Harvey’s Point has grown considerably over the years. There are now 64 palatial suites in the main hotel as well as the Lodge which features 13 compact cabin style rooms for special interest groups. The Ballroom is very popular for weddings, Sunday Lunch and Cabaret evenings while the newly opened Garden Suite is ideal for conferences and special occasion gatherings. In recent years, the Lakeside Restaurant has been upgraded and Harvey’s Bar is currently being extended to include a glass-covered terrace almost on the shores of Lough Eske.

The Bar in 1989 - The History of Harvey’s Point

Using the strap line ‘Swiss-made in Ireland’, the hotel has gained an enviable reputation for world-class hotel-keeping, blended with genuine Irish hospitality. Winner of many accolades, Harvey’s Point is the Number 1 Hotel in TripAdvisor for the past five consecutive years and the Georgina Campbell ‘Hotel of the Year’ 2017.

Harvey’s Point Timeline ↓

    • Jody buys Harvey brothers cottage
    • Harvey’s Point opens to the public
    • Deirdre & Marc get married
    • 56 new bedrooms have been added
    • Lakeshore Suites
    • Celebrating 25 Years of Welcomes
    • Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar
    • Garden Suite events venue for 180 pax
    • Bar extension to Harvey’s Bar