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.
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 turned out to be!
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.
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 a new look Harvey’s Restaurant Lounge and Bar in 2014.
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 has been extended to include a glass-covered terrace almost on the shores of Lough Eske.
Using the strap line ‘Swiss-made in Ireland’, the hotel gained an enviable reputation for world-class hotel-keeping, blended with genuine Irish hospitality. Winner of many accolades, Harvey’s Point has been awarded the title of Number 1 Hotel in Ireland in the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards for five consecutive years (2013-2017) and again in 2019 and the Georgina Campbell ‘Hotel of the Year’ 2017.
It is a new exciting chapter in the ever-evolving story of Harvey’s Point. In June 2019, The Hotel entered a new era when Austrian investor, Thomas Roeggla purchased the Hotel from the Gysling Family. With some of Ireland’s finest hotels under his ownership, Thomas is represented by Davy Real Estate Ireland and the Hotel portfolio is managed by Windward Hotel Management. Together with the Harvey’s Point Team ambitious plans are being explored to further develop this wonderful property.
Harvey’s Point Timeline ↓
1983 Jody buys Harvey brothers cottage
1989 Harvey’s Point opens to the public
1996 After marrying, Marc & Deirdre buy Harvey’s Point from Jody
2005 56 Luxury Suites added along with new Reception area
2012 Conversion of 16 courtyard rooms into 8 luxury Lakeshore Suites
2014 Celebration of 25 Years of Welcomes at Harvey’s Point plus renovation of Lakeside Restaurant & Treatment Rooms. Addition of Board Room to fourth floor
2016 Re-opening of The Lodge at Harvey’s Point
2017 Addition of Garden Suite Conference & Events Venue, extension to Harvey’s Bar to include Terrace and creation of Memories Bar
2019 Celebration of 30 Years of Welcomes
May 2019 The Gyslings bid a fond farewell to Harvey’s Point
June 2019 The next Chapter for Harvey’s Point. Thomas Röggla announced at the new owner of Harvey’s Point