Ireland’s newest forest getaway, likened as a Center Parcs for adults (but don’t be fooled there are kids here too), Cabu cabins in Cavan provide a luxury hideaway for those wanting to get a little closer to nature – but not too close. If rustic isn’t your thing, Cabü by the Lakes might be. Set in Killykeen Forest Park on the shores of Lough Oughter in Co.Cavan, the design-led instagrammable resort is the perfect spot for a quick Irish staycation.
So what’s there at Cabü Killykeen?
The cabins come in various sizes and occupancies. Two of us stayed in a beautiful black wooden one bedroom loft cabin close to the water, but larges cabins can hold groups or families and some are dog friendly too. Check the booking calendar for pricing, there are minimum stay requirements depending on your dates and numbers.
Inside there was a shower room with toilet, well kitted out kitchen, free standing bath upstairs in the bedroom, cosy sitting room area with tv and coffee table. There wasn’t a whole lot of wardrobe space or place to store luggage and our television had some troubleshooting issues – I’d bring a Chromecast dongle next time, the WiFi is excellent. Out on our terrace there were a couple of loungechairs and BBQ (which I tried and failed to light in the rain). While the kitchen has decent pots, pans and utensils, there was no microwave and no salt & pepper or kitchen roll, plus only a couple of sachets of decaf instant coffee. I’d recommend bringing all the condiments you’ll need for meals, plus some tupperware or food wraps.
We received a little welcome bag with bread, milk and granola – but you wouldn’t want to rely on it. I’d recommend stopping at SuperValu or Aldi in Cavan to stock up before arriving. The shop, Cabü Corner, sells everything you might’ve forgotten though. They’ve got food and booze, raincoats and coffee and everything else you need.
What’s there to do at Cabü by the Lakes?
Walk in Killykeen forest, kayak or stand up paddle on Lough Oughter, take one of the engine powered boats out from the jetty or get a guided tour of the lake a little further afield. You can also hire bikes (or bring your own) or visit the outdoor spa area. As with everything now, pre-book activities in advance (you can email reception).
Of course you could always just take a dip in the lake on a hot day, no booking required! Oh and bring insect repellent if you’re prone to bites.
Eating and drinking at Cabü cabins
The restaurant wasn’t open during my visit, but you could order drinks from Cabü Corner (this sparkling wine was excellent value at €20, a glass of wine was €3.50) where they also sell snacks and hot drinks. You can also get s’mores to toast over the fires at the Sitooterie (covered communal area).
The cabins are self catering, so if you like you can make all your meals or take a night off with the BBQ evenings (€20pp at 6.30pm, so I believe). Bring your favourite wine to sip in front of the tv or fire, or use the cocktails making bits that are in your cabin.
Getting to Cabu cabins in Cavan
Cabü by the Lakes on Google Maps will bring you to the gate, you’ll see local signs for Killykeen forest but this is a different car park. When you arrive you can drive to your cabin to unload your car, but then you’ll need to drop the car back to the car park for the duration of your stay. You can easily walk between the different areas and your cabin, nothing is too far. For accessibility I’d recommend ringing for advice. There’s currently no electric vehicle charging, but that’s set to change and in the meantime you can charge cars at the office.
There were definitely a few teething problems during my stay at Cabu cabins in Cavan, since they’d just opened a few weeks earlier it was to be expected. And during the summer holidays there were a lot more children around than I’d expected. Also, it states on the website that there are staff at Cabu House (or reception to you and me) until 9pm, but when we had issues with no hot water – there were no staff to be found post 6pm.
Still, the setting is stunning, the interiors and details cannot be faulted – the standard is up there with some of the best 5* hotels I’ve stayed in around the world. It’ll be interesting to see what the restaurant is like and I’m sure the whole place will be magical in winter, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
I stayed as a guest of Cabü by the Lakes. All opinions, as always, are my own.