Galgorm is Northern Ireland’s premier luxury hotel and spa and having stayed there for two nights; I established almost instantly why it has this reputation.
Galgorm is situated just 30 minutes drive from Belfast International hotel and they offer a fantastic pick up and drop off service to and from the hotel for an affordable rate. For 30 minutes you can get chauffeured in top of the range vehicles. (We were picked up and dropped off in Range Rovers). The service from the outset was phenomenal. On our drive to the resort, we were able to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the vast landscape. We were also given a detailed run through of the areas vast history as well as being given a rundown of the top celebrities and influencial figures from the worlds of beauty, fashion and entertainment who have frequented their resort.
Set within 163 acres of breathtaking parkland, we were warned that as we approached the Galgorm, we would utter the word ‘wow’. Within seconds of approaching the entrance, those were the exact words we said! The lush and beautiful parkland has within it the amazing River Maine, which flows through the estate. It is only when you see it for yourself that you realise just how impressive it really is.
Galgorm itself has everything that you could possibly want from a hotel resort. With 122 beautifully decorated and furnished guestrooms which includes 48 deluxe rooms, a stable with horses, log cabins, facilities and expansive banqueting rooms for weddings and other memorable occasions, tennis courts and log cabins and of course The Thermal Village which includes: hot tubs, indoor and outdoor heated pools, relaxation rooms, saunas and steam rooms. It is an all-rounder and ticks all the necessary boxes plus more besides.
If you haven’t read an In-spire LS Magazine spa and hotel review. Get comfortable and be prepared to be blown a way as I take you through every inch of our stay.
You can really get a feel for a place by the first few minutes of your entering. From the initial drive up to the Galgorm and being led through the entrance, we were positively greeted and made to feel welcome and comfortable. Many of our readers have expressed that we may receive ‘preferential’ treatment due to our conducting a review. However, closely observed the manner in which all of the staff treated all of their guests at Galgorm and all of their guests were treated with the same attention and respect as the next. They went above and beyond the realms of delivering exceptional customer satisfaction.
As we checked in early it was suggested that we visit and have a beverage at The River Room and Conservatory. This beautiful building plays host to Afternoon Tea at Galgorm and is elegantly decorated and made in major part of glass. The beautiful River Maine runs alongside it and provides all the views you need.
I opted for a cold drink and Syianne had a coffee but The River Room offers luxury afternoon tea as well a mix of sandwiches and freshly baked scones and other tasty desserts from £24.95.
The decor within The River Room oozed class and sophistication. The furnishings and colours used as well as the elegant floral centrepieces set the tone for luxury dining. As part of the beautiful River Room was situated the Gin Bar, an extensive collection of some of the most exclusive Gin in the country. The room was a perfect addition to an amazing dining space.
Galgorm has built up a solid reputation of playing host to hundreds of weddings and the rooms these are held in are intricately designed in classic whites and creams. The funky lighting and other interior features have created beautiful backdrops for their guests big day. I fell in love with the decoration of the rooms, all of the features were refined and reflected the magic of weddings.
It’s the effortless way in which the modern and contemporary styling is mixed with the more classic look which made these rooms that more impressive.
The ‘wow’ factor you get from Galgorm doesn’t only come from the views of the river but more from the diverse decor themes that run throughout the resort. As we made our way to our room, we came across some fantastic original art pieces on the walls.
When it comes to spa/hotel resorts, no matter how exclusive or high end they may be, it is normally common place to find just one place to eat. However, Galgorm breaks all the conventions and hosts not one, not two but three different restaurants. Each are diverse in the menus that they offer, they cater to the needs of their guests and deliver quality food at price ranges to meet all budgets.
As part of the review, we were offered a complimentary 3 course dining experience at The River Room & Conservatory.
I was totally blown away by how amazing the food was. All three of the dishes were full of flavour and were cooked to perfection. It is no surprise that it is one of four restaurants in Northern Ireland to be awarded with the 3AA Rosettes for culinary excellence.
When it comes to fine dining, I often get put off by how small the portion sizes are and often doubt that i’ll be completely satisfied. The River Room once again exceeded my expectations and provided top quality dishes that only filled me up adequately but left me wanting to sample more.
Due to how full of flavour the food was I was not at all surprised to establish that The River Rooms not only use seasonal ingredients that are sourced from local suppliers but they even have their own kitchen garden.
The service throughout our evening was excellent and we were given a detailed talk through the wines list and what wine complemented what dish.
To start, we were given appertisers; compliments of the chef. We were also served with smoked salt home made bread with butter which was warm and tasty and was the perfect start to the evening. I consumed the tastiest and most succulent monk fish I have ever eaten. It was soft and full of juices and was perfectly complemented with the broccoli and smoke butter. Syianne and I also ate lamb and pork dishes.
The evening wouldn’t be complete without dessert. I completely demolished mine which was almond cake with hot chocolate mousse and ice cream.
Overall, our dining experience was amazing. From start to finish we were looked after and given the opportunity to sample some of the finest dishes I have ever had the opportunity to eat.
I give The River House at Galgorm, 5 stars out of 5.
Day Two – Exploring the grounds, Irish Breakfast at Gillies and visiting The Galgorm Spa
After the previous nights festivities we started the second day with a hearty Irish breakfast at the top quality eatery Gillies.
Gillies is a Bar and Grill and is hugely impressive from the outset. The decor was my favourite part as the entire restaurant was decorated in dark oak and tartan which gave a warm feeling throughout. The service; as throughout the Galgorm was fantastic and we were given a tour of the entire restaurant. Gillies is perfectly situated next to the Galgorm’s stables and offers a wide array of food choices to suit everyone’s taste.
We were also offered a complimentary Irish Breakfast at Gillies which came in the shape of a buffet style counters all filled with piping hot favourites including scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon. There was also a diverse spread of fruit and cereals for those who didn’t want a hot option.
The food tasted great and was full of flavour and set us up positively for the rest of the day. I made every effort to explore their menu and the biggest selling factor of Gillies is how many diverse food options they offer diners all at affordable rates. Out of all of the restaurants at Galgorm, Gillies is the best option for great food that won’t break your budget. I would also say it is the best restaurant for the entire family to enjoy. Gillies offers a wide menu which includes a vegetarian menu and even one that is geared to those who need their food to be gluten free.
After breakfast, we returned to our room and prepared to spend the best part of our day in the spa.
Galgorm Spa was equipped with more spa facilities than you can imagine. It offers a wide range of spa facilities to suit your needs and offers everything you need to relax and unwind. The award winning Spa at Galgorm includes: The thermal village (the first of its kind in Northern Ireland), a 20 metre long indoor pool, the beautifully decorated orangery (a peaceful and pleasant space to relax and de-stress), The celtic sauna and a multitude of other saunas to choose from. As well as steam rooms, the River House and the fully equipped exercise and gym studio. As with all spas, The spa at Galgorm also offers guests the opportunity to book a number of beauty treatments; all designed to improve your health and help your overall well being.
Syianne and I ensured we explored everything the spa had to offer and we visited and used all of the steam rooms, saunas and relaxation rooms. I particularly fell in love with the River Room which is situated in the centre of the River Maine. The peace and tranquility I felt sitting in this space was unlike anything I have experienced from the other spas I have visited. I also loved the beauty and treatment facilities which were elegantly decorated and helped enhance the peaceful atmosphere.
After exploring the facilities in their entirety, I continued back into the relaxation rooms as I was booked in for a treatment at 1pm.
Whenever I visit a spa, I always look forward to being treated to a treatment and I’m always thrilled when I have a massage lined up as I often need them due to working long hours behind a computer all day. If you’re like me and you’re continually sitting over a desk, a massage is one investment you need to be making.
I was scheduled to experience the quartz serenity ritual, a treatment where warm quartz crystals cloak your body and sends heat through you, ultimately dissolving muscle tension, and diminishing pain. The treatment is said to stimulate your internal organs and promotes and improves blood and lymphatic circulation.
I can’t express how good this ritual felt. My therapist massaged my body from top to toe and worked out the tension that was present throughout my upper body and shoulders. The pain was excruciating as the tightness was extreme but I pushed through and by the end; all tension and pain was no longer present. The amazing products from the Aromatherapy associates were used during this treatment and not only did they smell great; they also penetrated my skin and left it feeling extremely soft.
After my treatment, I was led to a relaxation room where I was given the most amazing chocolate truffles and a very tasty mango sorbet. This room was purely for relaxing and unwinding. It had dimmed lights, lemon and cucumber water to detox and hydrate the body and magazines to read as well as lounge chairs.
After what was an amazing experience at the spa, Syianne and I explored the impressive land that surrounds Galgorm and we were quite simply blown away by the endless greenery and the beautiful architecture. The entire surroundings were beautiful and further illustrated why the Galgorm resort is award winning and recognised for the quality and luxury it offers its guests.
Galgorm resort and spa is without a doubt one place you need to book a room in if you decide to visit Belfast. The quality of the service and the wide array of spa facilities, homely rooms and excellent food topped up with fantastic customer service made it one of the best hotels and spa’s I have ever visited and reviewed. A special thanks has to be given to all the staff who were attentive to our every need and delivered exceptional and faultless service throughout the duration of our stay.
I give Galgorm Spa and Resort 5 stars out of 5.
Visit their website HERE
- Prices start from £145.00 B&B midweek for a standard room up to £205.00 B&B midweek for their new Deluxe rooms.
- This rate also includes access to the Thermal Spa Village.
- Spa treatments start from £55 per person and dining in the 3AA Rosette River Room starts from £50 per person.
Follow Galgorm Resort and Spa on Twitter HERE