As some of you may know we recently had a mid-week break in Belfast’s countryside, Ballymena, at the Galgorm Resort and Spa. Galgorm Resort & Spa is an old ‘gentlemen’s’ estate that is one of Northern Ireland’s most luxurious hotels, located just a short 30 minute drive from Belfast International Airport and very centrally located for visiting the whole of Northern Ireland. The hotel is situated in 163 acres of lush green surroundings. As you drive up to the oldest part of the hotel you’d think it was a tiny country house, but as you are greeted by Maurice and guided through the doors you realise the full-scale of it all. With an abundance of communal areas, selection of bars, 122 rooms and its biggest feature – the Thermal Village. All of this is complimented by the gushing River Maine which runs through the grounds, separating the hotel from the green forests in the distance. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
The Thermal Village and Spa is both chic and feminine in the reception area, all sparkle and glitz. It’s recent expansion and the launch of the Thermal Village has added an additional 48 guest rooms but at no point do you feel crowded or over run with people.
We had the privilege of staying in the Superior Suite which overlooked the river and the Thermal Village. The Signature Suite selection really took luxury to the max. The bedroom contained a King Size bed, feature terrace with hot tub overlooking the River Maine, outdoor soft seating area, separate sitting room with contemporary flame fire and a gracious dining room which can accommodate six guests for private in-room dining.
Three restaurants and two bars (including a gin bar) means there are plenty of options for dining and drinking. The River Room offers a classy menu with refined service, Gillies has more hearty fare and Fratelli Restaurante has an Italian menu featuring pasta and pizza. Countryside walks or day trips to the north coast are within easy reach or you could simply lounge in the spa day in day out.
There are also plenty of sightseeing to be done with the Causeway coastline only 30 minutes away with Portush, the Giants Causeway, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Cushendall and Rathlin Island all within reach.
Thus truly is a beautiful destination spa in all Ireland’s greenery with spa treatments and plenty to do for parents spending time together without the kids. It really is that good. It’s a big resort that is welcoming and friendly and has some great rooms, especially above the Thermal Village.