Weekend Hotspot: Galgorm Resort & Thermal Spa Village, Co Antrim
Galgorm Resort & Spa outside Ballymena in Co Antrim set in picturesque woodland, with rolling, lush green lawns and dramatic views of the River Maine continues to pull in the crowds, whether to celebrate a wedding, hold a business conference or luxuriate in its internationally acclaimed spa.
Over £50m has been spent in the last ten years, transforming this former gentleman’s residence into an opulent 74 bedroom Resort & Spa complex. Plans for the next phase include a further 64 new bedrooms, an exclusive roof top spa, additional external spa garden and executive lounge linking to the existing hotel. Deluxe guestrooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, panoramic views and terraces.
The "Signature Suite" is the ultimate resort guestroom in terms of space and in-room facilities. Expect pure luxury with show stopping feature terrace complete with outdoor soft seating area and a private hot tub overlooking the river. A separate living and dining area with folding patio doors opening onto the terrace creates a fabulous indoor/outdoor space, allowing for private in-room dining for six guests. This stunning facility includes the unique Thermal Spa Village offering 75,000 square feet of Spa experiences. The new landscaped serenity garden includes sun sheltering olive trees from Tuscany, meandering walkways, a bespoke water feature and relaxation beds to while away the time.
As a wedding location, Galgorm ticks every box and the "Four Seasons" suite is New York chic! The "River Room" restaurant has built up a reputation for delivering outstanding, high end, locally sourced dishes and is fast becoming a destination for foodies. With Live music, Gillies bar comes alive at weekends opening up its trendy beer garden for BBQs and outdoor dining in spring/summer. Belfast is also only a short hop away from Galgorm. The main city attraction is “Titanic” featuring numerous interactive galleries across 12,000 square metres of floor space telling the story of the construction and doomed maiden voyage of the Titanic. The interpretation also explores the history of ship making at Harland & Wolff.
Other local attractions include Slemish Mountain, the legendary first known Irish home of Saint Patrick, is located nearby in Ballymena. The mountain rises 1500 feet above the surrounding plain, and its central core is an extinct volcano. Slemish Mountain is open all year-round, and on Saint Patrick's Day large crowds hike to the top.
The Junction One Retail and Leisure Park is on the edge of Antrim town and just off the M2 Motorway featuring over 70 retailers including high end designers. The festive season is a truly magical time at Galgorm. Relax for two nights in one of their beautifully appointed guestrooms where you will enjoy hot chocolate and mince pies beside your own festive Christmas tree. This retreat package at Galgorm includes overnight in a superior guestroom, dinner in Gillie's or Fratelli's restaurant, bed and breakfast on both mornings's and use of the thermal spa village throughout your stay. Prices from £350.00 (2 people sharing) Sunday to Thursday.
Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio.