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Galgorm Resort & Spa 4.0

Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • An 18th-century manor set on large expanse of parkland
  • Elegant rooms with minibars and large flat-screen TVs
  • Numerous on-site activities include horseback riding, archery, and fishing
  • Spa offering an indoor pool, a sauna, and a hot tub, plus treatments
  • Three on-site restaurants, some with live music
  • Numerous event spaces to host upscale weddings
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Complaints of extra fees tacked on
  • No fitness center

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Galgorm Resort & Spa has so many activities for adults, it feels almost like an upscale camp, ranging from horseback riding to archery. There are also three restaurants, a spa complex with an indoor pool and hot tub, and plenty of event spaces -- though there's no fitness center. Its 122 rooms range from woody Standard Rooms to quaint log cabin Cottages and urbane Suites. While few destinations have a similar array of amenities as Galgorm, travelers may also want to consider the Culloden Estate and Spa, a former 19th-century palace that offers guests a noble experience at lower room rates.

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Scene

Grand complex built around an 18th-century country home

Popular with vacationing couples and wedding parties, the Galgorm Resort & Spa mixes the Irish countryside, an 18th-century manor, and a modern spa into a grand retreat. The family mansion retains its historic air but has been updated with contemporary materials and finishes. Other aspects have been polished with a modern grandeur, such as the reception desk, and some common areas are illuminated by chandeliers that are a modern riff on a traditional style. Other parts of the interiors nod gently to Art Deco and Victorian motifs, such as the inlaid floor designs in the hallways and high-back armchairs in the lounge. The spa and restaurants use natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal to build civilized spaces that consider the natural surroundings.  

Location

In Ballymena, about 50 minutes northwest of Belfast

Map of Galgorm Resort & Spa

Galgorm is a village within Ballymena, a small city that has several historic attractions. Gracehill, a Moravian village founded in 1765 and filled with Georgian architecture, is a five-minute drive from the hotel. Dating back over 200 years, the village is now a designated conservation area, Slemish Mountain, one of the first known homes of St. Patrick, is 25 minutes away by car. (People regularly walk to the top of the extinct volcano as a pilgrimage._ Galgorm Castle Golf Club, which is ranked one of the 30 best in Ireland and also includes a 17th-century castle on its grounds, is a five-minute drive away. For a modern diversion, there's the Junction One International Outlet Center, about 20 minutes away by car. The mall includes Adidas, Clarks, and Gap stores. Belfast International Airport is around 35 minutes away by car.

Rooms

Country estate-style rooms and cottages that range from quaint to urbane

Rooms range from small Twins up to chicly furnished Suites with separate living areas and wraparound balconies. There are also standalone self-catering cottages with full kitchens. Decor extends the country-estate theme, with earthy materials such as wood and leather matched with noble accents such as purple bed linens and high-back chairs. Some rooms retain the ornate molding and carved wood fireplaces that have probably been with the house for decades or centuries. All have minibars, safes, coffeemakers, and large flat-screen TVs, and some units have terraces. Bathrooms have a simple elegance, using stained wood and modern fittings with a separate shower and tub. Views are either of the countryside or the Maine River that runs through the property. 

Features

Outdoor activities including horseback riding and archery, plus three restaurants and a full spa

Galgorm Resort & Spa has more features than most guests will be able to take advantage of in a week. The three on-site restaurants serve a range of cuisines, from upscale dishes such as duck with beetroot, cabbage, and port to barbecue ribs and lasagna. Sports activities available throughout the grounds include horseback riding, archery, and fishing (though there's no fitness center). The spa complex has an indoor pool, a sauna, and a hot tub; and massages, facials, wraps, and hot stone treatments are available. 

The resort also offers numerous wedding packages that include elements such as tea receptions and five-course meals. The grounds are big enough to host three celebrations simultaneously without them intersecting. They also offer team-building activities for corporate groups, and there are meeting rooms available to rent. Wi-Fi is free in all of the buildings. 

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Address

136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena BT42 1EA, United Kingdom

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