Northern Ireland

Galgorm Hotel & Spa – The UK’s Best Spa Hotel

Located in the heart of Northern Ireland and set within 163 arces of gardens and woodlands, Galgorm Hotel and Spa has carved out a reputation as being Northern Ireland’s premier spa experience. We would take this one step further and say it is the UK’s best spa experience, we have never seen such a well operated and extensive spa and thermal experience. You can easily spend the whole day exploring the different hot tubs, saunas, pools and steam rooms (most of which are outside). Read on to discover more about why we think this is the best spa hotel in the UK.

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Background & Concept

Galgorm Hotel and Spa is built around what was an original 1857 villa of local mill owners, which is now the entrance to the hotel and reception rooms and still offers an old-world charm when you walk through the doors – think log fires, cozy armchairs, and book-lined walls. The entrance is deceiving as once you pass through the period building the rest of the hotel is extensive – offering multiple dining experiences and 125 bedrooms including suites, deluxe and superior rooms. 

The star of the show and the main reason why guests come here is the Spa and Thermal Village. Open to both residents of the Resort and Day Spa guests, a huge range of heated and cool spa experiences await. Offering guests the chance to experience the ancient rituals of bathing in cold, cool, warm, and hot environments to aid detoxification, purification, and relaxation and it recently has been crowned Best Luxury Golf Resort and Best Luxury Hotel Resort Spa in Europe at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2021.

Location

Located approx 35 minutes from Belfast city by car and with incredibly easy access to Belfast International and city airport getting to and from Galgorm is a breeze. The hotel is located next to the River Maine within 163 acres of gardens and woodlands. Extend a spa break into a weekend of discovery exploring the north of Northern Ireland easily with the Giants Causeway only around 30 minutes by car as is the pretty coastal town of Ballycastle, Game of Thrones fans will be in their element with the King’s Road aka the Dark Hedges just 20 minutes away and if you watched the popular comedy Derry Girls, Londonderry (Derry) is just over an hour drive and the city is packed with history and character.

Rooms & Suites

Galgorm has 125 bedrooms including suites, deluxe and superior rooms with a separate entrance and check-in for deluxe and suites.

Deluxe Rooms

We stayed in a Deluxe Room which are generously proportioned (37m²), with views over the River Maine or country views of the Resorts 163-acre estate. All deluxe rooms present luxurious king-size beds to ensure a great night’s sleep, a lounge area with Rolf Benz furniture, and spacious marble bathrooms with a separate bath and shower. 

Rooms include a free minibar offering a range of beers, wines, soft drinks, and snacks which are replenished daily in addition to robes and slippers, safe, tea making facilities, coffee/espresso machine, Galgorm Signature Amenities, complimentary water, and complimentary late checkout to 12pm.

Food and Drink

The River Room & Conservatory

The River Room embodies the ethos of the hotel in its menu and dishes offering a unique and memorable fine dining experience. It is one of four restaurants in Northern Ireland to be awarded 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. Led by Chef Chris Rees dishes showcase local artisan producers with menus that change daily. 

Breakfast and Afternoon Tea are served in the conservatory a magnificent bespoke glass creation that perfectly frames the stunning setting of the cascading River Maine and lush gardens.

Cocktail and Gin Bar.

The Conservatory at Galgorm is also home to Galgorm’s Cocktail & Gin bar. A magnificent bespoke glass creation that combines the stunning views of the cascading River Maine with a stimulating dash of theatre from their team of highly-skilled mixologists. With one of the most extensive and exclusive gin menus in Ireland the team will take you to experience an innovative array of classic and bespoke cocktails. 

Gillies Grill

Relaxed, warm and full of character, think cosy snugs and exposed brickwork, Gillies Grill offers an extensive menu so there is guaranteed to be something to suit everyone with, classic brasserie options, a grill selection and Asian inspired fusion dishes.  

Breakfast

If you book a deluxe room you have the option of the buffet in Gillies Grill or a la carte in the River Room. We opted for the River Room both mornings, which included a range of healthy and indulged hot breakfasts, as well as a comprehensive cold continental buffet too.

Spa and Thermal Village

Experience the ultimate in luxury relaxation at the award-winning Thermal Spa Village at Galgorm Taking inspiration from the idyllic woodland setting perched along the River Maine, local stone, natural wood, and a palette of colours inspired by woodland flowers and trees combine to create a space where indoors meets outdoors. 

A Mecca for both zen-seeker and first-time spa-goers alike, The Spa at Galgorm combines award-winning facilities and professional service to create an environment where you can truly relax and unwind.

The Thermal Spa Village offers you the chance to experience the ancient rituals of bathing in cold, cool, warm and hot environments to aid detoxification, purification and relaxation. Open to both residents of the Hotel and Day Spa guests, these outstanding facilities include multiple saunas, a snow cabin, a salt cave, plunge1 pool, more countless jacuzzis, a Celtic Sauna, a River House relaxation complex and eco-friendly Riverside Bathing Tubs, as well as indoor and outdoor pools and vitality pool.

Spread across three gardens, the Alpine, Riverside and Serenity Gardens will guide you on a journey of rediscovery and located over such a large area gives plenty of space for guests to enjoy the countless spa experiences. 

Thermal Village

Indoor Pool

Full 20 metre indoor leisure pool surrounded by a polished pebble floor to gently massage the pressure points in your feet, assisting blood flow and easing tensions.

The Riverside Garden

Their infinity hydrotherapy pool in the Riverside Garden incorporates a variety of therapeutic massage jets to ease tired, aching muscles. Feel the warmth of the water as you relax on the aqua bed, allowing stress to ebb away under one of their neck and back massage cannons.

Outside enjoy their open-air jacuzzi (worth nothing all of these experiences are open year-round – you can even experience them in the snow!)

Feeling peckish? Indulge in a selection of refreshing drinks, indulgent snacks and nourishing nibbles available in Elements Spa Eatery, housed in the magnificent Halodome structure.

Alpine Garden

Make your way along the riverside boardwalk to discover the hotel’s latest addition to the Thermal Spa Village – The Alpine Garden. Relax with a view in their Vitality Infinity Pool on the shores of the River Maine, take a break in a private cabana for two, and awaken your senses in a Sauna Pod.

Serenity Garden & Palm Court

Make your way along the meandering walkways behind the hotel to this ornate botanical-inspired structure situated among the olive trees and apple orchards of The Walled Garden. Inspired by the notion of Forest Bathing that advocates the therapeutic aspects of spending time in nature, guests can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

The Palm House

Fancy a cocktail? Relax and unwind with a drink in hand in the botanical surrounds of The Palm House.

Private Hot Tubs

Go all out with one of their private hot tubs, that perch on the side of the River Maine, these eco hot tubs, are available by the hour and can be booked as a package that includes prosecco.

Spa

As if the Thermal Village wasn’t enough there is also a huge indoor spa area that boasts 11 treatment rooms designed to provide a sumptuous spa experience in a calming environment, with a menu of signature treatments available, harnessing the aromatherapeutic benefits of Aromatherapy Associates. Skincare-conscious guests can rejuvenate their skin health at The Skin Clinic located within The Spa with product houses SkinCeuticals and IMAGE skincare.

Orangery

Post spa treatment you are guided into the Orangery where you can unwind on a day bed with sorbet and peppermint tea.

Nearby

Giants Causeway

Dark Hedges

Final Thoughts

Galgorm Hotel and Spa really is in a league of its own, this haven of luxury and relaxation is guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and if you are thinking about a spa staycation this year it will tick all the boxes and more!

Galgorm has been included in our guide to the best spa hotels in the UK and best hotels in Northern Ireland.