Galgorm Resort and Spa, Northern Ireland

One of Ireland's most luxurious hotels, Galgorm Manor and Resort Spa is perfect for a weekend of serious pampering and indulgence

A luxurious country house, Galgorm Manor and Resort Spa is nestled deep in Irish greenery overlooking the River Maine. Arriving up the winding driveway, it feels that you’re right in the heart of the countryside, despite the fact that Belfast is a mere 30 minutes drive away.

One of the resort’s main features is the world class spa. After checking into our spacious room overlooking the paddock (the resort also offers self-catering cottages and log cabins in the grounds) we quickly donned our robes and slippers to begin our pampering.

With intimate lighting and Oriental-inspired décor, there’s a range of treatments on offer. Opting for The Real Aromatherapy Experience, a full body massage with special aromatherapy oils, I emerged 120 minutes later feeling seriously relaxed. The afternoon was spent sampling the thermal spa – with heated relaxation loungers, an infinity hydrotherapy pool, individual climate rooms and finally, a dip in the outdoor hot tub.

Galgorm Spa

Feeling thoroughly pampered, we settled in for an evening of fine dining at the River Room, the resort’s gourmet restaurant. With seared scallops, artisan breads and smoked salmon to start, we felt our newfound healthiness starting to wane. Next, I opted for the duck followed by the lemon tart (I was technically ‘on holiday’ after all…), before making headway into the ample port list. Needless to say, we returned to our beds (very) well-fed and watered.

We opted for a blissful night’s sleep, but those looking to sample local Guinness or find your own Irish charmer (I’m thinking Gerard Butler in PS.I Love You) can head for Gillies Bar and Grill. With live music and log fires, it’s a popular weekend venue with residents and non-residents alike.

The next day we felt ready for action. As well as walking routes to the local villages, there are activites such as horse riding, mountain biking and clay pigeon shooting available. And for any aspiring Tiger Woods, some of Ireland’s top golf courses are easily accessible – from Galgorm Castle course, to Royal Portrush and Royal County Down.

For more information on Galgorm Resort and Spa, visit www.galgorm.com

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