Liz reviews the Galgorm Spa & Thermal Village, Belfast

Escape to the Emerald Isle with Liz, as she shares her review of the Galgorm Spa & Thermal Village.

A review of Galgorm Spa & Thermal Village

Looking for a special rural spa break? Belfast is perhaps not the first location that might spring to mind, but situated just outside the city centre is a stunning spa retreat on the beautiful Causeway coastal route.

A tranquil spot set in 163 acres of pretty parkland with tumbling waterfalls and tranquil streams, this is a lovely place to head to for some fresh air and Northern Irish hospitality. Its masterpiece is an outstanding outdoor spa complex, unlike any other. Amidst an extensive selection of riverside hot tubs, indoor and outdoor heated pools, steam rooms, cryotherapy ice room and saunas, sits a truly fabulous ‘Thermal Spa Village’, complete with Jacuzzis, cold plunge pools, an array of saunas (both traditional and infra-red light) and even an Alpine-style salt room chalet. In fact, the area is so large it needs a map to navigate!

Guests can wander between these thermal treats, mingle with others in the outdoor gin bar beside the apple orchard (with the largest gin collection in Ireland and the UK – over 550 different kinds), or book one of the more private hot tubs with waterfall views of the picturesque River Maine, or cocoon themselves away more privately in one of six newly installed riverside cabanas.

Celebrate with friends

Popular with hen-dos and (healthy!) stags (the drink is definitely Prosecco and the dress code towelling bathrobe and slippers), Galgorm is a perfect group-friendly or friends’ celebration venue, with guests choosing to either stay in the hotel itself or in one of its contemporary-style cottages dotted around the edges of the outdoor garden spa area.

Each cottage is plainly but comfortably furnished and includes a well-equipped kitchen area, perfect for those who value a bit of quiet time to make their own simple eating arrangements.

The newest additions are the charming Shepherd’s huts, complete with outdoor bathtubs and fire pits located near the forest – you can’t get much more wellness romantic than that.

Foodwise, there’s a good choice of restaurants on-site to choose from, ranging from a traditional-style dining brasserie, an Italian-themed Pizzeria and a chic river-view cocktail lounge and even an Irish-themed pub, complete with occasional live music. The resort also runs an excellent bistro, Gillies Grill, a short car ride away, which guests can book as a nearby alternative with a free hotel shuttle service. This serves classically good, local produce and an excellent range of imaginative cocktails.

Indulge in pampering

For those seeking some extra pampering, the spa is excellent too.

There are aesthetic doctors for ‘tweakments’ and top therapists offering such delights as the OTO CBD Signature Treatment. This starts with an exfoliating skin brushing and cooling mitt swipe (to activate the endocannabinoid system, allowing maximum absorption of the OTO CBD products). These are then applied as you lie on a bed of heated quartz crystals, enjoying a full body massage using bamboo rollers and crystals – really very good and highly recommended.

Staff are friendly and welcoming, and the many extra touches – from log fires in the reception areas on arrival to the Irish shortbreads and tempting mini pastries in the rooms – are very thoughtful and special additions.

Thermal village and spa access is included in the price, with overnight stays from £220. Day passes are also available. Not suitable for children.

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