Northern Ireland isn’t just home to HBO gore-fest Game of Thrones. Forget dragons, white walkers and wild fire. A few miles away from where season seven is secretly being filmed is Galgorm Resort & Spa. It isn’t as dramatic, but life there is much more comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that you’ll rarely need to wear more than a fluffy white robe.
Galgorm is a wedding venue, golf course and 4-star destination hotel. There are 122 rooms, from luxurious suites to self-catering log cabins for larger groups. We stayed in a deluxe room, kitted out with rural photography, countryside plaids, plush, contemporary furniture and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries. But, let’s cut to the chase, we are here for the spa facilities – and they are impressive.
There is an expansive treatment area, all low-lighting and soft voices (the signature sleep ritual guaranteed me the best night I’d had in months) plus areas for group treatments but the Thermal Village is what sets this hotel apart.
There are experience showers, saunas, steam rooms, a sanarium, heated beds and two pools. A snow cabin, which will make you briefly forget you’re not braving it at The Wall with the Night’s Watch, and an airy orangery, where you can drink tea and eat freshly baked scones, or read magazines on sofas and swinging chairs.
Whatever the weather, the relaxation continues outside. By the side of the roaring River Maine, you’ll see visitors padding around in their slippers, heading for private bookable hot tubs on the water’s edge, a yoga session in The River House or a Celtic Ritual in the large glass sauna.
You’ll also find steaming hot tubs, a fire pit and an outdoor jacuzzi pool, all of which are an enjoyable novelty, especially if the weather isn’t being kind to you during your stay.
Once you’re spa-d out (if there is such a thing) you have your pick of three restaurants, a bar (the gin library is a must for lovers of the spirit) and Gillies Pub which hosts live music every night of the week. If you can afford to head straight for The River Room, where the food is elegant and delicately presented. You have to ask for the vegetarian options, which is unfortunate because the gnocchi meat-eaters wouldn’t even know they could have was heavenly.
Galgorm is a short drive from Belfast International as well as the Giant’s Causeway and the rest of Northern Ireland’s famous coastline. It’s a relaxing, luxury getaway, perfect for a romantic weekend or as a base for an elegant group getaway.
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Galgorm BT42 1EA