I’d just like to announce it now. I’m a spa convert you guys! And by convert I mean that I’d really love to spend every Monday there, if at all possible. (If there’s a job going in that field, I’m your woman. Maybe a Jacuzzi tester? That’s a gig that I could get on board with! 😉 )
We just got back from the most beautiful two days at Galgorm Resort and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Or talking about it, to anyone who will listen long enough! I mean, I knew it would be lovely, but was totally unaware just how lovely, and every little thing – from the setting, to the spa, food, suite and staff just exceeded all our expectations. I think it’s always the mark of a good hotel when they can make you feel like you are on holidays, even on a damp, drizzly Irish Monday, and our whole experience could be summed up as just that. It really was an escape from reality for a little portion of our week.
I have a billion pictures and words to share, so here we go, if you’d like to see!
The resort is set on a one hundred and sixty three acre estate, made up of parkland with the beautiful River Maine running through. A significant amount of regeneration work has been completed throughout the resort over the past few years, the most noticeable being the introduction of the new Thermal Village, said to be one of the world’s leading spa destinations. It is beyond stunning, and we felt welcomed and at ease right from the beginning. We had little itineraries presented to us at check in, and the staff were so lovely and more than willing to explain everything to us. The spa and thermal village cover quite an area, both indoors and out, and I left Andrew to explore while I was treated to the most blissful Lava Rescue back massage in the treatment area.
After my treatment I was brought Prosecco and pear sorbet and encouraged to enjoy the relaxation room (think comfy beds, magazines and low lighting. Basically every busy mums dream, am I right?!) I stayed for a little while but was keen to rejoin Andrew and explore the rest of the facilities. Mind you, I think he was quite happily enjoying the peace and quiet! 🙂
The Orangery sits at the heart of the Thermal Village, and is a space to chill out and watch the world pass by. Strictly a ‘slippers and robe’ area only, it really encourages relaxation with its luxurious seating areas and quiet atmosphere. You can order drinks and light snacks from the adjoining Elements Café, and enjoy them in this beautiful setting. I loved the whole vibe of this area, it was so peaceful and I can imagine it being particularly lovely on a summery day (it still was, even in the torrential rain and that is no small feat!)
Outdoors there is everything from hydrotherapy pools, to giant hot tubs, saunas, meditation rooms overlooking the river, and even a snow room! It surprised me just how many people were enjoying the facilities on offer, and just getting on with it even in the pouring rain too! In actual fact it kind of made it more fun really – as the receptionist said to us at check in – ‘spa rain is much nicer than any other old rain!’ 🙂
By far my favourite part of the whole day though, was the Riverside Tub Experience , a little tub made for two, and heated to a toasty temperature by an individual wood burning stove. They’re perched perfectly (and really privately!) on the very edge of the river, and your hour of peace and quiet is complimented by champagne and a tasting slate (ours was topped with dreamy handmade chocolate truffles!) This experience comes at an additional cost to the overall spa day package, but it’s definitely worth it for a really special experience (And was perfect for an anniversary treat!)
After dragging ourselves away from the spa, we showered and headed out for dinner at Fratelli, one of the three restaurants on site. We were joking about how our perception of spa trips previously was that they were all healthy eating and detoxing, and actually all we did for twenty four hours was eat and drink! 🙂 But everything was really delicious and actually, if you’re escaping for a bit of a parents retreat, it makes the perfect occasion to indulge a little, doesn’t it?
After some food, and cocktails in the famous conservatory (home to the largest gin selection in Ireland, and also to some interesting Little Wood conversations, if you managed to catch our Snapchat! 😉 ) we headed to bed, relaxed and very full indeed!
Breakfast is served in the three AA Rosette River Room Restaurant and it definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to my really high expectations. I had scrambled egg and smoked salmon, whilst Andrew went for baked eggs with chorizo and tomatoes (I had complete food envy!) The hot food was complimented by a gorgeous continental selection, containing pastries, cereals, fruit plates, salamis and cheeses and speciality yoghurt pots which were completely delicious (I had apple and cinnamon and it was everything!) I also loved how they brought me a little mini cafetiere of coffee. A tiny touch but one that really appealed to my sense of the detail. It’s silly maybe, but it’s a total pet peeve of mine when you receive coffee in a tea pot. There are those standards again! 😉
We had a quick walk around the gardens and down to the river after breakfast, before heading home to the kids (and Ernie) and I honestly must have said one hundred times how much I wished I was staying for another day. In actual fact I think no amount of time would ever be quite long enough. My father in law always says that it’s a good sign when you leave wanting more though, and that we certainly did.
Galgorm, we’ll definitely be back!
We were invited as guests of Galgorm Resort and Spa for the purposes of this review, but all thoughts, opinions and love of hot tubs and Prosecco are entirely our own! 🙂