All wedding anniversaries are special but the first is a biggie, and so my husband and I wanted to make ours a memorable one. Seeking for a new adventure with a combination of thrills and relaxation we were introduced to the Irish gem known as Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.
Galgorm Resort is Northern Ireland’s premier luxury Hotel & Spa. Easily accessible within 20 minutes of Belfast International Airport, 30 minutes from Belfast City Centre and 35 minutes from the unique attractions of the Coastal Causeway and world class golf of the North Coast.
When arriving at Galgorm Resort we were amazed to be within 163 acres of lush parkland with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate. Galgorm Resort has a truly unique setting. Enjoying the tranquillity and the sounds of the cascades is a given at Galgorm. Pure relaxation and zen is experienced in the Spa & Thermal Village with an extensive selection of indoor and outdoor heated pools, steam rooms and saunas. The Resort also boasts a selection of restaurants & bars and extensive conference and banqueting facilities.
We stayed in a Deluxe room generously proportioned (37m²), with views out to the Serenity Garden. The room features an open-plan bed and living complete with a luxurious king size bed to ensure a great night sleep and lounge area with Rolf Benz furniture. The spacious marble and oak bathroom hosts a separate bath and shower with Aromatherapy Associates toiletries. Waiting for us in our room was a celebratory treat that included a platter of sweet delights and a Happy Anniversary card compliments from the resort.
Exploring the hotel's estate it became impressively clear that Galgorm’s Thermal village is on outdoor experiences, taking in the sheer beauty of the Irish woodlands and gardens. The resort offers an extensive selection of Spa features, including riverside hot tubs, indoor and outdoor just that a village. One of the largest Thermal Spa’s in Europe, with a heavy focus r heated pools, steam rooms, saunas, snow cabin, sanariums, orangery, fitness suite and multiple jacuzzis. Spa treatments are available in one of 13 individual treatment rooms or group treatment suite.
Unique Spa features:
- 11 outdoor private and shared Hot Tub Experiences in tubs named after trees in Galgorm woods.
- Elements is a robed riverside restaurant within the Spa garden. This spa eatery is one of only 5 in the world.
- Extensive hot & cold thermal experience including the Snow Cabin at -15 degrees, only one in Ireland, designed to boost your immune and circulatory systems.
- The 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 beautifully landscaped Serenity Garden features meandering walkways, bespoke water features and relaxation beds to let the mind simply drift.
- Saunas and Sanariums offer a comfortable and relaxing heat experience with real health benefits.
- The River House is raised on stilts and with views over the cascading River Maine transporting the calming environment indoors for you to enjoy on one of the infrared heated loungers.
The Thermal Spa village is extraordinary and remarkable and the perfect place for pure comfort and relaxation.
There is no better way to immerse yourself in nature than enjoying the Riverside Hot Tub experience with a loved one. The eco-friendly, wood fired riverside hot tubs provide still warmed water with no bubbles to keep the tubs quiet and peaceful so you can enjoy the local sounds. Each tub is surrounded by vegetation to provide a natural screening from the other tubs, allowing each tub to solely enjoy the view of the Irish scene. This experience is sensory and intimate. The benefits of warm water are vast, not only soothing on muscles and joints but also allowing you time to relax your mind and melt away any tensions.
The riverside hot tub experience is a definite must when visiting Galgorm resort and has added a very high bar to anniversary celebrations.
Galgorm resort other than being a spa wizard is also a Culinary Destination with 5 Resort Restaurants offering guests an unrivalled choice of dining. You can enjoy the River Room Restaurant, showcasing local ingredients with elegant menus in fine dining, Bar & Grill at Gillies for informal Bistro dining or Fratelli Ristorante, a rustic family-friendly Italian house. The resort also offers the Conservatory for the ultimate Afternoon Tea Experience and Gin tasting of over 400 varieties within the Galgorm Gin Collection; making it the largest in Ireland and housed in the Gin Library. The Castle Kitchen & Bar located offsite at Galgorm Castle Golf Club with luxury transfers from the Resort.
For our celebratory dinner we opted to dine at the awarded 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, The River Room. The Head Chef Chris Rees creates dishes that are true to the seasonal ingredients and embodies the ethos of Galgorm in its menu. The ingredients are sourced from selected local suppliers and the Resorts very own kitchen garden. The dishes offer a unique dining experience complemented by the extensive wine list.
The chef commenced dinner with two Amuse-Bouche of black pudding beignet with pear puree and squid ink cracker with cured trout, cucumber, horseradish and borage.
For the table we were served rye sourdough with Irish butter and smoked sea salt and white onion veloute with comfit pork cheek, malt, crispy barley, garlic and chives. Our fine dining experience continued with beautifully presented starters featuring the pan smoked cod with miso, wild rice, chicken skin, courgette puree and courgette flower and the Irish veal with turnips, watercress, black garlic and fregola.
Impressed by the menu descriptions my husband and I selected for mains the braised fennel halibut with bisque, globe artichoke, gem lettuce and samphire. Secondly, the Irish lamp rack and rump, white asparagus, peas, garlic scape and tomato chutney paired with the French white Domaine de Cassagnau Chardonnay with its oaky characters.
We couldn’t resist ordering two desserts, the Irish strawberries with Tahitian vanilla, clotted cream, pistachios and rosehip. Secondly, the milk chocolate with macadamia, coffee, caramel, caramelised white chocolate. We ended our fabulous meal with an espresso and Petites Fours of Tonka bean caramel and dark chocolate bon bon, apricot and mango macaroon and passion fruit pastilles.
The food was beautiful in taste and presentation. The flavours and combinations are unique and transported our taste buds into culinary amazement.
To conclude, the Galgorm Resort & Spa is an absolute dream and I can’t wait to visit again. Everything you could possibly want is under one roof with exciting attractions to visit close by, such as the Giant Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Island and Dark Hedge.