Updated: Jun 29, 2021
Galgorm Resort, Co. Antrim
Sometimes the urge to take a last minute break away from the hustle and bustle of life grabs all of us. Who among us hasn’t yearned for that impulsive spa break with fine food in a tranquil setting with activities for the kids that actually allow you to enjoy yourself?
Well that was the mood we were in when we decided to hit the road and head to the 5 star resort of Galgorm. Billed as Northern Irelands premier resort and spa by the Lonely Planet in 2018 it had a lot to live up to. Located on 163 acres of woodland with views of the spectacular waterfalls of the River Maine in Ballymena, County Antrim, birthplace of Hollywood star Liam Neeson this oasis of relaxation is only 90mins from Dublin and 30 mins from Belfast. The resort is perfect striking distance to many of the main attractions on Northern Irelands northern coast such as the famous Giants causeway.
This resort doesn’t just boast a spa, this resort has an entire thermal village built on the bank of the rushing waters of the River Maine. What is a thermal village you ask? Well for a start it looks like a small village of beautifully appointed wooden cabins each containing a different spa experience such as the Celtic spa and the snow spa alongside heat and steam rooms and various hot tubs, including the 12 person outdoor jacuzzi. As well as all of that there are two indoor swimming pools with floor to ceiling glass windows that overlook the thermal village. You could truly spend an entire day here and not get around to sample all of the various experiences available.
The other jewel in the crown at this resort must surely be the fabulous gardens. Newly designed and planted by Caragh Nurseries, one of the top garden design companies in the country these No expense was spared with these newly appointed gardens which serve to provide a truly fabulous view from the garden facing rooms. Nestled among the manicured walkways are several personal jacuzzis that can be reserved for a more intimate experience with romantic drinks served tub-side from the hotel bar.
There is also a lovely focus on being child friendly at this resort. There are family sized rooms and cabins throughout the resort and although some of the spa area is for adults only kids do have their own areas that they can use which allows the adults to relax completely without it feeling like a wellness creche. However, the most obvious example of Galgorms commitment to welcoming the little ones is their amazing Italian restaurant the Fratelli Ristorante. Here kids are in for a treat. Decked out in their own aprons they get to make their own pizzas all of which are then cooked in the clay pizza ovens in full view of the fascinated junior master chefs themselves. In fact the restaurant was runner up best kids restaurant in Northern Ireland last year. All i can say is i now want to see what beat it.
As a spa getaway in Ireland i have yet to find better than Galgorm and the fact that you can bring the kids without ruining the experience makes it rather unique.