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“Once again an example of perfection!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Culloden Estate & Spa

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Culloden Estate & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bangor Road, Holywood BT18 OEX, Northern Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Holywood
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Once again an example of perfection!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Been a while unfortunately since had the opportunity to sample all that the Culloden Hotel & Spa has to offer and this time was a complete surprise so couldn't have been happier. From the second you drive through the gates the grounds and building portray a touch of class and luxury and glad to see the one part of the hotel which have to say was a bit out of character, the bar, it is being completely renovated and extended ( an excuse to come back and see when finished! ). Only for the very controlled building work taking place from the outside and the fact from knowing the interior you would not have a clue this corner was ever there from inside the way they have changed things around, no dust sheet or signage anywhere to tell the tale of the work taking place.
No issues with checkin and the room again perfect, large, clean, side view of lough and furnishings what would expect of a 5* hotel including fantastic bed. We decided to treat ourselves to having their set menu in the Mitre Restaurant and to be honest we both agreed probably have not had as good a meal since last time we ate there!. Really eating out is all about enjoying the entire experienceand from entry to leaving it was perfection. We rate a good meal on it being of a quality we cannot repeat at home and hate paying for something average or below and although some people may think £45 for a set meal is expensive you simply get what you pay for. I would much rather have 1 gourmet meal than 2 very average meals which would not even get for this price so price is not an issue when eating here, its a bargain!.
On paper you get a starter, main, dessert, Tea/Coffee & chocs but you can realistically add another 2 courses. We started off with a few slices of breads from a selection which included their Guinness Bread and then were presented with perfectly sliced open egg shells with a devine egg, salmon and onion mousse ( apologies don't remember the proper terminology used but my tastabuds done the talking! ). We then had the crab starter (cold) & the scallops & chorizo which were both as tasty as expected and what you would expect, the small scallops, divine!. For mains we opted for the venison and the duck and have to say were 2 of the best mains we have tasted for some time as both have had good venison and duck meals elsewhere but the quality, flavour and texture of these two dishes put them above anywhere else we can remember for some time and know our meats and do eat out regularly. We were then recommended by our waitress ( will come back to her ) the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake and ordered it and the choc tarte with mango & chilli sauce and again worth every penny and then some more. The main also came with a side of seasonal veg & baby potatoes so even with such a fine dining experience the portion sizes were more than adequate unlike other places where chefs egos and snobbery results in miniscule portions & half full stomachs. This is a fine example of a lovely relaxed dining experience ( the pianist helps ) that will not break the bank but leave you satisfied in every way and pleased that you spent your money wisely. One thing that makes an experience is the people that you encounter and have to say this was super seeded by our waitress Harriet. She was the example of perfection when it came to service, a real genuine girl who you could see really enjoyed what she done and was a glowing example to others and to the service any company would be delighted to offer. She had a genuine smile and demeanor about her and engaged in honest conversation and made you feel like a regular high flying guest and could see her professionalism as she moved around the tables dealing with all types of guests as the restaurant was pretty busy, another key sign for quality.
Enough about the meal!, we also used the gym ( all machines in good state, clean and perfect temp ) , pool as always good including changing facilities and their luxurious spa body wash and lotion and then there was the spa itself. We both had treatments and the girls and the hour or so treatents were fantastic and again on the expensive side but this is a 5* location and really are worth the treat as unlike any day spa or regular massage you would get in other places.
Breakfast again perfect and was shown to seat by the food & beverage manager who again was very chatty and geuine and portrayed perfectly what you would want to expect of such a place and told him would indeed be writing up a review as was so pleased with our total experience. Points to note about breakfast in the Hastings hotels is the smoked salmon and also never to be outdone, the porridge but not just any porridge as beside it are jugs of honey and cream and combine this all together with a generous shot of the Bushmills Whiskey!! over the porridge and I am yet to find better anywhere in the world! and we have travelled extensively.
You will never please everyone in this world but the Culloden do their utmost to do so and feel some of the most recent reviews on here do not portray the overwhelming percentage of comments we here from others when chatting etc and from what we experience on numerous visits so thought should set the record straight!. Go and treat yourselves as its worth every penny when look at what get elsewhere.

Room Tip: Have stayed in many rooms from the perfect standard ones up to some of the premier suites such as th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Grovesy5

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind comments regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden hotel in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (202)
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English first
Belfast
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

My fantastic hubby had planned an evening away as a birthday treat. When we arrived we were treated like VIPs from the start and were very happy to upgraded to the Carnoustie suite. I had the pleasure If having a spa treatment and it was also amazing. Fantastic service throughout our stay. Will definitely be back ! (hubby done a lot of organising so he deserves a 5 thought also)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Kelly T

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind comments regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden hotel in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carrickfergus
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

This morning we called at the Culloden hotel for coffee, what a dissappointing experience! When the cups and saucers arrived they were filthy, my husband asked for them all to be changed! When the tea and coffee pots arrived we were even more shocked at the state of them, they were to put it mildly, absolutely disgusting! In fact they were so bad i even took photos of them to send to the hotel. The plate the shortbread was served on, the dirt was ingrained into it! This is hardly the the standard of a 5* hotel. This is one place we definately wont be back to.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Rmo2amc

I wish to thank you for taking the time to leave your opinion on tripadvisor.

I am genuinely disappointed that your experience of the Culloden was not as it should have been and for this I wholeheartedly apologise. We take great pride in providing professional, courteous and efficient customer service so to hear that we have fallen short is a cause for considerable concern.

The circumstances leading to your unsatisfactory visit to the Culloden Estate and Spa have not been, and will not be, tolerated. The standard of service provided to guests at Hastings Hotels, and in particular to those at the Culloden Estate and Spa, will always carry the expectation of excellence. Your account of events during your visit is not in line with those expectations and it certainly fails to meet our usual five star standards.

I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to draw these matters to our attention. We value all feedback, be it positive or negative. It is only through such feedback that we may rectify any shortcomings and prevent their reoccurrence.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future were I am confident we can improve on your last experience.

Yours sincerely




Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort William, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Our stay was a gift from a family member that included dinner, bed, breakfast & spa treatments. I initially tried to book my dates (NYE) but when I checked availability and then wanted to book using my vouchers I was told that I couldn't book over those dates and that I would need to speak with a Manager, I asked to speak with a Manager but they only work Mon-Fri 9-5 I was told? I called back and was able to book the dates we wanted with the vouchers. On check in I double checked our dinner reservation, when we went to dinner that night they had no reservation for us but squeezed us in between 2 large and noisy family groups - very romantic. The rooms were lovely but the glasses in the bathroom had what looked like toothpaste spray on them- yuk. The staff were fabulous though and really made our stay especially the waitress with the red hair in the Cultra Inn and the porter on the door who was keeping the fire in the lounge well stoked on NYD! the breakfast was also excellent. I mentioned my concerns at checkout to reception (I was also charged for dinner even though this was part of my package) and was told that the Manager would call me for feedback, he called that day and left a voice mail saying he would call me back.....still waiting for the call. All in all very disappointing and not what I expected from the Culloden.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear CPS1974

I wish to thank you for taking the time to leave your opinion on tripadvisor.

I am genuinely disappointed that your experience of the Culloden was not as it should have been and for this I wholeheartedly apologise. We take great pride in providing professional, courteous and efficient customer service so to hear that we have fallen short is a cause for considerable concern.

The circumstances leading to your unsatisfactory visit to the Culloden Estate and Spa have not been, and will not be, tolerated. The standard of service provided to guests at Hastings Hotels, and in particular to those at the Culloden Estate and Spa, will always carry the expectation of excellence. Your account of events during your visit is not in line with those expectations and it certainly fails to meet our usual five star standards.

I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to draw these matters to our attention. We value all feedback, be it positive or negative. It is only through such feedback that we may rectify any shortcomings and prevent their reoccurrence.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future were I am confident we can improve on your last experience.

Yours sincerely




Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Have stayed here a few times and always meant to write a review.

Stayed 3 weeks ago for 1 night - Saturday. It's was faultless - given an executive room (707) - room was great with a little view of Belfast Lough. Bed was amazing - King Koil - going to but one!!!

The Culloden is simply lovely, I can say no more. Guys, take her there, not for her birthday, anniversary or whatever - just take her there. And when she asks why, the answer is "Just because we can!"

Enjoy!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Tony M

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind comments regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden hotel in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Stayed at the Culloden recently for 2 night and have to say i was a little disappointed as i had read great things on tripadvisor of this 5 star hotel. The landscape, reception and views out over Belfast were beautiful, and these are the major assets for the hotel. The actual suite was large and bed comfortable,however, the bathrooms are quite old and dated. The pool is quite small. The spa was good however. The staff in general were very helpful bar the girl who was serving us at breakfast, her manners were quite abrupt.. Ordered room service on one night which arrived cold. It was a lovely hotel but certainly no where close to 5 star.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We had a 2 night break with bed and breakfast and one evening meal. The evening meal was on Valentines night and was superb. The service was excellent, the pianist playing in the restaurant added to a lovel ambience and the food was delicious. We don't normally go out on Valentines night, always assuming it will be overpriced and overcowded but I would definitely go for the Culloden's Valentines meal again. The room was very comfortable and quiet. We didn't use the spa but will do if we go back. A really lovely break.

Room Tip: we were in an Executive room - very nice and also quiet as it was to one end of a corridor
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Greenislander

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind comments regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden hotel in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Culloden Estate & Spa

Address: Bangor Road, Holywood BT18 OEX, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Holywood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Holywood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Culloden Estate & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Standing high on the wooded slopes of the Holywood hills, overlooking Belfast Lough, is the magnificent Culloden Estate and Spa, one of the most prestigious 5 star hotels in Northern Ireland.Originally built as an official palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful gardens and is 5 miles from Belfast City Centre. The exclusive Spa offers health and leisure facilities, and a full range of ESPA spa therapies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Culloden Estate Hotel Holywood
Culloden Estate And Spa
Culloden Hotel
Culloden Estate Holywood
Culloden Estate & Spa Holywood, Northern Ireland

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