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“Beautiful Hotel let down by service...” 2 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
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel let down by service...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

I preface this review by saying we were staying in the run up to NYE so staff may have been tired after the Christmas period.

This is a beautiful hotel ideal for a season stay as it has character and old world style with beautiful decorations.

We were upgraded to a suite which we were very happy about.

The breakfast was one of the best I have ever had absoluteness delicious with lots of explanation where the produce came from etc.

On a negative the service was well below standard and no where near 5 star. Reception staff were very dour. I think reception are the directors of first impressions, so a friendly welcome after travel is welcome. In a 5 star it is a must!

However sadly the issues with reception were not only cosmetic. Basic requests were not followed through. For example our safe was locked for the entirety of our stay. Not major stuff but annoying.

The issue with Belfast staff is simply they are extremely friendly which is great however this simply is not the same as good service.

Hopefully this was a seasonal glitch. I would still recommend the hotel for ambience and location.

Room Tip: Would recommend a suite.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 1 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, January 9, 2014
Dear Swordfishontour

With regards to your review , 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.

I would like the opportunity to carrying out a comprehensive internal investigation into this incident but would require the dates and room number you stayed in.

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.

Please could I ask you to make contact with Geoff Kemps, Deputy General Manager on 028 9042 1066 or via email dgm@cull.hastingshotels.com so we can take the necessary steps to resolve your poor experience and to ensure that these issues do not reoccur.

Yours sincerely




Helen Caters
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,122 reviews from our community

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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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

The new Crozier Lounge in this 5 star hotel is well designed and welcoming, for greeting people and having a light meal.
Staff very attentive - especially Cathryn and Padraigue; but one of the managers walking around should send his ill-fitting suit to War on Want. He looked like a re-incarnation of Norman Wisdom.
Not 'fitting' for an otherwise very good hotel.
Good selection of cocktails. Sandwiches nicely prepared - almost on a par with those wonderful equivalents at the Merchant Hotel. Cappuccino coffee good, but overpriced at £5 for a small cup.

Room Tip: A good up-market hotel for meeting friends or business contacts.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

My family and I have just had a lovely Christmas in The Culloden Hotel, as usual we arrived for Christmas dinner in the Stuart suit and we were greeted with a glass of delicious mulled wine and Anthony in a very friendly manner should us to our table. The room felt warm and friendly, Mr Drennan couldn't have made us feel more welcome. The food on display was outstanding giving us so much choice and allowing us to take our time and have as many courses as we could manage to eat. A special treat and just the nicest treat ever was that my parents, my brothers family and my family got to stay Christmas Day night which was the icing on the Christmas cake and without a doubt something we would reccmmend for 2014

Room Tip: All rooms are fabulous but we love the suites :)
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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, January 9, 2014
Dear Sarah B

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


Helen Caters
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

Myself and family (wife and 2 kids) recently spent 4 nights in the Culloden Hotel. On the plus side, fantastic location (6 miles outside the city) and lovely hotel site. The main rooms and bedrooms are of a very high quality and have great views of the sea. The staff are very freindly and the hotel is well maintained. Food is very good.

What could be improved. Quality of staff, the good professionally trained ones are excellent but they are supplemented by younger inexeperieinced staff who are very nice but not 5* in service. The SPA treatments seemed to be completely booked out and we're weren't able to avail of any treatments during our stay - we should have booked before arriving but I also feel the hotel should keep some slots availalbe for hotel guests also.

Room Tip: Book the Spa in advance
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 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, January 9, 2014
Dear Colly1kp

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

I am genuinely disappointed that your experience 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 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.

I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely




Helen Caters
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

My family recently had the pleasure of enjoying a Festive Afternoon Tea at the Culloden Estate & Spa just outside Belfast. In family tradition we meet before Christmas in a local hotel. This was the first time we had chosen the Culloden and we have already decided it will become our traditional venue of choice. With ease we reserved a table over the phone a couple of weeks before. The whole experience was memorable from start to finish. We were greeted on arrival by a friendly and courteous manager called Peter and taken to a beautiful table overlooking Belfast Lough and a direct view of the famous herb garden within the grounds of the Culloden Estate & Spa (worth a visit!). Although the Mitre restaurant (where we dined) and Crozier lounge (just to the right when you enter) were busy, especially in the run up to Christmas, we felt as if were the only party there as our dedicated server checked on us throughout our time there as well as another manager called Jeff - not too often, but just the right amount to remind us they were there to make our time all the more enjoyable. The ambience was relaxed and the hotel was beautifully decorated, elegant and stylish. Each table had a miniature poinsettia which was a nice touch.

As we had come for Festive Afternoon Tea we only had to choose our hot drinks. There is a fabulous selection of fine teas and coffees and the staff are only too willing to recommend one that may suit your preference. The best part was when our server came out smiling with a beautifully stacked selection of pastries, sandwiches and scones (which were still warm!). Having experienced many 5 Star hotel afternoon teas, I can say with ease that the Culloden surpassed all of my expectations by presenting such a fabulous festive fayre! There was a generous range of various freshly filled finger sandwiches, salmon in mini croissants (my favourite) and a selection of vegetarian sandwiches. We had mentioned this at the time of our reservation and it was duly noted as my sister had her own plate of several vegetarian filled sandwiches. The pastries ranged from macaroons, festive mince pies, chocolate eclairs, Baileys' (!!) shots with candied orange and even white chocolate shortbread. There was so much that we weren't even able to finish it all, but we were able to take anything we didn't eat home in beautiful little boxes to enjoy at home. Our whole experience was finished off with a glass of champagne, which you can enjoy for an additional charge (definitely worth it, especially if you are there for a special occasion) and we were then left free to enjoy the view for a little longer until we had to travel home.

The staff made the whole experience so memorable, nothing was too much trouble. The food was fresh, tasty and the presentation was impeccable. Top tip: don't eat before you go, this is no ordinary afternoon tea. Will we be back? Definitely... why wait until Christmas, there are birthdays and other occasions which will give us an excuse to return sooner! A great place to start off the Christmas festivities.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, January 9, 2014
Dear Nea04

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


Helen Caters
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holywood, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Fantastic night in the Cultra Inn! Like the old days when we used to come! Fantastic service from the barman Sam - first class service! Karen also was great! So all in all brilliant job will be back again!!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, January 9, 2014
Dear ChrisFaw

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 Cultra Inn.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Cultra Inn in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Helen Caters
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Being a frequent visitor to this hotel, we decided to book our Christmas stay here. This was the first time that we had spent the Christmas break at this hotel. We checked in on Christmas eve and stayed for 3 nights. The hotel lived up to its usual high standards in terms of the customer service, quality of food and presentation (communal areas and our suite). There was the added festive season ambience to the entire stay in terms of the food menus, entertainment and decoration of the hotel. The staff went out of their way to accommodate our needs, in particular, my elderly parent's specific requirements. We felt very much at home and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. I would have no hesitation in returning during next Christmas for another festive break. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to returning to this hotel for another great stay - very very soon! A particular mention to the staff who contributed so positively to our wonderful Christmas experience to include Peter, Geoff, Ryan, Andrew, Kirsty, Rachel, Padraig and the entire team with whom we encountered - well done and thanks.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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, January 9, 2014
Dear George9009

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


Helen Caters
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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