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“Very Pleasant” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Galgorm Resort & Spa

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Galgorm Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena BT42 1EA, Northern Ireland (Formerly Galgorm Manor)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Ballymena
nottingham
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Very Pleasant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Stayed for one night. Had a suite which was excellent, comfy bed, nice lounge area and a walk out terrace. The grounds are beautiful especially by the river running through. Had the 5 course tasting menu in the River Room as part of a private party of 12 people. The food was superb in quality and presentation. The staff are all polite and helpful which really adds to the experience. For a quality hotel they just need to increase the check-in and check-out facilities. 15 minutes to check-in and the same to check-out not so good.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear archieNottingham,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you enjoyed both your stay and your dining experience in the River Room Restaurant. i certainly take on board your comments regarding check-in and check-out. Although normally fine, larger queues can occur from time to time. We have already identified this and in the short term are investing in additional check-in monitors at reception. Looking further ahead and in conjunction with our new bedroom development we are introducing a mobile check-in allowing guests to either check in pre arrival or en route to their room.
I do hope that you can visit us again in the future and give us your feedback.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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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 (262)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We had our wedding here in June using the Whirlwind package.

Nothing was too much trouble for the hotel staff. The amazing Oliver really helped us plan everything to perfection & Lee and his team on the day were courteous, helpful & checked with us throughout the day that everything was ok.

They went out of their way to accommodate guests with limited mobility & guests with dietary requirements. I would have to note that those with dietary requirements raved about their food options !

The Four Seasons suite was just the right size for our wedding (we had 70 guests)... the food & entertainment was 1st class.

A number of our guests stayed over too & they were equally impressed with their rooms (as were we - our suite was amazing!), and breakfast is something to behold!

The only gripe I have (and it is just a minor irritation) was that we were originally told we could not have a late check out & had to be out at 11am the day after the wedding. We made arrangements for an early check in at our honeymoon hotel on the basis of this, and were then offered the option of a late check out during our reception. This was such a shame, cos we would have loved to have spent time in the spa - we will just have to come back for our anniversary instead.

My 2 yr old niece keeps saying to me "You have more Galgorms ?" We will only have one wedding day - and the Galgorm certainly made it special.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear SpiderandFly,

Thank you for choosing Galgorm Resort as the venue for your wedding reception. I am delighted that you, your family and guests had such a wonderful time and have such good memories of the day. May I apologise for the mix up regarding your late check-out. Rest assured, when you return you can plan to spend all of the next day relaxing in the Spa. Just drop me a line and I will make the arrangements.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

This is the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in! The rooms were beautiful and spacious with amazing views. The grounds where divine-it's obvious why so many wedding photos are take here. I could never get bored walking around these grounds.
The staff where friendly,attentive and thoughtful. They did everything to make our stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
I have stayed in this report three time and have had the pleasure of eating in all 3 restaurants. The food was to die for! You will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear westerntrust,

Thank you for your kind review and thank you for your continued custom. That in itself is testament enough. I am delighted that you enjoyed your recent and previous stays and it is excellent that you have sought out to try all of the restaurants we have on site.

I do hope that you can return to the resort in the very near future.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

I've just returned after an overnight stay with my partner. We went for the romantic retreat package which included an overnight stay in a superior room, rose petal turndown, 5 course tasting menu in the river room, use of the thermal spa and breakfast. During my stay I also had a seaweed and peat cleopatra bath in the spa which at £30 was great value for money with a separate relaxation area for people getting spa treatments. The outside hot tub was very relaxing looking over the river. Our superior room overlooked the river and on waking in the morning we could hear the river and relaxing spa music. The meal in the river room was delicious especially the lamb dish. From beginning to end we found the stay to be extremely relaxing and were totally pampered. Staff were extremely friendly, professional and helpful throughout the hotel.

Room Tip: Worthwhile to spend a bit extra for a room upgrade
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  • Stayed August 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Carole W,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you enjoyed your romantic retreat at the resort. It is nice to spoil yourself now and again and this package does add those little important touches.

I do hope that you both can return to the resort in the very near future.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

The grounds of the Galgorm hotel are absolutely beautiful: gorgeous landscaped gardens, a beautiful building, the river bubbling over the rocks. It's a wonderful and romantic setting. We were here celebrating a big birthday (& last year, the same group spent time at an NI 4* spa hotel for the same purpose)

Check-in was fine, if a little slow, and I was never asked for a credit card for any of the three rooms we booked (leading to some embarrassment when I tried to put drinks on my room & then had to join a queue at reception with the bar server standing beside me holding my bill as if I was going to run away -- I wasn't, there was nowhere to go!).

One room wasn't ready til near 4pm, which was unfortunate as it meant one of our party had no time to enjoy the thermal spa prior to her treatment.

The rooms were nice, not huge, but very clean and well presented. Was surprised to see two singles instead of two doubles in the twin room (it makes sense of course, but haven't seen that in a 4* for quite some time!) Mattresses were soft to the point of floppy. I had to sleep on floor (back problems) though my companion slept well in her bed so that's really just a matter of opinion.

I thought the spa was excellent. Thermal spa area was very relaxing with a great selection of areas. Outdoor hot tub and jacuzzi a great touch, even on a chilly August day. My treatment was incredibly relaxing and delivered with great professionalism. None of our party received a sorbet post-treatment though even though everyone else around us did (perhaps because we'd booked a package deal?)

Negatives include the fact that there is nowhere on site to get a snack to go along with a drink. It's the sort of thing that only seems odd when it's not available. Afternoon drinks and we fancied some nuts or crisps. None for sale at the bars (there's a Pringle machine but it was never on). Another guest mentioned this at reception and in the end, some crisps were brought up from the vending machine in the staffroom. Strange.

Another negative is Gillie's restaurant. The food was tasty, sure, but it lacked any kind of delicacy. Ridiculously huge portions of unexceptional food. A starter menu full of fried goods, a main menu of ribs, hunks of steak and different types of fried potato. Impressive pub grub but as the main restaurant of a 4* hotel? I really expected something more (in the style of the exceptional restaurant at the Burrendale in Newcastle, where we celebrated a birthday last year, and where the food was unexpectedly excellent). Perhaps Fratelli's is better?

The next morning at breakfast (which had a nice range of things, including smoked salmon & wheaten bread, alongside usual cooked, fruit & sweet options), I waited almost 10 minutes for two soft-boiled eggs that poured both white and yolk onto my plate when I opened them. Oh well!

Basically, this is a nice hotel in a lovely setting but for me, the little touches are what make a hotel extra special and here, the Galgorm falters a little. It's overpriced for what it offers, I feel. In comparison to other 4* hotels in both Northern Ireland and in Germany (where I have most experience!), Galgorm doesn't match.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 5th floor seemed nice
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Sooth L,

thank you for your detailed and comprehensive review. May I pass on my apologies for the disappointments you experienced during your stay. We have set ourselves exacting standards and have fell short of a number of these in this instance. We are normally renowned for our little finishing touches that set us apart. Thank you for your comments regarding the spa and I have passed these on to the team. I can assure you that all comments are discussed throughout the resort and changes implimented were needed.
I do hope that you can allow us the opportunity to serve you to the standards that normally prevail at the resort and hope that you can return in the future.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Co. Waterford
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Congratulations on such a wonderful welcome and huge hospitality for our mummy Jackie Plummer who celebrated a big birthday at your hotel. A number of staff members wished her a very happy birthday which was just one example of the attention to detail guests receive when with you. They had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed their hydro experience too. Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear plumsropey,

thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that your mother enjoyed her birthday celebration at the resort. I have passed your kind comments onto the staff and we hope that you all can return to the resort in the near future.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omagh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

I stayed at Galgorm 2 weeks ago with friends for a relaxing break and a girlie catchup. The booking was made by one of the girls and I was thoroughly impressed from the moment we arrived. Staff throughout reception, the bar and restaurants were friendly, efficient and professional. We had lunch in the main hotel restaurant and dinner in the adjacent Italian. Both were truly delicious, I feel my tummy rumble just thinking about it! Both were reasonably priced.

Now to the Spa... We ventured down to use the facilities on the first day, our treatments were booked for the second day due to the Spa staff being extremely difficult to reach and slow to return phone calls when booking. Facilities were amazing, we particularly enjoyed the luxurious hot tub in the rain! However the treatments were so disappointing and over priced. When booking my friend was told they had no availability for 2 pedicures but they could fit in longer treatments, e.g. more expensive. I had wanted a seaweed scrub treatment but when booking was told this no longer existed and was offered an alternative but no-one cared mention that this was £20 more expensive. All I can say about the treatment was that it was fine. As only 1 pedicure could be given, the other had a file and paint on toes which cost an unbelievable £30!!! Reception staff were rude at best and the whole experience let down what was a wonderful stay.

My recommendation would be to go to Galgorm, enjoy their wonderful dining and spa facilities but if you want luxurious treatments and pleasant service go elsewhere. I have been to many hotel spas and this one would near the bottom of the list.

Room Tip: Rooms for groups of 3 available. Bed, breakfast & dinner offers are great value.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
PSmythGalgorm, Manager at Galgorm Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Om153,

Thank you for you review and I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay overall. May I apologise however for the disappointment you felt regrding our Spa. The Spa at Galgorm is usually the jewel in our crown, but clearly fell short in this instance. I have discussed your comments in detail with the whole team to highlight the importance of consistency in all that we do. I appreciate that you did not rule out a return to the resort and would ask that if you do please contact me directly and I will personally ensure that everything is of the highest standard.

yours truly

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Galgorm Resort & Spa

Address: 136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena BT42 1EA, Northern Ireland (Formerly Galgorm Manor)
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Ballymena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Ballymena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Galgorm Resort & Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Northern Ireland’s Premier luxury Hotel and Spa situated only 30 minutes from Belfast is the perfect location to relax and get away from it all...and with some fantastic accommodation and Spa offers this Spring, there really is no excuse not to treat yourself...Galgorm Resort & Spa is set in 163 acres of lush parkland near Northern Ireland's most renowned scenic attractions and is just 30 minutes from Belfast city centre, 20 minutes from Belfast International airport and 35 minutes from George Best Belfast City airport.Our facilities include 75 bedrooms and luxurious suites, designed in a contemporary style whilst keeping the focus on superior quality features associated with a classic country gentleman's residence. Full business communications facilities are provided in-room as well as entertainment for when it's time to relax.The resort also offers delightful countryside self catering cottages on site and unique log cabins situated alongside the flowing and tranquil River Maine.With miles of fishing on the River Maine, on-site stables, the most picturesque of walkways and cycle routes and the world class Spa at Galgorm, you'll find plenty to while away the hours as you escape into this home away from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Galgorm Resort And Spa
Galgorm Hotel Ballymena
Galgorm Manor Hotel
Galgorm Manor Ballymena
Galgorm Resort & Spa Ballymena, Northern Ireland

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