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“A quirky experience in a...five star hotel?”

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Culloden Estate & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Holywood
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
39 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“A quirky experience in a...five star hotel?”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

This is our second stay at the Culloden. This time, we stayed in a beautiful suite in the new section which I highly recommend. Loads of very well appointed space, clean extremely comfortable especially the beds.

The restaurants are fantastic, especially the main one in the main house, though the bread leaves something to be desired. The low key restaurant in a separate building servces delicious food, and you could get by eating there all the time.

Now the quirks. WiFi is not included, you have to pay by the day at a high rate, and only two devices can be connected in each room. This is ridiculous for a so-called five star hotel. Add a bit to the room rates and include it, for Pete's sake. I coumplained so much that they gave me five days of complimentary service, neglecting to tell me that that included only a finite number of hours each day! When I told them that my wife's computer and phone worked, but I couldn't get on the network, they then told me about the two device limit, and that I would have to pay a second WiFI fee if I want to use my phone each day for the week. I decided to use just my roaming instead of paying the Culloden.

There were no soap dishes next to the sinks, they had to bring us two dessert plates to use. There was a gas fireplace with phony logs in the room, which would have been great, but it didn't work until we called maintenance who took a half hour to figure out how to operate it.

One of the phones didn't work, had to be replaced. Housekeeping didn't change the bed linen daily; we had to ask to get it done. And when one of the housekeepers came up to change the linen, she knocked on the door, and I noticed she then bent down to pick up the folded clean bed linen...which she had placed on the hallway floor. I asked her to go and get clean linen.

Apparently, from our drivers, we learned that everyone complains about the WIFi, and that one client complained about frayed towel edges. We had very nice towels however.

Overall, the Culloden has the means to be a five star hotel, but it's not one now. However, the staff is extremely polite and caring and we never had problems with them at all. It's just that the management could be better. The grounds are beautiful and it's probably the most physically beautiful hotel outside of Belfast. It's only about five minutes from the center of town.

Room Tip: Either the old or new sections are great, we stayed in a beautiful room in the old manor the first t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank skitraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (300)
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English first
Carrickmacross, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We had a weekend stay in the Culloden and it was a real treat. It's nice to have a bit of luxury now and again. The staff are especially courteous, attentive and friendly, engaging when engaged and discreet the rest of the time. The lounge areas are very homely with large chairs, luxurious sofas and warming fires. The weekend we stayed was very wet so coming down to dinner or returning from town it was nice to see the fires lit, perfect for that pre-dinner drink or Sunday morning newspaper browse. We dined in both the hotel and the gate house. Both were excellent with the hotel dinner being especially so. We had one of the suites and were impressed by the contents and size. The hotel location is ideal for travelling into the centre of Belfast. We asked about parking or bus services and were delighted to hear that the train station was on the perimeter of the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank A_S_Bailey
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 A_S_Bailey

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for your very kind comments about the Culloden Estate and Spa.

I was delighted to learn that you found hotel to be “A bit of luxury”.

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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
53 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for one night mid week. Check in was quick and very friendly. We had room 506 which is one of the newer rooms and looks out over the front entrance and the gardens rather than the lough. The room was beautifully decorated and spacious. Two very comfortable arm chairs, large flat screen tv on wall, incredibly comfortable bed and a superb bathroom. There was a separate corner shower with the best 'rain shower' head that I've experienced in a hotel to date!

The bar has been renovated since our last visit, I like! It's more open and airy than it used to be. Excellent bar staff, knowledgeable and friendly. One constructive criticism, after a last glass of wine too many in the early morning a bloke needs nibbles!!! No crisps or nuts to be found!

The breakfast in the Mitre restaurant was excellent. A beautiful location overlooking Belfast Lough and really good breakfast fare.

What I really like about the Culloden is that everything they do is done just about as well as it can be done.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Neiltoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cullodenhotel, Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Dear Neiltoo

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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Visited the Culloden on 14th April for 4 days.
From being met at entrance by a friendly doorman and smiling valet, to an efficient welcoming receptionist I was thoroughly enthused by whole experience.
After travelling overnight by ferry and arriving at 8am, we enquired when we might check in and whether we could leave our suitcases.
We were kindly informed our room was ready and that we could check in.
The room was to the 5 star standard one would expect (even the bath duck was dressed in a tux) and the bed was so very comfortable.
Location was superb, close to port and airports but on the outskirts, views were stunning and travel to city could be taken via train from bottom of estate.
All staff in the hotel were most helpful and polite.
Spa and gym were superb and I even treated myself to some treatments.
Would definitely return for another relaxing long weekend.

Room Tip: Ask for a view as some rooms on 2 &3rd floors back onto spa roof. Due to age and style of hotel...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Georgina O
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 Georgina O

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for your very kind comments about the Culloden Estate and Spa.

I was delighted to learn that you found hotel to be a “Hidden Retreat”.

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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belfast
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We booked The Culloden for an overnight stay, 2 mothers and daughters. We arrived at 3pm to be told that only one of the rooms was ready but we could all go to one room together to wait. After a lot of steps, we realised that we were quite out of the way in the hotel and the fact that my mother has rheumatism this was totally unsuitable. After about 30 minutes, my mother finally got moved to another room. I read about the hotel on the website and it stated that all rooms had an I Pod docking station. I didn't bring my phone charger as I thought I could use that, there wasn't one in the room, I asked for one and I'm still waiting. There was no mini bar in the room which is extremely disappointing for a so called 5 star hotel. I also rang down to reception to ask for a bucket of ice to be sent to the room, again, I'm still waiting on that. The spa was some what disappointing also. We did not book any treatments as we thought like some other spa hotels there would be plenty to do. All it consisted of was a pool, steam room and jacuzzi. Our dinner was in The Cultra Inn, this was a bit of a trek, especially for someone with walking difficulties. Luckily the consierge drove us down in the mini bus and collected us again. We went to the bar for a drink after our meal and there was a lack of astosphere and not much happening, the price of drinks was a complete rip off! The beds were comfy but the heat in the rooms was unbearable. The next morning, we got ready for breakfast only to find that the one lift we could use was out of order. This proved very difficult for my disabled mother to get up and downstairs to get for breakfast. No one even offered to come and help us with our luggage when getting from our rooms to reception to check out. What would we have done if she was in a wheelchair?? Totally unacceptable for a hotel of this prestige. Whilst dining in Cultra Inn, we all ordered steaks, and when finished we were told that there was no extra charge. We were totally mortified when we were in the toilet after our meal when the waitress/manager, not really sure, came rushing into the toilets to make us sign for our dinner. She said that there was £5 supplement, that was fair enough, but really she could have waited until we had came out of the toilets, highly unprofessional in my opinion. The staff were friendly and helpful but this hotel should be so much better. Will not be returning anytime soon, and would not recommend.. Very disappointing and a feel very let down, maybe our expectations were much too high...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank fizzd
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 Fizzd

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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Magherafelt, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

stayed here recently in a suite with my daughter.the whole experience from check in to check out was worthy of a five star hotel.we were warmly greeted and shown to our room which was fabulous.great views,plush surroundings,a welcome card from the manager,everything was perfect.there was a large function taking place in the hotel but we were not disturbed at all by any noise.the atmosphere in the bar and surrounding area was relaxed and staff were very pleasant and helpful.breakfast,again,was worthy of five stars.such choice,it was difficult to decide what not to eat.overall we had an amazing,relaxing break and special thanks should go to jim mc canny manager for his help.thank you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cmonica
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 Cmonica

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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

We stayed in the Culloden to celebrate my wifes 30th Birthday and we got 5 sta treatment from check in to departure.
The manager Mr meldrum welcomed us and his staff were so polite and helpful.
Rooms are beautiful,food outstanding and the new crozier lounge is such a relaxing choice for a quiet drink and light lunch,cant wait to go back

Room Tip: This hotel doesnt have any bad rooms!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reca123
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 Djpk

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for your very kind comments about the Culloden Estate and Spa.

I was delighted to learn that you found hotel to be “Amazing”.

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

Property: Culloden Estate & Spa
Address: 142 Bangor Road, Holywood BT18 0EX, 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 #1 of 2 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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