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“A wedding guest's disappointment”

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Galgorm Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ballymena
Certificate of Excellence
N.Ireland
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A wedding guest's disappointment”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

i was greatly looking forward to attending my nephew's wedding reception at Galgorm Resort and Spa but I left the venue feeling disappointed and somewhat annoyed.. I feel that not enough attention is paid to facilitate wedding guests. There was more than one wedding reception being held on this day and there was no one to direct guests to the correct function room. It is rather outrageous for visitors to have to find their own way around an unfamiliar,poorly lit building. Surely, if a member of staff cant be available to welcome guests, there could be visible directions /signs on display. I also think that it is unacceptable to "block off" stairs with a clothes rail. It is unsightly and positively dangerous.On reaching the lounge area,i discovered that a large number of guests, many of them middle aged, were standing, the room being too small to accommodate the numbers attending.. And we were standing for a consirerable length of time
The meal was delicious and well presented but there was such an impersonal atmosphere! The service was mechanical and indifferent.,absolutely no personal touch. I believe that many members of this hotel staff need to be trained to care for people . I appreciate that wedding receptions are exceptionally busy occasions but perhaps one wedding less per occasion might render better personal service and greater attention to detail.
This hotel has presence, a magnificent setting and aesthetically pleasing decor . It has potential to be really great but it lacks "soul". It needs to be much more person centred. Perhaps I was there on one of its off days.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IRISHMAGGIEN
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, December 1, 2012
Dear IRISHMAGGIEN,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review regarding your recent visit to a wedding reception. As the leading venue for weddings in Ireland we take all feedback seriously and make changes where possible to maintain our current posistion. Although directional signage is displayed at the entrance to the Great Hall we will look at adding further signage to help facilitate our guests. The stairwell is normally closed to ensure that guests do not move between events and more importantly the stairwell is not an escape route for either floor as full provision has been provided elsewhere. That said we have attractive stands and ropes to serve this purpose and a coat rail should not have been used.
We have three wedding suites of varying sizes facilitating guests from 100 to 250. Occassionally preferred suites may not be available on preferred dates so a compromise sometimes has to made. That decision we leave solely to our prospective guests.
I have passed your comments onto our banqueting team regarding service which you felt, although efficient, lacked personality. All weddings have their own team of staff and Manager to ensure a high level of attention throughout.
I do hope that in the light of the positive aspects of your day that you will visit the hotel 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.
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2,846 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (639)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stayed at the Galgrom Resort in Nov 2012 for 1 night. The hotel is set in beautiful surroundings with a large fast flowing river at the side. The staff are fantastic, and the rooms are of a very high standard. We did not use the Spa facilities, however we wished we had had more time as they look amazing.

Overall we could not fault any part of our stay, and will definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dari G
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, December 1, 2012
Dear Dari G,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay.
We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful setting and have gone to great lenghts to ensure that we use this to the very best of our ability whilst preserving the integrity of the area.
I have passed your kind comments onto our team, they really are the defining factor in our success.
Sadly you did not avail of the world class Spa but I agree that it provides an excellent reason to return to the resort.

We look forward to then

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.
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

fabulous 1 night stay, 5 course dinner in the River Rooms. Use of the fabulous spa. nothing too much trouble for the staff. Going basck for Christmas Day dinner with the children - Heaven in Ballymena !!!

Room Tip: rooms overlooking river can be slightly noisy but gorgeous view, never-the-less
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cazdelabbie
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, December 1, 2012
Dear cazdelabbie,

thank you for your kind review and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at the resort.
We are very proud of the facilities we have on offer to our guests and, moreover, very proud of our team. It is they that truly elevate the quality of the resort.
It is great to read that you are returning with your family for Christmas. We are all looking forward to a wonderful day.

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.
Larne
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

My wife and I booked in here as a treat. Yes it was quite expensive but we definitely feel we got value for money.
We went for their Autumn mid week getaway offer which consisted of room, breakfast, a four course meal and full use of their Thermal Spa. Also we could choose from a free bottle of house wine with dinner or £10 of spa treatments. As we weren't having any treatments we went for the free wine; big mistake. Their house wine was awful. That is my only criticism of our stay.
The Thermal Spa was much better than expected. I had thought it was pretty much a pool and hot tub but it also had a variety of 'hot rooms' as well; Laconicum, Caldarium, Aroma Grotto and the Sauna. We were definitely spoilt as we were the only people there at the time.
We stayed on the fifth floor overlooking the river, a truly awesome view with sound effects to boot. I loved the huge shower and my wife enjoyed the bath. The bed was super comfortable and the rose petal turn down service was worth every penny!
With regards to food the evening meal was in Gillies and was beautiful. We were bombarded with food. Even though we had a restricted menu there was something for everyone. Breakfast the following morning was a true feast. So many hotels get breakfast wrong but not this place.
In summary we were very impressed with all aspects of our stay especially the staff throughout. Definitely plan to return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dan M
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, December 1, 2012
Dear Dan M,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that not only did you enjoy your stay but that you are also planning to return. The Spa has received many accolades for quality and design and is revered as a world class venue and it is fantastic to read that it can still suprise. In early 2012 we added the outdoor heated pool and extended relax areas to futher enhance the many experiences that our guests can avail off.
I am also pleased that you were able to enjoy the views and "sound effects", a unique aspect of our location.
Sadly you did not enjoy the house wine chosen for your package. We have found it to be well received in the past. When you do return to the resort we would be happy to make other recommendations from our lists.

We look forward to then


Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballymena
Level Contributor
78 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

I love it over at Galgorm Manor - I grew up around here and still love the area. This hotel has gone from strength to strength and they do everything so well. Gillies is great to go to for the wonderful atmosphere - food really could be improved upon - I've had to send food back a few times (and I really don't do this lightly or without good reason) but this has always been dealt with fairly, either another choice or non-payment for the particular part. However I would rather pay and have no complaints! Fratellies, again great atmoshpere but choice could be improved upon.
Staff members throughout the hotel are very very good - I've never experienced anything other than a warm welcome and good manners - this is the same throughout the hotel. very good Entertainment - we are very big fans of Madasafish! The spa is great - I love the smells especially! but why why why did you not put in a real swimming pool when you were redoing the outside? Its lovely to look from the spa out over the river and you might even be lucky enough to see the herons fishing - I watched one, one day work its way all across the river over an afternoon. I've attended a number of weddings here (most recent being on the 16 July 2012), birthday parties, one being my own 50th and planning my sisters 50th there in Dec. So have experienced many of the different venues in the hotel. Have stayed in various rooms in the hotel and they have all been of a good standard. I really like the range of decor and the various sitting places. And if you are lucky enough to get some good weather there are nice short walks around the hotel. I remember one New Years eve in the great hall - they had a jazz band and the atmoshere was fantastic. My son attended his school formal here and the room was decorated really nicely - what a lovely memory for him. I was there last Christmas (with my leg in a cast) for a special offer meal in the river room. It was lovely - staff were helpful and food was wonderful. Only little gripe at this point - members of the Galgorm manor family arrived into the table beside us and the attention to us slipped a wee bit and was lavished on the family!! Other than this I love this place. In my professional life I'm in an inspecting role and I do expect high standards. We will be back here many times I'm sure and are going again on 21st Dec. for the Xmas River Room offer - really looking forward to this!!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the river side.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NomadBallymena
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, November 16, 2012
Dear NomadBallymena,

Thank you for taking the time to post your kind review and I am delighted that we have been able to serve you, your family and friends for so many years. We continually strive for consistency throughout all our departments and have invested much time in our customer servise training. We have been able, with our success, to reinvest and continually add new aspects to the Resort allowing us to remain fresh in this demanding market. I look forward to seeing you on the 21st December.

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.
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

we stayed last weekend for a wedding in room 301 ,staying for the wedding was a mistake screaming and shouting into the night .I must say they could not have better staff they were very nice and friendly .But the room is tired if your wife wants to have a bath and wash her hair she must first have a shower in the small shower room} as you cant wash your hair in the bath,if you want to have a bath and lay back be careful you must try to get your head under the heated towel which is at the back of the bath thank goodness they dont turn it on, To turn on the old bath taps on you must pull the taps away from the wall, bits missing from old taps only one light working in the bathroom ,went to get up on sat morning and all lights blew although staff were quick to get them fixed, no air con which is not a problem but we had to turn heat off as soon as we arrived,but again staff were quick to supply a fan, if you like tv dont expect all digitals channels as they don't appear to have retuned that one. second night shouting into early hours because of location we were beside reception and the door for people coming to their rooms it slammed shut all night from people coming back from the bars a dark room lighting all wrong even the cleaner left tv on when she cleaned room so she could see , bad energy saving bulbs our not always the answer. To be fair to hotel great location clean ,great staff i would advise try and avoid weddings.And if i had got a modern room away from the noise of peak it would have been a great stay.

Room Tip: as far away from reception and bar areas as you can
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peterclugston
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, November 16, 2012
Dear peterclugston,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review and may I apologise for the disappointment you felt regarding your room. I have looked into the issues you have raised to put in place any changes where necessary. I am delighted that you found our staff so friendly and I do hope that, in the light of this, that you will return to the Resort in the very near future.

Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations 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
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I will admit to a slight bias towards this hotel - we had our wedding reception in the Galgorm and have lots of happy memories of it. I was, however, prepared to be disappointed - realising that you might feasibly get different service when you're not spending a small fortune on a wedding reception. Fortunately, I wasn't. Not even close!

I had been back a few times for dinner, or for tea and scones and am always impressed, but this time, we were staying for two nights for our wedding anniversary. We arrived at check in and confidently gave our surname for the reservation, to the consternation of the receptionist who didn't have a record of our booking. This was probably because we had arrived 24 hours early. Oops. The hotel was very full and they didn't think they would have a room available, but managed to fit us in to one of the superior rooms, honouring all the details of the booking despite the fact that the mix up was entirely our fault (I blame being seven months pregnant....)

Our room was beautiful. We had a balcony overlooking the Maine river, so could sit in the comfort of our room, watching the river and listening to the inevitable rain. The room was very spacious and immaculately kept. Food at the hotel is lovely - again the hotel staff were able to go the extra mile and fit us in at a time that suited us, with little notice, when Gillies was fully booked. (The River Room wasn't open when we tried to book it, but given aforementioned pregnancy this wasn't a big deal - Gillies suited perfectly!)

The spa is fabulous. We each had a treatment, (Man's facial and Mother-to-be facial) which we loved and we also really enjoyed hanging out in the thermal spa. There are plenty of nice hotel based spas, but I've never seen one of such consistently high quality.

The real high point for us though was arriving in our room to a plate of chocolates, strawberries and a card from the staff wishing us a happy wedding anniversary. It was one thing that we didn't book or ask for and made us feel very special.

The Galgorm does everything that it does to a really high standard. It doesn't cut corners and that shows in the quality of every aspect of service it provides. I could not rate this hotel high enough - worth every penny, every time!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BronaghB
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, November 16, 2012
Dear BronaghB,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you had such an enjoyable stay with us. It was our pleasure to host your wedding reception and I am pleased you were able to return for your anniversary. We believe that the small touches make all the difference and these compliment our facilities and service to create a memorable experience. I do hope you will return to the Resort in the near future.... no need to wait another year.


Kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations 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 Galgorm Resort & Spa

Property: Galgorm Resort & Spa
Address: 136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena BT42 1EA, Northern Ireland (Formerly Galgorm Manor)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Ballymena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ballymena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Galgorm Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 122
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 122 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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