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“Birthday celebrations” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Galgorm Resort & Spa

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Galgorm Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ballymena
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Birthday celebrations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

I have just returned from an amazing overnight at Galgorm Resort &Spa. I was celebrating a special birthday with my family, and I don't think they could have chosen a better venue for my surprise. This was my first experience of the hotel and the initial impact upon turning in through the gates, is very impressive. It definitely has the wow factor. Nothing disappoints indoors either. Our rooms, overlooking the River Maine, were airy and beautifully appointed. We began proceedings with lunch in Gillies, where the menu was inviting and the staff friendly. They were happy for us to linger watching rugby on telly. Next stop was the Spa which was so relaxing. The hot tub in January was a fabulous experience. Pre-dinner drinks and then to Fratelli for delicious fayre. We maintained the party atmosphere dancing to a really good live band in Gillies. Bed was sometime after that! Breakfast was extensive and fresh with the same friendly staff. A quick return visit to the Spa and a walk through the grounds where a heron was successfully fishing in the Maine, rounded off a wonderful trip.

Room Tip: Ask for river view
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kerr-Kelly
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, January 22, 2013
Dear Kerr-Kelly,

thank you for your kind review. I am delighted that you were able to celebrate your birthday with your family at the resort and that you had such a wonderful stay. It was also wonderful that you were able to avail of a large range of our facilities during your stay. It truly portrays the eclectic mix of experiences that can be felt by our guests during their time at the resort.

I do hope that both you and your family can return the resort in the 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.
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2,679 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (593)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
N Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

I love to visit the galgorm resort and spa. As soon as you walk through the door you just enter into relaxation mode, which being a busy mother of 2 is just what the doctor ordered! Staff are very friendly and eager to do anything that is required! Hotel is spotless, and the rooms are outstanding, very spacious, with again spotless bathrooms. Beds are very comfortable! We have eaten in all 3 restaurants. Staff are very good and attentive. Food is outstanding in the river room and frattelli's is a very good italian! Only problem I would have is the lack of variety on the Gilles menu for healthy options! A lot of things are battered!
Thermal area in spa is fantastic, with outdoor jacuzzi and hot tub! Nothing quite like sitting out in them in the snow! Fabulous! Spa area is exceptional! We didn't have treatments this time, but have had previously! Would highly recommend booking a treatment, adds that special little something to the whole experience! As a whole the hotel is exceptional, we love to escape to this little bit of heaven!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FionahNIreland
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, January 22, 2013
Dear FionahNIreland,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you continue to enjoy your visits to the resort. It is excellent that you have been able to enjoy all three of our restaurants and the extensive spa facilities during your stays. I have passed on your comments regarding the menu in Gillies to our Executive Chef and we may be able to address this with our new menu.

I do hope that you can "escape" 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
Level Contributor
30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

Just back from an overnight break at the Galgorm with my sister... I'd been to the spa before but never stayed, so I was very much looking forward to it....
The hotel and grounds were stunning, especially set against the snowy backdrop that greeted us. Check-in was swift and efficient, despite a wedding photographer deciding that the reception was his studio for the afternoon!

We had booked treatments at the spa which were excellent, relaxing and the perfect start to our break. We booked dinner at the newly-opened Fratelli restaurant which had a relaxed and informal vibe but a menu offering plenty of choice. We opted for the bread and tip selection to start and the olive tapenade was delicious and homemade. Mains were good ( we both and pasta dishes) and left us with no room for dessert! the staff were friendly and knowledgable.

The only niggle was our room. The river view was nice and the size of both the bedroom and bathroom were good but there was a musty smell which lingered throughout. The bed linen and towels also smelt of stale cigarette smoke. Despite keeping the window open the room was very stuffy and made a good night's sleep difficult.

Liked the hotel, and particularly the Spa, not as fussed on the room.

The hotel had a nice vibe and buzz, despite it being the middle of January.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Emmey
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, January 22, 2013
Dear Emmey,

thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you and your sister enjoyed your stay. I am glad you were able to visit the Spa again and enjoy a treatment. Fratelli is our most recent restaurant and has proved to be very popular since its opening in May 12. May I apologise for the issues regarding the room. I am not sure as whether you brought it to our attention during your stay. We do have a strict no smoking policy within the resort and will usually put a room out of order if one of our guests has ignored this.

I do hope that, in the light of the many positive aspects of your stay, you will visit the resort in the 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
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

I'm just back from an overnight stay at Galgorm Manor with 3 of my girlfriends. I have stayed at the resort previously on a few occassions & before going back again, I had a nosey on Trip Advisor to read some of the more recent reviews as there have been some new additions to the resort since my last trip, i.e. Fratelli restaurant & the outdoor hydrotherapy pool. I read a few of the reviews where people had given the resort less than 5 stars and couldn't get my head around it because on my previous stays, everything was perfect! Once again, I had a brilliant stay at the resort but, some of the cracks are starting to appear...

The presentation of the resort itself, our rooms and the AMAZING spa were wonderful as usual! We arrived at 2.45pm...just before check-in at 3pm and there were 5 + parties in front of us at reception. Check-in seemed quite slow but, how busy it was on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of January just displayed how popular to the resort is! The only problem here is that the reception area is just not really big enough for the amount of people arriving at the same time to check-in. The girls at reception were very friendly & provided great service with a smile. After checking in to our rooms, we headed straight to the spa which was just devine. The new hydrotherapy pool was lovely & we spent over 2 hours working our way around the various facilities within the spa before heading back to our rooms to get ready for dinner reservations in Gillies Restaurant.

Half way through showering in our room (under a shower that produced pressure like rain fall - this needs upgraded!), I realised that the water was up to ankles & the entire bathroom was flooded. The shower was not draining the water so I had to exit mid-shower & call reception. They sent a few members of staff up who mopped up the water & un-blocked the shower while we waited. They were very apologetic and I understand that these things happen but, it would have been nice to be offered some kind of perk for the inconvenience (I did get free late check-in but, had to ask for it!)

I had never eaten in Gillies Restaurant before (other than breakfast during previous stays) but, had heard fantastic reports about it. Unfortunately, my experience did not live up to my expectations. We had reservations for 8pm and arrived at the area to wait to be seated bang on time. We stood there for at least 5 minutes but probably closer to 10 before any of the staff acknowledged us at which point we were told that someone would be with us shortly. After a few more minutes, we were shown to our table. We all ordered cocktails whilst ordering our starters & main courses and then, the wait began. The starters came within 15 minutes and after finishing them, we pointed out to our waiter that we had still not received our drinks who told us that we would not be waiting much longer. Our plates were cleared away and the main courses came out with our cocktails following shortly after (which were not good and definitely not worth the cost!). The food itself in the restaurant was very average...I really enjoyed my starter which was a garlic mushroom dish but, my main course of Chicken Schnitzel Cordon Bleu was not what I expected at all. I was hoping for chicken with some sort of bacon & cheese sauce over it but when it arrived, it was chicken with a small amount of melted cheese & bacon tipped on top. It was very dry & an overall, average taste. The 'garlic' cubes that I ordered to accompany my chicken had very little garlic on them & most of them were very hard. For dessert, I ordered the pavlova and again, it was very average. The service was slow & not particularly pleasant...all of the waiters were scowl faced & just seemed like they didn't want to be there...obviously no one wants to be out working but, you may as well make the most of it if you have to! Almost half an hour after finishing our meals, I had to ask for the plates to be cleared away. The dinner itself was included as part of the overnight stay so it felt like it was free because it was already paid for but, for what I ate & what it would have cost, I would have been very unhappy handing cash over for the poor meal & service we received.

The following morning, we got up early for breakfast which I thoroughly enjoyed but the service again, was very slow & they could do with some bigger glasses for fruit juice! After breakfast, we headed back down to the spa for an hour before we had to get ready to leave. Another enjoyable visit & the boudoir looks amazing too!

A few other quick notes...one of the staff members who assisted with our shower mishap was a foreign national. I have absolutely no issue with this but, she was unable to speak english. I feel that a resort that is rated as highly as Galgorm is, all their members of staff need to speak english! As well as this, on the morning of departure, I rang guest services to request late check-out which is normally at 11am but, can be extending to 1pm. I was told that it would £20 per hour per room which would be a total of £80 for both rooms. I explained our inconvenience with the shower the previous day & in light of this, was hoping to check-out later, free of charge. My request was met and check-out was extended to 12pm which I appreciated but, was disappointed that I was not offered this or some other perk after the problem with the shower. After granting my request, I asked the gentleman if I could have a bucket of ice sent to the room (I would've happily gone to get it myself but, was told by reception the previous day that this was not possible and she would have some sent to my room). The gentleman joked hat I was a real pest...which yes, is probably true but, I'm sure they get customers much worse than me! I didn't mind him making a joke as I would be quite laid-back but, there are plenty of customers who would not appreciate such comments so as long as he is a good enough judge of character over the phone, I guess there is no problem.

Overall, our stay was very enjoyable but, I would not reccommend Gillies Restaurant which really disappointed me considering the great reviews I had heard from other people. The hiccup with our shower & my experience at Gillies would not stop me from returning to Galgorm because the overall experience was really lovely & relaxing but, I can't help but feel that the resort has 5* facilities with 3* service in some areas. Perhaps this is the reason why they are rated 4*? I would love to rate the resort with 5* now...or even 4* but as much as the facilities are fantastic, bad service can be a real killer for a place like Galgorm. 3 stars it is!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jacqui_F7
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, January 22, 2013
Dear Jacqui_F7,

thank you for taking the time to write such an extensive review and I would also like to thank you for your repeated custom. I am delighted that you had a brilliant stay.
The fact that it took over 2hrs to visit and experience the various facilities in the Spa really does portray their extent, with the new outdoor heated pool proving to be most popular, especially in these colder months.
May I apologise for issues you have raised. Regarding the shower it could indeed be viewed as one of those things. However we pride ourselves on the manner in which we highlight potential issues and solve them. Your late check out should indeed have been prompted by ourselves and not by you. We missed that opportunity.
Regarding Gillies, I have discussed your comments with our restaurant manager. We can assure you that this is not the normal standards that prevail and we have reiterated the importance of absolute consistency in all we do.
I have spoken with concierge. Without doubt this team lead the way in customer service and receive countless plaudits through various avenues of customer feedback. They are professional but welcoming, accommodating and friendly. I have however raised your concern regarding the comment made and its potential to be inflamatory. They have learned from this.
I have also passed on your very kind comments to all at the resort and I do hope that, in the light of your very favourable experiences at the resort, you will return in the 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.
Dungannon, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

we brought a group of mummies to the boudoir for a pamper on 16/01/2013. i have been using the galgorm resort and spa for years and they always meet and exceed our needs over and above..a big thanks to galgorm for making the launch of our mums pamper super special..... the food in gillies and fratellis was scruptious . Amy and the staff at the boudoir made our time there so special... thanks again....as everyone know if you want top class service and a fabulous time in amazing surroundings the galgorm ticks those boxes everytime.. the molly and mia foundation mummies came away v v happy :)))) definately recommend you visit and if you have time to stay book a delux river view room to stay in :)

Room Tip: if you would like an extra special stay.. we love the delux river view room... gorg views and a lov...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 860Dianna860
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, January 22, 2013
Dear 860Dianna860,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you and all the undoubtedly deserving mums enjoyed being pampered in our luxurious new Boudoir. I have passed your kind comments onto Amy and her team. I am glad you were able to enjoy both Fratelli and Gillies and we all look forward to your next visit.

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
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

My partner & I stayed at the Galgorm on the 15th & 16th of Jan!
I had previously emailed the resort to say it was our anniversary & they were very pleasant in emailing back & upgraded our room to a river view!
When we arrived the staff were so pleasant & the room was just gorgeous! We booked our meal for gillies bar at 7pm which was amazing! Duck rolls for starter & steak for mains. Brilliant food!
Once we arrived back to our room the staff had left us chocolates & a happy anniversary card in which 8 members of staff had wrote a little note & signed it!
Our stay was just amazing & the spa well....you cant not stay at the Galgorm & not use it!
Best resort I have ever been to & will definitely be back!

Amazing!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MariaBEgs
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, January 22, 2013
Dear MariaBEgs,

thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you were able to celebrate your wedding anniversary with us and that you had such a pleasant stay.
We encourage all of our staff to seek out opportunities to delight our guests and it is wonderful when they add their own little personal touches. I have passed your kind comments onto all involved.

We look forward to your return

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.
Bangor, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

Waking up to reality this morning ...came home yesterday after another 2 night stay and as always had a fantastic time. Missing the Spa and the amazing food already, and of course the lovely staff... a wee mention for Christian in Gillies he has to be the best waiter ever! Thanks Galgorm hope to return really soon x

Room Tip: River rooms are fantastic ...so relaxing looking out from your balcony.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberlym962
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, January 22, 2013
Dear Kimberlym962,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you have enjoyed this and previous stays with us. Your repeated custom is very much appreciated
I have passed your kind comments onto Christian and we are looking forward to your return in the 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.
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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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