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Galgorm Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ballymena
Certificate of Excellence
ireland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Arrived at galgorm for my mothers christmas present. We had booked a deluxe family room, for myself, mum and sister.  We decided not to book the packages, so we could pick our own treatments, and not be restricted to a set menu.  
We had a few issues throughout our stay and generally we were left disappointed.
We had been talking for weeks about sitting outside in the hottub so we excitedly couldn't wait to get into this, what a disappointment!   
It was luke warm, another customer told us there was a notice in the spa reception saying there was a fault.  Could only sit in it for two minutes before we had to get out, freezing.  
Another down point was the female toilets, the ladies sanitary bins in one of the cubicles was full to overflowing.  Not a sight i need to see anywhere, never mind a top notch hotel!
I went on up to the deluxe room after being told by spa staff our bags had already been taken up.  On arrival i was a bit disappointed in the room.  This          Was a standard room, in my opinion and there was no sign of our bags.  I checked out our view only to find we had a great view of the car park, so i rang down to reception to ask could we have a river view, where i was told there would be a small charge for a river view.  The receptionist told me she'd ring me back in a minute once she'd checked what was available.  As i waited for her call i didnt want to sit down anywhere in case we were moving again in a few minutes.  After a good 10 minutes i rang down to the spa and asked for our bags to be brought up, they arrived in five minutes which was very good.  After another 10 minutes i gave up on reception ringing me back and i started to run a bath. When they rang i was told there were only standard family rooms left with a river view and as we had already paid for deluxe room....i didnt say i couldn't be bothered waiting any longer for you and had gave up, but at least i knew we were supposed to have a deluxe room.
When our bags were brought up by Jack, i asked him how to get the heat on as i had noticed it was cold when i was sitting waiting.  He told me engineers were working on the heating and it should be fixed in an hour or so.  
Whilst getting ready to go out i rang down to reception and told them the heating was till off.  I was told the heating was on a timer and would be on shortly
We got ready and went down to gillies for tea, it was freezing in there.  Spoke to the manager in here and he told us there was no where warmer.  The food was fairly grim and very expensive.  No way would i want to eat in here again.
Back to the room again, still freezing.  Rang to reception again, jack came back up to room and told us there was a fault and he would see about getting us  moved.  He came back up again and brought us up an electric heater.  We had to wear our socks in bed!! Did you ever!! 
Another knock on the door and the manager arrived, he checked the radiators and one was now luke warm.  He was very good and offered us late check out and lunch, which we declined as we were planning a mornings shopping in Ballymena.
We had a fair nights sleep.  Next morning we thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast. 
On checking out i wasnt asked did we enjoy our stay, as i had heard others having been asked, I'm certain this was a "don't ask them and hope they say nothing scenario".  This was confirmed to me when i told how we had been speaking to the manager the night before about compensation.  She certainly appeared to know what i was talking about.  A manager duly arrived and again there was obviously a handover from the night manager who knew what our issues were. We were asked what we wanted or expected and we did the typical northern ireland thing of downplaying our gripes in case we looked like we were complainers.  My sister thankfully said monetary compensation, as we intended never to come back.  We were offered £60 discount, which we accepted.  An expensive one night stay for three, £465.

Room Tip: Ask for a river view
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kizzyshouse
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, March 4, 2013
Dear Kizzyshouse,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review and may I apologise again for the disappointment caused during your stay. We did indeed have a major fault in our heating system which had far reaching effects, from pool water temperature to zoned heating itself. Engineers were on site promptly and every effort to rectify the problem was made. We were of course aware of this, hense the complimentary offer. The morning manager wished to enquire further as to what form of compensation would be most suitable and I am glad that we were able to arrange that. I can assure you that all issues have been ironed out and would hope that, in the light of positive aspects of your stay, that you would consider returning to the resort in the future.


kind regards


Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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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
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (618)
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Have just returned from a one night "me-time" break here. From start to finish the experience was superb. I arrived at half one in the afternoon, earlier than the three pm check in time and therefore wasn't upset that my room wasn't ready. I was informed that it was in the process of being ready and would be no more than 30 minutes. I was hungry and decided to take advantage of the lunchtime offer in Gillies of a main course and glass of wine for £10. I ordered the scampi and a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was delicious and when my scampi arrived I was amazed at the size of the portion -huge! It was also delicious. My room key was given to me when I paid my bill - I also partook of a cheeky Cosmopolitan, also delicious and priced at £7. I was in the standard river view room and was so impressed. The room was spotless, the bathroom spacious with separate bath and shower, and heaps of towels and toiletries. The bed was on the soft side of firm and the room also had a table and 2 stylish wing back chairs -excellent as I planned to order room service that night and again for breakfast in the morning. The view of the river is superb, if I looked to the right I could see the outdoor tubs of the spa, even better at nighttime with the lighting. There had been heavy rain and the River Maine was swollen and very fast but the room is double glazed and the noise didn't permeate into the room. I unpacked got into my robe and slippers and started in the serious business of switching off. Not being a size 10 I had asked when booking for larger sized robes in the room -this had been taken care of. There's a minibar which is well stocked but pricey as you'd expect. Approximately £6 for wine, £5.50 for spirits, £4.50 for beers and prices from £2.60-£3.50 for mixers. The minibar fridge itself was very well chilled with a free top shelf -most excellent as I'd brought my own wine - not because I'm a cheapskate but I have to be careful due to allergies and can only drink certain varieties. There's a flat screen TV in the room and this would be my only gripe really, very limited channels, in a resort of this caliber I'd have expected Sky or cable and pay per view movies. I headed to the Spa for my Hot Stone back massage, priced at £40. I was advised to attend 30 mins prior to the treatment to go through medical form -in my opinion this was far too much time however there is a relaxation room to wait in and iced water and juice plentiful. Perhaps the 30 minutes is to see them through much busier times. The massage was great, therapist Bronagh was friendly and professional, she recommended the Hot Lava Stone massage for the next visit, which I certainly will avail of! After the Spa I retreated to my room and had a glorious bath, the water from the hot tap was almost scalding and the water pressure fab, no time at all to run the bath. Once bathed I retreated again into the robe and slippers, utterly relaxed andready for dinner. At approximately 7.15 there was a knock at the door And it was the turn down service -as I'd already had a nap the bed was trashed but I got two chocs and two bottles of mineral water. And all served with a smile too. I dialled downstairs for room service. There's a £5 charge for this but I was treating myself so I didn't mind too much. The room service menu comes from the Gillies bar and there's a wide choice. I went for the burger and fries, utterly delicious. The burger was thick, juicy and cooked perfectly, with bacon, cheese and onion with a pot of relish on the side. Fries were thick crisp and well drained. I turned the TV off, pulled back the curtains and enjoyed my dinner overlooking the river, perfect. Still full from dinner I turned my attention to the breakfast order card, fabulous choice for breakfast, I made my selection and left it outside the door as requested. Theres a £10 tray charge for breakfast to the room - a little steep - but i was treating myself and didnt overly mind, though I did think that £5, the same rate as room service wpuld be fairer. The rest of the evening was spent in bed with a book and the TV and soon the heavy eyelids won over and I sank into a comfortable nights sleep, listening to the distant muffled rush of the river below. My complimentary paper was outside my door the next morning and breakfast arrived bang on the time I'd picked on the card. Again delivered by a smiling waitress, with impeccable service. My breakfast was fabulous, a great Ulster fry up, absolutely no grease and clearly quality sausages and bacon. I also had toast and jams, and a big pot of tea. Excellent. With regret my little bubble at the Galgorm was almost about to burst, like Cinders when the ball was over. I had a steaming hot shower and reluctantly got my
things together to leave. No problems checking out, bill all in order and efficient staff on the desk. The Galgorm is a fabulous place to relax and unwind, either with friends, or if like me, you just want some away time from everything and the problems of daily life to de-stress. I felt completely comfortable being alone and am already looking at my schedule to see when I can next fit in another trip. Every single member of staff I encountered was a credit to the resort, nothing was a problem and I left rejuvenated and relaxed. I can't wait to get back. I'll be booking the same room, and looking forward to sampling another delectable Spa treatment. Whilst not cheap, the Galgorm is a quality resort, and you do get what you pay for. It is value for money and the service cannot be faulted. They have made a repeat customer out of me.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Newlywed_11
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, March 4, 2013
Dear Newlywed,

Thank you for your wonderful review and I am delighted that you so enjoyed your stay at the resort. I am particularly pleased that you felt so comfortable and at home whilst here, you were just right to spoil yourself. We are very proud of the facilities and particularly the staff at the resort and I do hope that you can 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
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

To set the scene:
My wife and I stayed in the Galgorm hotel on the last weekend of September 2012 and we took one of the spa packages. We were celebrating my wife's birthday and it was the first romantic night away on our own since the birth of our baby nine months ago. So this was a long anticipated opportunity not to be repeated in the near future.

Now to describe our experience:
Firstly of the room:
The room we stayed in was number 107 and we were very disappointed in it. The bed was extremely uncomfortable, short, and the headboard was dirty, you could feel the springs digging into your back. So what we were hoping would be a greatly needed good nights sleep in a comfortable, even luxurious, bed was nothing of the sort and turned into a sleepless night. As if this were not enough, there was a stain of damp on the ceiling, and one of the lights in the bathroom did not work and even stopped working again after being "fixed" by the concierge. The room was very dark to begin with and my wife did not even have enough light to put on her make-up to get ready for dinner. The view from the room was also obscured badly and almost underground. It was like sleeping in a cave - with all the damp, dark and uncomfortable conditions. This really spoiled my wife's birthday. We were also disturbed by regular slamming of a door from about 4 a.m. This was very loud and the first time we heard it we thought someone had just burst into our room. We believe this may have been due to a cleaner's store being right beside the room.

Secondly of the Spa:
As for the Spa, we took the Perfect Partners offer which included a massage together in the same room. However we were called separately and we had to question this twice in order to finally get the massage together in the same room as paid for. Additionally, at the end of the treatment there is a little gift that the customers should get. We had to ask for this and we were then given it in a very matter of fact impolite manner. The gift itself isn't such a big deal and having a massage in different rooms isn't the end of the world either but it's the fact we had to ask, even insist on getting what was paid for. It is just bad customer service and results in the feeling that you're not really wanted or looked after when you're there. This is an expensive spa and not the kind of service you would expect.


Further complaints:
The package we took included £10 off our spa treatment however when we received the bill we were not credited with this £10 off. It took us 2 months of asking for it to finally get this money that we were owed back.

We did complain about our room and the experience we had. The result was a series of bargaining proposals from the Galgorm ranging initially from a discounted further nights stay (£70) to a free night's stay and then to a free night's stay and a free bottle of wine. We didn't want to bargain and it made us feel like we were complaining just to get some benefit. Also, we wanted to speak to the general manager Yvonne Moore but were not allowed to. Instead we had to speak to Gillian Bolton (Yvonne's assistant). We didn't feel comfortable going back because of how we'd been dealt with by the staff but In the end we did ask for the free night for our wedding anniversary but this couldn't be accommodated so we asked for our money back. We were told no to getting a refund so in the end we gave up, exhausted, and just left it. The whole process took around 2 months.

I would not recommend staying at this hotel and we will not be staying at it in the future. It's over-priced, the rooms leave a lot to be desired and the staff are not particularly friendly. There are definitely better hotels in the area. Pictures of our room are attached to this review. You can see the damp stain on the ceiling, dirty headboard, the terrible view from the window and two different taps on the bath!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Stuart_and_Sara
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, March 1, 2013
Dear Stuart_and _Sara,

Regarding your review I would once again like to apologise for the disappointment you felt during your stay in September 2012 and can assure once again that this is not indicative of our usual standards. The valid issues raised have all been rectified.
I would like to say that at no point did we feel we were bargaining. We did feel our initial offers of compensation were reasonable but continued to communicate with you as it was important to us that you were happy. I would also like to clarify that you were made fully aware that the General Manager was not available as she was on annual leave and that you were invited to discuss the matter with her assistant. This invite you accepted. We do feel that every effort was made to quickly sort out your issues and, despite on occassion waiting almost three weeks for a response from yourselves, we never deviated from our wish to do this.
I am saddened at the outcome thus far and would like to reiterate that it would still be our wish that you return to the resort.

kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

Stayed on the Sunday night pamper package in November and what a treat! Everything was first class - staff, food, entertainment, spa everything! Was just so relaxing - a real retreat! One night is not long enough!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michdav
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, February 15, 2013
Dear Michdav,

Thank you for your kind review and I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay whilst at the resort in November. The Sunday Night retreat is a very popular package and is the perfect way to round off a long weekend.
I do hope you can return to the resort soon and maybe stay that extra night.


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.
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed February 10, 2013

my husband got me the best christmas pressie ever, we decided to use it this w'end as it was my birthday. we had a 2nite stay and from the min we booked in all was top class, we arrived and checked in the girl at reception was sooo friendly a porter then took are bags and carried them and showed us to are room, he also was very nice he showed us were we can dine and how to get to the spa,
we went to gillies to eat, staff once again very friendly, the meal was very tasty and the portion sizes great,
The spa was the icing on the cake, the service, cleanliness and atmosphere was amazin. sitting in the hot tub at 9.30pm watchin the stars and the river run by were else wud you get it????
we got the hot stone massage michelle done mine and kenny done my husbands thanks girls we both really enjoyed them are treatment from start to finish was perfection,
To sum up my stay from arrival to check out was AMAZIN i wudn hav 1 negative thing to say about my stay, lookin foward to stayin again.
mr and mrs Doherty

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stacey d
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, February 15, 2013
Dear stacey d,

Thank you for your review and I am delighted that you had such an amazing time at the resort. I totally agree in that sitting river-side in a floodlit hot-tub is a rather unique experience in Northern Ireland. I have passed your kind comments onto our team and we all hope that you can 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

My partner and I spent one night last summer and it was too short of a stay! This is a beautiful hotel and we had an amazing experience. My favourite thing about the hotel is the grounds - they are stunning. The outdoor hot tubs next to the river and waterfall - could have spent all day out there! The spa was fabulous. And you didn't have to fight for a spot in the hot tub because there were several. There was even an aromatherapy sauna! There is an equestrian centre there run by a girl called Lisa who is absolutely fabulous. We rode horses around the trails on the property. As a novice rider it was a fantastic experience for me to learn. Lisa took good care of all of us and the horses that day. We are very grateful for her hospitality and the exceptional service of all the staff at the hotel. While we did not eat in any of the restaurants, the breakfast in the morning was excellent - lots of selection. The rooms were also clean and modern with a huge comfortable bed, big TV and decent bathrooms. We would definitely go back and stay longer this time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulianaHongKong
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, February 15, 2013
Dear JulianaHongKong,

thank you for you kind review and I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us in the summer. Although we have a very fortunate location it is really down to our estates team who work tirelessly to maintain and present the grounds in such a fashion. I have passed your kind comments onto Lisa at the stables.

I hope you can return to the resort in the near future and treat yourself to that longer stay

kind regards

Paul Smyth
Operations Manager
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Ireland
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Not cheap but well worth it, family2 rooms are very good with two double rooms. Gillies has a good atmosphere meals are large so order your sides with caution otherwise they will be going back untouched. Will be visiting again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hotel_Sampler
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, February 15, 2013
Dear Hotel_Sampler,

thank you for your kind review and I am pleased that you enjoyed your time with us. I certainly agree that Galgorm Resort and Spa does represent value for money and hope that you can avail of one of our many packages during your next stay.

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:3 star — Galgorm Resort & Spa 3*
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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