This summer I was full of big plans, tickets booked for concerts, flights booked to jet away on a couple of adventures hotels booked for a family getaway but alas as we all know that was not to be and to be honest I’m fearful to jump on a plane right now. Not just the flight but more holidays are being ruined with last minute quarantine decisions. So while the sun is shining in Northern Ireland and even when it’s not it’s time to make the most of the staycation.
The past ten days I have had a weekend in the city shopping and having drinks and dinner, went to visit the serene Oxford Island and even got a chance to visit the Ulster Museum and have an ice cream in Botanic Park but the highlight of the past week has to be my spa day to Galgorm!
My sister and I jumped into the car bright and early on Wednesday morning for a day of catching up and relaxation. The sun was shining which added to the feeling of heading off on a holiday. Who needs a plan when you can scoot down the motorway in the comfort of your own car. I took about 45mins from Belfast and we arrived to the plus green driveway. Parked we headed into the spa reception and I couldn’t help notice the ongoing building work, the resort is still expanding. In fact a 3 million renovation plan was only revealed in October.
We walked into the reception and we were greeted by a very friendly staff member who asked how we are then gave us a few safety pointers. We did not need to wear masks in the spa as we were mostly outside and social distancing measures are in place, however if we wanted to staff were happy to provide, sanitiser was available at every doorway and cleaning was ongoing. So we sanitised our hands and then had our temperatures checked by a nifty machine which thankfully gave us the green light. We asked what would happen if we failed and were reassured you could have a second attempt after 15minutes had lapsed but if you still failed unfortunately you would not be able to proceed. Safety is very much a priority at Galgorm for their staff and their patrons.
So we were safe and were about to feel even more cocooned in love as we are given locker keys to lockers which continued the world fluffiness robes and flip flops. Our itinerary for the day enjoy the thermal spa, relax in our own private hot spa on the rivers edge and have a healthy but delicious lunch at the Elements Restaurant all whilst in our fluffy robes.
I’m very lucky to have visited the Galgorm spa a couple of times before so I wanted to see what was new however my sister (who lives in Liverpool) had never been before so it was great to see her reaction through fresh eyes. She was shocked their was so much to see and do she thought a hot tub and a pool but Galgorm had so much more…
Yes, they have so much more with a thermal village which includes an indoor pool, snow cabin, Sanarium (low temp sauna), Celtics Saunas, hot tubs, cabanas and an infinity pool, it really is a luxurious treat. We didn’t book any treatments in this trip but we didn’t need to as there was so much to see and do. After an hour or so exploring the thermal village we were escorted to our own personal bathing experience. A private woodfired hut tub on the River Maine, no bubbles on this one as its still so you can take in the bubbling of the stream beside you. Honest opinion it was hot and relaxing, plus the riverside cocktails which were waiting for us were absolutely delicious but sharing a still hot tub with your sister is like sharing a bath with her, you pull some shapes to get into the right positions and there’s a lot of giggling. Would perhaps just it’s a much more romantic and intimate experience with your other half we were much more comfortable with the bubbles. Which we returned to after our river experience.
At this point and after the cocktails we began to get peckish so it was off to the Elements restaurant which is right in the middle of the spa but still on the rivers edge. It serves light lunches, pastries and lots of other deliciousness and actually it’s participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme till the end of August so even more reason to splurge.
We ordered our Benito boxes and had a few chilled drinks in the sunshine. The chilled boxes arrived in no time and included rice, picked vegetables, fruit and our choice of protein and they hit the spot. After a large hot shower, our spa adventure was over and we left the safe haven of the Galgorm and returned to the real world. I highly recommend booking a trip to the Galgorm this summer especially if your not getting to head off on holidays this year.
Emer D xx
*Thank you to the Galgorm Resort and Spa for this visit.
All views are my own.