When you are invited to stay at a beautiful spa you can’t say no, especially when it is the luxurious Galgorm Resort and Spa in Northern Ireland. Just imagine driving up to the 163 acre property, only thirty minutes away from the Belfast Airport, and being welcomed by the gentle sound of the river Maine flowing the resort. Chocolates on my pillow, a Celtic Sauna, rolling hills of Northern Ireland, and sipping on glasses of champagne with my best friend, Eliska. Those are the things that will always come to mind when I think of a spa.
When we arrived to pick up our rental car it began to rain, but as we neared the resort the sun started to peek out behind the clouds. For the remainder of the two days we spent at Galgorm Resort and exploring parts of Northern Ireland we had sunshine with very little rain. Pulling up to the resort we were in awe of how peaceful and serene it was. We parked the car and made our way to the main entrance, where we were greeted by a welcoming staff who led us to the deluxe reception. After checking in we eagerly grabbed our keys and headed up to the fifth floor to our room.
We were booked in one of the 122 guestrooms at the resort and one of the few with a view of the entire spa and Maine River. Opening the balcony doors we sat down on the couches and enjoyed the sweet pastries we received. It had been almost a year since I had seen my Eliska, so of course we had a lot of catching up to do! Both of us recently had been busy with work so this was the perfect place to relax, unwind and share the latest news in each other’s lives.
Before dinner we headed down to the thermal village to enjoy the variety of saunas and hot tubs. The atmosphere was friendly and everyone we met greeted us with a smile, whether it was one of the other guests or the very helpful staff. We had been invited for dinner at one of the restaurants on the resort grounds, Gillies Bar & Grill. Although it wasn’t the culinary experience I was hoping for the wine flowed, as did the conversation. Eliska and I are quite the talkers so when the two of us meet up it can be hard for anyone else to get a word in =o)
Nothing beats falling asleep among soft sheets and pillows. The bed was so comfortable it felt as though I was sleeping on a cloud. It was hard leaving my bed the next morning but we had a busy schedule ahead of us that day, between the sightseeing and of course our wellness treatments we had scheduled for the afternoon. I will share about our day trip along the North Antrim Coast in an upcoming post! Breakfast was in the River Room, a tranquil room overlooking the river and front lawn. We sipped on coffee and tea while enjoying the delicious selection of meats, cheese and fruit.
After a day of venturing around Northern Ireland we made it just in time for our booked Celtic Sauna ritual, a forty five minute ritual originating from Finland. Our sauna master, Jack, guided us into the Celtic Sauna where he explained to us the meditative experience we were about to have. He poured three different essential oils onto the burning coals: eucalyptus to help with any respiratory problems and stress, sage to help with any muscle tensions and digestion and lastly pine to boost metabolism. With each pouring he would wipe towels around the sauna to disturb the air and lessen the intensity of the heat for us. This also allowed for us to better breath in the essential oils that were infused in the air. We each got a glass of cold water to drink and were led to the River house for a meditation session.
Cantilevering over the river, the River House creates a floating feeling as you look towards the river flowing beneath you. We laid down on mats and were guided into a mindful meditation by Jack. A few months ago I began to meditate and look into becoming more mindful. With the stress of work, studying and being an adult I noticed I became more relaxed after meditating for a few minutes every day. Having a guided meditation after a sauna was something completely different, but a good different. Jack explained to us how our bodies had warmed up and with the mix of essential oils we relaxed our muscles. By also relaxing our minds we reached a mindfulness that would benefit us in the long run.
Our Celtic ritual session ended with a cranberry strawberry infused drink in the Orangery. If you practice mindfulness I highly recommend booking a Celtic Ritual session at the Galgorm Resort. You will feel full relaxation and enjoy a unique experience.
Along the river edge are four private riverside tubs, we were lucky to have one booked for us after our Celtic Ritual. We were led to our private riverside tub where a bottle of champagne and truffle chocolates were waiting for us. Sipping on the champagne we took in the natural beauty surrounding the thermal spa and the quite blissfulness. Could we have asked for a better way to end the trip?
Two nights at the Galgorm Resort and Spa were rejuvenating, spent eating lots of chocolates, drinking champagne and creating new memories with Eliska. The staff was always happy to help and answer any questions we had. Although the food wasn’t the highlight of the stay, we had enjoyed the quiet breakfast in the River Room. The resort grounds had enchanted us, we could have stayed a few more days =o)
A huge thank you to all of the staff at the Galgorm Resort and Spa who made our stay so wonderful, we hope to be back soon =o)
x the Adventurer
*This post is brought to you by the Galgorm Resort and Spa, a luxurious hotel and spa in Galgorm, Northern Ireland, who generously offered a complimentary stay and Celtic Ritual session in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.