Spa review: Belfast’s Culloden spa treats its guests like royalty

14:48 02 June 2015

The Culloden hotel and spa in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Culloden hotel and spa in Belfast, Northern Ireland


Just a stone’s throw from bustling Belfast is the enchanting Culloden estate, one of the most luxurious retreats to grace the shores of Northern Ireland.

The spa has a pool, Jacuzzi, marble steam room and needle showerThe spa has a pool, Jacuzzi, marble steam room and needle shower

The spa at this five star hotel is a paradise of tranquillity, making the distant buzz of the city feel light years away.

From the moment you set foot in reception and your outdoor shoes are swiftly swapped for slippers the day melts away and you dissolve into pure bliss.

The spa must be praised for the way it prepares guests for serious relaxation. Too long spent hunched over a desk has left me in need of some TLC.

I am ushered to the pre-treatment suite where a thick gown, loungers and a cool glass of cucumber water await me. A water feature trickles in the centre of the room and I lie back and let the soothing sounds transport me away.

The afternoon tea at the Culloden can be served poolside or in one of the hotel's main loungesThe afternoon tea at the Culloden can be served poolside or in one of the hotel's main lounges

Lying face down on a bed warmed to my choosing in the treatment room, with sensual oils pulsating from a burner below, is an experience to savour. A hectic lifestyle has left my neck and shoulders feeling tense. So I start with a full-body massage where my back is gently manipulated until the knots are untied. The stiffness in my shoulders, which I’ve been moaning about for months, is eased out and I emerge rejuvenated and revived.

Next I try out a facial which has been carefully tailored to suit my skin type. I give myself over to the warmth of the therapist’s hands against my cheeks, exfoliating my face and caressing oils deep into my pores.

She prescribes an ESPA cream to tackle a dry patch of skin around my eyes and dedicates particular attention to moisturising the area. Afterwards I feel completely different and my skin has regained some of its glow and bounce.

Half an hour in the post-treatment room eases you back to reality slowly, with the help of herbal teas, fresh fruit and a velvet lined lounger.

Afternoon tea can be enjoyed poolside and my guest and I take full advantage. The menu consists of dainty finger sandwiches, buttery scones and numerous hand-crafted patisseries, all served with an excellent selection of perfectly brewed teas.

The piece de resistance was a jelly bulging with fresh fruit balanced aloft the signature three-tiered plate. The tea can also be washed down with a juice from the Zest Bar.

When my guest explains that her dietary needs would prevent her eating some of the food the team are quick to conjure up additional sandwiches.

The Spa Health Club also offers a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, marble steam room and needle shower, as well as a fitness suite with cardio-theatre. Residents staying in one of the hotel’s 105 rooms have full access to the facilities of the Spa Health Club on a complimentary basis during their stay.

If you’re visiting Northern Ireland and it’s a spa trip you’re after, you would be mad not to visit this beautiful gem.

Culloden Estate and Spa – 142 Bangor Road, Holywood, Belfast, BT18 0EX

T: +44 (0) 28 9042 1066

F: +44 (0) 28 9042 6777

EasyJet flies a high frequency service from London (Gatwick, Luton and Stansted) to Belfast International with fares from £26.99*. Flights can be booked at

*One-way, including taxes, based on two people travelling on the same booking.

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