For a weekend with a difference, you need to put Galgorm Resort and Spa on your wishlist. I spent an entirely peaceful weekend there recently and I'm still dreaming about its spa.
Nestled on lush parkland with a river flowing through it, Galgorm Resort recently had a £15m expansion of its indoor and outdoor thermal village
Close to Belfast (it's about 45 minutes away), Galgorm has a unique Indoor & Outdoor Spa Village which is the first of its kind in Ireland.
The woodland location inspires everything within the resort and I guarantee you, once you step foot within the gates you won't have any need to leave all weekend. I arrived late on a Friday night and was eager to spend the entire Saturday exploring the thermal village and landscaped sensory garden.
Rooms are stylish and tastefully decorated, with deluxe options overlooking the river
Falling asleep to the gentle whoosh of a river is an experience I won't be forgetting any time soon. The rooms are spacious and chic with glorious rainforest showers and marble bathrooms.
Waking up and putting on my fluffy white robe - easily the nicest thing about spa hotels - was made even more fabulous by the serene view.
The Thermal Spa boasts an impressive area both inside and outside for a full day of pampering
Take your pick of basking in an Infinity Hydrotherapy Pool, Outdoor Hot Tub & Jacuzzi Pool, Laconium, Herb Caldarium, Aroma Grotto, Ice Fountain, Sauna, Experience Showers or Heated Relaxation Loungers.
The thermal village has something to soothe at every corner, from breathing in essential oils in the steam room to icing yourself with snow in the Snow Cabin (only the brave will last more than a few seconds in here!)
There's signs dotted around suggesting the best route to take through the village, but I just wandered around at my own pace, dipping in and and out of whatever took my fancy.
15 minutes in the outdoor hot tub, a few mins warming up by the fire pit, a quick stroll to the steam room... Pure bliss.
Luxurious treatment rooms offer a range of Eve Lom, Voya & Aromatherapy Associates facials and massages
I went for an Aromatherapy facial and found myself snoozing within minutes. The treatment rooms are state of the art and my therapist expertly massaged, cleansed and exfoliated my skin, giving me advice on what products to use and how to look after it over winter.
After your treatment you're led to a relaxation room for some refreshing mango sorbet before being free yet again to wander around the thermal spa. Another soak in the hot tub before dinner, maybe?
A one-of-its-kind in Ireland, the Celtic Sauna Ritual will put you in a state of utter relaxation
Originating in Finland and now practised worldwide, this is Galgorm's unique take on the Aufguss sauna ritual.
Your Sauna Master will guide through this meditative experience where a ritual with towels is used to agitate the air, lessening the intensity of the heat and allowing you to breathe in the essential oils infused into the air.
At an additional £15 per person, it's well worth it. I left feeling utterly tranquil.
And after all that chilling out... A trip to Galgorm isn't complete without a drink in their Gin Library. Yep - a GIN LIBRARY.
With one of the most extensive & exclusive gin menus in the country, Galgorm has an entire room filled with more than 300 gins from around the world.
Daily gin tastings take place each evening before dinner, and there's even entertainment from a Swing Singer at the weekend. A G&T at Galgorm will be unlike anything you'd find in your usual Irish hotel bar.
As if ALL THAT didn't make Galgorm amazing enough, there's also three different restaurants at the resort, each offering a different dining vibe.
We ate at the buzzy Gillies Bar, an American style steakhouse, while for fine dining there's The River Room or a cosy Italian spot called Fratelli's.
I went up to Galgorm with my mam for a cute little bonding trip and she was seriously impressed, but it also has the romantic factor for a couple's getaway AND is buzzy enough for a girls weekend (there was a hen party having the time of their lives when we stayed).
A two night stay at Galgorm Resort for two people including breakfast each morning, dinner on one night, spa treatments, celtic sauna and afternoon tea is about £540, with room only rates (which still include full use of the entire thermal village) starting from £150 for two people.
If you fall in love with as much as we think you will... they even do weddings. Heaven.