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“Beautiful setting and excellent service”

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Culloden Estate & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Holywood
Certificate of Excellence
dublin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting and excellent service”
Reviewed 22 July 2012

This hotel was beautiful from the moment you stepped into the lobby. Attentive service, great food and beautiful rooms with one of the comfiest beds I've stayed in for a long time. A lovely setting for a weekend away. Only issue was that the only music that seemed to be playing was Michael buble. Now I like Michael buble, but for breakfast, lunch and dinner 3 days in a row, i'm not such a fan anymore. For the sanity of their guests and staff, I think they may need a trip to hmv for a few alternatives!

  • Stayed July 2012
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Helpful?
Thank jenniferskane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Craigavon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2012

My husband took me to the Culloden for a birthday treat last weekend. Overall we had a lovely time, but I'm going to give a totally honest review and mention the albeit small issues which prevent me from giving it 5 stars. They didn't detract from the enjoyment but were a surprise in a 5 star hotel. Nothing could beat the staff, though - superb!

We arrived late on Saturday afternoon, had no trouble parking and had a quick and easy check in with very friendly staff. We were asked if we wanted a newspaper or wake up call and directions to the Spa were given. Our dinner booking was also confirmed for us.

The lift wasn't working, but a porter took our case and showed us up the magnificent staircase to our room (506 - see photos). This was an Executive Room and was quite large, in the new (built in 2008) wing of the hotel. It looked out over the side of the hotel, gardens and car park (see photo), with no view of the sea, which didn't matter as we were only staying the one night (the suites have the best lough views). There was no noise from outside. The ensuite was very nicely done (see photos)with a bath and a shower, but we were disappointed to see that the shower tray was quite damaged with the surface pitted with marks which had broken through the surface of the tray. Not what we expected and I can't imagine what could have caused it. There were lovely white bath robes (with slippers) hanging on the back of the bathroom door.

We decided to go down to the Spa and just took our swimming things with us as we didn't fancy walking through the entire hotel in our robes as the lift hadn't been working! However, when we checked it was in operation again, so we took it down to the Spa. The pool was very pleasant, and has a jacuzzi just beside it. There is also a good steam room and 'needle' shower, plus a few sunbeds for relaxing. Hotel guests sign in on a sheet and are given a towel (not very big and not at all fluffy!). The changing areas for the pool were fine, each with a couple of private changing booths, plenty of free lockers, a machine to dry your swimsuit and a hamper for your used towel. The pool area is overlooked by a juice bar where you can also get tea, coffee and hot chocolate and some nibbles and has free newspapers. Just off the pool area is the fitness suite. Unfortunately we didn't have time to try any of the spa treatments! I would have to say that the spa area isn't as extensive as the one at Galgorm Manor, which has a sauna, solarium, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain etc, but is pleasant nonetheless (hence the rating of 4).

After going back to our room, we got changed and went down to the Mitre Restaurant for our meal, booked for 7pm. We were shown to our table, which had a lovely view over Belfast Lough. The service was superb, with friendly but unobtrusive staff ready to attend to our every need. Real napkins, a nice little pot of real butter! We were offered two types of bread and served a lovely appetiser of very thinly sliced and folded cucumber with goat's cheese. The menu was lovely but I was disappointed that my choice of starter (pigeon) was no longer available when I tried to order it. Instead I had smoked salmon with quail egg and melba toast (see photo) while my husband had scallops with black pudding on an apple coulis (see photo). Main courses were belly of pork and bacon chop for my husband and duck with beetroot tart for me, both accompanied by a dish of beautifully cooked vegetables (including mange tout, broccolli, carrot) and small new potatoes. We had a bottle of South African Pinotage with our meal (about £25) and had the cheeseboard instead of a dessert. A really nice touch was a litle book at the table which told of how the ingredients used are locally sourced - really interesting. The only problem which many diners had was that it was a beautiful evening and the sun was streaming in through the windows, making it quite hard to see (see photos) - there were no blinds which would be pulled down, which would have solved the problem. We were served Cafe Royale (£5 each) in the lounge, where we sat chatting looking out over Belfast Lough and listening to the piano player. The whole meal was beautiful, the service impeccable and we had a really nice evening.

Before retiring we went for a walk around the grounds, which was very pleasant (see photos).

Back in our room, we tried the TV. There didn't seem to be Sky Sports available, which surprised us. If we had wanted wi-fi, we would have had to pay £6 for limited use and a bit more for 24 hour use (I can't remember the exact cost). Unfortunately there wasn't a free wi fi area in the hotel - which again was a surprise as most hotels seem to have this in public areas.

The bed was large, high off the floor and very comfortable. My husband had a good night's sleep but I was woken by guests from one of the two weddings which were on that day, hammering loudly on the door of the room near us at 4.30 in the morning! The only other issue was that the bedside lamp on my husband's side of the bed wasn't working, so we reported this when we were checking out.

The lift wasn't working again on the Sunday morning, so we headed off down the stairs to breakfast. We were greeted by a very pleasant lady who showed us to our table and explained that the breakfast was all buffet and to help ourselves. The whole breakfast was excellent. There were the usual cereals, cold cooked fish, porridge, fresh fruit, danish pastries etc with a number of fruit juices, including a local apple juice which was delicious. The cooked breakfast was kept hot (not always the case with a buffet) and the bacon was well cooked, with sausage, white and black pudding, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, potato bread, soda bread (dry fried - healthier but not just as nice as the real thing!), and a selection of eggs - scrambled (delicious!), poached and I think you could request fried. A waiter took our order for tea, which was brough to the table. I presume you could also have ordered toast, but we tried the danish pastries instead, which were lovely.

We checked out after our leisurely breakfast (11am is check out time). We had been told that we could leave our case at reception and again visit the Spa if we wished, but didn't have time to do so. The cost of the dinner, b+b was £240 because it was the holiday weekend (it came down to £169 from the next weekend onwards), plus the extras like wine, drinks and Cafe Royale. Had we realised this at the time of booking, we'd probably have put off my birthday by a week or two!

It was an expensive one night break, but in beautiful surroundings with the lasting memory of the fantastic service and the great food. A great birthday treat!

Room Tip: Our room was on the right hand side of the new wing - those on the left hand side of the corridor wo...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joy7mr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballyclare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Took my wife to the Culloden for her birthday we recieved an upgrade to a beautiful suite with a stunning view overlooking Belfast Lough. The whole stay was fantastic,the staff were very attentive & polite,courteous at all times. The food was as usual excellent and served by staff who I cannot praise enough, nothing is to much bother for them, very attentive. We have stayed at the Hotel on numerous occasions now and cannot praise it enough we certainly will be returning again hopefully in the near future.
William D.

Room Tip: All rooms excellent
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank will d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear Will D

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for your very kind comments about the Culloden Estate and Spa.

I was delighted to learn that you found our staff to be “attentive, polite and courteous at all time”.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate & Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely




Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

This was our 3rd stay at the Hotel and I must say the service was outstanding from check in to departure. The staff were attentive and professional. We stayed in the Dufferin Suite overlooking Belfast Lough and the stunning Culloden estate. The suite itself was luxurious and spacious but traditional and grand which we adored. We had lunch at the Cultra Inn before check in which is a quaint Irish style pub within the grounds of the Hotel. That evening we had dinner in the mitre restaurant. The food in the Cultra Inn was reasonably priced but really beautifully cooked and presented. The food in the Mitre Restaurant was outstanding and I believe the head chef deserves recogniton for his menu. I'm unsure if the Restaurant has any stars or rosettes but it SHOULD!! The spa facilities and pool were excellent and all in all we must recommend if in Northern Ireland on business or pleasure this is the best of the best.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jamesandgrainne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear James and Grainne

Following your review of 18 July 2012, I am writing to express my thanks at your very kind comments; it is such a joy to receive a review of extreme praise.

I was delighted that you had rated your stay with us to be “perfect”. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely




Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
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Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

It's hard to find a hotel with the same exquisite character, the building itself is an art piece and the staff endeavour to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The spa is exceptional and the grounds make for a very relaxing break.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear Matthew C

Thank you for taking the time to write to a review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind comments regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely


Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

To all the culloden staff,

We hope you got the note we left in our room. We arrived home last night, sad the wedding was over but happy it went so well.

We had the most amazing wedding day. It was by far the best day of our lives. We loved every minute of it and all our guests said the same.

Your fantastic planning and friendly nature helped make everyone feel so comfortable. Everything about the culloden is perfect and the staff couldn't do enough for us. Even when i went a little bridezilla :)

Thank you so much for helping us create a perfect and everlasting memory of the start of our marriage together.

Thanks again,

Mr and Mrs Blagden :)

Room Tip: All rooms are perfect :)
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank 524beckyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear Mr & Mrs Blagden

I wish to thank you for taking the time to leave a review on TripAdvisor regarding your experience at the Culloden Estate and Spa.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind words regarding the Culloden Hotel. I was delighted to learn you had classed your experience to be “Perfect”.

Your comments have been passed through to all our departments and has given our staff a very nice boost to morale, something which is always important to ensure the continuation of our five star service.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate and Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely




Mr Stephen Meldrum
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
belfast
Level Contributor
170 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights for our 25th wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time. We were upgraded to one of the suites and it was out of this world. Friendly atmosphere, great spa faciliteis to relax in and treatments available ( extra charge). Very close to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum which is also well worth a visit.

Room Tip: I really liked the old part of the hotel as it has great character.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank garfieldBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cullodenhotel, General Manager at Culloden Estate & Spa, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear GarfieldBelfast

I wish to thank you for taking the time to leave a review on TripAdvisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very kind words regarding the Culloden Estate and Spa. I was delighted to learn you had classed your experience with us as “wonderful”.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Culloden Estate & Spa in the near future.

Yours sincerely




Mr Stephen Meldrum
General 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 Culloden Estate & Spa

Property: Culloden Estate & Spa
Address: 142 Bangor Road, Holywood BT18 0EX, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Holywood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Holywood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Culloden Estate & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Standing high on the wooded slopes of the Holywood hills, overlooking Belfast Lough, is the magnificent Culloden Estate and Spa, one of the most prestigious 5 star hotels in Northern Ireland.Originally built as an official palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful gardens and is 5 miles from Belfast City Centre. The exclusive Spa offers health and leisure facilities, and a full range of ESPA spa therapies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Culloden Estate Hotel Holywood
Culloden Estate And Spa
Culloden Hotel
Culloden Estate Holywood
Culloden Estate & Spa Holywood, Northern Ireland

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