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“Touch of luxury” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Culloden Estate & Spa

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Culloden Estate & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Holywood
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Touch of luxury”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

This is an excellent hotel. It is beautiful inside and out. It is steeped in history but offers a fully modern hotel experience. The staff are exceptionally friendly. Breakfast is very good, with wide range of hot and cold food.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
1 Thank JimDonnelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,644 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (295)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had a fantastic stay for one night at the Culloden. The hotel is pure luxury and the surroundings are incredibly beautiful. The bed is huge and probably the comfiest we've ever slept in! Also really enjoyed having a drink in the beautiful lounge accompanied with live piano music - a real treat. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
1 Thank camcw_ireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armagh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

this was a return visit as we had visited over the St Patricks weekend and after experiencing a few issues I brought these to the Managers attention and subsequently we returned in June past and I must say we were treated to one of our best experiences at a Hastings Hotel not that the first visit was terrible but just things needed tweaked and the Management took this on board , all the hotel staff we found very helpful and courteous and on our visit to The Cultra Inn I must say the front of house manager Padraig was one of the best we have have encountered in all our visits around the Hastings Group , In general as I stated earlier this was the best and it showed us that the Culloden is worth its status in the Hotel market today , we just look forward to our next return visit and hope to see the same friendly staff welcome us once again !!!

Room Tip: garden facing rooms are the best with in house upgrade if possible
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
Thank david c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

My husband had booked a surprise overnight stay to celebrate my birthday on Friday . What a wonderful experience it was ! We have stayed before in this most wonderful hotel and we love it dearly ...when he drove in the direction of the hotel I was so excited to know once again we would be staying there !
Admittedly it is a couple of years since our last visit and we were looking forward to experiencing " The Culloden Charm " once again.
My husband had decided we would drive to the hotel around midday so I could enjoy the surroundings of the hotel before having Afternoon Tea in The Conservatory to start my birthday celebration.
Check In was swift and professional and Reception staff were friendly and courteous and explained our room was not quite ready and swiftly took charge of our bags and suggested coffee in The Crozier Lounge .
This was our first surprise change since our last visit .....what a beautiful area to sit and relax in over coffee / drinks or sample the lounge menu.
Big beautifully upholstered comfortable sofas and relaxing chairs give The Crozier a beautiful contemporary area to enjoy which compliments this superb majestic building .
Mona Lisa made me the BEST Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris I have ever tasted ANYWHERE in the world where we have stayed.
What a delight she is cheerful , friendly , professional and courteous a great asset to the hotel....as where ALL staff we encountered !
As we were booked for Afternoon Tea and with the room not being ready for him to change , I was a wee bit concerned about my husbands attire ( casual shirt and jeans ) ....this is where we were delighted by yet another modern approach to guests....The Deputy General Manager assured me it was fine for my husband to go in for Afternoon Tea dressed as he was...and wished me a very happy birthday and suggested I have another " Birthday " Daiquiri ....obviously Reception staff had advised it was a " special " day for me ...a lovely touch !
Before being shown through for our Afternoon Tea , Mona Lisa presented me with a Happy Birthday slate with strawberries and macaroons complete with lit birthday candle from The Crozier Lounge staff .. I was so touched by their thoughtfulness.

What can I say about Titanic Afternoon Tea at The Culloden ....AMAZING! Our sever was Tamanna , a beautiful smiling and knowledgeable young lady who made us very welcome and was very attentive without being intrusive...a balance which can be difficult to get right !
After a run through of the scrumptious delights which would be served to us Tamanna enquired if there were any dietary requirements as it would be no trouble to change anything ... my husband asked if he could have a different selection of sandwiches and this was no problem at all .
Tamanna served our coffee and brought us two glasses of Munns Champagne ( after all it was my birthday so my husband upgraded our " Tea " ) .
Our lovely table in the Conservatory overlooking the magnificent grounds and Belfast Lough was decked in beautiful crisp white table linen , roses and delicate china ....blissful !
Tamanna returned with our stand laden with the most mouth watering delicious Afternoon Titanic Tea delicacies , sandwiches and divine warm scones ...butter , clotted cream and preserves .
She quickly informed us what everything was / made with it etc , topped up our coffee cups after enquiring if we would like fresh cups ...brought a fresh pot of coffee and more milk and asked if we would like more of anything .
She very kindly offered to take some photos of us to mark the occasion which I thought was so sweet of her .
We had the most pleasant relaxing afternoon tea ...pleasant smiling cheerful staff , delicious food , great tasting coffee and lovely champagne ...it was an occasion that we thoroughly enjoyed ...and the weather behaved and we had beautiful views of Belfast Lough to enjoy...heaven !
At the end of Afternoon Tea a member of Reception staff give my husband our suite keys and advised us that our room was ready and our luggage had been delivered to the suite ....perfect timing . We were contemplating heading out for a wee stroll in the immaculately kept grounds before heading to our room when Tamanna also presented me with a Happy Birthday slate from the staff ....I felt so touched by everyone's thoughtfulness..such a lovely thing to do and everyone made me feel very special indeed.
Can you imagine my surprise when we got to our beautiful suite ( Islay ) to find yet another Happy Birthday slate with fruit and macaroons along with a birthday card from all the management and staff...I felt so privileged , pampered and special ... I so appreciate the kindness and thoughtfulness of everyone concerned .
We had dinner in The Mitre Restaurant and again another surprise was to see the lovely Gothic grandeur decor freshened and given a contemporary twist , new faces and a more " relaxed " attitude towards diners attire .On our last visit a while back I can remember the Maitre'D discretely furnishing a chap with a tie before he entered the restaurant !
Restaurant staff are very professional , courteous and friendly ...very approachable and extremely knowledgeable about the menu and food provenance ...... my husband and I overheard a rather tiresome " court holding " diner at the next table grill the Maitre'D on almost each and every ingredient / dish on the menu...and to his credit this lovely chap deftly ran through the menu explaining each dish , provenance etc all with a smile ....much credit to him !
Our meal was exceptional..Paul McKnights menu is a true gourmet delight .
My husbands starter of Mackerel was divine and my chili Squid was a mouth watering delicious starter ...I had chosen Scallops but was advised that due to their disappointing size the chef recommended the squid as a replacement seafood starter...I was NOT disappointed !
We both had the dry aged fillet steak with ox cheeks...mine medium well ...husbands well done ...both cooked to perfection ..accompanying vegetables and potatoes were lovely ...a nice touch was the mint dressing from the hotels own herb garden. I finished my meal with Mango Panna cotta which was heavenly ...just the right amount of " wobble " lol !
Again , the Maitre'D and the restaurant staff all wished me a happy birthday and enquired if I was having a nice time ...you cannot beat Ulster hospitality , it is sincere and genuine .
After our superb meal we retired to The Crozier Lounge for coffee and a few brandies...Sharon was playing the piano and it was a delight to relax on comfortable seating , engage in conversation and listen to her beautiful piano renditions .
Now how is this for Customer Service ...when my husband ordered me another cognac ...Hennessy Paradis ( my favourite and only enjoyed on special occasions such as this ) ...our waitress apologised and advised us that there was not enough Paradis left in the bottle to serve as a measure therefore she was going to have some sent up from The Cultra Inn if they had it and was advising us that they would endeavor to have my drink served as quickly as possible ......we thanked her and said this was unnecessary and I chose another cognac....We were so impressed with the standard of service and the effort the staff were prepared to go to for a guest ....things like this is what sets The Culloden hotel apart and makes you return time and time again .
Breakfast was another surprise for us because of the change to include a Hot Buffet Section in place of ordering a cooked breakfast . A WONDERFUL addition ...well done whoever thought of this ! The selection and standard of produce was WONDERFUL. The Continental buffet is fantastic...from delicious fruits , salmon , warm croissants etc to gorgeous porridge with the added bonus of a glug of Black Bush Whiskey if you so require it ...wonderful !
We had a wonderful stay , I was pampered and indulged by the management and staff and it turned my birthday celebration into wonderful memorable ecxperience .
No one does hospitality like The Culloden and we have already booked again to stay in November and have already made a reservation to stay again in July of next year to watch The Tall Ship event .
No doubt between now and November we will once again have Afternoon Tea and will dine in The Mitre Restaurant ...it cannot come soon enough for me !
I would like to end this rather long review by thanking The Management & Staff of The Culloden Estate & Spa for making my birthday truely memorable and making us so welcome . Your hospitality was exceptional , and as locals we appreciate all the hard work and the behind scenes efforts that go in to making your hotel so special . You are all fantastic ambassadors for The Culloden , Hastings Group and Northern Ireland. Thank you so much ....see you all soon

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
2 Thank Loracgrahem1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

We stayed recently for a few day's break in the lovely Culloden and found our experience really fantastic,it is so relaxing here ,the views splendid and friendly staff. One of the lovely housekeeping staff,Melissa went to great lengths to write out for me and advise me of great local attractions and places of interest .Nothing was too much trouble for her .

The breakfast was wonderful and all local tasty produce . A lovely setting ,for a little break .

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
1 Thank Mary B
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, 21 July 2014
Dear Suziesweetpea

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 had such an enjoyable stay with us, and that you described the overall experience as “fantastic”. It is also extremely pleasing to see that one of our employees, Melissa, made such a positive impression on you and went that extra mile to assist you while you were guests at the hotel. This feedback will be greatly welcomed by both Melissa and her line manager.

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

Yours sincerely

Mr James McGinn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

I visited the Culloden for a wedding on the 17th May and was quite disappointed in the rooms and the customer care then. I had booked for me and my partner a double room with late check out.
The room we checked into was a superior double but what disappointed us was the two single beds pushed together. Not what I expected.
At approximately 11.30 in the morning we were awoken to a loud banging on the door followed by the person barging into our room and angrily telling us check out was at 11am.
Still quite sleepy I telephoned down to see what the problem was as I had prepaid and therefore didn't expect this rude awakening.
I sent a email to the Culloden telling them my issues ( through their webpage) and still have not had any response, I think the customer care and customer communication is lacking, which is disappointing as it is a lovely setting, lovely grounds and easy to get to.

Room Tip: Stayed in 417, this is on the older side of the hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

My mum & I stayed overnight to celebrate mums 70th Birthday before going Christmas shopping in Dec 2012. We were upgraded to a suite on check in which was a fantastic surprise. Afternoon tea was included as part of our stay and oh my what a spread, it was delicious! We spent a few hours in the conservatory and still couldn't finish it, the waiter kindly gave us the rest in a little box to take away for later.

The suite was fab it included a dining table & 2 sofas. It was so relaxing watching a Christmas movie with just the fire on for light.

Unfortunately one of the sheets had a dirty mark on it however when this was reported to reception they offered to move us to another room but rather than repack to move we asked that it be changed. Within 5 minutes a lovely girl arrived to change it. While she was still there reception rang to apologise and offer a nightcap for mums birthday. 20 minutes later tea and toast was delivered for mum along with a box of chocolates which more than made up for the mishap with the sheet.

Breakfast was superb, you order the hot breakfast and help yourself to cereal, porridge with or without whisky, fruit, pastries etc. Yet again we were stuffed.

A big thank you to all the staff who helped make my mum feel like royalty from check in to check out!

Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank MissPollysShoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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 3 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 And Spa
Culloden Estate Hotel Holywood
Culloden Hotel
Culloden Estate Holywood
Culloden Estate & Spa Holywood, Northern Ireland

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