Peter MacKenzie is Head Concierge at the Galgorm Resort and Spa, in Ballymena, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. Only 30 minutes from Belfast, it is set within 163 acres of lush parkland with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate. The tranquillity of nature is combined with the opportunity to experience pure relaxation in the Spa and Thermal Village with an extensive selection of riverside hot tubs, indoor and outdoor heated pools, steam rooms and saunas. Let’s join Peter as he gives us a tour of the resort and the region…
Favourite locale when enjoying a day off
Although ice hockey is not a traditional sport in Northern Ireland, I love following and supporting the Belfast Giants – our local EIHL ice hockey team.
Where he takes his own guests when they visit
Our resort is an ideal base to explore the North Co. Antrim coast. With its rich history and with the success of the HBO series “Game of Thrones”, guests are only a short journey from some of the best scenery, golf and food in Ireland.
It’s a rainy day but we want to explore, what we should do
If the weather is unpleasant, why not pamper yourself in our spa. Our award winning spa will take care of all your needs, including the Celtic Sauna Ritual, or treat yourself to a full body massage… heaven.
Recommendations for night-time entertainment
At the Resort we have three restaurants: our Italian, our Grill and our fine dining experience in the River Room. The five-course tasting menu is spectacular where local produce is served to a 3-star AA standard. A local, Irish cheese board is also a must. We have live music every night including a traditional Irish folk and local pop bands.
Key phrase or phrases visitors should learn
If you visit Ireland you must enjoy ‘the craic’. Experience an evening at the bar where chat, laughs and the odd beer are essential.
Best shopping and souvenirs to buy
Pretty close to the resort we have two shopping centres where the ladies can enjoy get some retail therapy with all high street brands available. Obviously, presents including Bushmills whiskeys, gins and locally designed clothing are available.
A child-friendly thing to do or place to go
Kids are catered for at the nearby golf club where a ‘fairy trail’ can be explored. We can arrange pony trekking and our Italian restaurant has kids’ pizza making classes.
Best kept secret or favourite hidden treasure
Our resort used to be a working farm that grew linen and kept chickens and cows. Some of the linen machinery still remains on site and can be visited in the Phantom House. P.S. We have a Phantom House and a Ghost House.
Best way to get to the airport
We are only 35-40 minutes from Belfast City (George Best) and Belfast International Airports. Taxis are available or private transfer, by one of three Resort Rolls Royces, can be arranged.
Best time of the year to visit
I love our resort in Winter. No better feeling stepping into a piping hot personalised riverside hot tub with canapés and Prosecco available especially if snow is lying on the ground
Something else we should know when visiting
We have the largest selection of gin in Ireland stored in our ‘library’. Daily tastings are available where our guests are taken on a journey through the making and history of selected gins. Your private session lasts approximately one hour.
For more information, or to book, click here.
All images: Source – Instagram.