Hotel Review: The Culloden Estate & Spa

The exciting mini-vacation destination you probably haven’t considered.

The Culloden is the grand dame of Belfast hotels. Tell the taxi driver your destination and they nod in silent approval and list all the famous people they’ve taken there in the past.

Jhe hotel is located on the outskirts of downtown, high on the slopes of the Hollywood Hills. and feels connected to both the beating heart of the city and the quiet countryside outside. An imposing building, it was built in the late 1800s and has an impressive park dotted with original sculptures. The welcome is warm and the old school service courteous. Its decor is unabashedly formal with a starched linen tablecloth and high-backed chair vibe.

culloden hotel review

The Culloden Estate & Spa Review

Room and amenities

Prestige “Cloud” beds guarantee every guest a good night’s sleep and the rooms are well appointed with coffee machines and en-suite bathrooms. They follow the same aesthetic as the common areas, with a comfortable and traditional decoration. The most luxurious and expensive are in the main house, with friendlier rooms in a newer extension. All have views of the garden or Belfast Lough.

culloden hotel review

The stand-alone spa is truly a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. It has a large circular pool for relaxing, as well as a steam room, sauna, vitality pool, and a decent gym. There are plenty of treatment rooms and while the decor isn’t super slick, it’s welcoming and comforting. The therapists were excellent and accommodating.

culloden hotel review

Food and drink

The Lough Bar, so named for its view over the water, is the perfect place to have an aperitif. We dined at the Cultra Inn – a gastro pub style restaurant on the grounds. It’s relaxed and friendly with healthy, local foods. If you want fine dining, the Vespers Restaurant offers a beautifully curated menu with premium wines in a gothic setting.

culloden hotel review

Breakfast is served in a sunny formal room and is buffet style. Food is sourced from local farms and there are plenty of options – from full Irish breakfast (aka Ulster fries) to porridge topped with local whiskey.

Hotel Highlights

A drink at the Lough Bar, with its wide selection of gins and cocktails, feels like an event. Cultra Inn’s Lisdergen Steak also deserves a special mention. A short walk to Belfast Lough is perfect for working up an appetite.

culloden hotel review

What to do nearby?

Mooch around nearby Hollywood with its great shopping and restaurants. Enjoy a meal and discover works of art at the Yard Gallery on the High Street. The Titanic exhibit is a must see and W5 is great for kids. The Cathedral Quarter is the place to go for bars and restaurants.

Culloden Estate & Spa (hastingshotels.com / 028 9042 1066) has rooms from £140 per room including breakfast.

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