The Culloden Estate and Spa has been gracing Northern Ireland’s shores since 1876 and Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura took refuge there during her recent trip to the bustling city.
There’s just something enchanting about entering a winding tree-lined driveway in acres of land, where I waited to see what will be at the end. And the drive into the Culloden Estate gave me that same tingly feeling. As the grandeur Gothic mansion revealed itself, it oozed mystery and was one that was steeped in history.
Standing high on the slopes of the Holywood Hills overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim coastline, this prestigious luxury five-star hotel was originally an official palace for the Bishops of Down.
The majority of the stone came from Scotland by boat. It took two and a half years to complete. It’s clear to see that Mr. William Auchinleck Robinson, JP and former MP, took full advantage of this heavenly spot on a wooded slope just six miles from the centre of Belfast.
Inside, the building with its high ceilings, stained glass windows, grand drawing rooms with fireplaces, lounges, fine dining room and bedrooms kitted out with fine antiques, is just as palatial as the surroundings. The red carpets, sage green walls, and ivory woodwork make you feel special from the moment you walk in through the revolving doors. To top it off, you are greeted by staff wearing white shirts, red ties and tailcoats, giving that unique air of elegance.
Continuing with the themes, the 105 rooms are bright, spacious and individually decorated. My own suite, Craigavad, named after the area, was kitted with a King Koil bed, huge armchairs, a bureau and ample more room to roam around in.
The draw to this room was the wonderful views over the hotel gardens and down towards the Belfast Lough. The bathroom had a nice touch to it with the Hastings signature duck sat on the deep bath which guests are free to take home. And I simply loved their turndown service which wished me a good night’s sleep, creatively written in white chocolate on a slate complete with two chocolates. A separate powerful shower was perfect to wash away the day’s stresses with the complimentary ESPA goodies.