“Originally a Bishop's palace, built in 1876, and surrounded by twelve acres of beautiful gardens and woodland overlooking Belfast Lough and the Antrim coast. On arrival, the Culloden Hotel and Spa feels simultaneously splendid with its impressive architecture, glamorous with its elegant decoration, and well staffed with its attentive doormen to carry the suitcases from your car and help with parking. Yet it is also friendly and animated. Bedrooms are decorated in soothing, neutral colours and some have wonderful views over Belfast Lough. There are several dining options - The Mitre is the main restaurant and is reputedly one of Northern Ireland's finest. The hotel is undeniably luxurious and opulent with goose feather duvets, Egyptian cotton sheets, comfortable sofas, glittering chandeliers, rare antiques, and glossy wall papers. Most notably the Crozier Lounge, which was recently refurbished, is filled with magnificent flower arrangements in vases of coloured contemporary glass and offers a most impressive array of Gin cocktails. In the grounds of the Hotel there is also a busy spa with extensive treatment areas. The Culloden is ideal for those visitors to Northern Ireland who appreciate the rarer offerings in the world of hospitality; a haven of superb service and comfort.”
Written by Charles Villiers
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
People love staying at the Culloden Estate and Spa because it is a 5 star resort guaranteeing luxury. It is the first choice for celebrities and famous people with the friendly staff ensuring visitors return time and again.
It has great facilities on offer to guests with the ESPA Spa, Jacuzzi, fitness centre and a range of luxurious suites. The property has a wealth of history and stands proud in a beautiful 12 acre estate – you can also find some of the best food in Belfast served at the property!
What is there to do in the area?
The Culloden has a great location on the edge of the lovely small town Holywood, home to lots of restaurants ranging from small coffee shops to pubs and then more formal dining. The hotel is only 6 miles from Belfast city centre and also Bangor. With its seaside setting there are plenty of scenic walks and breath-taking views. For a bit of Irish culture there is the Ulster folk and transport museum, the Titanic quarter and museum or the fantastic Belfast Tours. You can get a taxi into Belfast centre for less than £10.00. 10 miles away there is also the magnificent Mount Stewart house which is the National Trust flagship house and gardens. For an agricultural experience closer to the hotel the Culloden’s glorious gardens package is great in the summer.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
A full Irish breakfast is on offer every morning, complete with soda bread, potato bread, black and white pudding and all those typically Irish offerings. Continental breakfast options are also available for those not tempted by a hearty Irish start to their day. What we are particularly proud of is the local sourcing of all our food, meaning everything is fresh and bought to support local suppliers. Another breakfast treat often talked about by guests is the Bushmills Whisky which we offer with your morning bowl of porridge!
Do you offer other meals?
There are many different dining options for guests; we do lunch in the Cultra Inn, the local pub within the estate, which serves gastro pub style food. Dinner is then available in the hotels Mitre restaurant- named after the hotels previous usage as the Bishops Palace. Afternoon tea is also served with the speciality Hendricks Gin or champagne afternoon tea options. We serve Sunday lunch in the hotel or for a more relaxed option there is a buffet Sunday lunch in the Cultra Inn.
Which are your most popular room types and why?
We have 20 suites in our 105 room compliment, with the Palace Suite being the grandest, not only in the Culloden but in the province too. Visited by the likes of Robbie Williams and Lionel Richie the Palace Suite offers a range of facilities and unadulterated luxury. The Tower Suites are in the original Bishops Palace part of the hotel, the rooms are reached up a grand staircase and they all have lots of character with views overlooking the gardens and Belfast Lough. I also like the two spacious duplex suites which are ideal for families wishing to visit. All of the rooms are very popular and occupancy is high, the prices vary with the different rooms ranging from the superior rooms to the grandest suites.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
The Culloden has a character of its own; it is a very special hotel. Built in 1867 the hotel has been modernised and very sympathetically extended, neither we nor the planners would have it any other way and consequently it still has age old wonder. We really do believe it is Northern Ireland’s top hotel and it was Belfast’s very first five star hotel. The service, food and reputation has remained consistent over the years, constantly enhancing its reputation as the best in Northern Ireland. Finally check out the ‘Cloud beds’- the most discerning traveller knows the single most important element of any hotel stay is the bed, and we know that too, so we have invested in locally manufactured King Coil beds, who have won numerous awards for their state of the art quality and design. We call them our cloud beds as we think it is like sleeping on a cloud. If you have a look on tripadvisor it is the single most talked about wow factor when you look at the Culloden’s pages.”