Probably like you Dear Reader, I never put aside time for me. A spa treatment is a real treat, and a bespoke facial is a luxury. The Spa at Culloden is a multi-award winner, and after a 55-minute treatment, I can see why.
The Spa has just undergone extension and refurbishment works, and there are eight treatment rooms and a male and female relaxation room. At the centre of the Spa there’s a pool and to the side a jacuzzi and marble eucalyptus set room. The Spa is impressive with a full gym, dance studio, room with decent spin bikes, deluxe changing rooms (with great lockers) and ESPA toiletries, as you’d expect. There’s also an on-site bar which serves healthy breakfast and lunch options as well as smoothies.
There’s also a Medispa on site which works in collaboration with healthcare specialists
All residents from the Hotel have full, free access to the facilities of the Spa during their stay. So what can you have on the treatment front?
Their signature treatment is a revitalising ritual, but I went for the facial, complete with a little hair tugging and shoulder massage. Sounds weird but it wasn’t.
The body treatments range from the ESPA Body Ritual which takes just under 2 hours to the muscle reviver which takes just 40 minutes. Add to that a salt and oil scrub or a foot treatment.
There’s something for both the Mum and Dad-to-be and the new Mum.
Men have their menu, and the ‘Golfer’s Tonic’ may just help out if you’ve been knocking balls at the home club of the four-time major champion, Rory McIlory which is just up the road.
‘Hands and Feet’ include both natural and gel treatments and while I fancied a Luxury Manicure apparently Chris Flanagan, my therapist, wasn’t great with a pot of nail polish, but he is excellent with his hands.
For the bride-to-be the Spa offers makeup or makeup tutorials to make your special day, magnificent.
Stay and indulge in the Day Spa Ritual Complete Luxury Package three hours and 20 minutes of total bliss.
For those who aren’t in need of pampering, there are lesser, but all-important treatments are on offer from waxing to tinting and tanning.
After changing into a robe and slippers I made my way to the room, twinkling with the candlelight and scented by the ESPA signature scent.
Chris took a look at my skin and made his assessment. It went a little like this. I can tell you for sure that the 55-minute treatment felt like 10, and I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing.
The facial included a de-stressing face, neck and shoulder massage and a scalp massage which was fantastic. Chris never left me for a moment and so that 55 minutes was spent entirely on me. The ESPA Skin Pro Serum had a pleasant aroma. It’s got extracts of turmeric (enhances radiance, brightens and evens the skin tone), white lupin (increases elasticity and skin firmness), sunflower seed (to strengthen and protect the skin) and Rose Hip and Echium Oil (to promote healthy, beautiful skin). While it’s called a serum it felt very much like oil on the skin and mine was thirsty, I wasn’t left feeling greasy in the slightest.
I loved that my facial finished with my slippers being slipped back on my feet. I was left to come to my senses and led to the Dusk relaxation room. Chris gave me his card, useful if you’re a regular. Of course, I had to go via the changing rooms to check on my post-facial skin. It looked plump and glowing.
The products were available to purchase in the Spa, and three hours later I was considering the investment.
And, worry not, if you’ve not got the cash to spend on treatments, or they’re just not your thing, the Hotel bathrooms have the beautiful ESPA minis.
If you’re staying at the Hotel, or in nearby Belfast, (just ten pounds each way in a taxi) be sure to call the Spa to talk through your treatment. If time is on your side, the nearby Cultra Railway Station is a three-minute walk away and stops conveniently behind the group’s Stormont Hotel, in the heart of the Belfast.
Culloden Estate and Spa, Bangor Road, Holywood, Belfast, BT18 0EX
028 9042 1066