As many of my readers know, as I try to visit every country in the world that means I have to leave my adopted ‘home’ of Thailand for long periods of time every year. Long-term traveling is tough at the best of times but it’s even tougher when you leave your partner at home and might not see them for 8 months, which is why Jaa and I have been on this awesome UK and Ireland trip, a sort-of ‘see you soon’ lengthly goodbye.
Well the time had come for our very last night and I wanted to treat Jaa to something very special. We were in my home country of Northern Ireland, so I was trying to think of the best hotel in the country to take her to, and that is very probably the Culloden Esate and Spa.
Actually this was a bit of a win for me too. Growing up in Northern Ireland, I had heard about the Culloden countless times, wealthy families would get married there, celebrities and dignitaries would be staying there but this was long before I made any money on line so staying there was a pipedream (rooms run around 120GBP, $190 USD). Things are different nowadays though and I wanted a bit of luxury to say goodbye to my girl, so the Culloden it was!
I google mapped it, and it’s just outside Belfast (10 minute drive or so) in an affluent area called Hollywood (yup, that’s right). The hotel owns a huge piece of land right on Belfast Lake and the surroundings couldn’t be much more romantic to be honest.
After pulling up in the car, I got greeted by a bellboy in a tophat and I knew instantly that I had made the right choice. Huge boyfriend points were instantly gained!
The lobby was gorgeous, the house used to be owned by a very wealthy family and lots of the original artwork and wooden features still exist and the entire place screams old world charm. I got shown to my suite which was huge, complete with bathtub. The views from the room, onto the small forrest on the grounds, and beyond onto Belfast Lough (lake) were perfect.
That evening I had planned to go into Belfast City for dinner, however the Culloden have 2 of their own restaurants on their grounds, a find dining affair in the main building and also a high-end gastro-pub a few hundred metres into their garden. Jaa and I went for the latter and it was outstanding, you can read about that in my other post!
The night came and went so all that was left was a spectacular breakfast and a trip to the airport. This breakfast however was a sight to behold. Full buffet plus a la carte hot Irish breakfast AND…. an ‘Irish Porridge’ where you can add local Bushmill’s whisky, how cool is that?! The service was absolutely impeccable and all the ingredients are sourced in Ireland, all in all is was a pretty spectacular last meal.
And of to the airport we went :'( Another great thing about the Culloden Estate and Spa is that it’s literally about 6 minutes from Belfast City Airport, so it was a convenient, if very sad, goodbye.