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Make a booking at the Culloden Estate and Spa. Belfast is a buzzy place. Set in a grand 19th-century mansion on 12 acres of grounds it overlooks Belfast Lough and the County Antrim Coastline. Culloden Estate and Spa gives you the option of being very close to all this vibrant city has to offer, whilst nestling you in the peace and quiet of private grounds.
It’s easy to settle into the grand style of living here. The majestic surroundings of this former Bishop’s residence make for one very comfortable stay. No wonder it’s been chosen by many a famous face – Tony Blair, Sir Richard Attenborough, Bono, Ronan Keating, Westlife, David Beckham and the English football team, the Irish Rugby team and the French soccer team have all made this home when travelling. Culloden was built in 1876 by Mr William Auchinleck Robinson, a former MP. He imported Scottish stone to build the castle-like structure. When he died in 1884, the property was conveyed by his widow to the Church of Ireland. At the close of the 19th Century, it became the official residence of the Bishop of the Diocese, and took on the name of Bishop’s Palace.
The Bishop of Down, Dromore and Connor took up residence in 1898. In consequent years, it’s thought there are at least three or four Bishops who enjoyed the house as their home. In the 1920’s the house was sold by the church to private owners. It became a hotel in 1962 under the mantel of Mr Rutledge White. The sixties saw a change of ownership again, in the form of Sir William Hastings of the Hastings group. Under his guidance, the eleven bedrooms of the original hotel have been added to significantly. New wings built in the same stone as the original house have added size, while major refurbishment lends luxury.
Today, old and new have melded into a very serious high end accommodation experience for those seeking comfort and superlative service. Culloden’s high ground location ensures good views toward the city and docks area. Once you’re checked in, you can retire to your very comfortable room. There are 98 bedrooms all offering total comfort and luxury. Standards to magnificent suites which total 24. All have plasma screen tv and tea and coffee making facilities, as well as comforting additions like bathrobes and slippers, opulent decor and relaxing colour schemes. Culloden also contains two self-contained luxury apartments.
The restaurant is located in the chapel built for the Bishops. Original ceiling and paintings are still here, and the cosy log fire in the hearth adds a homely touch in such reverent surroundings! Another guest lounge and open plan conservatory area lead into the Lough Bar, from whence the Bishop’s statue oversees proceedings. Vespers serves the typical Hastings breakfast buffet of lighter and Full Irish options. Provenance of ingredients is paramount and proudly displayed. In the evenings, Vespers offers find dining to guests in five star luxury.
The Culloden Spa is open to residents and members. A conservatory style pool is great for adults and kids. A marble steam room and Jacuzzi help cleanse the body and spirit, you can work out in the fitness suite with cardio-theatre and dance studio, then cool off with a fresh smoothie from the Zest Juice Bar. Highly acclaimed Espa beauty products are used in the treatment rooms. Banqueting facilites cater many corporate and private events. A wedding planner is on hand to co-ordinate the big day, and room choices include small and intimate or grander surroundings for larger weddings.