Northern Irish hospitality group the Galgorm Collection has announced that it is planning to create a suite of new accommodation and thermal spa options.
Galgorm stated, "Galgorm announced plans today to create a suite of new accommodation and thermal spa options within its 380-acre County Antrim Estate which forms part of a £10 million investment that will create up to 50 new hospitality jobs over the next two years.
"This new investment marks the first phase of a £30 million project to further expand and enhance Resort and spa facilities by 2027 and is the latest move by Galgorm Collection to ensure the Resort's position as a world-class international tourism destination, having already invested £60 million since 2010.
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"In addition to the expansion of the Resort, Galgorm Collection has also committed to the rollout of an enhanced benefits package for all eligible team members, including a £1 million investment into premium private health care cover over the next five years as part of its ongoing commitment to investing in its people.
"The announcement was welcomed by Economy Minister Gordon Lyons on a recent visit to the Resort: 'I warmly welcome Galgorm's expansion plans to increase its visitor capacity and provide an exciting, new travel experience. I'm delighted to see Galgorm Collection forging ahead with new opportunities to expand its offering and cement Northern Ireland's position as a fantastic place to visit. My Department's Tourism Recovery Action Plan aims to create a solid foundation for recovery and a return to the record breaking tourism figures of 2019. This announcement by Galgorm is evidence of the vital recovery already taking place within this important and much valued sector.'
"Colin Johnston, Galgorm Collection Managing Director, said, 'Over many years, we have invested heavily to establish Galgorm as an award-winning international and world-class tourism destination, and we remain firmly focused on investment and innovation to secure our global position. This latest £10 million project will see up to 50 additional accommodation units added to the Resort over the next two years, which will increase our workforce and expand the Estate's footprint."
"New for 2021 is the addition of a range of bespoke Shepherd's Huts with the first now open to guests keen for a unique stay within the great outdoors. Representing an investment of £2.5 million, the area is earmarked for further expansion, housing up to 18 huts by summer 2022.
"Nestled deep within the newly created 'Secret Meadow', the one-bed huts are equipped with all mod cons including a feature stove and a mini kitchen with hob, microwave, fridge, freezer, kettle, toaster, and coffee machine for a cosy woodland retreat. Each hut comes with its own outdoor bath and fire pit on the terrace, perfect to experience the healing and restorative benefits of the surrounding forest.
"Expanding upon its existing Cottage Suites, work will commence on a £2.5 million project to add 23 new high spec one-bed cottages. Cleverly designed with everything guests need for a comfy stay, Cottage Suites are located within the serene grounds of the Resort and offer luxurious seclusion whilst in close proximity to the main Resort.
"Plans are also in place to add five magical treetop hideaways set amidst the forest grounds, with the first opening next year in a £1.5 million investment.
"'There has been a real surge in demand for outdoor experiences and pursuits as staycationers and visitors alike seek a connection to nature and the great outdoors. We're delighted to expand our offering in this space with the launch of a suite of unique accommodation types and a host of new outdoor pursuits at the Resort. From fishing and falconry to cycling, hiking, clay pigeon shooting, and horse riding, guests can now enjoy a stay with a difference but with the same luxury and premier hospitality that Galgorm is renowned for,' added Colin.
"The award-winning Thermal Spa Village will further expand by two acres in a £2.5 million project to add new hot and cold outdoor experiences, a second outdoor riverside pool to further expand the authentic Irish Spa experience within a stunning woodland setting.
"An additional £100,000 has also been invested in a brand new Spa Suite. Complete with its own jacuzzi, sauna and private access to The Spa, the suite offers breath-taking views of the River Maine and provides guests with their own slice of serenity for the ultimate relaxation escape.
"The Linen Merchants is the latest addition to the Resort's residency accommodation which offers accommodation for up to 10 guests, along with an outdoor private hot tub, private garden with BBQ, two lounges, and a spacious kitchen; the ideal option for a family get-together.
"Tourism Northern Ireland Chief Executive John McGrillen said, 'Today's announcement by Galgorm is yet another positive sign for the tourism and hospitality industry and points to future growth and recovery of the sector as a whole. Galgorm Collection has continued to innovate and build on its established reputation as a world-class spa and golf resort over the last decade and I am delighted to see these ambitious new expansion plans progress. This investment will connect guests and visitors with Northern Ireland’s great outdoors, showcase our natural landscape and focus on building and maintaining environmentally friendly accommodation that will support the sustainable tourism economy of the future.'
Success At World Luxury Hotel Awards
The above news coincides with news that Galgorm has won three awards at the World Luxury Hotel Awards.
In a separate statement, Galgorm said, "Galgorm has scored a hat trick of awards for excellence at this year's World Luxury Hotel Awards, cementing the Resort's status as Northern Ireland's premier luxury destination and elevating the region’s tourism credentials to the global stage.
"Recognising Galgorm's globally renowned, award-winning golf course, which has played host to the Irish Open and is home of the ISPS Handa World Invitational, the Resort was crowned 'Best Luxury Golf Resort' in Europe whilst also collecting the title of 'Best Luxury Golf Resort Spa' for Galgorm's award-winning and internationally acclaimed Thermal Village & Spa.
"The Resort's 3 AA Rosette restaurant, The River Room, was also celebrated for its exceptional food, with Head Chef Chris Rees winning the accolade of 'Best Head Chef' in Northern Europe, a testament to his commitment to outstanding quality and culinary excellence.
"The 15th World Luxury Hotel Awards were held this year in Mauritius and celebrate the best in world-class hotel service excellence, representing the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry.
"This year, Galgorm was one of only five resorts around the globe to receive the prestigious regional title and one of only three hotels in the island of Ireland to be officially recognised by the awards.
"Galgorm Collection Managing Director Colin Johnston said, 'We are thrilled to be recognised by the World Travel Awards for our sustained commitment to excellence and outstanding achievement in the international luxury hospitality industry and to receive three highly coveted awards across our accommodation, spa and restaurant offering.
"'As the region's premier luxury tourism destination, we are committed to further developing our world-class hospitality provision and we have invested heavily in the Resort in recent years to expand our accommodation and spa offering and offer an unrivalled, luxury experience.
"'The awards offers us a chance to showcase our unique offering to a global audience and gain worldwide recognition for our best-in-class facilities and service, competing with some of the world’s most acclaimed hotels, and promoting Northern Ireland as a must-visit destination.'
"Voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike through an online public vote, the awards reflect the hard work and dedication exhibited by the exceptional team at Galgorm and its unparalleled service offering.
"Attended by guests from across the globe, the awards took place at a prestigious ceremony in Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, Mauritius, on Saturday 9 October.
"World Luxury Awards Marketing Director, Michael Hunter-Smith, said, 'We congratulate this year’s winners. True luxury is not easily attained. It takes highly efficient and dedicated staff who are willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that every guest feels cared for and that no challenge goes unresolved. This is the definition of luxury. It is what makes the winners shine.'
"Over the past ten years, Galgorm has invested more than £60 million into its facilities. The investment has helped lead to a string of accolades for the Resort as it takes its place on the world-stage as a luxury spa destination, beating competition from some of the world’s most iconic spa retreats.
"Since 2019 Galgorm has dramatically transformed its offering, expanding its hotel and lodging accommodation. This included the upgrade of standard rooms to superior, additional cottage suites and the introduction of three residencies all with private hot tubs, sleeping between 10 and 12 guests.
"The award-winning Thermal Spa Village has also been extended across three acres. A £2 million investment into the Resort’s Thermal Spa Village in 2020 included the opening of a new Palm House bar, vitality pool, additional relaxation areas, saunas, hot tubs and a brand new salt cave to accommodate spa visitors. Galgorm was also recently named Best Spa Experience within the UK and Ireland at the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2021 and crowned Resort Spa of the Year at the World Spa & Wellness Awards 2020.
"The Resort has also played host to a range of global events including the World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards, host to the R&A and patrons of the 148th Open Championship and host to the 21st National Golf Tourism Conference and 2018 Gala Irish Golf Awards."
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