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July 15, 2022

The Rabbit Hotel and Retreat – quirky and laid

When the opportunity came to review The Rabbit Hotel and retreat, I literally hopped at the chance. I always seem to gravitate to staycations that have a bathtub/jacuzzi feature as I feel it just screams relaxation. Not only did this retreat have multiple hot tubs in the open-air spa but we had our own private outdoor bathtub which came with its own special bunny bath!

The Rabbit hotel and retreat is a luxury 4-star boutique hotel burrowed away in the heart of Templepatrick, Northern Ireland. It’s about 20 minutes away from Belfast City and only a short 10-minute ride from Belfast international airport. This hotel is part of the famous Galgorm Collection known as Galgorm’s sassy little sister and yes, it certainly lived up to its reputation.

Upon arrival at the gorgeous Hotel and retreat we were greeted by Hannah and their adorable resident dog, Flo; being a dog lover, this was an amazing way to start our trip and by the end of our stay, I and Flo became very fond of each other. I’d call up reception asking where Flo was and 2 minutes later there would be a knock on the door and there Flo would be, wagging her tail, running into our room for a cuddle. Moments like this gave our stay a real family feel, which is something I really loved about staying at The Rabbit; they wanted this retreat to feel like a home away from home and they definitely succeeded.

The outdoor open-air spa instantly transports you into holiday mode, soon after we dropped our bags off, we were straight in that hot tub with a Pineapple and Coconut Spritz cocktail in hand.

The Salt Chamber is also known as ‘Halo therapy or salt therapy’ which involves breathing in air that has detoxifying and purifying benefits which can help with your breathing and respiratory system, it’s also an alternative treatment for those who suffer from lung problems.

The huge Roman bath is where we spent most of our time, although Belfast isn’t the warmest of places, I was surprised at how hot the spa was, you didn’t even realise that you were outside in the cold as you were submerged under toasty temperatures surrounded by therapeutic jets. It was pure and utter relaxation.

The Swedish sauna features a hot stone fireplace reaching temperatures of 75 degrees. If you find it hard to relax, this is the perfect room. The heat of the sauna is known to better your blood circulation, improve your cardiovascular function, improve your sleep, and stress management and of course, relax you too.

And once you’ve made the rounds of the relaxation areas, why not finish your spa session off with a dip in one of the many hot tubs overlooking the gorgeous hotel grounds and views of the lake.

The hotel’s interior was designed by the very talented Cheah Rothe. Every inch of the hotel was designed to such an impeccable standard which gave the retreat so much character. Seeing how beautiful the rest of the hotel was left me super excited for our room reveal, we had the ‘comfy with outdoor bath’ suite and it completely lived up to the rest of the hotel’s standards. Accompanying the outdoor bathtub was a gorgeous terrace for two, an attractive fireplace and a stunning view over-looking the idyllic lake. Amongst all of the other luxuries we had a huge king-sized bed, a Dyson hairdryer (making getting ready so much quicker), a vast rainforest shower, and we were also supplied with matching Rabbit signature robes and slippers, we literally had it all! Around half past 6 in the evening, we’d get a knock on the door from the hotel manager Stevie offering us complimentary Jessica Rabbit cocktails before dinner, it’s the little touches like that which make your stay so memorable.

In the evening we were invited to dine in their Italian/American-inspired Rabbit restaurant downstairs in the hotel; I don’t think there are enough words to describe how unbelievably delicious our dinner was. We both ordered the salt-aged sirloin steak paired with the butteriest champ, a side of Mac and cheese, and the tastiest peppercorn sauce, Head Chef Dave had us lost for words and I can’t say that happens very often! The menu will have you spoiled for choice; there were dishes such as grilled salmon hollandaise with seasonal greens, cottage pie with parsnip mash, and minted Barnsley lamb chops which were all fresh, being sourced locally.

After getting to know the hotel and experiencing the spa, we thought we’d explore Belfast City as we were only a 20-minute taxi ride into the centre; we ended up on Hydrobikes cycling across the River Lagan which was an unforgettable experience. I thought it would be a huge workout for us both, however, it was surprisingly easy and knowing the spa at the hotel closed at 9 pm meant we could jump straight into our costumes when we got back, ready to relax for the evening. We also managed to squeeze in an art gallery, a pint of Guinness from the local pub, and a shopping spree at Victoria Square. Overall, it was an amazing weekend and we cannot wait to go back.

The Rabbit hotel and retreat have an amazing offer beginning on August 29th, which is called the ‘Full works package’ and will include the following:

An overnight stay
A three-course dinner in The Rabbit Restaurant
A choice of a 60-minute treatment each
A clay ritual each
Access to the Relaxation Burrow
Breakfast the following morning

The prices start from £455

T:  028 9443 2984
A:  882 Antrim Rd, Templepatrick, Ballyclare BT39 0AH
W: Rabbit Hotel and Retreat
E: Bookings

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Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International

Instagram / #Luxurialife