Quietly set in woodland on the edge of the Clandeboye Estate, this comfortable modern four star hotel on the edge of Bangor fits in well with its rural surroundings and not only offers an appealing alternative for those who do not need to stay in town, but is also handy enough for business visits to Belfast.
Reception staff are exceptionally warm and helpful, and this - together with a welcoming fire and plentiful seating areas in the the large and stylish foyer - creates a good impression that carries throughout the hotel.
The spacious bedrooms are smartly furnished in a clean-lined modern style, with plenty of work space, complimentary wireless internet access and an express check out service among the features appealing to business guests, and in-room entertainment including LCD wide screen TV with satellite stations and a DVD library. Well-finished bathrooms sport Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, and suites have whirlpool baths. The range of rooms offered includes executive, with extras such as complimentary newspapers; more luxurious and spacious junior suites, and family rooms.
The hotel is a popular wedding venue, but events take place in separate conference and banqueting centre, so other hotel guests are not disturbed.
Meals are available in the lobby bar, and the very attractive adjoining Coq & Bull brasserie, where breakfast is also served. An iconic Sophie Dickens Coq and Bull sculpture at the entrance to the brasserie sets the tone for a recent redesign that has completely transformed this space.
With leather banquettes, colourful chairs and atmospheric lighting, the ambience is now very much stylish destination restaurant, rather than hotel dining room, and in consultation with Nick Price - formerly of Nick's Warehouse and one of the chefs who led the way in Northern Ireland's thriving new food scene - major changes have been made to the menus too.
'Good Honest Food' is what Nick has always been known for and now, working with the hotel's executive chef, Ian Lyttle, this inspiring chef has helped to create imaginative modern menus that reflect that mantra through seasonality and use of great local produce.