Exploring Northern Ireland with Maserati
By Gosia Brzezinska and Adam Swierczewski
With the new season of Game of Thrones on air, visiting Northern Ireland couldn’t be more timely. Thus, we were very pleased when Maserati invited us to experience an escape with the new Quattroporte Diesel around Northern Ireland.
We were met by the Maserati team at Belfast Airport and chauffeured to a lovely spa resort, the Culloden Estate and Spa. We must confess that taking a back seat in Maserati’s sixth generation of the Quattroporte feels very much like King Robert’s arrival to Winterfell. The harmonious co-existence of luxury four door saloon with a supercar catches the interest, signifies status and offers peaceful environment for its owner.
After spending a night at the resort, we were invited to take the driver’s seat and soon were on route to explore Northern Ireland’s most famous landmarks in the stylish Quattroporte Diesel.
Since its the first time that Maserati decided to release a diesel version of this well-established model with illustrious history, we were very keen to discover its true nature. For this, we decided to visit Belfast and take the stunning Causeway Coastal Route up to the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO heritage site.
Our driving experience
The Quattroporte Diesel features a powerful 3.0 V6 turbocharged unit which to our surprise delivers the same performance qualities that one would ordinarily associate with the petrol models. It takes less than 6.5 seconds to reach 60mph and thanks to the Active Sound installed in the exhaust tailpipes also sounds like it. The system is clever enough to adjust the noise to driving style.
We must confess that the aural experience in sports mode was our personal favourite, especially in the manual mode with gearshift paddles. David Sanborn’s smooth jazz CD that we brought along for this trip has to wait for another time.
However, Quattroporte’s sporty attributes are only supplementary to what this car holds in abundance, presence and style. With the longest wheelbase in its class the Quattroporte not only provides increased legroom for all passengers but also makes one feel a very distinct category of a road user, a one that stands out from a crowd of “half-special”. Its long, powerful bonnet and distinct chrome Trident grille attract interest and afford prestige. This theme is also reflected in the cabin. The interior of the Quattroporte is well-refined, modern and functional. Its impressive range of features can be easily controlled through an 8.4” touch screen which also serves as a display for a rear-view camera, making parallel parking effortless. Some of the features that we particularly enjoyed on our trip were the heated seats, built-in photo album viewer and out of the box compatibility with Apple devices.
Knowing that this comfort and joy comes at a reduced cost delivered by a fuel efficient engine are a huge advantage for long-distance drives. Getting from London to Edinburgh on a one fuel tank with over 270bhp under the bonnet is a rather impressive achievement.
Where to stay
The magical thing about Northern Ireland is that it is peppered with quaint small towns with lovely small, boutique hotels and fantastic spa places. We were delighted to stay at the Culloden Estate and Spa, a prestigious hotel with a luxurious Spa offering ESPA range of products (we loved their Fitness Body Oil!). The hotel is based in beautiful Holywood Hills, overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim Coastline.
It is just five minutes from Belfast’s city centre as well as the endless Irish beaches, woodlands and golf courses. It was originally built as an official Palace for the Bishops of Down, and with its stunning views, historic and elegant building it was a perfect setting for our time with the Maserati team and their Quattroporte Diesel.
To fully experience the car and enjoy the coastline we’ve decided to follow the Causeway Coastal Route through Glenarm, Cushendall, Ballycastle down to Bushmills where we stayed for the night.
Bushmills is the gateaway village to the Giant’s Causeway and home to the Old Bushmills Distillery, so there are plenty of activities and places to visit. The village has been designated as a conservation area and has around 90 listed buildings with romantic and unique architecture – a truly magical place.
In Bushmills, we recommend to stay at the well-known, luxurious four-star hotel Bushmills Inn, where we indulged into roaring pea fires and our sumptuous suite with a very comfortable king size bed. It was one of the most relaxing hotels ever – it offers fluffy white robes, coffee machine in every room, and luxurious bathrooms – it was difficult to leave the next day. If you can’t stay for a night, make sure you visit their fantastic restaurant and try their ridiculously sweet Warm Sticky Pudding – it’s to die for!
You can read more about the Maserati Quattroporte Diesel here