Penny McCormick reports on Irish spa destinations, trends and treatments …
According to the Global Wellness Summit, spas with meadows and lakeside accommodation are trending. In Ireland, there’s no shortage of choice.
The latest al fresco addition to THE WELL IN THE GARDEN, Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare is the Village Thermal – two Finnish barrel saunas nestled in greenery, where soaking in the hot tubs comes with a side helping of some forest bathing. www.cliffatlyons.ie.
The Village Thermal at The Well in The Garden, Cliff at Lyons.
NÁDÚR SPA, Co Kerry, part of the Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa, is surrounded by views of the Kerry Mountains. Holistic rituals and organic products – including the spa’s own honey and whiskey salted scrub – align with the hotel’s sustainability credentials, wildflower meadows, woodlands, an apiary, insect hotel and wetlands. Long term plans include a route which guests can walk or cycle from the hotel to the Atlantic coast – part of the Kerry Greenway project. www.ballygarry.com.
There’s also been a buzz around GLASSON LAKEHOUSE, Co Westmeath, overlooking Lough Ree, where an outdoor pool (heated all year) and three hot tubs have proved popular. Its new Brooks & Co Spa has a cocooning, rustic vibe with aromatherapy-inspired treatments. www.glassonlakehouse.ie.
The Wellness Centre at the recently renovated LISS ARD ESTATE, Co Cork offers reiki, sound bathing, reflexology and Swedish saunas overlooking the estate’s private lake. www.lissardestate.ie.
Swedish saunas at Liss Ard Estate, Co Cork.
Solo spa-going is also gaining in popularity; wellness breaks are now regarded less of a special treat with friends than a vital part of a self-care routine. The stylish BELLEVUE SPA at The Montenotte, Cork with six treatment rooms and a relaxation area, is catnip for solo spa-goers. Treat yourself to one of its Bamboo and Olive Blossom candles, or its Bellevue Botanicals hand cream and massage oil. www.themontenottehotel.com.
The half-day ESPA rituals packages at THE EUROPE HOTEL & RESORT, Killarney, which includes lunch in the chic Riva restaurant, is another indulgent option. www.theeurope.com.
Or book the gorgeous Rose Restore overnight stay at CARTON HOUSE, Co Kildare, with an Aromatherapy Associates Rose Indulgence treatment at the spa. A glass of rosé champagne on the terrace of The Courtyard Bar, is the pre-dinner aperitif, while rooms overlook the rose gardens. www.cartonhouse.com.
Brooks & Co Spa at Glasson Lakehouse, Co Westmeath.
Post-pandemic, massages are the most popular treatment, say staff at THE KILLARNEY PARK SPA, Co Kerry, though focused treatments are also proliferating. THE BEAUTIQUE SPA at Hayfield Manor, Cork offers Ground treatments, including the Comforting Ritual for menopause. www.hayfieldmanor.ie.
MONART DESTINATION SPA, Co Wexford, has created a restorative touch therapy treatment programme for those living with cancer or with a history of cancer (its therapists trained with Christine Clinton, founder of the Clinton Cancer Care, New York). www.monart.ie.
For expectant mums, VELVÆRE SPA, the Radisson Blu Dublin’s excellent medispa has a “Be My Baby” experience offering a pregnancy massage and Codage facial. www.radisson.com.
At INCHYDONEY ISLAND LODGE & SPA, a milk and honey bath, algae leg wrap and massage are part of its offering for expectant mothers. www.inchydoneyisland.com.
Cannabidiol or CBD oil is not new, but it is starting to become more popular in spa treatments; OTO CBD has been at the forefront of this evolution. THE SPA AT THE KINGSLEY has added OTO to its roster of products, alongside Kerstin Florian, with a range of four CBD-infused massage and facial treatments. www.thekingsley.ie.
Finally, forget forest bathing, farms and “soil bathing” (isn’t that gardening?) will become as important as spa and fitness in the future. Try THE SEOÍD SPA at Dunboyne Castle Hotel, which offers hammam rituals and a Rasul Mud Chamber. www.dunboynecastlehotel.com.
CEDARWOOD SPA at Wineport Lodge has new outdoor baths overlooking Lough Ree, where you can soak in either mud or seaweed. www.wineport.ie.