Day spas with a difference – these superior face and body treatments will put a spring in your step …
FOR OLD-SCHOOL BEAUTY
The new Swiss Line treatments at Dublin’s legendary Shelbourne Hotel are the last word in luxury. The Spa has two facials on offer, both focusing on “well-ageing”: a 90-minute restorative facial, Le Grand Soin Au Collagéne Pur (€265), and a 50-minute stress-relief facial (€175). I tried out the first, which incorporates Pure Collagen films, or masks, for the face and neck, featuring pure collagen. A treatment that gives you a lift in both senses, this is definitely for those who prefer firm facial massage – every movement is about bolstering and uplifting, as the therapist’s hands seek to defy gravity. You’ll leave with plumped and glowing skin that’s had a proper workout. Arrive ahead of your treatment time in order to swim in the Spa’s quiet pool first – it’s a hidden treasure in the centre of the city, and often you’ll have it to yourself. 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, 01 663 4500; www.theshelbourne.com.
FOR STATE-OF-THE-ART SPA DAYS
Eden One deserves all the plaudits, since it offers excellent treatments along with its premium, state-of-the-art facilities, from spacious thermal suite to the lowlit pool with actual fire across. It doesn’t get more glamorous. Treatments start from €125; have a 90-minute treatment (from €165) to get access to the full spa, too. Day packages start from €210, with (lovely healthy) lunch thrown in. Extend the experience with specialist facials at nearby Beauty One, offering SkinCeuticals Signature Facial to the Alumier MD Skin Peel. Number One Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 01 215 0640; www.edenone.ie.
FOR CITY CHIC
Experience Biologique Recherche custom facials and ESPA face and body treatments, from €130, at The Spa, a gem in central Dublin. The Signature Package (€290) includes lunch or afternoon tea. A Kevin Murphy hair salon adds a final flourish. Other benefits include yoga classes run by Dani Sheil, weekday early opening from 6.30am and a peaceful pool, steam room and sauna which make this spa as sedate and elegant as the rest of the hotel. The Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, 01 603 0759; www.merrionhotel.com.
FOR SKIN KNOW HOW
The first Clarins Boutique & Spa in Ireland is a celebration of the French family-owned (and carbon-neutral) brand that’s been treating our skin since 1954. A bright, fresh space, the spa offers both quick-fire skin consultations and make-up refreshes (with complimentary express services of up to 15 minutes) in the big red chair out front, and luxurious facials and massages in the private treatment rooms. I chose the Youth Expert facial (€115, 60 minutes); you can choose the type of music that’s played, and the warm treatment bed is doze-inducing. Therapist Lilia used bespoke spa blends, including pro-level Double Serum, to soothing and gentle effect. Other options include a body massage with essential oils, and there’s a dedicated men’s facial, too. It’s a rare treat to find tranquillity in the epicentre of Dublin. And when you’re short of time, the half-hour massages and skin fixes, from detox to glow-boosters, make this an excellent stopping off point between desk and dinner. 33-34 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, 01 572 5960; www.clarins.ie.
FOR SPA SOCIALISING
Brooks & Co Spa Glasson is found in a picturesque spot overlooking Lough Ree. Now owned by the Press Up group, it’s a photogenic place to meet up with friends: there are packages from €95pp (for groups of six or more), including lunch, treatments and exclusive spa use – not to mention fabulous outdoor pool. Otherwise, facials (one hour) start from €105; massage from €115. It seems a shame not to extend your trip to an overnight … Killinure, Glasson, Co Westmeath, 090 648 5120; www.glassonlakehouse.ie.
FOR RURAL RELAXATION
The 18th-century Johnstown Estate had a €3.5 million redevelopment in late 2020, and now has a stunning thermal suite with heated loungers, a Rasul mud chamber and Elemis treatments, plus outdoor hydrotherapy pool. If you can get there midweek, you can stay for three hours in the thermal suite and have lunch for €70. New is the Medik8 Platinum Facial (€135, 60 minutes), using the cosmeceutical range which also gives you 90 minutes thermal suite access). We’re booking the Quartz Sand Bath Ritual – being buried in warm sand seems to be the treatment of the moment. If you’re booking in for Mother’s Day, add in afternoon tea, too. Enfield, Co Meath, 046 954 0001; www.thejohnstownestate.com.
FOR RECOVERY AND CARE
Christine Clinton has used her 30 years’ experience wonderfully well, creating a programme for spas and therapists to make massage safe, effective and accessible for those living with and beyond cancer. Barróg Cancer Care Spa Treatments, using Ground Wellbeing products, are designed to relieve anxiety and pain for those going through (or recently finished) cancer treatment are available in spas nationwide, including Hillgrove Hotel & Spa, Tullamore Court Hotel and the Radisson Blu in Cork, Limerick and Sligo. See www.inua.ie for spas offering these treatments.
FOR A ONE-STOP NCT
Fifth Avenue Beauty Emporium is a central spot on Clarendon Street (and also in Cork) for manicures plus treatments from LED facials to hot stone therapy and the intriguing Psammotherapy (sand therapy) treatment (€160) — we love the sound of stimulating lymphatic drainage and a full body massage with warm quartz poultices. Yon-Ka treatments start from €80; face massages from €42.45 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2, 01 898 2929; www.5thavenue.ie