The Best No-Commitment Boutique Gyms (With Spas) To Visit Around Ireland - The Gloss Magazine

The Best No-Commitment Boutique Gyms (With Spas) To Visit Around Ireland

Gyms & swims with benefits. The upmarket gym/day spa is trending. Access top-notch facilities without an ongoing financial commitment, says Sarah Halliwell …

It’s traditionally the month we all sign up to gyms, in a fit of teetotal January energy – only to lose interest, yet spend the rest of the year shelling out. No wonder Ireland’s gym and fitness industry is healthy, worth around €120m. So to entice us into a gym now, when money is tight and walking is free, the offering has to be irresistible. And the scene is changing. Meet the new boutique gym/spa, raising the whole experience to a new level of luxury – these are clubs you want to hang out in. Along with the highest-tech classes and equipment, haute gyms/spas offer a carefully considered approach: we’re talking changing rooms plusher than a luxury hotel bathroom, saunas larger than your office, excellent coffee and even superior air to breathe (Eden One’s is specially filtered). All this cushiness may finally convince you to love working out – and experts claim that the right exercise regime can make you feel 20 years younger (which is serious value for money). Since many of us are commitment-phobes, not willing or able to spend upwards of a hefty €45 a month (among the most expensive rates in Europe), the good news is that you can still experience special gyms/spas without a hefty financial commitment – whether as a hotel guest, a day visitor or for drop-in classes. Here are some luxe spots to visit:


WHY VISIT: This luxury health club boasts a state-of-the-art gym with a New York vibe, including athletic rigs, Olympic-standard lifting area, ascent trainers and the highest-tech ski and row machines. The MetCon high-intensity classes (cardio plus strength exercises) will apparently “torch body fat”, which sounds both alarming and quite cool. And the boxing studio is deadly. Recovery and relaxation is key, too. The thermal suite has a massaging hydrotherapy pool (think post-workout chill rather than power lengths), steam room and sauna. Power Gyms also offer Hyperice recovery/rehab devices, such as special massage balls. There are even charging points in the lockers – they’ve thought of everything. ACCESS ALL AREAS: Membership costs from €149 a month. Entry is free for hotel guests, or when taking a drop-in class (from €20). NEED TO KNOW: There are Power Gyms in Press Up hotels across Dublin too, including The Dean, Harcourt Street, which has all the classes should you want to “get your sweat on”. Head to The Mayson in Dublin and The Dean in Cork for elegant thermal suites. Power, The Dean Hotel, Bohermore, Prospect Hill, Galway, 091 749 200;


WHY VISIT: Dublin’s fanciest gym/day spa (voted best Irish day spa in the World Spa Awards) is a haven of healthiness. A subterranean world of filtered air and ambient music, Eden One is truly luxurious, with an enormous thermal suite, including a dry salt inhalation room and elegant pool. It’s like an urban version of Monart, minus the fluffy dressing gowns. There are plenty of healthy food and juice options. Treatment therapists are uniformly top-notch. ACCESS ALL AREAS: While membership will set you back a few hundred a month (with access to 80 classes a week, from HIIT to yoga), Eden One welcomes day visitors, too; various packages start from €195, and include a choice of treatments and lunch. Generally, 90-minute treatments (from around €175) include access to the spa facilities. NEED TO KNOW: New next door, as part of the Number One Ballsbridge complex featuring Avoca and Butlers, is Beauty One, for manicures, SkinCeuticals facials, hair styling and more. Eden One, Number One Ballsbridge, Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, 01 215 0640;


WHY VISIT: Escape the city for five-star peace and luxury; the relaxation room overlooks a forest and the Sugar Loaf, no less. The 20-metre pool is lit with crystals, and there’s a full hammam and thermal suite. ACCESS ALL AREAS: ESPA treatments start from €75, including access to spa and pool. There are day spa packages available, or extend your visit: an hour’s treatment (massage or facial) plus dinner, overnight stay and breakfast, starts from €370 per person. NEED TO KNOW: Stay at the hotel and you get access to the Estate’s members-only private river walk, which is quiet and magical. Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, 01 274 8888;


WHY VISIT: For style plus high-energy spin workouts with New York-style lighting and sound system. “Tread & Shred” group fitness classes mix treadmill and floor work. ACCESS ALL AREAS: New clients can experience the jazzy Perpetua spin studios via an introductory three-class credit system (to be used within ten days), €33. A good way to sample before you commit. NEED TO KNOW: There’s no spa – this is all about serious workout – but there are acai bowls and protein shakes at the Mojo Health Bar, and stylish changing rooms. Perpetua Fitness, 2WML, Windmill Lane, Dublin 2, 086 837 9903;


WHY VISIT: We’re drawn by the 18-metre pool, sauna and steam room, as well as the Environ facials, manicures and spray tans at the Viola Day Spa. There’s an adult-only gym for members and hotel guests. ACCESS ALL AREAS: You can access the spa with any treatment; facials and massages start from €49. Book the Morning After Spa Ritual (€89) and enjoy the sauna and pool before your express facial and Indian head massage. The Spencer Health Club, Spencer Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1, 01 433 8915;


WHY VISIT: This lovely hotel in Cork city not only has two acres of gardens but also a beautiful long heated pool, sauna and steam room plus outdoor hot tub, and new relaxation room where you can sit by the fire for post-treatment tea and sorbet. ACCESS ALL AREAS: Day guests can experience the pool via Ground Wellbeing Holistic Rituals (from €85), often with Ground’s national trainer, expert therapist Rachel O’Malley. Or try the Elemis package, with treatments followed by afternoon tea in the Manor (Thur-Sat). NEED TO KNOW: For the more energetic, there’s personal training with Olympic athlete Gillian O’Sullivan. Hayfield Manor, Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork City, 021 484 5900;


WHY VISIT: Head to the thermal suite at this spa and leisure club or sauna, steam room and bright indoor pool. ACCESS ALL AREAS: Day packages from €135 for 70-minute Elemis treatments and lunch. NEED TO KNOW: There’s a tennis and a basketball court here too. Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ennis Road, Limerick, 061 456 299,


WHY VISIT: Located in the former Irish Times building, Echelon offers indoor cycling, with expert instructors, many of whom are marathon and Ironman athletes. ACCESS ALL AREAS: Access is via class packs; no joining fee or membership. There’s an introductory offer of €45 for three classes. Echelon, The Times Building, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2, 087 612 4232;


Iconic Health Clubs, including 1ESCAPE in Smithfield, Dublin 7, and Dartry Health Club, Dublin 6, require membership, but you don’t have to commit to twelve months. They have novel classes, from aerial yoga to aqua classes, bootcamp and boxing, and the pool and sauna at the Dublin 7 location are excellent.

BEAT BOX BOXING CLUB Dublin’s upmarket modern boxing gyms make sparring glamorous with neon lighting and energetic 40-minute workouts, including Thai kickboxing. After your free trial, start with the four passes a month deal (€55 plus €10 joining fee). Clubs at Leeson Street and Merrion Square;

DAVID LLOYD RIVERVIEW Due to open in March/April, a deluxe new Spa Retreat will make this club a hot destination, with outdoor hydro pool, salt sauna and garden area.

UCD SPORT & FITNESS Worth joining for the brilliant 50-metre pool alone. There’s a full range of fitness classes to personal training, and it’s currently open to public members. Try it out with a free day pass. Membership from €70 per month off-peak, or €699 per year (plus registration fee), for class, gym and pool access.

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