The ultimate Spa break awaits you in one (or all) of Ireland’s most luxurious Spa Hotels. This short guide will lead you to the most blissful retreats in some of Ireland’s most scenic and soulful locations.
Location, location, location – isn’t that the mantra these days? Truth be told, it’s nigh on impossible to beat the location of Wineport Lodge, nestled as it is by the banks of Lough Ree in an area embraced by forest and fauna. Alongside such tranquillity is Cedarwood Spa, which will take such good care of your mind/body that you’ll be hard-pressed to get into your car and drive home. From spa treatments at the cedar-clad cabins and deep outdoor baths, from the floating hot tub pontoon to the Infinity Plunge pool, perhaps it’s relevant to take a line out of The Beatles’ song, Tomorrow Never Knows: “turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”
Where: Glasson, Athlone, Co Westmeath
Park Hotel Kenmare
The hotel is world-renowned, and the service is equally so. Food? Exceptional. Rooms? Divine. The town that gives the hotel part of its name? Lovely, just lovely. But you’re here for the spa, right? The sheer, unadulterated luxury that is the SÁMAS Spa acts like a beacon to those that want the very best from life. Seek and ye shall find, as they say in the heavenly clouds, for if there is more devotion to the cultivation of body, mind and spirit then we have yet to experience it.
Where: Kenmare, Co Kerry
Situated not just in Killarney but by the lakes of Killarney, this luxury five-star seeps elegance from tip to toe. It quietly boasts over 70 bedrooms and suites, but it is the hotel’s 10,000sq ft spa that will entice you out of your room and into what people have accurately described as a “hideaway haven” (to which we would add the word ‘heaven’). From multi-sensory showers and heated cabins, from steam rooms to heated loungers, from massages to VOYA facials, all you need for dreamtime downtime is here.
Where: Killarney, Co Kerry
BrookLodge & Macreddin Village
We love the chocolate-box setting, the 80-plus lavish bedrooms and the Strawberry Tree Restaurant (Ireland’s first-certified organic). If health and vitality spa treatments are what you’re after, however, look no further than the Wells Spa, which is an ‘adult only’ space (that is, not permitted to children under the age of 16) for which water is sourced and purified from the on-site natural springs.
Where: Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow
Cliff House Hotel
It’s a beauty and no mistake, and while the Cliff House has benefited from a subtle, stylish revamp, it hasn’t lost one iota of its original bravura features. While the 39 rooms (and the hotel in general, of course) are classy winners, the spa is the jewel in the crown. Known as the Well by the Sea, the spa features bathing therapies (including organic seaweed bath, and detox essential oil therapy) and celebrated signature treatments (including the Cliff Complete Body, and the Well Hot Towel Scalp Ritual).
Where: Ardmore, Co Waterford
Culloden Estate & Spa
“Built for a bishop, fit for a king” – that’s the neat tagline for this esteemed and lavish five-star hotel, which is located less than 10km from the centre of Belfast. With almost 100 rooms/suites at the disposal of guests, there is an abundance of quality, but wait until you see the spa, which has been recently renovated to bring it into line with the best in the world. The words ‘sanctuary’, ‘tranquillity’, and ‘therapy’ spring to mind, which seems only right when you take into consideration the range of ESPA Spa treatments on offer.
Where: Holywood, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa
The word is stunning, and that applies not only to the inordinately long stretch of strand right outside the hotel but also to the Island Spa, which has been voted Ireland’s Leading Spa Resort at the World Travel Awards on seven occasions. From Seawater therapies to beauty and body treatments (in tandem with Inchydoney’s design partners, Elemis, and Les Luneides Paris), from Yoga by the Sea sessions to Pregnancy Massages, you could say Inchydoney has it all wrapped up.
Where: Clonakilty, West Cork
Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa
Some hotels say they have it all, but we know that isn’t always true. Kelly’s, however, can lay serious claim to having everything anyone needs for a sublime breather: from fine dining in a gorgeous restaurant to what is surely the best art collection of any hotel in Ireland. And then, of course, there is the remarkable SeaSpa, a fresh concept in well-being that balances textured, therapeutic surroundings with ESPA treatments, thalassotherapy, bio sauna, mud room, salt-infused steam room, seaweed baths, and our old favourite – the ‘go on, we dare you’ ice fountain!
Where: Rosslare, Co Wexford
Lough Eske Castle
It’s a real castle with spa-inclined bathrooms and all mod cons – what more can we say? Actually, there’s a lot more we can say and it’s this: the hotel’s CARA Organic Beauty Spa, situated in the castle gardens, is the epitome of pampering and prestige. Two award-winning spa partners are instinctively aligned here – ESPA treatments/products, Anne Semonin skincare – and between them they deliver immersive experiences you genuinely won’t want to emerge from.
It isn’t called a destination spa for anything – it’s called a destination spa for everything. While there is something truly Zen-like about Monart there is also something equally tangible, especially when it comes to its thermal suite offerings. They include – deep breath – sauna, steam room, outdoor Finnish sauna, salt grotto, infra-red pro suite, caldarium, sanarium, and hydrotherapy pool. All this, along with 68 deluxe rooms and two super-smart suites, and you have pure heaven on Planet Earth.
Where: Monart, The Still, Co Wexford
WRITTEN BY TONY CLAYTON-LEA