Setting aside an entire day to the art of pampering is a luxurious treat we all need and deserve every so often. As Ireland is home to some of the most awe-inspiring resorts in Europe, naturally we are spoiled for choice when it comes to spa retreats.
From other-worldly locations to fairy tale destinations, there is no shortage of options, but a number of these opulent outposts combine two great pleasures – delicious flavours and aromas with decadent relaxation rituals to create irresistible spa treatments guaranteed to make you drool.
Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare
I imbibe copious amounts of coffee in the hopes that I will be bounding around with energy to get active – but better still you can throw on a robe and let the coffee do the strenuous stuff with the Spa at Dromoland Castle’s slimming Green Coffee Body Wrap. This treatment stimulates your body’s ability to break down fat and transform it into energy, increase metabolism and eliminate water retention, using 100% pure micronized Green Coffee.
The Brehon, Co. Kerry
The Angsana Spa in The Brehon is as stunning in decor as it’s majestic surroundings beside the lakes of Killarney. At Angsana, a trio of luxurious body scrubs embrace the delicious aromas of coffee and it’s accompanimentss – Almond Milk is not just for fine lattes but for fine lines packed with Vitamin E and straight Coffee and Vanilla is perfect post tan to get rid of that biscuit smell with espresso aromas.
Finally, the scent of coffee always conjures up images of Middle Eastern souks in my mind, so the final option in the scrumptious scrub trifecta of scrubs, Honey & Sesame, means you can bathe like a baklava!
Killashee House Hotel, Co. Laois:
Killashee’s Cellutox Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap features a detoxifying blend of juniper and lemon – read: the flavours of a G&T! Far from leaving you feeling a little worse for wear afterwards, this treatment decongests and stimulates the body’s systems, minimises the dimpled appearance of cellulite and reduces fluid retention.
The Cliff House, Co. Waterford:
An Organic Peat Bath may not immediately evoke thoughts of deliciousness but Irish peat and ginger work in this treatment to soothe away aches and pains and relieve stress and fatigue while evoking the feeling of sipping on a scotch and ginger ale with the heady aromas. Lap up this calming cocoon in one of Ireland’s most picturesque spas at the Cliff House, Ardmore.
The Shelbourne, Dublin:
While a luxury girl’s pampering day spring to mind when you think of The Spa at the Shelbourne but the Gentleman’s Old Fashioned Package allows discerning dons to indulge in pine & eucalyptus enriched moor mud back treatment and relax with a tension reducing Skin IQ power booster facial. This experience is complemented by a delicious Old Fashioned cocktail prepared by the skilled mixologists in No. 27 Bar & Lounge and served in the Shelbourne Spa’s opulent relaxation area.
Fota Island Resort and Spa, Co. Cork
For the rampant chocoholic, the destination of choice must be Fota Island Resort and Spa which offers not one but two treatments based on the deliciousness of cacao. Chocolate Indulgence is exactly what it says on the tin – a bliss-inducing journey to chocolate nirvana.
A rich chocolate full body massage leaves skin richly chocolate scented and feeling silky smooth, followed by a customised Taster Facial including a luxury scalp massage. Alternatively, Les Luneïdes Chocolate Sensuality ritual begins with a sensuous chocolate body polish followed by full on chocolate body wrap – heaven!
Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Co. Cork:
West Cork is home to breath-taking scenery and artisan chocolatiers – what better way to lap up this dreamy duo than to indulge in Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa’s Chocolate Body Polish? A decadent chocolate, orange and marine salt combination leaves the skin silky as salted chocolate mousse with the seductive scent pairing of orange.
Lough Eske Castle, Donegal:
For a treat that evokes the delicious toasty praline flavour of Hazelnut mingled with tahini-like sesame, this treatment is based on luscious oils massaged all over to facilitate the slow, flowing movements of this total body de-stress therapy that will leave you smelling like dessert. To top it all off, this heavenly ritual is delivered in fairytale castle surroundings of Donegal’s Lough Eske Castle – fit for a princess.
The Merchant, Belfast:
It would be impossible to feel blue after indulging in a Blueberry Smoothie Facial at the stunning Merchant Hotel, Belfast. Infused with a sweet aromatic blueberry gel, blue corn meal and L-lactic acid, these active ingredients help to polish and smooth the texture of the skin, instantly revealing a beautiful glow. Speaking of glow, head to the rooftop hot-tub for some post treatment lingering overlooking the bright lights of the Northern Irish capital.
Parknasilla Resort and Spa, Co. Kerry:
An exotic coconut and milk ritual with lava shell signature face and body massage is a ceremony of pure sensuality to tantalize and delight. A traditional Balinese recipe of coconut, mung bean, spices and lavender is combined to polish the skin and stimulate the senses. An opulent exotic wrap is excellent for skin smoothing and softening, and Bali’s pampering methods pair beautifully with Kerry’s mystical scenery, in this case unrivaled views across the Beara Peninsula from Parknasilla’s relaxation area and outdoor jacuzzi.
Druid’s Glen, Co. Wicklow:
The zingy and zesty Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Scrub exfoliation ritual at the Spa at 5 star Druid’s Glen is designed to invigorate and revitalise the skin, leaving you with the perfect glow. After light body brushing, warm oil is drizzled over the body before scrub is applied, so the end result is skin which is deeply cleansed, polished and softened to perfection.
The Ice House Hotel, Co. Mayo
The Organic Warm Spiced Mud Wrap at the stunning Ice House sees seaweed taken fresh from the ocean combined with purifying elements of peat to produce a mud wrap rich in potent anti-oxidants and minerals. Tempting the senses, this treatment is enhanced with the scrumptious aromas of organic ginger and cinnamon to detoxify, stimulate metabolism and boost anti-ageing.
The Royal Marine, Dublin:
Nothing says holiday feeling like the luscious scent of coconut and the Sansana Spa Coconut Melt Massage will let you float away to another exotic world, making the stunning Dun Laoghaire sea front facing Royal Marine feel more like a cruise liner setting sail on a journey of relaxation.
Muckross Park Hotel, Co. Kerry:
Like a cocktail at sunset, the Tropical Saltmousse Glow at The Spa at The Muckross Park Hotel, in the heart of Killarney National Park, removes dead skin cells and impurities whilst releasing negative ions to counteract damaging environmental pollutants delivering a youthful glow and the aroma of an irresistible mix of exotic scents to awaken the senses!
Monart, Co. Wexford
In the mystical surrounds of Ireland’s adults only destination Spa, Monart, allow your weary bones to be enrobed in papaya and pineapple, enriched with crème fraîche with the Tropical Escape De-Ageing Wrap. Potent youth promoting ingredients such as collagen and elastin polypeptides, to deeply nourish and rejuvenate tired, dull skin.
The Maryborough Hotel and Spa, Co. Cork:
For a heady mix of fragrant spies to enliven the senses, Oshadi Clay is mixed with ginger, liquorice and mustard seed which warms and hydrates the skin in The Maryborough’s state of the art ESPA. This alchemy of spices is perfect for soothing aching muscles and joints and adds extra heat to the treatment.
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that(and greed) as the ultimate motivator, I realised that baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, fuelling my desire to focus on food in a serious way. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting.