Three Irish spa retreats that bring relaxation to another level
Ah, the Bank Holiday Blues, we can moan about them or just focus on planning the next treat.
A spa break is one fabulous way to spoil yourself and thankfully, Ireland boasts some truly indulgent retreats.
Although there are many pampering breaks on offer the length and breadth of our lovely little country, I've selected three that I've experienced personally with each one offering something different.
Whether you're chilling with your significant other or having a gal break, you'll feel like a new person after a staycation in one of these spots. Your only challenge is to keep that chilled vibe going once you return to the real world.
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena, Antrim
This four-star manor house hotel, complete with a thermal village (complimentary to hotel guests), feels more like a five-star location.
The babbling brook and lush green land create a zen-like atmosphere while the thermal village is an absolute treat with outdoor and indoor pools, a saunarium, river house, snow cabin and a delightfully quaint orangery area.
I had my reservations about the Celtic Sauna Ritual where a 'sauna master' performed a choreographed routine with a towel (yes really) while burning essential oils and then encouraged 'organised relaxation' but honestly, I was walking on a cloud afterward.
An added bonus with Galgorm is the fact that it includes private outdoor hot tubs where you can lie back and listen to the River Maine, even indulging in some champagne if you so wish. The dream.
Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow
So, first things first, the spa at Powerscourt is home to ESPA products, and after using them, your skin will feel like a baby's bottom. Genuinely.
If that's not persuasion enough, there's a Swarovski Crystal-lit heated pool and a stunning state of the art thermal suite, which is partly why the hotel has a five-star status and takes home gong after gong each year.
It's good old-fashioned luxury and if you feel like being spoilt rotten, this is the place for you.
Also, a total side note to the whole spa experience, tea and scones, complete with clotted cream, jam, and impressive silverware, were served to my room in the evening, just for the heck of it.
Monart Spa, Wexford
Galgorm is where you'll feel at one with nature, Powerscourt is princess treatment and Monart is the ideal place to go and switch off from the world.
You're encouraged to avoid using your phone (tough I know) but as the wifi is restricted to certain areas, you tend to relax without the continual pinging of texts, calls, and emails.
During a massage, my mind tends to wander and race and it's usually over before I've even started to unwind, but my Monart experience was decidedly different.
It was the best body massage I've ever had, every muscle relaxed and a special mention must go to the darkened 'relaxation room', home of the comfiest day beds, where guests are encouraged to nap and chill after their treatments.