Ireland’s top spa resorts, as of the Irish Tatler Spa Awards 2016. The most luxurious treatments, the best therapists and most stunning locations lie in wait. Consider your next retreat sorted.
Monart Destination Spa
The moment you cross the threshold of the historical main house at Monart , you feel special. An easing of the shoulders, followed by a blissful exhalation a s you realise that utter relaxation await s at the end of the corridor. For the third year in a row, Monart Destination Spa has wowed our judging panel with its unparalleled standards of excellence, securing the spa team another first place win in the Irish Tatler Spa Awards. Achieving these standards is one thing, maintaining them is quite another and on this front Monart still excels .
From innovative therapies such as the new Pevonia Plant Stem-Cell Age Reversal Body Contouring Wrap (to complement the facial) to constant upgrades to the state-of-the-art 2,500 square foot thermal suite; from special residencies with gurus such as the Shaolin Masters and masseur Matthew Gale to Pilates Reformer breaks and personal fitness programmes, Monart isn’t about just casting off the stresses of modern life for a few days, it’s about reigniting an inner light through wellness that you can carry home with you.
Monart Destination Spa, The Still, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford;
Tel: 053 923 8999;
Spa & Wellness at The Marker
A boutique spa space that ’s big on style and big on heart, Spa and Wellness at the Marker is the spa where you don’ t have to wait for a special occasion to treat yourself to some rest and relaxation. Open late, a post-work facial or massage followed by an hour or two cocooned in a tee-pee in the relaxation area is just the thing to revive the body and mind.
Spa and Wellness at The Marker, The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2;
Tel: 01 687 5100;
LEINSTER SPA OF THE YEAR
Killashee Spa at Killashee Hotel
With over 21 treatment rooms and a newly added, state-of-the-art hydrotherapy suite with lounge deck, this sizeable spa nestled in the Kildare countr yside continues to impress our judging panel and makes for the per fect jaunt away from Dublin should you fancy a spa day without the hassle of a long journey. The dedicated team continues to dream up divine treatments and packages at unbeatable value, showing that five-star treatment in luxurious surrounds does not need to break the bank.
Killashee Spa, Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare;
Tel: 045 879 277;
Killasheehotel.com MUNSTER SPA OF THE YEAR
The Spa at Aghadoe Heights
Service with a genuine smile is the ethos at Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa which is why you feel instantly at home once you arrive. Set on a hilltop overlooking Lough Leane and the MacGi l lycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting to enjoy a herbal tea and a magazine while resting on a heated lounger in the relaxation room, which FYI are very hard to leave once one is happily installed. Thoughtful spa extras come via individual iPods in the dark room as well as cucumber slices to refresh tired eyes.
The Spa, Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa, Killarney, Co Kerry;
Tel: 064 663 1766;
CONNACHT SPA OF THE YEAR
Chill Spa, Ice House Hotel & Spa
The rural riverside setting of this unique boutique spa, comprising just five treatment rooms, belies the modern space which continues to delight both clients and our judges. Small but perfectly formed, you’ll find a luxurious thermal suite including an outdoor hot tub, which offers views of the private spa garden and a welcome breath of fresh air. An extensive spa menu offers a huge range of options using VOYA seaweed products , ensuring you can try something completely new each time you visit.
Chill Spa, Ice House Hotel & Spa, The Quay, Ballina, Co Mayo;
Icehousehotel.ieULSTER SPA OF THE YEAR
Spa Solís, Lough Eske Castle
Nestled within the impressive castle gardens which itself sits on the shores of Lough Eske, the peaceful setting of this spa is reflected in the decor of natural sandstone and rich wood flooring. Two couple’s treatment rooms make this the ideal getaway for romance and Anne Semonin and Yon-ka therapies are the order of the day. Our judge returned raving about the Yon-ka Secret de Douceur body experience, a blissed out, three-hour, head-to-toe affair using essential oils to relax and restore the body and mind.
Spa Solís, Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa, Donegal;
Tel 074 972 5100;
The Island Spa at Inchydoney
For the second year running, and deservedly so, the Island Spa has pipped other contenders to the best service post with its warm West Cork welcome that our team has found unparalleled elsewhere. From the moment you book your treatment on the phone to the moment you depart, the spa and hotel staff are attentive – but never overly so – and approach the ethos that cleanliness is next to godliness with special dedication. Every nook and cranny is spotlessly pristine. Well done to the team yet again on delivering a stellar service.
The Island Spa at Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Clonakilty, Co Cork;
Tel: 023 883 3143;
City Recovery Facial from SkinCeuticals at Spa & Wellness at The Marker
SkinCeuticals range, renowned as an effective cosmeceutical brand, is a new and shrewd addition to the menu at Spa & Wellness at The Marker. Therapists use a unique SkinCeuticals scanner to get an accurate reading on clients’ skin to tailor the treatment, and this treatment really stood out for i t s instant efficacy in correcting damaged skin caused by the environmental fa ctors of city living like pollution, smoke, a i r con, free radicals and UV ray s . Our judge noticed a marked reduction in dehydration and an increase in radiance as her skin was zapped back into action with an activated peel that saw her complexion continue to improve. (€125 midweek; €135 at weekends/60mins)
Spa &Wellness at The Marker, The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2;
Tel: 01 687 5100;
ESPA Lift and Firm Hip and Thigh Treatment at Castlemartyr
A stimulating treatment, effective in targeting cellulite, fluid retention and uneven skin texture with results that you can see instantly. Be prepared for some hard work (albeit mostly by your therapist) as first potent marine extracts are applied with iced mitt s , followed by a vigorous detoxifying massage with specialised stomach massage techniques to cleanse and purify the colon. Next, body brushing, followed again by warm and iced mitt s. After all that hard work, the treatment ends on a relaxing body scrub and lymphatic drainage massage finished with rich body butter application. A blissfully zen finish to a very active treatment.
The Spa at Castlemartyr, Castlemartyr Resort, Castlemartyr, Co Cork;
Tel: 021 421 9000;
Castlemartyrresort.ieBEST SPECIAL TREATMENT
Duvet Day package at ESPA at The g Hotel
This package is about gifting yourself the ultimate ‘me’ day. Start with an ESPA full body salt and oil scrub, a full body ESPA stress-relieving massage, the a foot treatment with paraffin wax, a leg and foot hot stone massage and finish with a full facial with skin analysis and a firming eye lifting treatment. Phew! Indulging yourself is hungry work so a delicious two-course lunch in the spa lounge is included. Our judge was in amazing hands with senior therapist Jinkerr Kaur who has previously received a commendation in the Irish Tatler Spa Awards for her talents and dedication to perfection.
ESPA at The g; The g Hotel & Spa, Galway City, Co Galway;
Tel :091 778 460;
Theghotel.ieTHE BEST THERAPIST
Gráinne Furey, The Spa at Castlemartyr
Gráinne exudes the utmost professionalism marrying it with a warm, welcoming, down-to-earth manner. Having joined the team at The Spa at Castlemartyr Resort six years ago, she is assured in her execution of even the most challenging of treatments and takes a holistic approach thanks to her personal interest in furthering her client’s health and wellbeing via many different disciplines. She is quali fied in reflexology, stress management, diet and nutrition and sports massage and is also a Reiki Master. Our judge said, “Gráinne is someone who seems to have endless resources of energy, good humour and is a font of wellbeing knowledge.”
The Spa, Castlemartyr Resort, Castlemartyr, Co Cork;
Tel: 021 421 9000;
Castlemartyrresort.ieBEST FOR STYLE
The Spa at Ashford Castle
The opulent splendour of the Spa at Ashford Castle is quite simply a feast for the eyes. Last year the final instalment in the historic property’s restoration was revealed with the spa showcasing a striking French-style conservatory. It adjoins the 800-year old castle and houses an indoor resistance pool offering views across Lough Corrib. Inside, the décor is a decadent affair with tiling and intricate mosaics that show that attention to detail was top of the agenda when planning the interior. The impressive mural overlooking the pool saw thousands of intricate tiles transported by South African ceramic mosaic artist Jane Du Rand while the chandeliers are made from thousands of tiny seashells. This is a truly special and spectacular destination that offers a visual escape but keeps within the historical leanings of the rest of the property.
The Spa at Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo;
Tel: 094 954 6003;
Chill Spa, The Ice House Hotel & Spa
The runaway favourite for Irish Tatler readers who voted in their thousands this year, was the Chill Spa at The Ice House, Mayo. It scooped this year’s People’s Choice award, garnering almost 25 per cent of the entire vote. This boutique spa is part of the four-star Ice House Hotel , perched at the edge of the River Moy in Ballina. It echoes the hotel ’s elegant mix of the traditional and the contemporary, combining a sleek, modern feel with a welcoming ambiance that has guests wanting not only to return but also to tell their friends. The spa boast s five treatment rooms, a beauty room, relaxation suite and an outdoor spa garden, along with an extensive treatment menu incorporating organic VOYA products. The staff was given particular mention by many readers, who cited their professionalism and the warm ambience of the spa.
Chill Spa, Ice House Hotel & Spa, The Quay, Ballina, Co Mayo;