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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-09-19 07:11:25

spa awards

spa awards

spa awards


Pummelling, preening, pampering, scrubbing, scouring, smoothing
- it’s been a long six months for our hard-working judges, but the
results are now in and we are delighted to reveal to you the winners

of this year’s coveted Irish Tatler Spa Awards.
We’ve put the best of the best through their paces to discover just

where the top facilities, most skilled therapists, results-driven
facials and unbelievably diligent spa teams are in Ireland. We’ve
been from the tip of Donegal, right down to the wilds of Kerry and
now we have, for your perusal, our unadulterated edit of the highest
-performing spas in Ireland. Some of them are enormous, five-star
facilities; others are boutique properties with stand-out elements,
but all come with the Irish Tatler stamp of approval, and we insist
you book in with at least one of them, today, to start living your

best, rejuvenated life - stat.
Want to know who reigns supreme? Read on…



Arrive on time, be honest
and embrace the silence.

From the atmosphere created by scented candles, to fill in the consultation form and aren’t rushing to
dim lighting and soothing music, to the treatments get changed into your slippers and robe. It also
involving hot stones, essential oils and exfoliating means that you can unwind pre-treatment by using
masques, a spa is a hidden haven of tranquillity and the available facilities such as the relaxation room.
luxury. However, that’s not to say that anything After all, arriving late only puts your own ‘me time’
goes within those four walls. In fact, there are in jeopardy; you could end up losing your slot or, at
certain things you should definitely do and others the very least, reducing the duration of your session.
that you really ought to avoid when attending a spa
and undergoing a treatment. DO…WHAT’S COMFORTABLE FOR YOU
The enjoyment of any given treatment relies on you
DON’T…BE LATE being able to completely relax and immerse yourself
Arriving on time for your appointment is key. In in what’s happening. That means feeling utterly at
fact, you should aim to get there at least 15 to 20 ease with both the treatment and your therapist. So
minutes beforehand so that you have sufficient time whether you would rather not take all of your


allowing you to enjoy the moment, it is important

– particularly after a treatment that focuses on your

muscles – to take it easy and rest up. Listen to what

your body is telling you and feel free to have a nap

clothes off for your body wrap, prefer a light if necessary (by the way, it’s also perfectly normal to
fall asleep during your treatment). It will do you the
massage pressure or would be in favour of having a
female therapist, you should always be open and world of good.

honest about what you want from your spa DO…ENJOY THE SILENCE
experience and what your preferences are. A good The plink plonk of a soothing soundtrack playing in

therapist should make recommendations whilst the background and a therapist whispering you
respecting your wishes. through your treatment in dulcet tones is really all

the noise that there should be.

DON’T…BE AFRAID TO ASK Make small talk with the therapist

QUESTIONS if you like – they will always
Speaking of communicating what follow your lead in terms of

you want, there can be some grey conversation – but remember that

areas when it comes to certain they are there to do a job which
treatments. Questions that have requires concentration and

crossed our minds (and lips) in the promotes relaxation. Most spas
past include, ‘Can I wear my robe will have a pretty strict No Phones

from my hotel room to the spa?’ policy for this reason too. Leave it
and, ‘Do I keep my own in your locker and enjoy some

underwear on under the THE CORE BENEFITS time unplugged.
disposables provided?’ There is no OF HAVING A
question that isn’t worth asking SPA TREATMENT DON’T…CHANGE YOUR
– you are paying for a service and TREATMENT
the therapists will have heard it all The majority of therapists will
before. On that note, wearing have an area of expertise or be

your robe from the hotel room to It might seem like you’re simply treating trained in a certain treatment,
the spa is usually acceptable but yourself but there are real health which means that swapping your
do check with the staff in case you benefits related to undergoing spa facial or massage for something
have to go outside or through the treatments, including: else on the day might not be as

reception to access the spa. And • The main advantage is that it reduces easy as it sounds. If you do have
FYI: disposables are intended to your stress levels. Switching off for an to or want to change your choice
save your underwear from the hour or two encourages relaxation and of treatment, contact the spa well
products applied during alleviates anxiety. ahead of time and understand that
treatment. it might not be possible.
• Both facials and massages, which

DO…HAVE A SHOWER involve pressure being applied to certain DO…TIP IF YOU WANT
parts of the body, have been found to A trip to the spa is usually already
BEFOREHAND improve circulation. an investment, so it can be hard to
You’re mere minutes away from know whether you should tip or
having numerous creams and oils • As well as tackling knots, the method not. It’s not really expected but if
rubbed over your face and body, of massage will also ease sore muscles you have an amazing experience,
but that doesn’t mean that you and release tension, especially around you may want to leave a small tip
can’t or shouldn’t have a shower the neck and back areas. and it will be welcomed. Aim for
before heading to a spa. It will similar to restaurant tip ratios –
rinse any residue or sweat off your • Treatments such as facials and body 10-15 per cent of the cost of your
skin before your treatment and, wraps involving the application of treatment. Another way you could
just as it is at the gym, it is products (creams, oils and scrubs) are show your appreciation, and one
common courtesy to maintain a intended to rejuvenate the skin.

good level of personal hygiene that could lead to lots more happy
when in close proximity with other people. If you’ve customers, would be to post a positive review online

opted to have a facial, it will also save time during or recommend the spa to friends and family. And if
your session if you remove your makeup before they feel like booking on the back of said

attending your appointment. recommendation, and need some company,

would be rude not to oblige, wouldn’t it?

The reason that the therapist tells you to take a few

minutes post-treatment is because they mean it. As

well as giving you privacy to get dressed and


overall Spa of the Year


Monart Destination Spa in Co Wexford,
once again, stands ahead of the rest, winning
Overall Spa of the Year by unanimous verdict.
It is not merely an outstanding resort – year
on year, Monart continues to wow our
judging panel with new developments. As
well as having the highest standards of spa
excellence you can get, the spa still sparkles
with an air of freshness – a testament to its
continued dedication to benchmarking and
maintaining true quality. Constant innovation
in all aspects of the spa and its offering
ensure Monart stays ahead of the game when
it comes to providing not just a relaxing
experience that melts away stress, but one
with visible results. The location is a true
nature-filled oasis, perfect to escape to and
hard to beat. It enables every visitor to switch
off and truly relax, no matter how long or
short their stay at Monart may be. The out-
of-this-world level of customer service? The
jewel in the crown.
Monart Destination Spa, The Still, Enniscorthy,
Co Wexford; Tel: 053 923 8999;


dublin Spa of the Year


highly commended If a sign of a truly notable spa is the kind of customer service that
makes you feel wholly pampered, then The Marker is that rare
THE SPA AT THE SHELBOURNE HOTEL breed that has it in droves, yet makes it feel utterly effortless. A
trip to the Dublin Spa & Wellness bolthole is something special – a
Destinations don’t get more iconic, nor more central, than Dublin’s haven of peace and quiet in the epicentre of Grand Canal Square
Shelbourne Hotel. Overlooking St Stephen’s Green, it is the benchmark that also boasts some of the slickest décor in town. An ultra-
for sophisticated, timeless luxury. Set over two floors, with a sleek pool efficient greeting comes courtesy of the face of front of house,
and sauna, every moment spent at The Spa at The Shelbourne is one Ainhoa, while the elegance of the spa itself is unparalleled – a
of opulence. From the chic reception area to the exquisite treatment Kirkstone clad, 23-metre infinity pool is the tip of the iceberg. The
rooms to the relaxation room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking addition of a competitive Sunday package ensures luxury and value
the bustling city streets below, it’s an oasis in the heart of Ireland’s needn’t be mutually exclusive either.
capital. Always a favourite, the ever refreshed treatment list, the option Spa & Wellness at The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands,
to request any tailored treatment off menu and the Elemis and Panpuri Dublin 2; Tel: 01 687 5100;
brands on offer make it a constant go-to for charm, luxury and relaxation.
The Spa at The Shelbourne Hotel, 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2; Tel: 01 663

leinster Spa of the Year


Our judge was very impressed with not only
the décor, the facilities and the quality of
the treatment she received, but the staff
at this spa. Each and every member went
above and beyond to ensure that her visit
was something exceptional. As well as a quiet
and restful atmosphere in the spa, everything
immaculately clean and tidy. Our judge
enjoyed the Elemis Exotic Escape (€130/140
minutes) that combined massage and a facial,
something that was suggested by staff to
match her needs. It provided the ultimate
relaxing experience and one they couldn’t
recommend highly enough.

The Spa at Lyrath Estate, Paulstown Road,
Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny; Tel: 056 776 0088;

highly commended highly commended

A stone’s throw from Dublin, the spa at Killashee has it all. From the
unique hydrotherapy suite, to the spacious and restful treatment rooms, A hotel spa with one of the best thermal suites we’ve ever encountered,
relaxation is the priority. Choose from a wide variety of treatments The Heritage Killenard impressed our judge with its high levels of
using luxurious Elemis products and feel yourself begin to unwind within customer service, relaxing atmosphere and its commitment to ensuring
moments. The knowledgeable therapists tailor each treatment to best that each guest gets the most from their visit. During our stay we found
suit the individual, making it a truly custom experience. Our judge gave staff to be knowledgeable and approachable while the treatment menu
a special mention to the attentive but discreet staff whose friendly includes something for all budgets and inclinations, including the option
manner puts you immediately at ease. Perfect for a pre-wedding pamper, of having lunch served in the spa itself. The staggering of appointments
romantic break or a girly getaway, the well-priced packages ensure that for the thermal suite is a small but effective touch that ensured our judge
everyone is catered for. enjoyed the facilities in peace and quiet.
Killashee Spa, Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare; Tel: 045 895 182; The Heritage Killenard, Portarlington, Co Laois; Tel: 057 864 5500;

munster Spa of the Year


Exemplary service was the key note made
by our judge on visiting the exquisite Spa at
Aghadoe Heights, the ideal place to relax
and renew in the wilds of Co Kerry. This
isn’t just service with a smile, however, it’s
always 100 per cent genuine, as noted by
our judge – from the front of house staff to
the team of considered and highly-qualified
therapists. The pristine communal areas truly
shine too; as well as an excellently-appointed
thermal suite with a colour theme inspired
by the hues of Irish wildflowers and grasses,
the finishing touches in the relaxation area
– such as fruit kebabs and personalised iPods
– contribute to a spa experience that exceeds

The Spa at Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa,
Killarney, Co Kerry; Tel: 064 663 1766;

highly commended highly commended

The moment our judge arrived at The Spa at Killarney Plaza, they were
Our judge found the facilities at this treated with attentive service and the utmost professionalism. From
spa to be of an exceptional standard the serene relaxation area in which to unwind before the treatment, to
and well-maintained, particularly the many facilities on offer, this is one not to be missed if travelling to
enjoying the choice on offer, including Killarney. A special mention goes to the fabulous Decléor Head-to-Toe
separate vitality pool areas for both package (€199/225mins), which was made all the more enjoyable by the
men and women, and two very different extremely capable therapist. Small but essential additions like the mood
relaxation areas – one light and one lighting and beautiful products used throughout the treatment made for
dark – to choose from, depending on a truly luxurious experience.
the mood of guests. All the staff were
friendly, informed and efficient, making The Spa at Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa, Town Centre, Killarney, Co Kerry.
guests feel relaxed and at ease from the Tel: 064 662 1100;
beginning of the spa experience to the
very end. The treatments on offer were
delivered to a high standard. Our judge
felt the overall spa experience offered
amazing value for money, and said
they would be happy to return for
subsequent visits.

The Spa at Castlemartyr Resort,
Castlemartyr, Co Cork; Tel: 021 421 9000;


connacht Spa of the Year


Housed in a stunning bronze conservatory,
designed by French architect Philipe Bonino,
the Spa at Ashford Castle is truly the last
word in luxury. Plush, ornate décor, in muted
greys, creams and earthy greens, nod to
the castle’s 800-year-old history, while
considerate attention-to-detail elevates this
spa to another level of class. Its state-of-the-
art facilities include a resistance swimming
pool – designed in such a way so as to
extend, almost seamlessly, into the tranquil
waters of one of the country’s largest lakes
– five exceptional treatment rooms, an
invigorating hammam, relaxing steam room
and a beautiful outdoor terrace area – each
impeccably finished to a standard only Red
Carnation is capable of.

The Spa at Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo;
Tel: 094 954 6003;

highly commended highly commended


Run like a well-oiled machine, expect expert professionalism and warmth Losing oneself in a world of escapism and
from all of the staff at Chill Spa at the Ice House. Overlooking the relaxation is absolutely possible at the
River Moy, the stunning, natural views are used to best advantage – the Spa at Kilronan Castle. With an impressive
corridors have floor-to-ceiling windows, and the Jacuzzi and sauna are Elemis-led treatment menu and an extensive
located outside on a private decking, giving the spa a back-to-nature feel. offering that includes hot and cold vitality
Not one to rest on its laurels, the spa menu is always being revamped pools, hydrotherapy showers, tropical rain
to maximise clients’ opportunities for rest, recovery and rejuvenation, showers, aroma light-therapy steam rooms,
including cancer wellness. saunas and a recently refurbished relaxation
suite – all laid out in a manner conducive to
Chill Spa at the Ice House Hotel, The Quay, Ballina, Co Mayo; whiling away a day of indulgence – once you
Tel: 096 23500; get here, you’ll never want to leave.

74 IRISH TATLER AUGUST 2017 The Spa at Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa;
Ballyfamon, Boyle, Co Roscommon;
Tel: 071 961 8000;

ulster Spa of the Year


Offering quality, relevant
treatments in a quiet, reflective
environment, the icing on
Galgorm’s cake is truly the
first of its kind Thermal Village
and Spa. It’s wonderful that
the facilities are available for
all residents as part of the day
spa packages. Each spa visitor
is given a map of the village, so
detailed and exceptional is its
offering. From a Celtic sauna,
Beltane hot tub, snail showers,
water beds, samarium, hot tub,
saunas and the snow cabin,
whether you intend to relax on
a lounger or feel the heat in the
Thermal Village, Galgorm is the
place to do it.

The Spa at Galgorm Resort
& Spa, Galgorm, Co Antrim,
BT42 1EA; Tel: 048 2588 1001;

highly commended highly commended

A cocoon of relaxation, Spa Solís is nestled within the heart of the
magnificent Lough Eske Castle. Sitting in its own building in the garden, Tucked away from the hustle and bustle lies Lough Erne and in it, its
natural light, rich wood and textiles are used to great effect for a bright, calming, welcoming Thai Spa. Expertly-trained therapists, award-winning
airy feel that lifts the senses and the spirit, and fits in well with the spa’s spa products and a relaxation room, lap sabai, that showcases the
choice in treatment lines – Yon-Ka and Anne Semonin. The thermal suite beautiful Fermanagh scenery, allow visitors to absolutely relax. Extra
boasts a floor-to-ceiling window which overlooks the grounds and the points must be given for the sabi sabi area, a pre-treatment room where
heated, tiled seats make for the perfect spot to dry off and relax. Spa- you can unwind prior to your spa journey. Everything has been created
goers can expect a warm welcome from every member of staff; our with the spa visitor in mind with the pre-treatment offerings allowing you
judge was particularly impressed by the home-from-home vibe of the to enhance your experience and reawaken all of your senses.
five-star spa and hotel, masterfully blended in a real, genuine way.
Thai Spa at Lough Erne Resort, Belleek Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh,
Spa Solis at Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa, Lough Eske, Co Donegal; Tel: BT93 7ED; Tel: 048 6632 3230;
074 972 5100;


best facial

The EcoSpa Experience Signature Facial
at The EcoSpa at Clonmel Park Hotel

highly commended More than just a facial, the EcoSpa’s
Signature Facial is a ritualistic journey
Voya Ocean Fresh through relaxation. Designed especially
Facial Experience at for the spa by Spa Manager, Laura Lawlor,
Spa No 1 Pery Square the treatment begins with a mind-calming
at No 1 Pery Square exercise followed by a lavender, muscle-melt
Hotel & Spa massage to ease stresses and strains from
the back, feet and arms. Next is the Kerstin
A holistic experience, set deep in the Florian Anti-Ageing Facial, with infused
hotel’s vaulted basement, this Voya facial plant-cell cultures, to plump, hydrate and
was luxurious, organic and to quote our renew the skin. Our judge couldn’t speak
judge “not at all hemp-ey”. Using the more highly of the experience, “It’s been a
seaweed-infused product range – rich long time since I’ve laid on a treatment bed
in powerful antioxidants – it works to and wished it would never end. Spa Manager
detoxify, brighten and hydrate the skin, Laura was born to do this – she is so tuned-in
leaving it plumped and radiant. Beginning to her treatments, so intuitive – five stars
with a double cleanse and gentle all-round.”
exfoliation, to remove dead skin cells and
stimulate blood flow, the facial is rounded (€85/90 mins) The EcoSpa at Clonmel Park
off with a detoxifying, balancing mask Hotel, Cahir Road Roundabout, Clonmel,
and facial massage, with the brand’s anti- Co Tipperary; Tel: 052 618 8700;
ageing My Little Hero serum. Our judge
said her post-spa glow was unrivalled.
highly commended
(€75/55 mins) Spa No 1 Pery Square at
No 1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa, Georgian ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Facial at The Spa
Quarter, Co Limerick; Tel: 061 402 402; at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort
Set in the picturesque surroundings of the County Cavan countryside,
oodles of space set this spa apart. The outdoor pool, in particular,
proved memorable. Our judge felt that the ESPA Optimal Skin Pro
Facial treatment exceeded expectations thanks to the proficiency
of experienced therapist, Amy. The facial is easily adapted to suit the
individual needs and mood of the guest and, not only did it prove
relaxing, it delivered noticeable results post-treatment, leaving the judge
feeling much more informed about her skin’s needs. All the products
used during the treatment felt extremely kind and nurturing to the skin.

(€105/60 mins) The Spa at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Co Cavan; Tel:
049 437 7700;


best in service


Should a spa be only as good as its staff, then
Ashford Castle Spa comes top of its class.
Its team of staff, led by Spa Director and
hospitality-industry veteran, Michelle Ryan,
wholly understand the concept of providing
a warm, world-class guest service. From the
moment of booking to departure post-spa
experience, the staff exudes the highest
level of professionalism, skill, education and,
of course, presentation. Expertly versed in
wellbeing and health, as well as intensive
product and treatment knowledge, service
at the Spa at Ashford Castle aims for 100 per
cent guest-satisfaction and in our judge’s
opinion, they achieved that and more.

The Spa at Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo;
Tel: 094 954 6003;

highly commended highly commended

Excellent service isn’t just about doing the basics well, it’s about the
A familiar name in the Irish Tatler Spa Awards, Clonakilty’s Inchydoney personal touches that make a person’s spa visit that bit extra special, and
Island Lodge & Spa has once again been singled out for its fabulous you can expect this in every aspect of this spa and hotel – whether dining
service this year. A reminder at the time of booking to bring swimwear, in the restaurant, enjoying a drink in one of the cosy, old-world lounges,
and to arrive early to enjoy the amenities, set the tone and our judge or indulging in a treatment. Our judge was particularly impressed by the
noted that from the moment they arrived they felt welcomed and cared high standard of technique displayed during the therapies. The cherry
for. “The customer service is excellent,” they said, while adding that on top? When the staff heard our judge had been caught in a torrential
therapist Carla was not only good at her job but also “kind and engaging”. downpour whilst cycling earlier in the day, she was offered a reviving
Thoughtful touches, such as heated robes and slippers, as well as an glass of bubbly to enjoy in the Jacuzzi which overlooks the estate grounds
abundantly stocked relaxation room, serve to add the experience and the – a thoughtful touch that meant earlier woes were soon forgotten.
feeling of being a valued guest.
The Spa at Mount Falcon, Mount Falcon Estate, Foxford Road, Ballina,
The Island Spa at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty, West Cork; Co Mayo; Tel: 096 23109;
Tel: 023 883 3143;


best body treatment

Elemis Poultice-Powered Muscle Release Massage
at The Spa at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort

If your muscles are in need of some TLC, this
is the treatment for you. In fact, we think this
type of massage should be mandatory if – like
most of the population – you spend your day
hunched at a computer, accumulating knots
and tension quicker than email notifications.
Harnessing the power of eucalyptus and
juniper, it’s an invigorating massage that
uses a uniquely-designed amber and quartz
poultice to target aching and sore muscles,
relieving the body of well-stocked tension.
Not only are the poultices indulgently sweet-
scented,  they bring the warm pleasure of
a hot stone massage too. No knot was left
unaccounted for and suffice to say, we left
the spa in a state of total relaxation and felt
re-energised for hours in the wake.

(€125/80 mins or €85/40 mins) The
Spa at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort,
Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow;
Tel: 01 287 0800;

highly commended highly commended

Forest of Dreams at Spa Salveo at ESPA Sleep Ritual at ESPA at
Knockranny House Hotel & Spa Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa

An invigorating combination of a Turkish body scrub and Swedish Described as a “deeply indulgent and totally personalised massage,”
massage, The Forest of Dreams treatment is something special. It begins our judge summed the result of this treatment up as “a state of utter
with a brisk body scrub with Kerstin Florian products, then, after a quick relaxation”. Kicking off with some breathing and visualisation techniques,
shower, it’s on to the massage, which is both firm and therapeutic. Super mindfulness is encouraged and what follows is an intense massage
therapist Dorota utilises her knowledge of massage, joint manipulation using hot stones and warm oils. The finishing touch is the calming scalp
and shiatsu to tailor the treatment. In our judge’s case, that involved massage which willed our judge to take a nap in the relaxation room.
serious work on knotted shoulders, leaving muscles blissfully relaxed.
(€120/105 mins) Spa Salveo at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo; (€155/80 mins) ESPA at Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Powerscourt,
Tel: 098 28600; Co Wicklow; Tel: 01 274 8888;


best treatment package

Journey Through Nature Package at
The Spa at The Kingsley Hotel

For a relaxing, smoothing and brightening
experience for body and face, this package is
a real treat for the senses. Beginning with a
full body scrub, our judge was treated to the
scents of organic sweet orange and argan oil
as the salt buffed away rough skin from top to
toe. A back, neck and shoulder massage sorts
out any areas of tension, with the pressure
and focus points tailored to your needs and
the treatment ends with a Youthful Glow
Facial using Champagne, caviar and pearl (oh
my!) it includes a divine scalp massage with
warm oils. Skin is left glowing, super soft to
the touch and the desk hunch of the nine-to-
fiver was truly eased. A wonderful all-rounder
for wellness and glow.

(€170/120mins, plus lunch) The Spa at The
Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross, Sunday’s Well,
Co Cork; Tel: 021 480 0570;

highly commended highly commended

The Detoxifier Package The Spa at The Gentleman’s Old Fashioned Package
The Horse & Jockey Hotel at The Spa at The Shelbourne Hotel

The two-and-a-half-hour detoxifier package is an indulgent body Raising the bar for men’s treatments, this package encapsulates exactly
treatment that includes a relaxing ocean bath, a Cellutox Aroma Spa what our judges were looking for in a tailored, relaxing treatment with
Ocean Wrap and a deep tissue, muscle-melting full body massage. Our top results. Starting with a moor mud back treatment enriched with pine
judge reported their skin was left soft and glowing after the treatment, and eucalyptus, a deep tension-relieving massage followed to ease away
and a patch of irritated skin was carefully and expertly handled by the stresses of the every day. Next, a skin IQ power booster facial, using
therapist. The seaweed from Sligo brand Voya used during the treatment Elemis, gets to work at all the signs of ageing and uneven skin tone,
retains lots of nutrients and skin-friendly properties, and our judge noted tailored to the client’s particular skin concerns. The finishing touch comes
that the therapist offered to wrap the seaweed up for them to take home via an Old Fashioned cocktail, served with a fruit platter in the serene
for a bath the same evening if so wished.  relaxation room overlooking the bustle of Dublin’s city centre.

(€150/150mins) The Spa at Horse & Jockey Hotel, Co Tipperary; (€169/70 mins) The Spa at The Shelbourne Hotel, 27 St Stephen’s Green,
Tel: 0504 441 92; Dublin 2; Tel: 01 663 4500;


best therapist


at The Spa at Slieve Donard

Three treatments were carried out by Shona
Fitzsimmons from The Spa at Slieve Donard
and her talent, professionalism and intuition
really made her stand out as an exceptional
therapist who genuinely cared about going
above and beyond. Before she began working
on our judge – who had booked a massage,
LifeStage facial and scrub – Shona laid out
what was to be expected at each stage. She
queried, in detail, any skincare concerns
or areas of tension. Throughout she was
attentive, checking temperature, massage
pressure and comfort levels before discretely
filling our judge in on any products that would
help maintain the results she’d achieved at
the treatment’s end. Her outstanding manner
and results make Shona a very worthy winner.

The Spa at Slieve Donard, Downs Road
Newcastle, Co Down; Tel: +44 28 4372 6166;

highly commended highly commended

The g Hotel & Spa Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort

When a therapist is described as “having that X-factor” you know you’re From the moment our judge was introduced to Daria at The Spa at
onto a good thing. This is the case when it comes to Jinkerr Kaur, whose Druid’s Glen, it was a perfect match, as she instantly put them at
dedication to excellence is evident throughout her many years of training ease; gently guiding them through what the treatment would entail,
in the spa industry. After melting away any knots and tension, Jin guided while checking their preferences were met throughout. As well as a
our judge through specific breathing and visualisation techniques to knowledgeable and lovely demeanour, it was Daria’s expert massage
create a mindful massage ritual which they noted for, “making the technique that stood out, with our judge noting it as “possibly the best
massage extra special”. In fact, they called it “an all round experience”. back massage [I’ve] ever received”. In today’s competitive environment
Her attention to detail, professionalism and extensive technique marked it’s important to award therapists who will really go above and beyond
her apart from the crowd as a real one to watch on the spa scene. to create a genuinely brilliant spa experience for clients – and our judge
found Daria to be one such gem.
ESPA at The g Hotel & Spa, Old Dublin Road, Co Galway; Tel: 091 865 200; The Spa at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort, Newtownmountkennedy,
Co Wicklow; Tel: 01 287 0800;



Not only does the extended Thermal
Village and Spa at Galgorm offer a host of
revitalising and relaxing options, a visitor
can now feel the tingle of powdered snow
and ice crystals – at an invigorating -10ºC.
Recommended after using the sanarium
– a comfortable heat experience at a
lower temperature to saunas – the Snow
Cabin clears the airways and boosts blood
circulation. Full marks to those brave enough
to remove their robes before entering.
Once the novelty wears off and the coolness
begins, you realise it’s a lot of fun with
additional health benefits and ideal for those
who enjoy wintry weather. We’ll be back.

Galgorm Resort & Spa, Galgorm, Co Antrim;
Tel: 048 2588 1001;

highly commended highly commended

Pevonia Micro Retinol Peel at Monart The Rose Crystal Eye Treatment at
Destination Spa SÁMAS Spa at the Park Hotel Kenmare

Monart is known for its innovative treatments and this year our judge The Park Hotel’s SÁMAS Spa is a truly otherworldly experience. From
noted the Pevonia Micro-Retinol Peel – a treatment that blurs the lines its spacious outdoor Jacuzzi nestled among trees and overlooking the
of spa-based, non-surgical treatments. It packed real punch, being Kenmare estuary, to separate steam rooms for men and women, every
described by our judge as “far more impactful than a typical facial” with care has been taken to create a sense of peace and serenity for visitors.
“breathtaking results for tired and ageing skin”. In today’s results-driven A real stand out on the spa menu is the Rose Crystal Eye Treatment: a
marketplace, it’s offerings like these that stand out from the crowd. sumptuous ritual using crystals. An active treatment adjusted to meet the
needs of the delicate eye area, lymphatic drainage is encouraged with
(€120/60 mins) Monart Destination Spa, The Still, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; the use of the rose quartz crystals, reducing the triple threat of fine lines,
Tel: 053 923 8999; wrinkles and puffiness.

(€160/60 mins) SÁMAS Spa at the Park Hotel Kenmore, Shelbourne Street,
Kenmare, Co Kerry; Tel: 064 664 1200;


people’s choice


Cited by our readers as their top spot to
relax and unwind, The Spa at Farnham Estate
was the overriding favourite for Irish Tatler
readers who voted in their thousands for
their favourite Irish spa destination. Set in
the rolling hills of County Cavan, the link
between this 40,000 square foot spa and its
bucolic surroundings is key, as the spacious
spa offers sweeping views of its surrounds,
creating a zone of total relaxation and
comfort for guests. Taking pride of place
is the exclusive Yon-Ka and ESPA product
ranges – a further sign of the high standard
the spa maintains. Treatments vary from
a developed day package offering to a
generous suite of treatments for men, while
the striking indoor/outdoor swimming pool is
a real draw for spa goers. A true haven.
The Spa at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort,
Co Cavan; Tel: 049 437 7700;


CHILL SPA AT THE people’s choice

MONART The Top 10 Irish Spas,
1. The Spa at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort LYRATH ESTATE
2. Chill Spa at the Ice House Hotel
3. The Spa at the Shandon Hotel & Spa
4. The Spa at Lyrath Estate
5. Rainforest Spa at Summerhill House Hotel
6. The Spa at The Kingsley Hotel
7. Monart Destination Spa
8. The Spa at Fota Island Resort
9. The Spa at Mount Falcon Estate
10. Spa & Wellness at The Marker Hotel





ESCAPE Overlooking the Southwest’s iconic flat-topped mesa rock
formations, Amangiri takes its name from the Sanskrit
From healing on holiday to lounging in luxury, words for peace, ‘aman’, and ‘giri’ meaning mountain.
whatever your getaway intentions, these are Tucked into a protected valley in the Grand Circle region of
destination spas of the highest degree. Utah, guests should prepare to feel hypnotised, enveloped
and entirely outsized, by the sweeping views of the desert
landscapes. The Aman Spa has been created in tune with
the holistic principles and traditions of the local Native
American reservation and Navajo people, which share an
all-encompassing philosophy of life, seeing the earth and
all that exists in the natural world as manifestations of
the Sacred. All spa treatments and therapies begin with
the native American ritual of smudging – the process of
burning white sage and fanning the smoke with intention
over the body – to acknowledge the oncoming gifts on a
spiritual level and, eventually, the manifestation of them
on a physical level. Centred around the four elements of
life – earth, wind, fire and water, thermal pavilions, stone-
lined treatments rooms and open-air terraces provide a
variety of contemplation spaces. And for those looking to
be a little active, a spacious, fully-equipped fitness centre
offers candlelit reformer Pilates and yoga beneath the
rising moon.

Rates start at €1,500 (including all meals for two and transfers
from and to the airport) and prices for individual treatments



Due to have a soft opening this month, the fantasy-like environment of the
270-roomed Mondrian Doha – designed in collaboration with Marcel Wanders
– is sensitively rooted in local Arabic culture. Incorporating bespoke design
features, with influences from the beauty of local patterns, ornate Arabic
writing and historic souks, the hotel’s standout elements include giant columns
with golden eggs, a ‘tree of life’ comprised of flowers, giant shisha, ornate
stained glass and intricate mosaic tiling. Equally influenced by the distinct
gender roles of the Middle East, ESPA at Mondrian Doha will offer two very
different spa experiences. All guests will enter through a pure white reception
area, representing a freeing of the mind and encouraging a sense of relaxation,
before male and female guests part ways, entering their gender-specific areas
to embark on their own personal journey. The female spa, designed with the
delicate nature of women in Qatar in mind, features five relaxing treatment
rooms, as well as a multi-level heat experience garden, filled with mesmerising
design features, such as Swarovski crystal rain showers and an intricately-
carved wooden Finnish sauna. Contrastingly, the male spa oozes masculinity in a
traditional sense, with a design that has been inspired by the strong and vibrant
urban souks of the region with a fire and water fountain, which guests can
admire whilst relaxing on the muscle-warming heated daybeds.

Rates will start from €215 per night and prices for individual treatments vary;


The prestigious Grande Dame of the Côte d’Azur,
ensconced between nine hectares of landscaped gardens
and the Mediterranean coastline, is an ode to the old-world
glamour of the French Riviera. With a glittering history,
the 19th Century mansion has played host to celebrities
such as F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cary Grant
and Elizabeth Taylor and, with its sumptuous Louis XVI
furnishings, it’s not hard to understand why. Alongside
a no-holds-barred concierge service, The Hotel du Cap-
Eden-Roc offers exclusive treatments by Sisley and organic
brand Bamford, all delivered by highly skilled therapists.
Treatments can be taken outdoors in the garden gazebo,
shaded by billowing curtains, or in one of two spa cabanas,
overlooking the lapping waves. Prior to treatments, guests
can relax in the sauna, or refresh post-tennis lesson, on one
of the hotel’s five courts, by taking a dip in the sea. This is,
as Slim Aarons might describe it, “attractive people doing
attractive things in attractive places.”

Rates start from €660 per night and prices for individual
treatments vary;


In order to better understand the
world, one has to turn away from Located on the north east coast of Zanzibar –
it on occasion and this is wholly framed by lush green forest and the turquoise
possible at the serene Yoga Rosa waters of the Indian Ocean – Essque Zalu Zanzibar
retreat, skirted by a lush pine forest, is a resort crafted and constructed almost entirely
in rural Ibiza. Concentrating on from local materials. The African continent and
regeneration, prevention and healing its indigenous Maasai tribe has a long-established
the mind, body and soul through tradition of healing, rooted in the powerful
yoga, meditation, sound healing, surroundings of the land. Inspired by techniques
ayurvedic colon cleansing and that harness nature’s energy, the resort has
healthy nutrition – this home-away- partnered with the award-winning Africology
from-home escape has a particular brand to create a series of spa rituals designed
focus on gut health, recognising that to take guests on a unique journey of renewal.
70 per cent of the body’s immune Carried out in a specially designed Maasai ‘Village’
system dwells in the digestive tract. by Zanzibarian and Tanzanian therapists with an in-
Particularly effective for those depth knowledge of the culture, rituals are steeped
recovering from, or living with, in the sights, sounds and sensations of tribal
injury, illness or anxiety, an individual customs. Using locally sourced plants and essential
treatment plan is created for each oils, such as coffee and cinnamon for toning; ginger
guest, post-testing to confirm pre- for slimming; potato for healing and mongongo nut
existing medical conditions and for detoxification, all products and treatments are
any food allergies/intolerances. developed to create harmony between skin, body
Additional therapies are available and mind. Go further in the holistic, healing journey
throughout the holistic colon-healing still with the resident shaman to balancing chakras
retreat including: transforming reiki and remove negative energy caused by stress.
healing, energising Thai massage,
heart-opening therapeutic massage, Rates start at €425 (on half baord basis) and prices
infusions and IV drips. Between for individual treatments vary;
yoga, healing sessions and delicious
vegetarian-vegan meals, free-diving VILLA STÉPHANIE, GERMANY
and horse riding are optional and
there’s even an animal sanctuary on Villa Stéphanie was born out of Brenners Park-Hotel’s
site that allows guests to meet ducks, project to create Europe’s most refined spa concept for
chicken and Lola, the miniature pig. the 21st century, and within a year of opening it has won
praise for its ability to pair old-fashioned sensibilities with
Rates start at €2,100 for six nights, an up-to-speed outlook. Set in the foothills of the Black
excluding flights; Forest, the elegant 15-suite mansion boasts a spa split over five floors. A private host with a strong medical and
spa background is allocated to each guest upon arrival.
88 IRISH TATLER AUGUST 2017 Villa Stéphanie also encourages a visit to Haus Julius– a
high-tech clinic dovetailing holistic health with specialist
private medical services from Germany’s top experts.
Guests also have the option of a dedicated ‘digital detox’,
offering a good, old-fashioned night’s sleep.

Rates start from €500 and prices for individual treatments

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