Home > Ireland > Two great escapes in Ireland

Two great escapes in Ireland

If you are thinking of relaxing and unwinding, Ireland might not be the first place that springs to mind. But weather aside, the country has some state-of-the-art spas, a natural warmth and stunning scenery that will put even the most stressed-out souls back in touch with their inner self.

Reconnect  and recharge –  head for Monart Spa

In the heart of the Irish countryside, Monart sits on over 100 acres of beautifully landscaped, and natural, gardens.

Located in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, in the “sunny” southeast of Ireland, Monart Spa frequently tops lists of the world’s best spas in magazines like Forbes and Condé Nast.

As you drive up the narrow, windy, potholed and well signposted road to Monart, passing green fields where cows lazily graze, you might wonder where on earth you are going. But once you enter Monart’s driveway, admiring its beautifully landscaped gardens, and the gate closes behind you, you’ll take a deep breath and realize you’ve just left the outside world behind you.

The original 18th-century Georgian house – which is used as the reception today – was built for Nathaniel Cookman, a close friend of Britain’s King George I, who inherited 6,000 acres of land in Ireland and decided to make Monart his home. Today this historic country manor-style estate has been tastefully converted into a hotel and spa set on 119 acres of land with a clever architectural juxtaposition of old and new combining stone, glass, greenery and wood for a perfect karma.

Unusual wooden loungers add to the feng-shui like atmosphere in the relax area.

The hotel makes an ideal weekend escape. Or if you fancy a quick recharge session, you can book yourself in for a day spa package which includes access to the thermal suite and a two-course healthy and wholesome lunch at the Spa Café. The only problem is that by the time you have enjoyed an aquarobics class in the stunning hydropool, a session in the sanarium and caldarium, a quick stint in the salt grotto and a stroll through the Kneipp cure pool, then dozed for a while with a book, the day is over before you know it. As you’re there, you’re sure to be sidetracked by the extensive spa menu which includes hamman and dry floatation experiences plus an impressive list of body wraps from the detoxifying seaweed and green coffee choices to the more exotic Moroccan Cocoon one. Yet, for me, what made Monart Spa all the bit more special were the stunning views of the gardens – and even of the resident horses – from every corner of the thermal suite through the large glass windows.

If you fancy treating yourself just a bit more, finish off with their fabulous Afternoon Tea which is one of the best in the region and combines a traditional experience with a bit of a modern twist, and, which at just EUR 21 per person, won’t break the bank. Their Guinness & treacle homemade bread is particularly delicious. And instead of going for the more conservative Earl Grey or Darjeeling teas, opt for the Oolong tea, a green/black tea renowned in China for its anti-aging properties.

Go West – relaxation and action in Delphi

Located in the heart of Connemara, in the west of Ireland, Delphi is the perfect getaway.

If you’ve got time and really want to escape far away from modern-day life, Delphi Mountain Resort is a great choice. Tucked away into Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, this eco-friendly lodge combines the best of relaxation and adrenalin activities. On their website, they promise “A place where you can rejuvenate, rebalance and be inspired” and after three days there I can agree! If it’s the great outdoors you are after, you can choose from a huge range of activities including hill-walking, orienteering, archery, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and even raft building. If you’re looking for something more cultural, Delphi is a good base from which to explore Connemara and attractions like Leenane (where many a Hollywood classic has been filmed), the charming town of Clifden, Connemara National Park and the magnificent Kylemore Abbey.

After a day in the soft Irish drizzle and to ease your aching bones, you can enjoy a seaweed bath, Eminence organic facial or spend a few hours in the exclusive thermal suite – voted one of Condé Nast Johansen’s best spas for 2012 – where you can unwind in the hydrotherapy pool and steam room or warm up in the sauna. You can snooze with a fleece blanket enjoying a cup of their special Delphi tea enjoying a 360-degree view of the stunning landscape through the wide glass windows.

Delphi’s thermal suite and spa is listed by Condé Nast Johansen as one of the best spas in the world. With views like this, it’s easy to see why.

And the day doesn’t end there. Dinner is a gastronomic experience, a heady concoction of local ingredients and sharing some similarities with the popular contemporary Five Flies restaurant (one of my personal favorites) in Capetown, South Africa, where the chef has worked.

The best thing about Delphi Mountain Resort is that there are no TVs in the room to remind you of the never-ending Euro debt crisis; you’ll be hard pressed to find a signal for your cell phone,  and there’s only Wifi in certain public areas.

Both Monart Spa and Delphi Mountain Resort are fantastic and therapeutic experiences where you can really escape from it all. Friendly staff, a nice ambience, good food, stunning surroundings and an original list of treatments, what more can you ask for!

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Categories: Ireland
  1. September 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm

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  2. Tommy
    November 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I can only agree, Great Job!

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