From luxury city spa days to romantic retreats with mountain views, an Ireland spa break is a chance to experience some of the most amazing spas in the world.
Ireland is more than just a destination. It’s the feelings embodied by the history and culture as well as the array of experiences, natural beauty and inherently warm hospitality. From the thrill of standing on top of the towering Slieve League cliffs to wholesome local produce crafted into delicious dishes brought to your table, the magic of Ireland is epitomised in its spas; wellbeing gems and luxury escapes that are winning international awards for excellence.
From the magnificent beauty of Castlemartyr Resort, a 17th century country manor complete with a state-of-the-art spa designed by ESPA. To Fota Island Resort on an island in Cork Harbour, which is also home to Ireland’s only wildlife park. From Hayfield Manor Hotel, where therapists have won the Irish Tatler Spa Awards for therapist of the year multiple times. To Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa with views of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain and a uniquely beautiful Swarovski Crystal-lit pool. An Ireland spa break is an opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful experiences in the world.
Foodie favourites in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is currently one of Europe’s hottest food destinations, with its array of food trails bursting with local specialities and gourmet treats. Whether you’re enjoying dinner in a cosy pub while listening to some live music or fine-dining in one of the many quality restaurants, you will not be disappointed with Belfast’s traditional and contemporary fare made with the freshest of local produce.
Wrap yourself in the wilderness of the west coast of Ireland on of the most iconic coastal touring routes in the world, the Wild Atlantic Way. From the breath-taking views from the cliffs of Slieve League to the rugged landscapes of the Burren, let your inner adventurer out hiking or kayaking through this exceptional terrain.
Experience the rich culture of Ireland’s most historic region; Ireland’s Ancient East. Cycle or walk along the Waterford Greenway, a spectacular off-road trail built on an old railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan. Make a trip to the luscious greenery of Wicklow National Park, for example, which is also home to a monastery founded in the sixth century, Glendalough.
Dublin is the ultimate city break-surprising moments, epic adventures and all that can happen in between. Enjoy a Guinness with a view in the Guinness Storehouse’s famous Gravity Bar, take in the sights and sounds of the city at Trinity College, the Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin Castle and Temple Bar and experience the great food, live music and warm welcome of the locals in a cosy pub.
An Ireland spa break with the magic of the Northern Lights
From dazzling light displays to amazing architecture, it is always worth going off the beaten track in Ireland and simply exploring. From impossibly beautiful little harbours to vast, undiscovered peninsulas, iconic castle ruins to ancient bog bodies, there’s even what locals call a magic road. A particularly enchanting experience is seeing the Northern Lights at Inishowen. Bring along a flask of hot chocolate, snuggle under a blanket and watch this phenomenon at Grianán of Aileach, a huge 2,000-year-old ring fort sitting 250 metres/820ft above sea level.
The Lakelands in Ireland really are something to behold. Connecting north to south, county to county and mystical past to modern present, the waterways have a life of their own. In addition, there are sites to explore as you tour them - an 800-year-old castle, mysterious pagan idols, a Global Geopark and Europe’s oldest pub. No wonder this is the place that inspired Nobel prize-winner WB Yeats to preserve in words the timeless calm of “lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore”.
Follow the flow of Ireland’s folklore in Shannon. Explore the stormy past and enduring splendour of Ireland’s castles, before soaking up tales of the warring lords, cultured ladies and besieged revolutionaries who have left their mark on Ireland’s landscapes. For that extra touch of magic, gaze beyond Lough Gur’s still waters to Knockadoon Hill, at the imposing hillforts and megalithic tombs around the lake, and discover the horseshoe-shaped lake, hidden away amid hills and green scenes which lead locals to tell you it is home to the king of the fairies. A short distance away you will also find historic Limerick with the 13th century King John’s Castle - site of battles and sieges, and the iconic Milk Market, a bustling treasure trove of local produce.
With its castles that look like they’ve dropped out of a movie and walking trails that twist and turn like the words of a poet, it is no wonder that Ireland is a rich source of myth and legend. See the ancient bog road built in 148BC or The Hill of the Witch at Loughcrew where local folklore tells the story of a magical woman, Garavogue. Some say a witch, some say a goddess. You can even visit Cavan Burren Park; the lands where it is believed romancing giants once roamed.
The Emerald Isle is known for being home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. From the unique Fota Island, which has three golf courses including the magnificent the Deerpark Course, which offers a relaxing test of picture-perfect parkland golf to visiting golfers, to Royal Portrush which has world famous holes such as the par-3 14th, known by many as Calamity.
In recent years Ireland has started to be recognised as a wellbeing haven on the world stage. It’s something that we, at Spabreaks.com, have known for a long time and as such have built some incredible relationships with the most exceptional spa destinations, allowing us to bring you some of the best spa experiences. It has been a joy this year to see Hayfield Manor Hotel, for example, recognised for the second consecutive year at the Irish Tatler Spa Awards for best therapist, celebrating their unique approach to customising spa treatments. From luxury spa breaks to total wellbeing retreats, Ireland’s spa experiences are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Nestled into the Cotswolds, Cotswolds Hotel and Spa is an idyllic combination of contemporary wellness facilities and natural landscapes. A calming destination and a welcoming environment, for those wishing for peace and tranquility for an afternoon or a few days, it's a dreamy destination. Here are five of the reasons we love Cotswolds Hotel and Spa.