Spa Breaks in Ireland
Sometimes you need to get away from it all - to relax, be pampered and to recharge the mind and body. Ireland has a fantastic selection of spas including Destination Spas, Resort Spas, Hotel Spas and Specialised Retreats. You can also choose from health farms, thalassotherapy resorts and seaweed bath centres.
A destination spa provides a total immersion in the spa experience, in an environment dedicated to health, fitness and relaxation. Here you will feel comfortable walking around in a robe, dining in a robe or lounging around the pool or garden because everyone else will be doing the same.
What to Expect:
A purpose built facility with accommodation and comprehensive spa services. Accommodation at a minimum of four star Fáilte Ireland approved standard. Extensive permanent programmes including exercise classes, nutritional advice, weight loss, detox, stress counselling and lifestyle management. At least three on-site scheduled activities including aerobic exercise, yoga, pilates or relaxation classes. Meals reflect the ethos of the spa, with a focus on your specific dietary and health requirements. At least ten treatment rooms. A swimming pool or vitality pool. At least five thermal or wet spa experiences. A 'robes and slippers' culture throughout, including lounge and restaurant areas.
A Resort spa offers recreational activities alongside a comprehensive range of spa treatments and rituals, in a hotel resort environment. Guests primarily come to avail of the variety of activities and attractions.
What to Expect
A country retreat/estate mountain lodge in a rural, countryside or seaside location, set in spacious, landscaped grounds. On site activities such as golf, fishing, horse riding, tennis, cycling, archery and walking. A dedicated spa facility. Accommodation to a minimum of four star Fáilte Ireland approved standard. At least five treatment rooms. A swimming or vitality pool within the spa area. At least five thermal or wet spa experiences. A comprehensive range of treatments and spa rituals. A 'robes and slippers' culture within the spa area. A relaxation room.
Comprehensive Hotel Spa
A comprehensive hotel spa offers a wide variety of spa treatments and rituals in a dedicated spa facility that is an integral part of a wider hotel complex.
What to Expect
A dedicated spa facility within the hotel complex. Accommodation to a minimum of four star Fáilte Ireland approved standard. At least five treatment rooms. At least five thermal or wet spa experiences. A swimming pool or vitality pool within the spa area. Thermal or wet spa experiences. A 'robes and slippers' culture within the spa area. A complete range of spa services and treatments. A relaxation room.
Extensive Hotel Spa
An extensive hotel spa offers a carefully selected menu of spa services and treatments in a spa environment that is part of a wider hotel offering.
What to Expect
A comfortable spa environment in a self-contained facility. Accommodation at a minimum of three star Fáilte Ireland approved standard. At least four treatment rooms. A selection of thermal or wet spa experiences are likely. Selective Hotel Spa A selective hotel spa offers a small but carefully selected variety of spa services and treatments in a spa environment that is part of a wider hotel offering. The primary focus is on treatments rather than thermal experiences. What to expect A comfortable spa environment in a self-contained facility. Accommodation at a minimum of three star Fáilte Ireland approved standard At least three treatment rooms.
Leisure Club Hotel Spa
A Leisure Club Hotel Spa offers carefully selected spa treatments within a leisure club facility, in or close to the hotel.
What to Expect
Accommodation at a minimum of three star Fáilte Ireland approved standard. A limited number of treatment rooms within the leisure centre facility. A fitness centre or exercise room open to all hotel guests and leisure club members. A swimming pool open to all hotel guests and leisure club members. A limited number of thermal and wet experiences within the leisure centre.
Health Farms, Thalassotherapy Resorts and Seaweed Bath Centres
A Health Farm offers guests tailored wellness and lifestyle reorientation programmes in a retreat environment, allowing you to immerse yourself in the complete wellness experience.
What to Expect
A purpose built facility. Fáilte Ireland approved accommodation. At least five treatment rooms. A complete range of spa treatments and rituals. A 'robes and slippers' culture throughout, including lounge and restaurant areas. Extensive permanent programmes including exercise classes, lifestyle management, weight loss, detox and fitness programmes. At least three on-site scheduled activities such as aerobic exercise classes, yoga, pilates or relaxation classes. Meals reflect the ethos of the spa, with a focus on your specific dietary and health requirements.
A Thalassotherapy Resort offers therapeutic marine based treatments using heated seawater, seaweed and mud. What to Expect A purpose built facility. Fáilte Ireland approved accommodation. At least five treatment rooms. A wide range of marine and thermal pool experiences. A relaxation room. A range of spa treatments. A swimming pool or vitality pool.
Seaweed Bath Centre
A Seaweed Bath Centre offers the fortifying and detoxifying properties of seaweed baths in a marine health centre.
What to Expect
A purpose built facility. Fáilte Ireland approved accommodation. Health-giving seaweed baths. A limited number of spa treatments may be available.
Some General Spa Terms Explained
Those who are new to the spa experience often find the range of choice and some of the language used a little confusing. Here we explain some of the general terms but if you are not sure what's involved, always ensure to ask therapists what a treatment entails before you book.
Acupressure: Oriental technique of applying pressure to pressure points on the body to improve the flow of energy. Acupuncture Oriental technique of inserting needles into pressure points to stimulate healing.
Aromatherapy: Using essential oils from flowers, trees and grasses to heal by stimulating the senses, mental responses, circulatory and respiratory functions.
Ayurveda: Eastern Indian philosophy and practice of using herbs and medication to create a balance between the internal and external self.
Balneotheraphy: Water therapy used to treat a variety of ailments, including stress and arthritis.
Brushing Exfoliating treatment: involving the dry brushing of skin to remove dead cells and stimulate circulation. Skin brushing may also be used to prepare skin for a seaweed or mud wrap.
Endermologie Massage therapy: for reducing the appearance of cellulite and refining the silhouette.
Exfoliation: The process of sloughing off dead skin cells. This process also stimulates blood flow to aid circulation.
Flotation Tank: A tank filled with enough salt water so a person can float in it; lights are either dimmed or turned off. The combination of a darkened room and the floating process is an aid to relaxation and stress reduction.
Hammam: The Turkish and Middle Eastern tradition of a communal bathhouse is adapted in Western spas to include gommage (exfoliation), massage and steam for detoxification and relaxation.
Lymphatic Drainage: a massage treatment which stimulates circulation, reduces water retention and loosens stored toxins, encouraging them to be excreted from the body.
Oxygen Facial: Anti-ageing treatment where oxygen is applied topically or sprayed onto the face to stimulate and reinforce the collagen levels in the skin.
Reflexology: Ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Indian therapy, which treats the whole body through the touching of reflexes on the feet which are believed to be microcosms of the entire body, having relational points which correlate to specific body parts.
Reiki Massage: technique using subtle stationery hand positions o points of tension or injury; the therapist's hands are usually fully extended, and palms applied to the affected area.
Salt Rub: A hydrating and exfoliating treatment where small amounts of oil and coarse salt are applied to dampened skin in circular strokes.
Sauna: A Finnish treatment of dry heat, which encourages sweating and the elimination of toxins. A cold shower usually follows to close the opened pores.
Serail: A chamber dedicated to warm mud treatments. Shiatsu Japanese massage technique of acupressure used to stimulate pressure points and improve energy flow.
Steam Room: Area of wet, hot steam which opens pores and rids toxins.
Swedish Massage: Massage technique using firm manipulation of pressure points and muscles.
Thalassotherapy: Any treatment using sea water and mineral-rich marine by-products to have a curative or restorative effect.
Thermal Suite: A room or series of rooms using heat (sauna and seam room) and cold (ice shower and plunge pool) to stimulate and tone.