The effect of nature and the outdoors on wellbeing is front and centre at the new spa at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina, Co Mayo. It will have four new two-person outside baths for shared bathing rituals when the spa reopens in early July. A relaxation room stands on stilts over the River Moy with 360 degree glazing for views into Belleek Woods. An outdoor pod with floor-to- ceiling views of the river estuary is where the new treatments on massage beds covered with quartz sand will be conducted.
Niall Kerins, general manager, said: “Following a significant investment at the hotel, we are in the process of adding a new wellness focused extension which adds over 250 sq metres of additional space.”
Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford, is trebling its number of outdoor baths. This summer their ‘Well by The Sea Spa’ will introduce a new menu of treatments that can be taken by guests outdoors. The ‘listen to the birds sing’ approach will mean guests can request a hot towel scalp ritual outdoors. The ‘Peat for the Feet’ grounding treatment uses organic peat sourced from ancient bogs in Co Laois. The third treatment, ‘The Sea Escape’, involves soaking your feet in warm seaweed harvested from the south coast while your therapist eases away the tension in your arms, shoulders, neck and scalp. Meditation was another popular tool for dealing with stress during lockdown and the hotel recently added a Movement Room for yoga, pilates, barre and meditation, designed with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Ardmore Bay.
The famed Thermal Spa Village, the first of its kind in Ireland, is the jewel in the crown of Galgorm. Inspired by the understated beauty of the landscape, natural wood and a palette of hues inspired by nature piece together in harmony to deliver a feeling of restfulness and calm. Manicured gardens reveal meandering paths that lead you on your journey of rediscovery.
With Valentines Day fats approaching we thought it would be fitting to make a list of Irelands most romantic castle stays. For couples one request we get a lot is a night or two in an Irish Castle. So for anyone looking to add a touch of romance during their Perfect Irish Trip, we have done up a list of some the Most Romantic Castles In Ireland.
Adare Manor borrows its name from the nearby village of Adare, beloved for its delightful thatched roof cottages, lively pubs, and antique shops. Sitting on the banks of the River Maigue, Adare overlooks the fording point from which the village derives its name: Ath-Dara meaning ‘The Ford of the Oak’. Nestled in 840 acres of pristine parkland a night here in one of the 104 bedrooms makes for the ideal romantic night away.
Set on 100 acres of parkland and gardens, with the magnificent backdrop of Dún a Rí Forest Park, there is much to explore, both indoors and out. With 105 bedrooms, find a quiet corner or fireside to relax with a book, or just enjoy the atmosphere in one of the best-known Castle hotels in Ireland. Period features and furnishings create an authentic, old-world charm and a long tradition of warm and friendly service make Cabra Castle the perfect retreat from the pace of modern living.
With 43 acres of woodland and lake views to explore, Lough Eske in County Donegal makes for the most tranquil getaway. steeped in history dating back to 1474, it is now one of Irelands premier Castle Hotels
When you drive through the grand stone gates of our remarkable 800-year-old castle set on 350 acres, you will discover the exquisite interiors, delicious cuisine, passionate team, a wealth of estate activities and state-of-the-art spa. As a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, Ireland’s top hotel destination and former home of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle is exceptional in every sense.
Ireland is a country famous for its incredible castles and Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa is one of its finest examples of the vision, splendour and elegance of the era when these homes graced our lush green landscape. This magnificent Gothic manor is unique in that its history can be traced right back through the royal family who resided there. For more than 300 years, this 40-acre estate remained in the Tenison family. In 2006, it was lovingly brought back to life by passionate Irish father and son, Alan and Albert Hanly. They endeavoured to restore it to its former glory by maintaining the homely feel and medieval soul but with a modern touch of luxury, technology and the best food that the surrounding lands still produce. As a member of The Hanly Castle Hotel Group, Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa is yours to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a fairytale Irish setting.
If you would like to include an overnight stay in one of Irelands most romantic castles, but you’re not sure which one suits you best or what’s on your route, get in touch or let us help you plan your trip by purchasing one of our Personalised Tour Itineraries (click here) prices start at €29.99.
5 of The Best Eco-Friendly Eateries Across Ireland
Traveling across Ireland can be done in a very eco-friendly manor. We are very lucky here that many people and business owners are aiming to make the world a better place. Every day more and more companies are doing their part to make great changes, some companies however have set out with eco-friendly ethos in mind from the beginning. Here is a list of 5 of the most eco-friendly places for you to dine in while touring Ireland or even if you live in Ireland and you want some healthy sustainable food choices, we have made this list by covering somewhere in almost each of the four corners of Ireland.
Located in Rathfarnham, County Dublin, The Carrot’s Tail is not only a place to eat delicious food, but also acts as a ‘Zero Waste Shop’ too. Customers opting for some zero-waste shopping can bring their containers in and fill up on nuts, seeds, flours, grains, beans, herbs and spices as well as purchasing some zero waste essentials and reusable tools. Working from a full vegan menu, the Carrot’s Tail deliver filling, tasty and delightful food keeping all their customers happy.
In the heart of Dingle Town you will find The Fishbox, who serve the freshest of fish from their very own family trawler, very much a sustainable farm to table, or sea to plate method. All seafood, fruit and veg are locally sourced, even the desserts are handmade at home by the mother of the family, Deirdre, each morning, breads are sourced from local bakers and even the beer served is produced in a macro brewery 100m down the road. The Fishbox is not only delicious, but is sustainable and organic and puts huge pride in their ingredients.
Ard Bia at Nimmos is tucked away past the historic Spanish Arch and overlooking the waters of the River Corrib. Ard Bia offers a full days menu, consisting of: Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Serving seasonal and locally sourced food Ard Bia deliver high quality, sustainable and healthy meals to their customers. Taking menu inspiration locally, but also with Mediterranean and Middle East influence, the food leaves customers feeling satisfied and full.
The Gallery in Westport, County Mayo has been paving the way for a more eco-friendly and fairer trade within the food industry in Ireland (and worldwide) since 2014. Being Ireland’s first natural wine bar (each wine is at the very minimum, organically farmed and most are biodynamic), members of the world’s ‘Kiss The Ground Movement’ (a global movement of regenerative farming), was the first coffee shop to ban single use plastics and instead opted to use recycled jam jars for takeaway coffee, works from a ‘palm free menu’ and was the first to ban avocados from their menu (due to the negativities behind the scenes that many do not see involved in the farming process). They are only some of the reasons why The Gallery has made our list. All food and drink is organically and ethically sourced and is always local where possible. The Gallery should be on any eco-friendly food lovers list.
Drumanilra Farm Kitchen is located just outside of Boyle in County Roscommon and offers very much a ‘farm to table’ menu in every aspect of the word. All produce is organic and local (where possible). All fresh meats cooked in the Farm Kitchen are certified organic, Irish and fully traceable back to their organic farm of origin. Most are produced on Drumanilra Organic Farm. With a mission to ‘reconnect people with local, organic, wholesome, sustainable food, rooted in place and assured provenance, grown by Drumanilra Farm and other like-minded producers’ and two new premises being opened over the coming year Drumanilra Farm Kitchen is not be missed.
These are only a few examples of some lovely eco-friendly places to visit in Ireland. If you would like more examples or you would like help preparing a plan/ itinerary of where you would like to stay and dine in Ireland you can look at ourEco-Friendly Tour of Ireland or have a look at our Perfect Irish Trip Packages. Happy Traveling.