With dark evenings and cold days, winter is the time of year when it feels particularly good to spoil yourself with a quick getaway to a luxurious spa. Many of the country houses and hotels in Ireland’s Blue Book have world-class spa and treatment facilities, in beautiful and peaceful surroundings.


Castle Leslie is a peaceful, rural escape set in 1,000 acres of woodland countryside in County Monaghan. Their Victorian Treatment Rooms have highly-trained therapists to pamper you with a range of traditional organic therapies in unspoilt natural surroundings amongst wild plants and mineral springs.


Moving south, to the Irish midlands, the Wineport Lodge sits in an idyllic woodland setting on the shores of Lough Ree in County Westmeath. Their newly refurbished Cedarwood Spa is the perfect place to treat yourself to a relaxing spa day. A serene and intimate space, Cedarwood Spa fits seamlessly into the heart of the lodge and complements its cosy, peaceful atmosphere. The spa’s intimate and unique design takes full advantage of uninterrupted lake views and makes it the perfect port of call for comfort, pampering and relaxation.  

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The beautiful and rugged southwest of Ireland is a must-see region for visitors, as well as a popular getaway destination for people throughout the country. The Park Hotel Kenmare overlooks Kenmare Bay in County Kerry, surely amongst the country’s most scenic countryside settings. Their SÁMAS spa is nestled peacefully on a little wooded knoll overlooking the bay and offers treatments from the healing and therapeutic traditions of the East and West. There is also a host of daily activities including jogging, flora/fauna and heritage walks, hiking, yoga, meditation, golf and fishing.

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In a private walled garden within Cork city, Hayfield Manor Hotel has the feel of a country house but is minutes from any desired urban amenities. Their Beautique Spa has seven individually designed treatment rooms, each with a chandelier and antique furnishings tastefully selected to enhance your experience. Other facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, steam room, outdoor jacuzzi and gym.

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For those looking for more of a big city getaway than a country house experience, The Merrion Hotel is an oasis of luxury in the heart of Georgian Dublin. The Merrion Spa and Health Club features a full gym, an 18-metre infinity swimming pool, steam room and luxurious treatment areas.

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Whichever of Ireland’s Blue Book properties you choose to visit for a winter spa break, you’re sure to feel pampered and rejuvenated in body and soul.


Corinna Hardgrave

Food / Travel / Wine Writer

Member Irish Food Writers’ Guild



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