The best hotels for a spa break this year

By Sarah Finnan

August 15, 2020 at 5:29pm


Irish hotels have always been highly regarded. Known for their welcoming hospitality and attention to detail, there are several spots across the country that would give even the best of them a run for their money. Particularly those with an onsite spa - we all deserve a little self-indulgent R&R from time to time.

If there's one good thing to come out of this year, it's watching people rediscover (or even discover for the first time) their love for our little Emerald Isle. My Instagram feed is overflowing with happy faces off on their holliers and while usually, this would make me green with envy, this time it's made sona sásta. 

I've always been a huge fan of all things Ireland (can ya blame me?!), so seeing people out exploring gives me all the warm fuzzies. Planning the perfect staycation is obviously very subjective as it depends on a huge range of factors that vary from person to person. But thankfully there is accommodation to suit all tastes.

Having spent the last few months in lockdown, pampering is top of the list of requirements for many looking to book a trip away and below you'll find 10 gorgeous hotels to book into for a spa break on your next little adventure.

Farnham Estate, Co. Cavan 

Elegant and spacious, acres of rolling countryside greet you upon arrival to Farnham Estate in Co. Cavan - a clear sign that you're in for complete relaxation.

Described as a "peaceful haven" and one of the top luxury spas in Ireland, this is the place to go when you want to forget about your worries and your strife (cue the Bare Necessities... what a tune).

The Marker, Co. Dublin

Located down at Grand Canal, the spa at The Marker Hotel is most definitely a hidden city-centre haven. Facilities include a 23-metre infinity pool, large jacuzzi, sauna and eucalyptus-infused steam room.


And for an added bonus, The Marker has a special summertime BubbleClaws menu that seafood lovers will adore. Serving up the very best of Irish lobster and champagne it's the height of notions but that's ok. You know why? Because you're on your holidays.

Inchydoney, Co. Cork 

To be found right outside the colourful heritage town of Clonakilty in West Cork, Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa has been voted Ireland's Leading Spa Resort at the World Travel Award a whopping seven times.

Home to the country's first Seawater Spa, all hotel and apartment guests can enjoy complimentary access to the Seawater Therapy Pool, the Ocean View Relaxation Areas and the Fruit & Juice Bar, as well as the gym.

Not convinced just yet? The below video will do the trick.

Park Hotel Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Devoted to nurturing the mind, body and spirit, Sámas Spa at the Park Hotel in Kenmare promotes the idea that looking after ourselves is a necessity, not a luxury... something that many of us tend to forget when life and all its complications get in the way.

Book in and guests can also enjoy complimentary activities such as yoga as part of the hotel's daily lifestyle programme. Insanely beautiful views to boot too.


Doesn't look real.

Castleknock Hotel, Co. Dublin 

Another Dublin hotel on the list I know, but this one was too good to pass up.

Especially given their new Fabulous 50's package that includes healthy lunches, a facial and a personal training session - in case you want to go all out and use the occasion to get a hold on your fitness regime as well... I have a feeling that the half-hour facial will be most welcome as a post-gym reward.

Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh 

Set on a lush peninsula in the Fermanagh Lakelands, the Thai Spa experience takes guests on a journey east - giving the illusion of going on a trip abroad without ever leaving the country.

Now also offering a Waterway Wellness Experience, Lough Erne is a great choice for water babies who want to combine their trip with some outdoor adventuring.

Cliff House Hotel, Co. Waterford


Mirroring the essence of the seaside locale in Ardmore Bay, the Cliff House Hotel is a five-star hideaway that exudes luxury with some of the most stunning views you could imagine.

Definitely one for the more milestone occasions, guests can book in for the Cliff Spa Classic offer that includes one night's accommodation in a Sea View Room, a three-course table d’hote dinner in the Cliff Bar, a full Irish breakfast and a 25-minute treatment. Choices range from a back massage with option of hot stones, lower leg and foot treatment, including exfoliation and massage or body exfoliation.

Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare 

Clare is having a bit of a moment lately with everyone and their mother packing up the car and heading west on their summer hols. Understandably so - it's one of the most idyllic parts of the country. Located deep within the heart of the castle, the spa at Dromoland features six treatment rooms as well as two dedicated manicure and pedicure rooms.

Recently awarded a Trip Advisor Traveller's Choice Award, Dromoland Castle is now also dog-friendly too so you can bring your four-legged best friend along with you for the weekend. Offering a range of pet-friendly services with loads of outdoor walks and parks nearby too so you'll leave feeling 'at one' with nature.

Ice House Hotel, Co. Mayo 

As a general rule of thumb unless the word 'ice' is followed by the word 'cream' I'm not interested... this being the exception. Perched on the banks of the River Moy, the Ice House Hotel in Ballina is privy to some of Mayo's best views. And their spa is most definitely worth your consideration.



Guests can also opt for in-room spa treatments too which basically takes all the effort out of the experience - no need to even leave your room if you don't want to. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'staycation' don't it?

Castle Dargan Estate, Co. Sligo 

Sligo is the it staycation spot this summer, thanks in part to the popularity of Normal People. Everyone wants to explore the place made famous by Connell and Marianne and for good reason as there's plenty to do. Surrounded by nature, it's also a great place to tune out the rest of the world and focus on yourself for a bit.

Hidden away from the hustle and bustle, Castle Dargan Estate lies on 170 acres of lush green grass and gently rolling hills. Sounds divine. A muscle melting back, neck and should massage will leave you feeling like a new person.

That's me convinced anyways.

Header image via Instagram/Farnham Estate

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