Beauty Report: Unwind this season with a spa treatment

Treat your body with a little bit of kindness and relax with one of these treatments

The Shelbourne Spa’s Elegance and Grace Spa Package  uses Pañpuri products and includes a body polish, a facial and massage, and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne

The Shelbourne Spa’s Elegance and Grace Spa Package uses Pañpuri products and includes a body polish, a facial and massage, and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne

 

I’m about to make a controversial suggestion. It sounds terribly self-indulgent but there’s logic behind it. I’m aware that Christmas is the most stressful time of year for everyone (hopefully with the exception of children). It’s painfully expensive. The weight of social expectation can make you feel inadequate if you don’t have the sort of family situation that you’re “supposed” to.

Many of us will spend Christmas missing someone who isn’t there. Add to this the fact that you’ve been toiling through the dark weather without a break since the summer, and you’re probably exhausted and tense.

Spas are expensive and not everyone can afford to visit them. If you can, though, visiting a spa is a very useful way to make time for yourself, treat your body with a little bit of kindness and relax. You can go with a friend or partner, or head off solo to recharge a bit after the hard work and tension of the Christmas period.

The Dawson Spa is my favourite day spa within Dublin city. It’s small, incredibly tranquil and I always leave blissfully relaxed. They create a special offer package every month at competitive prices. The packages always incorporate their most popular treatments. The Dawson Spa is particularly good for a massage, and it’s right in the heart of the city.

Muckross Park Spa and Hotel in Killarney is right in the middle of Killarney National Park. The hotel combines luxury with quaintness and the spa is inspired by a nearby 15th century Franciscan Abbey. A day spent in their thermal pools and private garden is more than enough to relax you but if you do want to try one of their treatments, the Escape to the Lakes Package (€165 for an hour and 55 mins) includes an Indian Head massage that is guaranteed to send you to sleep, followed by an Energising Vitality Massage, which breathes life into stiff, tired muscles.

Farnham Estate in Cavan drew me in mostly for the delicious and beautifully presented afternoon tea but it’s worth staying if only just to see the spa. It’s one of the country’s rare genuinely unisex spas and you’ll see equal numbers of men and women in fluffy robes relaxing or ambling slackly from treatment rooms with benign, smiling expressions. The spa’s Hydralessence Facial (€90 for 60 mins) combines aromatic steam, seaweed and fruit extracts to leave weary skin glowing and hydrated.

The Shelbourne Spa’s Elegance and Grace Spa Package (€179 per person) was initially introduced for a limited time in honour of Princess Grace of Monaco. The package was made permanent by popular demand. It gives you a flavour of one of Hollywood cinema’s most elegant women in the chic and cosy environs of the Shelbourne Spa. The package uses Pañpuri products and includes a body polish, a facial and massage, and a glass of Grace’s favourite Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne.

You’ll then have some refreshments in the spa’s relaxation room, which overlooks St Stephen’s Green, and an Elegance and Grace scented candle to take home. This is the real deal.

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