Fit and healthy places to stay
There are a good variety of hotels and resorts around the country where you can continue the good intentions and enjoy a relaxing time
Delphi Adventure Hotel in Connemara
The spa at Muckross Park in Killarney
The range of treatments in Irish hotels and spas have increased to take into account that many people are fitter and require help in maintaining peak performance. There is a selection of things to consider, from a sea salt cave to improve respiration to cryotherapy to reduce inflammation. Here’s a few to tempt you.
Delphi Adventure Hotel and Spa, Connemara, Co Galway
High in the hills of Connemara the Delphi Adventure Resort and Spa is a great place to expend some energy and relax. The 300-acre estate is packed with outdoor activities: zip wire, aerial trek, climbing, abseiling, tunnelling, and the new Skyfall.
A two-night Delphi Adventure break with accommodation, one day full of adventure activities and a complementary hour in the thermal suite costs from € 197pps. delphiadventureresort.com; (095) 42208
Clayton Whites of Wexford, Wexford Town
The well-known hotel in Wexford has the only cyrotherapy chamber in the country.
Cyrotherapy is the use of extremely low temperatures, below minus 110°C, to cool the entire skin surface of the body. This helps develop defensive reflexes and reactions to blood stimulation, circulation, endocrine system, immune system and central nervous system.
One session costs € 35 and three sessions cost € 90. Two nights’ stay midweek with one dinner costs from € 99pps and at theweekend from € 129pps. claytonwhiteshotel.com, (053) 9122311
The hotel on one of the nicest beaches in the south takes full advantage of its maritime location. Here, you can have fun on the sea and in seawater. The Thalasso therapy spa was the first built in Ireland in 1998 and continues to provide a wide range of treatments.
On-the-sea experiences include starlight kayaking. Learn or improve your surfing on the lovely long rolling waves at the Blue Flag Inchdoney beach. Tuition is with West Cork Surfing.
The warm seawater pool – it’s heated to 31°C – has a series of underwater jets and counter currents that offers a workout underwater. There are a variety of seawater and sea-mud treatments available.
Two nights’ stay with kayaking or surfing is from € 230pps with use of the seawater therapy pool, sauna and hammam. Inchydoneyilsand. com; (023) 8833143
Muckross Park, Killarney, Co Kerry
I was feeling quite smug sitting in Jarveys Bar at Muckross Park Hotel, Killarney, telling everyone I had climbed Carrauntoohil that day. It was a beautiful October day and I was describing the lovely weather for the climb. A man nearby joined in and said: “I’m not showing off but here’s my picture from April – I ran up Carrauntoohil.”
Well he looked like he wouldn’t need a spa and the specialist treatment I had from Sarah the next day. She helped my very sore thighs and legs to recover from the stiff climb with a mixture of deep tissue massage using the Pevonia Recovery oil which had eucalyptus and camphor, € 90.
Muckross Park is geared up for the fit and healthy with bicycles available for guests. Killarney National Park is across the road and if you do want to climb Carrauntoohil or Mangerton or Purple Mountain, they can recommend local guides. Two nights’ B&B with dinner one evening in the Yew Tree restaurant and free use of bikes and spa is from € 205pps, MuckrossPark.com; (064) 6623400
Lusty Beg, Boa Island, Fermanagh
In Lusty Beg on Boa Island you can fill your days with kayaking, canoeing, cycling, archery, shooting and lake swimming. Make noise doing off-road driving and get an adrenaline fix on the high-speed rib boat or take a gang out on the 10-person canoe.
Recovery time at Lusty Beg can be spent in the spa that uses the therapeutic power of nature in the treatments. A hot stone and seaweed massage using the heat from the stones to release the minerals from the Sligo seaweed into the body costs £80 (about € 111) for 90 minutes.
Lusty Beg has self-catering accommodation and B&B; there is also a restaurant and spa on the 75-acre site. Prices are from £250 for two nights. lustybegisland.com; (048) 68633300
Take part in the fast-paced immersive combat sport Airsoft in the woods around the Finn Lough resort. Test your tactical skills among the foliage as you play out scenarios. When you have enough of being shot at, take to the lake in a Hobie kayak, or the mountains by bike for an adrenaline slowdown.
Finn Lough resort is on the north-west shore of Lough Erne – there is a marina, tennis, fishing, cycling and children’s activities. Accommodation is in catered suites and self-catering lodges.
Weekend breaks cost from £325 (about € 460) including luxury accommodation, breakfast and dinner one evening. finnlough.com; (048) 6830360
The success of the Great Western Greenway and the Wild Atlantic Way go hand in hand as you experience the longest off-road walking and cycling trail. The 42km route of the former Westport to Achill Railway closed in 1937 and is now the ideal place to burn off some calories in stunning scenery.
Recover from the day’s adventures in the Spa Salveo with the Greenway Recovery treatment. It includes a soothing combination of a warm muscle bath soak infused with muscle melting ingredients to ease the pain and relax the muscles. Follow it by a back and body massage for € 75. knockrannyhousehotel.ie; (098) 28600 Radisson Blu, Lough Atalia Road, Galway The Radisson Blu in Galway has an unusual element to its range of spa facilities, the Salt Cave.
The dry salt cave has salts from around the world. Breathing in the air rich in iodine, negative ions and natural salts can help to relieve mucus in the airways and improve respiration, provide anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects and promote overall wellbeing. A session costs € 15.
A two-night spa break with a spa treatment and use of the hydrotherapy area costs from €201pps. Radissonhotelgalway. com; (091) 538300 Fota Island Resort, Cork The Fota Island resort has an expansive hydrotherapy suite which is perfect to tease out those aches.
The walk river uses different temperatures to ease out muscle stiffness. It begins warms and becomes colder as you move into the second part of the river walk.
Two nights’ B&B with hydrotherapy pool access is from € 308 for two at weekends, and there are good discounts midweek. The spa is very busy so book treatments in advance. fotaisland.ie; (021) 4883700