Cold comfort: pampering breaks sure to warm you up
Whether you want to wind down or work up a sweat, winter’s a good time to focus on wellness
Creacon Wellness Retreat near New Ross in Co Wexford is currently running a Buddy Break Package, a midweek retreat priced from €98 per person sharing.
In the market for a little self-care? If so, it’s no surprise. With the darkest days of the year behind us and the brighter days of spring no more than a promise on the horizon, it’s the perfect time for a replenishing wellness break. There are also loads of great options to choose from.
No one talks about the sunny south east in winter but there if there is a ray of light emanating from Wexford it’s Creacon Wellness Retreat near New Ross.
Creacon Wellness Retreat
The luxury retreat, which is based in a former coaching inn, is a serene haven designed to nurture your whole self – mind, body and spirit.
As well as a range of counselling options for all sorts of issues, from coping with grief and loss to restoring your inner brilliance, it offers a range of treatments, from acupuncture and homeopathy to massage and organic facials.
It can provide hypnotherapy and psychotherapy sessions too. Owner Derek O’Neill is himself a psychotherapist, as well as an author and well-known motivational speaker.
The award winning property – most recently it won a Lux Life Magazine award for Leading Luxury Wellness Retreat 2019 – is currently running a Buddy Break Package, a midweek retreat priced from €98 per person sharing.
That not only gets you some quality time with your partner or friend but includes deluxe accommodation, dinner and breakfast, yoga or meditation class and either infrared sauna or light therapy session. Whichever options you choose, you’ll come back beaming.
For longer stays, check out the schedule of self-care, yoga and meditation classes it runs weekly, as well as the variety of retreats it runs throughout the year on topics such as stress management and mindfulness.
For more, visit creaconwellnessretreat.com
Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort is another bucolic option. This luxury hotel is set in an idyllic woodland location beside the River Maine in Co Antrim. It has long since put Ballymena on the map as a destination for, as it says itself, “zen-seekers, wellness warriors and first-time spa goers alike”.
A huge part of its appeal is its famed Thermal Spa Village, the first of its kind in Ireland. It’s got a revitalising mix of heated and cool spa experiences, including saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, cocooning snail showers, riverside tubs and even a snow cabin.
Every last touch is designed with your wellbeing in mind, including a lovely indoor leisure pool surrounded by a polished pebble floor designed to gently massage pressure points in your feet, assisting blood flow and easing tensions.
Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort is currently offering some great spring escape packages, including an overnight stay in one of its luxurious guestrooms, the full Thermal Spa Village experience, a full Irish breakfast and a three-course meal, including house wine, in a range of its restaurants and bars, from £120 (€141) per person.
That deal is available Monday through Thursday, as well as on selected Fridays. It’s available through March, April and May, so having it to look forward to will surely get you through February.
If you plan on going, make sure to book its Spring Zing day spa package as well. From £95 (€111) per person, this bags you not just the full Thermal Spa Village experience, but also a 60-minute treatment to include lime and lemongrass body scrub, a shoulder and neck massage, and a brightening facial, plus lunch in its elegant Elements Spa Cafe.
If the thought of finding time for a proper getaway is enough to induce stress, finding the right wellness class is a great option and a good yoga class is hard to beat.
For more, visit galgorm.com
Yoga Sanctuary in Malahide village in North Dublin is terrific option and, at this time of year, its hot yoga option is doubly appealing. The custom-designed studio is in the heart of the village and is heated using state-of-the-art infrared heaters. These produce a therapeutic heat designed to improve blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure, stimulate the body’s energy system and, best of all, induce restful sleep.
Founder Erica Tracey opened the studio in February 2015 with the vision of creating a warm – in all senses – and friendly environment with a range of classes to suit everybody. Today, it’s a hub of holistic teachings ranging from gentle restorative yoga classes including breath work and meditation to the more vigorous heated vinyasa classes, always with safety and alignment at the forefront.
If you fancy taking your practice to the next level, the studio has been running yoga teacher training since 2016, offering practical and effective trainings with small class sizes, always taught by teachers qualified to the highest level. The 200-hour Yoga Alliance training is for regular, committed students who wish to deepen their understanding of yoga anatomy, alignment, class sequencing, student safety, philosophy, pranayama, meditation and more.
It also runs a range of workshops including everything from healing sound baths to nutrition and yoga workshops. There are regular classes to suit everyone from beginners to advanced practitioners as well as immersive weekend retreats throughout the year. There’s even yoga for pregnancy and kids’ yoga.
In the coming weeks, you’ll find a Back to Basics workshop for €25, a Valentines healing sound bath for €20 and two-day Subtle Body Anatomy and a wellbeing workshop in March for €35. Namaste!
For more, visit yogasanctuary.ie
Salt Cave Halotherapy
Are you worth your salt? If so, you might like to check out Salt Cave Halotherapy in Balbriggan, north Co Dublin.
According to the family-run centre, salt is a natural antibiotic and has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. When inhaled, it can help to keep in check symptoms of various skin disorders such as psoriasis or dermatitis, it says.
Aficionados also attest it can have a positive impact on respiratory system disorders such as asthma, sinusitis, smoker’s cough or bronchitis.
Halotherapy is already a well-established alternative treatment on the continent. The first official halotherapy spa opened in a salt cave near Krakow, Poland, and still operates today.
The practice simply involves breathing in particles of salt that mix naturally with the air inside a salt cave. The Balbriggan venue has two dedicated rooms, one for adults-only with four seats, heated massage chairs and meditation music, and a bigger family room with massage chairs for adults, toys, music and a holographic game for children.
It also offers a range of handmade salt products, including black salt believed to have particular medicinal properties, including black salt pillows and black salt lamps.
Sessions cost €15 each for adults, with a special deal of €50 for five sessions. Special rates are available for seniors, while a family of four can be accommodated for €35. For best results, the management recommends a minimum of seven sessions, taken at least twice weekly.
For more, visit saltcavehalotherapy.ie