Spa Weekend: Cloisters Spa Muckross Park Hotel
This year was the year of the staycation. And what better place to go than your "own back yard" to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, hectic work schedules and escape to a truly blissful and relaxing destination. Enter the spa weekend.
My ideal holiday involves relaxing, unwinding and eating well – none of this going for treks, or climbing up the nearest mountain business. I’ve done my fair share of this during a round the world trip a few years back. Since then, I’ve ditched hostelling for plush hotels, when I can afford it, hence you can imagine the luxury that awaited me in the five star Cloisters Spa at Muckross Park Hotel Killarney.
Dating back to 1795, I can only describe the hotel itself as "opulent luxe" – gilt mirrors in the hallways, plush carpets and four poster beds. The latter was the highlight of the Belfry suite, located in the tower of the hotel, which left me feeling like a real life Rapunzel!
The Cloisters Spa is named after the Monastery across the road in the surrounds of Muckross House (both worth a visit and yes I did actually partake in a walk at one stage during my stay) and is the winner of Irish Tatler’s Spa Style award for 2010.
I indulged in the vitality pool, curled up on a secluded lounger and caught up on some reading in the relaxation suite and later unwound in an outdoor hot tub overlooking the river and gardens. Later, after a massage and aromatherapy facial, administered by a beautifully kind and gentle Thai lady, I was feeling on top of the world.
The Jackie L makeup range sold at The Cloisters Spa caught my eye as I was leaving, something which delayed me for another few hours (not that I was complaining).
Jackie L is the brainchild of businesswoman Jackie Lavin of The Apprentice fame and partner to entrepreneur Bill Cullen. However, unlike the TV contestants in this year’s show, this line is no novice as it's produced by the same manufacturers as Bobbi Brown.
The Sheer Tint with SPF 20 (€28) comes in five shades and after I promptly ditched my foundation, I settled on the second palest shade called Natural Glow, after staff let me “try before you buy”. The range is completely mineral and the tinted moisturizer gives you that dewy, shimmery appearance only seen sometimes on models.
I also fell in love with the gel eyeliners (€19) and bought two as I couldn’t settle on just the one colour – Silver Lining (a metallic grey) and Metallic Jade, a green colour that I use for party makeup with lots of white shadow, to achive a Barbarella look. Both liners are applied with a brow brush for a maximum swish at the edge effect.
Relaxed and feeling beautiful, I reluctantly left The Cloisters Spa with a weekend full of happy memories - a must visit for in-need-of-pampering females and couples everywhere.
Special offers start at €400 for two nights b&b plus one evening meal based on two people sharing.
Anne Marie Boyhan writes fashion and travel on whatshewears.ie/