Ice Cool: This Mayo hotel offers a spa break that won’t cost a fortune...
Short breaks in Ireland
The Ice House Hotel, set on the beautiful River Moy just outside of Ballina, offers affordable luxury and a peaceful retreat from the stresses of everyday life, says Ellie Donnelly.
Set the Mood
The moment we arrived it was clear that there would be only one option for the weekend… relaxation.
From the bedrooms, which all look out onto the river, to the cosy bar, and the fantastic restaurant, the feeling of peaceful bliss is one that remains throughout the duration of your stay.
Wandering down to the relaxation room in a fluffy dressing gown you could be forgiven for forgetting that the outside world exists, such is the power of this hotel in enabling guest to switch-off and unwind.
Every now and again I really enjoy a good spa treatment, and the Ice House's Chill Spa did not disappoint.
Its spa uses organic Voya products from Strandhill in Co. Sligo, and the 40-minute body scrub was possibly the best I have ever had... it took willpower not to splurge on each of the products that were used during the treatment afterwards.
Similarly, the mini-facial left my skin feeling great – it's very obvious why the Chill Spa was voted Best Boutique Spa at the 2014 Tatler Spa Awards.
In addition, the staff, in particular the spa manager Elaine, were very friendly and welcoming.
The outdoor hot tub which overlooks the river Moy is just fantastic, even if you are not normally a massive fan of hot tubs, it is very difficult to drag yourself away from the view in front of you.
But once you do manage to drag yourself out of the water, the quiet room, also overlooking the river, offers a place to lie back, listen to calming music, read, or just simply be.
The hotel restaurant offers a fantastic and extensive menu to suit all pallets. The food is sourced locally, while the wine list is also quite extensive.
I had the steak, which was cooked to perfection, while my companion had the salmon, also cooked perfectly and presented beautifully.
Like the bedrooms, the restaurant also looks out onto the River Moy, and despite it being busy, the staff were incredibly attentive and the atmosphere was very relaxed.
This hotel is fantastic and I would certainly be delighted to recommend it to a friend, however it lets itself down with its website which could be better - in particular the photos on the website do not do justice to how truly lovely the hotel and spa is.
Definitely bring your walking shoes. The area offers some beautiful walks around the River Moy. In addition you are just a stone’s throw from the stunning dunes and beach at Enniscrone.
For the more adventurous, the sea at Enniscrone is a renowned surfer’s paradise.
Get me there
Located about ten minutes outside of Ballina, the hotel is three hours by car from Dublin.
An intercity train from Westport that takes 20 minutes means that the town is well serviced by trains from Westport, Dublin, and Midlands areas.
A two-night Winter Sleep package includes dinner on one evening, a Heavenly Dreams Sleeping Ritual in Chill Spa, cocktail and a late check-out (subject to availability) from €315pp. See theicehouse.ie for deals and special offers.
Read more:Review: The Ice House, Co. Mayo