The Spa at Inchydoney Island Lodge
Supernanny Jo is a real delight. She is one of those people you warm to instantly, with her nurturing manner and easy chatter. During my treatment at the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, she regales me with tales of 52 year old mothers to be (OMFG!), and bossy grandchildren.
She is typical of all the heart-warming staff at the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, a resort on the South coast of Ireland in a dramatic location on the cliffside overlooking gorgeous sandy beaches. I’m here for the weekend, and am being treated to an algae wrap followed by a muscle melt massage, but the pleasure begins well before I enter the treatment room.
Gowns are provided in your room, so no need to keep getting dressed and undressed. Just pop your gown on, wander down to the spa area, and let the relaxation commence.
Enjoy the Thalassotherapy Jets
Head to the natural saltwater pool first, to tease your muscles into submission with a variety of jets. There’s huge waterfalls designed to pummel your shoulders and smaller ones to target your lower back, glutes and calves.
From there, head into the steam room or sauna to open those pores before your treatment begins, then back to reception to check in for your treatment. It’s bright and colourful with an array of Elemis products designed to tempt you to part with your cash. There’s plenty to seduce, and if my bag wasn’t crammed to the rafters I would not be resisting the urge!
A Relaxation Room With a View
After checking in, I am led up a stairway to two relaxation rooms. Oh wow! I have visited some amazing spas in my time, but this has to be the BEST relaxation room I have ever witnessed. It is suspended over the pool, with panoramic windows, views of the pool below and the sea beyond. Comfy, light blue chairs and footrests, fabulous sculptures and fresh scents hanging in the air all combine to create a space I want to move into!
If pool views aren’t your thing, and you want to enjoy uninterrupted views of the bay, continue through to the Fuschia Suite, where you can loll in beds with thick red and brown blankets. Each has its own table, housing magazines and headphones for you to listen to music. The small things are really what make this place special!
Swish white curtains drape above chairs, and the views out to the bay…..oh my god, wow does not begin to describe it. On a wild wintry day, you can sit mesmerised watching the crashing waves, or the odd brave surfer whilst listening to the whistle of the wind around the building. It may be cold and wet outdoors but in here you will feel warm and content.
All too soon, Jo comes and leads me to a candlelit therapy room. I hop (more like clamber ungainly) onto the heated bed to be smothered in a green, algae concoction designed to detox my skin. I’m then wrapped in clingfilm, a tower of towels, and trussed up in a thick blanket neatly fastened into place.
I’m left for twenty minutes. Normally this would be an absolute nightmare for me…twenty whole minutes to do nothing! I’m so relaxed in this hotel far from the city and daily worries however, that I happily drift off into a meditative sleep. All too soon Jo is back and ushering me into the shower to wash it all off. It is probably just as well as I was starting to roast in there!
Back to the relaxation room for juices and waters and another little rest. It’s a tough life!
Muscle Melt Massage
This massage could not be more aptly named. I’m convinced Jo is a physiology expert so proficient is she at finding the exact muscles to release. She kneeds her elbows into my glutes (always tight!) and knotty shoulders, and with no-nonsense vigour, manages to have my knots cracking and creaking in no time.
Those knots are doomed, so expertly does she manage to break them down. Her massage is unlike anything I have experienced. Firm with elements of sports massage and accupressure point to encourage the relaxation response.
As she works, we chat away about motherhood, step-children and older mothers. I swear to God the Irish are the friendliest people I have ever met!
All too soon, the chime of a bell sounds to indicate the end of our session and I peel myself from the bed in a daze. Such a great job has she done that I can feel heightened circulation, as though my very body is buzzing.
She reminds me to drink plenty of water, and suggests a few painkillers if I’m sore later (that damn back is still playing up!) and I contemplate asking her to adopt me. If ever there was a woman meant to mother people, Jo is that person.
The Algae wrap costs Euro 45, whilst the Muscle Melt is a further Euro 88. Alternatively, you can book spa packages which include a number of different treatments.
How to get there
From there, hire a car to drive you down the coastline in just under an hour.
The Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa is ideal for a weekend but be warned, you may not want to leave!