It’s fair to say Ireland has more than its share of top-rated spas—and some of the top spas cluster around Kenmare and Killarney. The best spas use the exquisite natural settings to spectacular effect, and borrow their treatments from the Irish countryside. Everything from Irish spring water to Irish peat mud and Irish river stones can be used to coax forth beauty from tired, work-dulled skin and hair. None of these spas are cheap, but they’re a wonderful way to treat yourself on the road.
All guests at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa ★★★ outside Killarney are welcome to spend an hour in its exquisite thermal suite for the relatively small fee of €25. With a wide array of steam rooms, saunas, tropical showers, cooling rooms, and hot tubs, that’s a luxuriant 60 minutes. Once you’re fully relaxed, you might sample one of the spa’s numerous massages or facials, using Aveda products. Treatments range from about €65 to €225.
The Easanna Spa at the Sheen Falls Lodge, off N71, Kenmare (www.sheenfallslodge.ie; 064/664-1600), features a pool shaped like a flower, each petal forming a kind of relaxation space. You can have a hot stone massage or facial and then float off in total relaxation. Room rates here start at around €330 in high season. Treatments range from about €45 to €110.
The spa at the Killarney Park Hotel, off East Avenue in the center of Killarney (www.killarneyparkhotel.ie; 064/663-5555), is a modern, peaceful oasis, with a soothing pool and such exotic treatments as the coconut rub and milk ritual wrap, in which you are soaked in milk and wrapped in foil; and the lime and ginger salt glow, which is designed to revitalize tired skin. Rooms here start at around €250 (not including breakfast). Treatments range from about €65 to €125.
The Sámas spa in the super-pricey Park Hotel Kenmare, Shelbourne Street, Kenmare (www.parkkenmare.com; 064/664-1200), has won awards for its unique design. You can soak in the warm spa pool while gazing out over the mountains nearby. Spend an hour relaxing in the thermal suite (rock sauna, ice fountain, tropical mist shower), before moving on to your facial, wrap, or massage. Unlike the other spas listed, this one is strictly for residents only, although they sometimes make exceptions when it’s not too busy. Rooms start at about €330; treatments range from around €140 to €245.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.