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Heritage Spa and Golf Course, Ireland

Cat Johnson journeys to the Emerald Isle for a spa experience to remember

Published on September 21st 2010.

Heritage Spa and Golf Course, Ireland

It's the middle of winter, we're in one of the coldest January's of the last 30 years and my skin resembles that of a Sharpei. This wrinkled look is fine on a dog; cute even, but not so fabulous on a 32 year-old woman. Not helping to shake me out of my torpor is the flurry of holiday adverts showing a svelte Louise Redknapp, with her unfeasibly good looking husband, sipping cocktails in a bikini. Not only is this woman not aging, she seems to be getting younger. A Dorian Gray for our generation, no?

I can honestly say that the time I spent covered in marine mud, swaddled in a heat suit in the foetal position, whilst having my head stroked and massaged, was the most relaxing half hour of my life.

Normally a quick trip to Space NK for the latest miracle moisturiser or wonder serum would've lifted my beauty spirits and helped me to face the prospect of shedding the opaque tights and woolly jumpers of my winter apparel. This year, more drastic measures were required, so I booked into the Heritage Golf and Spa resort in County Laois, Ireland, for a weekend of pampering, hoping to transform my lacklustre epidermis into something that wouldn't look out of place on Cheryl Cole. About 60 minutes drive from Dublin and set in tranquil countryside, the resort promised to be ahealth and beauty Mecca.

Private Dining Room

The spa is set in a deceptively large building and has 20 individual treatment rooms plus a communal 'spa experience'. Rather conveniently, there's a tunnel underneath the hotel taking you directly to the spa reception- all very handy if you want to sneak across in your complimentary, fluffy dressing gown and slippers unobserved. A lovely lady talked me knowledgably through the 10 elements of the spa experience. To give you the general gist of things, you are encouraged to sample a range of water, steam, heat and mineral treatments. As my guide noted, this should ideally be done in a certain order to maximise the circulatory benefits on your body, and by proxy your skin.

Treatment room

The warm hydro pool was first, pummelling my weary legs and torso with warm jets of water. Next was the Tepidarium. It's a dimly lit room with sweet mandarin essential oils emanating from a burner and heated not quite to sauna temperature, but what I would call sunbathing level. You sit on marble benches (roman bath style) bent to fit the curve of your spine perfectly and encourage maximum relaxation. Next was the traditional sauna. My guide had encouraged me to put handfuls of dryice into my complimentary facecloth so that I could cool myself down and make the sauna tolerable. It worked a treat.

LobbyHeritage - HotelSpa

Next was the mineral foot bath to soften my less than perfect pinkies, then a eucalyptus steam bath to clear the airways and eliminate the skin from toxins. Finally the Caldarium, which was a little like the Tepidarium, except this time I was lying down in a hot, darkened room whilst unobtrusive and relaxing music was played. In between all this you are encouraged to take a range of warm showers, interspersed with freezing cold ones to pep up the circulation. You can even pour a cold bucket of water over yourself for the ultimate refreshment. I declined this particular pleasure. For 60€ you can mooch around the experience for 3 hours. Good value considering the luxury surroundings and state of the art apparatus.

My individual treatment took things to the next level. Of the mind boggling 70 treatments on offer I chose the Detox Seaweed Thalasso Wrap (75€). This included a full body exfoliation, wrap, massage and moisturise. Sinead, my beauty therapist for the day, talked me through the treatment to explain its detoxifying and firming benefits and made me totally at ease and relaxed in my surroundings. The rooms are luxurious and really well thought out. Everything from the colour of the peachy, gold paint on the walls, to the soft music and candle light is designed to aid relaxation.

Heritage - Golf course

Using the Pevonia Botanica range of treatments, Sinead buffed, massaged, wrapped and moisturised me to within an inch of my life. I can honestly say that the time I spent covered in marine mud, swaddled in a heat suit in the foetal position, whilst having my head stroked and massaged, was the most relaxing half hour of my life. The sensation of being cocooned was the ultimate in decadence.

Afternoon Tea at The Heritage

Finally Sinead took me to the Ultimate Relaxation room, which was basically the cosiest living room I've ever been in. She tucked me into a bed/lounger with a fleecy blanket, which I adored because it made me feel about 5 years-old, and left me with a cup of mint tea. I was so happy and relaxed by the end that I gave her a big hug. Everyone should have a Sinead looking after them in my humble opinion.

The main thing that my spa day did was to convince me that fancy creams and potions are all well and good, but to really glow on the outside you need to be relaxed and happy on the inside. My stay at the Heritage, and the deft hands and beauty knowledge of Sinead and her colleagues certainly helped me to achieve that aim.

Golf Course

For more information on the Heritage Spa, please click here

The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort
County Laois
Tel: 00 353 (0) 57 8645500

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