13 May 2013

Knockranny House Hotel and Spa Salveo: Review

Before I started blogging I had just one hobby, but I took it very seriously. Yes, the way I applied myself to spa breaks  was so diligent, it would bring a tear to your eye. These days, nothing gives me greater joy than when both of my hobbies collide - like they did this weekend at Spa Salveo at Knockranny House hotel.

Knockranny House Hotel Westport

This four star, family run hotel in Westport, County Mayo, is a handsome Victorian style manor - it's huge, but manages to feel intimate, thanks to the cosy décor and warm, welcoming staff.

There is a general sense of hospitality and comfort, aided by log fires, antique furniture and the sense that nothing at all is too much trouble. Lovely little touches abound, like the paperbacks left in the bedrooms. Which are, by the way, enormous - complete with Jacuzzi tubs and double sinks in the bathrooms.

Knockranny House Hotel Westport
But I was there for Spa Salveo - called after the Latin, 'to heal'. And in keeping with the name, the pool is surrounded by Roman columns and inlaid with shimmering iridescent tiles for a mother of pearl effect. They're beautiful, and make the place feel like a nymphaeum, or perhaps a mermaid's grotto.

Several saunas and steam rooms surround the pool, which is overlooked by various relaxation rooms and a total of 12 treatment rooms, offering everything from massages to facials, wraps, manicures and more.

I was offered the chance to experience the spa's new signature treatment, the Wellness and Radiance Ritual, which incorporates two hours of salt scrubs, massages and a facial, using luxury products from the Kerstin Florian range. And yes, it was every bit as good as that sounds.

Food is taken just as seriously as leisure, at Knockranny. The hotel's fine dining restaurant, La Fougère, has an elegant 20s vibe, and the 8 course tasting menu is a decadent feast of which the Romans would most definitely approve.

Chef Seamus Commons, twice named Best Chef in Connacht by the Food & Wine Magazine/Louis Latour Restaurant of the Year Awards, serves up the most detailed and delicious fare and it's well worth a trip just for his food alone.

Knockranny House Hotel Westport

As well as foodies and spa seekers, Knockranny is popular with golfers, anglers and those wishing to explore Mayo and the West of Ireland. There are some cracking views, especially of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay.

After just one night at Knockranny, the batteries are definitely recharged, and the effect of all that peace and pampering is quite transformative. The 3+ hour train journey back to Dublin passed in a floaty bubble of bliss, and I still have a lovely sense of well being and relaxation.

If you're in dire need of a little pampering, in the immortal words of the Pet Shop Boys - Go West!

Spa packages are available from €199 pp including 1 night's B&B, dinner in La Fougère and 2 hours of spa treatments - keep an eye on the website for the most up to date offers.
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