On my first visit to Lyrath Estate and Spa in Kilkenny, their ginger renewal treatment jumped straight into my top five spa and salon experiences - of all time. And, since my favourite outfit is a giant fluffy robe and a pair of spa slippers, that’s really saying a lot. So the Oasis spa had a lot to live up to on my recent return – but did they deliver?
Before I answer that (I know, I’m such a tease!), let’s talk about the hotel first. About an hour and a half in the car from Dublin, the place is a stunner. The 17th century, ivy-covered manor house is adjoined to a newer, larger wing which houses most of the bedrooms, the convention centre and spa.
You’re welcomed by the lovely, smiley concierge, Tom, and ushered into the airy reception area, which perfectly marries the old (exposed brickwork, marble statues) with the new (vibrant patterns and hues, high ceilings and lots of light).
Our room – decked out in soothing neutrals with pops of lavender – was spacious and comfortable and, crucially, had that luxey, high-end vibe you want from a five-star property,
Blackout curtains and a choice of pillows ensured a really peaceful night’s sleep – as did waking up to our view over the parklands of the 170-acre estate.
But as welcome as they were, having spent the afternoon in the spa, I’d have had no trouble nodding off without those added touches. The Oasis Spa entirely lives up to its name. Three words: outdoor infinity pool. There are lots of other words too, like sauna and steam room and fruit-infused water, but that pool is the jewel in the crown.
And so to the main event: the Skin Illuminating Rice Facial. I mean, it’s branded a facial, but that moniker does it no favours – this is a full, top-to-toe treatment that incorporates just about everything even the most picky of punters could ask for.
Using Kerstin Florian products – the spa also carries Elemis and Mio Skincare – this was designed to deliver the best of both worlds: the results-driven, targeted effects you’d expect from a clinic, combined with that luxurious, swoony, my-muscles-are-melting sense of relaxation you can only get from a top class spa.
So what, exactly, does the treatment entail? 85 minutes of pleasure, that will leave your skin noticeably improved. It kicks off with an enzyme peel, followed by a Vitamin-C facial massage, and the key component – the rice mask, to nourish and brighten the skin. There was a head massage, which was lovely, and then came the foot massage OF MY LIFE. I swear, I heard angels sing.
|Acting the Lord of the Manor!|
There were a group of us on this visit, and as we splashed around later in the pool, we picked out our highlights. The peely mask, sez one. The heated mittens, sez another. OBVS the foot massage, sez I. But we all agreed on this: it was awesome, it was great value for everything involved, and we’d definitely all go back.
The Skin Illuminating Rice Facial is €120, or €130 with the Pro 30 Multi Acid Peel; Fluff and Fripperies was a guest of the hotel. See the hotel website for more.