Does Ireland's most popular spa treatment show that we're all stressed out?

  • by IMAGE

This is the most popular spa treatment so far this year according to IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards 2020, powered by Dyson, nominees.


In 2018, a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) showed that work-related stress among employees in Ireland doubled to 17% between 2010 and 2015.

So it should come as no surprise that Ireland's beauty therapists say that their most popular treatments in their spas is something to calm your mind, body and soul.

According to those nominated in the Best Spa category at the IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards 2020, powered by Dyson (IMAGE BOB 2020), holistic treatments are what Irish customers request most.

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"Stress and a lack of sleep are our biggest complaints from guests," says Ciara Power, spa manager at ESPA at The Europe Hotel and Resort. "By choosing holistic massage we tailor each treatment to suit the guests' needs. Massage promotes relaxation and calms both the mind and body, lowering stress levels and inhibiting a good night’s sleep."

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IMAGE group contributing editor Melanie Morris and Darren Kennedy will host IMAGE BOB 2020. Photo: Ailbhe O'Donnell

"Wellness and holistic, followed by cancer care and the more results-driven facials are our most popular treatments," says Gina Groves, spa manager at Nádúr Spa at Ballygarry House Hotel.

Kay Pennington, group spa manager at Aqua Sana in Center Parcs, says treatments that mimic the "ebb and flow of the ocean" and a hot stone massage are her most popular treatments.

"In particular our signature treatments, the VOYA Restore and Rebalance facial and massage which mimics the ebb and flow of the ocean, and the Elemis Brighten and Glow face and body treatment, which includes a hot stone massage, are our most popular," she says.

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Anita Murray, founder of Edvard & Pink, however has seen a shift in recent years from holistic treatments. "Ten years ago our holistic spa treatments would have been our most popular offering, such as our traditional massage, body wraps, Reiki and reflexology," she says.

"The business has very much evolved. Our most popular treatments are our results-driven offerings, particularly our MedI-Spa facials."

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The number one requested treatment in 2020 at Edvard & Pink, which is based in Dundrum Town Centre, is the CACI Synergy facial, followed by the Skeyndor signature Stem Cell facial. "We have seen a real shift towards a desire for natural, clean, glowing skin, away from the contoured, over-injected and appearance of heavy make-up and false tan, especially with our high-profile clients," says Anita.

All of the nominated spa managers and owners are on the same page when it comes to getting the most out of your spa experience: use it as some much-needed me-time.

"We encourage all guests to arrive to the spa prior to their treatment time to avail of the heat and water experiences to further enhance their treatment," says Ciara. "Our extra experiences include an outdoor vitality pool which is heated to 36 degrees, a sauna and steam room with eucalyptus vapours, heated loungers and a stunning relaxation area with panoramic views of the mountains. We also have individual relaxation pods with built-in music so guests can enjoy relaxing music prior to their treatment."

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Ciara says the ESPA space has been designed to be in perfect balance with the nature of its environment. "Each relaxation space has been created to take advantage of the elements of the surrounding landscape, light, water and earth. From the moment you enter the spa, down a spiral staircase filled with light from above, your imagination is captured by a sense of retreat."

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IMAGE BOB 2020 takes place on March 15. Photo: Ailbhe O'Donnell

Gina in Nádúr Spa encourages guests to "put aside plenty of time to use the facilities on offer, arrive early to take the time to relax and enjoy the thermal facilities".

Kay in Aqua Sana says, "If you’re visiting for the day, make sure you take a tour with our spa attendants when you arrive – tell them about any specific problem areas and they can recommend the best experience rooms for you .

"There are more than 21 to choose from, so you won’t be short of options. We also offer free spa wellness sessions as part of your booking – you can sample products and get advice from skincare experts in our Spa Discovery Sessions or you can try one of our Sleep Sessions, where our therapists lead you through a guided relaxation ritual to help you fully unwind and focus on mindfulness.

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"If you want to really make the most of your visit, you can also book a Spa Break which includes an overnight stay in one of our Lakeside Apartments, nestled within the beautiful woodland."

Anita of Edvard & Pink says guests should leave their mobile phones at home. "Yes technology is groundbreaking and has transformed many of our jobs and lives, but in so many ways it's also made us seriously anxious, less productive and endlessly distracted.

"We have an excellent book in our relaxation area here, The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, by pioneering neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. This is a great read for anyone serious about real authentic self care."

So there you have it. If you want to indulge in some serious me-time and destress – and why wouldn't you? – leave work and the outside behind and give yourself fully to the space experience.


Congratulations to all of our shortlisted candidates! Voting is now open here. Voting ends at midnight, Friday March 6. For voting terms and conditions, click here.

IMAGE BOB 2020 will kick off at 6.30pm with a cocktail reception on Sunday, March 15, at the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road in Dublin 4. Early bird tickets are available here at €191 including VAT for a limited time. Tables of 10 and 12 guests are available.

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