“You’ll feel your shoulders drop as soon as you arrive,” a friend told me when I told her about my weekend plans to Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa a coastal retreat on Cork’s western shores. It makes for a pleasing thought. This was our second attempt to visit thanks to beloved Storm Ophelia, much to the dismay of my guest but better late than never as the saying goes, yet as the heavens opened once we crossed into county Cork we started to wonder if the weather gods were against our getaway.
These ambiguities were quickly forgotten when we rose the next morning to bright blue skies and vast views of the Atlantic Ocean and Inchydoney Beach from our bedroom window. Our lethargic bodies lay listening to the waves crashing before we reluctantly pulled ourselves out of bed for breakfast – a feast of smoked salmon, eggs and other delicious items served with more breath-taking ocean views.
Relax and unwind is the theme for our weekend getaway and following breakfast, we head for the spa where I’m booked in for the ultimate in restorative treatments. The Botanical Ritual uses a range of Les Luneides Paris products with ingredients that aim to heal, soothe, and stimulate the skin, along with a host of other benefits.
The first step is a marine salt body exfoliation to remove any dead skin cells (and by any I mean all because my skin was not in a good condition) before a nourishing algae treatment is applied and I’m cocooned in a heated wrap and my face is given the royal treatment with a mini facial using Wheat Oil to decongest and rejuvenate my skin. Once the algae is rinsed off, the treatment is brought to a close with a mini-body massage to help detoxify the overeating and high alcohol intake from Storm Ophelia – yes, I’m blaming it on that – and I’m left to snooze in the relaxation room where my guest is equally zoned out after her body polishing treatment.
We eventually decide to leave the spa and change out of our robes for afternoon tea upstairs in, quickly regretting that decision when we spot two others indulging in a selection of cucumber sandwiches and mini lemon meringue tarts while still in their robes. Our afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a glass of prosecco considering we’ve already reached peak notions with our morning in the spa.
The sun is still shining as we stroll the beach later that afternoon – guests and locals making the most of the long-lost sunshine with surfing, horseriding and other activities – embracing the sea air and glorious sunset, all our worries are forgotten as shoes and socks are removed and we dig our toes into this magical little island, feeling miles away from reality.
The following morning I make the most of the thalassotherapy (seaweed water) pool and water jets before breakfast and one last beach walk before hitting the road. We’re barely in the car half an hour before the clouds change and the rain returns, but we don’t mind. Our shoulders have indeed dropped, our skin is healthier and we are extremely content.
The Signature Botanical Treatment and Botanical Afternoon Tea package is available from €235 per person sharing including an overnight stay. The shorter 30-minute Signature Botanical Treatment and Botanical Afternoon tea package, including an overnight stay and Welcome Botanical cocktail, is available from €145 per person sharing. The full Signature Botanical Treatment (70 minutes) is €135.