Tried and Tested: Spring awakening at Slieve Donard spa
HAVING injured my ankle, battled a cold and nursed two sick children over my Easter break, a spa day was exactly what the doctor ordered. My setting was the picture postcard Spa at the Slieve Donard in Newcastle, the perfect location on a cold and blustery day to plunge into the vitality pool and sit in the steaming hot jacuzzi admiring the views of the Mourne Mountains and windswept beach.
The spa is currently running a Spring Awakening package tailored to ease your face and body out of hibernation and refresh and revive your skin in preparation for summer. Designed to protect and nourish your face and body, the package includes the ESPA brightening facial, oriental scalp massage, marma point hand and foot massage as well as a light lunch in the Juice Bar and use of spa facilities.
Based on Ayurvedic medicine theory, marma points form energy channels running throughout the body – the massage stimulates the body's ability to rebalance.
My head-to-toe experience started with my therapist giving me the choice of two different aromatherapy oils to smell, to decide which I preferred.
The facial included an in-depth skin vision analysis using ultra-violet light to identify skin conditions not visible to the naked eye. I was shocked to discover my skin was "good" and of normal type – though the white patches around my eyes where a sign of dehydration and a need for more sleep.
Then it was to the relaxation room, complete with remotely adjustable beds and in-built music system. After a lovely lunch, my friend and I enjoyed some hydrotherapy in the spa's upstairs thermal suite including the rock sauna and amethyst steam room, perfect for blocked sinuses.
The last time we were both at the Slieve Donard spa was for my hen party. A lot has changed in eight years – now both tired parents-of- two, we were well in need of some relaxation – and a shower without a little one knocking the door down to get our attention. We may no longer be spring chickens, but we did emerge with radiant skin, glossy hair and a spring to our steps – well, almost!
:: The Spring Awakening Spa Experience costs £110 Monday-Friday. A £30 supplement applies for Saturday and Sunday. To book, call The Spa at The Slieve Donard on 028 4372 6166. Offer valid until May 31 2016.