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Spa Hotels|Spa Resorts|Wellness Retreats

Review – Wellness in Dublin – Jo Foley Checks in to the Merrion Spa

Jo FoleyBy Jo Foley

For many, the very fact that you are in Dublin is sufficient to bring about a sense of wellbeing – a welcoming city, friendly people and when it stops raining, a glorious place to be.

Review - Wellness in Dublin - Jo Foley Checks in to the Merrion Spa

Add to that a sojourn at the Merrion Hotel, the epitome of Georgian elegance right in the heart of the city with its award-winning restaurants, near-secret garden and one of the best contemporary Irish art collections around and your cup will almost overfloweth.

And then find the spa which has been recently upgraded and renovated. Book yourself in for a treatment and lie back and relax.

Review - Wellness in Dublin - Jo Foley Checks in to the Merrion Spa

The Merrion Spa and Health Club retains its original swimming pool, a touch of the Med with its hand-painted mural, and its gym – small but well equipped. It now has six treatment rooms, as well as a steam room and sauna…these, are all on the one level but unless you concentrate on arrival you may well find the layout a tad confusing.

As you may well discover when you try to find your way to the spa from the main hotel area. Pay attention, and do not wander blithely along corridors as I did. In fairness, a member of staff had directed me, but obviously my attention span wobbled just as the signposts got smaller and less significant! But panic ye not for when you find the spa all is calm and there is a very soothing relaxation room.

Review - Wellness in Dublin - Jo Foley Checks in to the Merrion Spa

Another innovation at the spa is the introduction of the French skincare company Biologique Recherche to its menu of treatments and therapies, with six of its specialised rejuvenating, regenerating and lifting facials. All are geared to particular aspects of the skin and the facial structure…my choice was the Soin Lissant which promised hydration and regeneration.

What’s not to like? What they didn’t tell me is that much of it is done with ice cubes and water…and let me assure you that on a rainy day in Dublin (or anywhere for that matter) having your face cleansed and massaged with ice is a little surprising. But in the hands of the extraordinary Adriana I was almost gracious, and afterwards extremely grateful.

Review - Wellness in Dublin - Jo Foley Checks in to the Merrion Spa

I am not a huge fan of facials, believing that there is far too much messing about with too many products, over that small section of skin which is my face. Alongside the usual cleansing, masking and moisturising, the facial concentrates on the circulatory and lymphatic systems with gentle and highly focussed massage techniques.

The other element of the treatment I loved was the absence of fragrance – the oils and lotions were as natural as they could be but then along came the sea with a vengeance in the form of the final seaweed-infused mask. Adriana managed to deflect my attention with a seriously good dry head massage while the mask did its work.

After which she set about my skin with two metal rollers, it was rather like having your face smoothed with a couple of ice lollies, but the effect was worth it. Not only did my skin look clearer my eyebrows went back into place and my mouth looked firmer and fuller. If I lived in Dublin this would be my go-to facial.

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