Evening Herald - September 2009

For the total molly coddling experience, Sue Conley looks into The Wells.

An hour and half from Dublin isn’t far to go to get away from it all. It wasn’t quiet the great escape for Wicklow resident Shirley Battie, but, if her experience is anything to go by, the treatments at The Wells, the spa at the BrookLodge Hotel in that county, are as good as a cruise around the Caribbean.

Located in Macreddin Village, the hotel has long been a relaxation destination, and not just for spa bunnies. There’s lovely food, golf for the fellas and an equestrian centre for the pony mad. For readers of this column, though, it’s all about The Wells, a true gem of a place that boasts 17 treatment rooms, several of them designed for couples (one in which you and your significant other can slather mud all over each other) and outdoor treatment chalets which sound like pure bliss.

Shirley had her share of bliss, even if she didn’t venture out into the grounds. Her first treatment, the Cleopatra Bath, sounds the complete bomb. “They put cream all over your body, put you in a wrap, and then drop you down into water” she explains. Uh water? Yes, indeed: once you’re all wrapped up good and proper, the therapist submerges you in the Dry Float Bed. Not all the way, of course, you still have to breath and all that. “The idea is that there’s no pressure on any other part of your body” says Shirley. “You get really warm, but the therapist comes in every ten minutes to make sure you’re not too hot”.

One floats there for half an hour. “I was very sleepy afterwards!” laughs Shirley. “You can put on moisturiser after the shower, but I didn’t because my skin felt very well moisturised. “This is probably down to the fact that the Cleopatra Wrap is comprised of all sorts of good things, like almond, jojoba and peach oil. Sigh.

“I also got a facial”, Shirley added. “I asked for one that wouldn’t bring me up in loads of blemishes, and it was good. “ The therapist used “Treat and Boost” with Decleor Aromessence Neroli and “Target and Enhance” with Decleor Expression de L’age radiance smoothing cream to bring out a healthy glow, and include a back massage as well.

Best of all, the therapists were always helpful, never instructive and “gave you loads of time to relax”. Not hard to see, then, why The BrookLodge was the AA’s hotel if the Year 2008/2009 – and it’s nice to know there’s such a tranquil getaway right in our own back yard.