Our stay at Monart Destination Spa June 2016
The first things you notice when walking in the gardens at Monart Spa are the cute ducks waddling around. They are not in a hurry at all. It sets the scene for how relaxing this place is. One of life’s luxuries has to be a spa visit. Nothing like the smell of aromatherapy oils and a good massage or facial to get you relaxed. I was lucky to get treated to a gift voucher for my 50th and got to visit Monart with my good friend, Tina, on a Monday and Tuesday in June 2016. This was to be a ‘girly night’. We both wanted somewhere to relax and unwind, without the need to go sightseeing in the local area. We wanted to check-in and stay put for 24 hours, which is exactly what we did 😊.
Monart is set in the beautiful 18th Century Monart House near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford; in the very south-east of Ireland. It’s a stand-alone Destination Spa for adults only. Many Irish hotels have spas but this is the only Destination Spa hotel in Ireland. All rooms boast either woodland or lake view, with balcony or terrace. Rooms are decorated in calm, muted colours and are furnished with the most luxurious bedding imaginable – all you need to do after your rigorous treatments or lazy lounging is to reserve enough energy to get under the duvet!
Monart is considered among the best spas and it’s easy to see why with one glance at its world-class facilities. In the past it has been named in the top three Overseas Spa Retreat in the world by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine! It offers the most comprehensive and cutting edge ranges of Spa facilities and treatments, and has an exclusive partnership with the top American Spa product line Pevonia Botanica. In its vast 2400 square metres, the Spa area contains 14 neutral gender treatment rooms, sanarium, outdoor Swedish log sauna with ice shower grotto, cadarium, aroma cave, salt grotto, traditional Hamam, mud chamber and hydrotherapy pools to name but a few. Here is a short video I came across on YouTube that gives a flavour of the place:
If you think the food there is a lettuce leave and carrot juice, think again! Fine dining is available at the Spa’s restaurant – of course righteous guests can select healthy/detox options or, like us, go for something a little more sinful - depending on your willpower! The Wine Restaurant prides itself on preparing and serving local produce and there is a big emphasis on providing fresh home-made fare including breads, dressings and preserves. A lighter, bistro style menu is available for guests and non-residents, as is afternoon tea which is served every day in the Garden Lounge. There is also a café on site which is open to residents and day-guests.
So we had just about a 90 minute drive down the beautiful East coast from Dublin’s big smoke, with Tina driving. Sheer bliss from the moment you're buzzed through the gate and your car is valet parked. I particularly loved the wonderful building...the way the modern is blended with the old. The main Georgian house through which you enter has two reception rooms decorated in traditional style. We later found out that this is where you can go to read the complimentary newspapers or use the WiFi – but a digital detox is encouraged in the main hotel. We walked straight through the glass corridor to the stunning modern building at the back which houses the reception area. The floor to ceiling glass offered stunning views of the grounds, and there’s a gorgeous spiral staircase with a massive bog oak tree.
Reception staff are the Carlsberg of reception staff. Wonderfully warm and welcoming. We arrived in time for a tasty lunch in the Garden Lounge. This restaurant / bar serves food throughout the day until 7.30pm. Because it was a Monday, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. But soon we noticed that everyone else was dressed in their white towelling robes, even in this restaurant! Our room wasn’t ready until after 3pm, so we lunched in our clothes! The extensive menu also has some vegan dishes if you fancy combining your visit with some lighter food options. The bill came to €55 for the two of us including wine, which was quite reasonable considering we were in a five star hotel.
It was a lovely dining experience, and as we could see from this pleasant room the grounds of the hotel, we decided to take a stroll around the gardens. We started with a relaxing walk around the duck pond. The stone bridge and the greenery were soooh peaceful. Lots of lovely duckies everywhere. And beautiful vistas.
After our walk our double room was ready so we couldn’t wait to see it. It was really lovely, very bright and airy with lovely comfortable beds. It also had a great view over the gardens. After quickly checking the room out we then donned our swimwear (our own) and white fluffy robes (provided by Monart) and made our way to the Thermal Suite.
What can I say about the Thermal Suite? We thoroughly enjoyed it. We had wisely decided to have our treatments the following morning to allow us a relaxing time there. There is a recommended two hour circuit which we did most of. I particularly loved the salt grotto. This salt and steam treatment room softens the skin and aids circulation. We moved on to the Aromatic Steam Room, which had the most divine scent of eucalyptus. This is supposed to cleanse the body of impurities and revitalise the mind. I’m not sure about the latter but my body certainly felt cleansed after it. I also liked the Caldarium, which is like a large dry room, not as hot as a sauna, but very relaxing. In between the heated rooms, I tried the experience showers which have a range of temperatures and pressure. The idea is to mix hot and cold to stimulate your body. To keep us hydrated, there were complimentary fruit infused water and fresh fruit.
We had time for a quick dip in the small hydrotherapy pool also. There are heated loungers at the top of the pool, which we really enjoyed relaxing on. We both loved every minute of the thermal suite and after a couple of hours there which flew by I happily read a book afterwards in the relaxation room – there are several!
Now all that relaxing got us feeling peckish. We were glad we had dinner reservations for 8pm to which we were looking forward. We both got dressed up to go to dinner in the fine dining restaurant. Here are the current menus. This is the only place where Monart ask you to dress in appropriate clothing. At all other times you are encouraged to wear your swimwear and white robe. A couple of glasses of wine with a delicious dinner and maybe even a cocktail beforehand – (we were on a ‘girls’ night away after all 😜)......and great conversation with a great friend….what more could you ask for?
From the amuse bouche right through to the dessert, each course was delicious. We were both amazed at the then set menu price tag of €45 (now €49), it was excellent value for such high quality food. Dinner was a lovely experience and we made our way back to our room; tired but happy. We both slept like logs and awoke the next morning, Tuesday, looking forward to breakfast in the restaurant….and had one of the best Eggs Benedict I ever had.
Afterwards, we made our way to our treatments ….but checked out at reception first to make the most of our remaining time there. Our overnight bags were kept securely for us to pick up on leaving. Tina had booked a Plantoner Facial and I was down for an Aroma Massage. I was greeted by my therapist who explained the treatment and what I should expect. Following a full body massage I was cocooned in a mountain of towels. The combination of the massage, the perfumed oils and being wrapped up in a cocoon of hot towels, gave me a real sense of indulgence. I try to get spa massage treatments when on a cruise but I seldom seem to do it ashore so I felt I deserved this little piece of heaven, even if it was only for an hour.
We both met up again after our treatments….feeling very zen. We did a bit more relaxing in the sun on the patio. Soon we were visited by the ducks. After enjoying their company for a while......and because we wanted to delay our leaving 😂…..we had another delicious lunch. We then reluctantly collected the car and left.
Am already dropping hints for my next birthday.... :-)) There’s only one Monart ....and I'm "quackers" about it! 🦆🦆🦆
Bucket List Items Ticked Off in the above Blog 56
Number 59 - Travel - HotelsNumber 60 (b) - Travel - Stay in the 32 Counties in IrelandNumber 79 - Experiences - Be Pampered at a Spa
Other Blog Posts
Blog 11 - Sydney, Australia
Blog 12 - Hong Kong, China
Blog 17 - Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai, China
Blog 19 - California, USA
Blog 27 - Scotland
Blog 28 - Barbados
Blog 29 - Canada
Blog 30 - Alaska
Blog 31 - Everglades, Florida
Have you ever visited a spa? Tell me about your experience in the comments section below.
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My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!