What to do when you're stressed AF? For some, it's taking a moment to chill with a good book or chat with mates – for me, I like to completely retreat inside myself and go for a full pamper sesh.
Getting completely spoilt cures all woes, right? And so I found myself at Castleknock Hotel, ready to spend a whole day on my tod with nothing but the sweet smell of essential oils and macarons for company.
It's just a short drive from the city centre, but non-drivers take note: the nearest bus stop is about a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel itself so I would recommend you get a lift here.
Recently renovated, it's airy and instantly impressive
The entire four-star hotel recently underwent a €7-million development, which includes 52 additional bedrooms, a lavish spa, and two new restaurants.
There's also an 18-hole golf course if that's your sorta thing... But let's be honest, you just care about that spa, right?
The spa features six new massage treatment rooms, BIOTEC skincare and seaweed baths – I opted for the Elemis Absolute Spa Ritual
It's clear the The Spa at Castleknock Hotel was built with one purpose in mind: opulence.
It's stocked with Elemis and VOYA products, both premium brands that use natural, organic ingredients and smell AH-MAZING.
While the changing rooms aren't the most glamourous (they are shared with the hotel pool and leisure centre and there was a kid's swimming morning on when I visited, so shrieks were aplenty), once you change into your fluffy white robe and slippers and head back to the relaxation room at the spa all is forgiven.
The Elemis Absolute Spa Ritual (€189) is 115 minutes of pure indulgence: you choose between a Elemis Advanced Anti-Ageing or Skin Solution Facials, then combine it with a head to toe ELEMIS Deep Tissue Muscle Massage.
My therapist applied a medium pressure and before long I was in a state of pure bliss, half snoozing.
Oooh that facial... My skin was glowin' for days
Although it was an Elemis package, my facial was personalised to suit my skin so my therapist used Voya products instead, which I was more than happy with.
Using a combination of gentle exfoliators, serums and masks, my skin was pumped full of seaweed goodness and spritzed with a refreshing mist at the very end to wake me up.
Instantly my skin looked glowier, and I saw the full benefits three or so days later when dry patches on my cheeks completely cleared up. No wonder people rave so much about the power of Irish seaweed.
Quick trip to the sauna and a swim before feasting on their Afternoon Tea; this is the life, eh?
The pool area has huge floor-to-ceiling windows that let in heaps of light and there's also a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
I know, I know, chlorine was probs a bad idea after all those fab oils on my skin but I couldn't resist a dip in the swimming pool...
There's also a gym onsite but even I'm not that crazy to add a workout into my super chilled spa day. Prosecco and pampering all the way, please!
Afternoon Tea for one in the new Earth & Vine restaurant finished off my visit in style
Style, and pure glorious greed.
Earth & Vine has a reassuring farm-to-fork ethos, serving a contemporary menu of artisanal food sourced directly from local farms and producers. The room has completely changed from what it used to look like, my friendly waitress tells me, and it wouldn't look out of place in a grand country house estate.
The Afternoon Tea is available daily from 2-4pm, and best of all it's an absolute bargain, with prices just €23 per person midweek or €26 at weekends.
The feast consists of smoked salmon blinis, mini bagels with camembert cheese, freshly baked scones with clotted cream, chocolate macarons and a dainty berry panna cotta.
It's only 20 minutes from town yet an afternoon here felt like I had been at a retreat miles away from all the hustle and bustle.
I rolled out of the hotel feeling super chill and ready to tackle a new week. What more could you ask for?
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