Wellness is for life, and not just for the time after Christmas. Booking a relaxing break is still an opportunity for body, mind and soul to get the year off to a good start – and a good excuse to end a bleak January. Do you need tips and tricks to sleep better? Or are you ready to improve and take action? Perhaps it is time to seek spiritual enlightenment? We have selected the most tempting wellness breaks at home and abroad. Yoga mats ready …
Break and relaxation
Knockranny House Hotel, Co Mayo
If a cozy, relaxing winter night is your idea of bliss, it is worth visiting the well-located Knockranny House Hotel to take advantage of all the features. Your wind down for the winter package is designed to make R’n’R easy. In the Grand Deluxe Suite, a pampering set awaits you with everything you need for a restful night – think of a spirulina mask, a foot balm, an eye cream and a bath that you can soak in the whirlpool. A 2-course meal is included in the price of € 89.50 per person (or € 109.50 at the weekend), but the enjoyment doesn’t stop there: go back to your room and enjoy free popcorn and films at Room night right. knockrannyhousehotel.ie
January is the month of health in Irish time. Over the course of the month, we will provide suggestions and inspirations in print and online to help all of us improve our physical and mental health in 2020. See irishtimes.com/health
Savoy Palace, Madeira
Is a traditional wellness vacation more your thing? Opened just in time for the wanderlust to feel good, the Grand Savoy Palace on the distant Portuguese island of Madeira is home to the Laurea Spa. It is Europe’s newest and largest spa on 3,000 m². Inside, well-tended pools and waterfalls, experience showers, Turkish baths and ultra-modern treatment rooms are waiting to be explored. Design Inspo – imagine a green and floral palette and the aromas of the salty Atlantic air – comes from the nearby Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Heaven on earth? It could be easy. The room prices start at € 97.50 per person. lhw.com
Get there: Indirect flights to Madeira from € 137.
Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Co Cork
If the prescribed eight hours are wishful thinking rather than the norm, wearily take yourself to Inchydoney Lodge to do a DC. The popular beach hotel offers two overnight stays so that you can be brought back to life with the natural sleeping pill lavender. The rest of the Assured package begins with a sleep tight ritual with a soothing massage with lavender oil. Soak it up while relaxing with a hot drink, then return to the superior room to use the free Elemis sleep goodies you can take home with you. If you want to take a nap, jump into the handmade, comfortable Respa bed to take you to the land of the nap. All this – plus breakfast and access to the spa thalassotherapy seawater pools – from € 299 per person. inchydoneyisland.com
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
If your body and mind are constantly plagued by insomnia, it is time to take drastic measures. Enter the Grand Resort in Bad Ragaz, a premium wellness resort that tackles the problem in its three-day sleep diagnosis programs. The team conducts a number of tests, including a high-tech sleep study in your room. They will explain your customized treatment plan, which – if all goes well – will then prepare you for a sound sleep. It’s not cheap for CHF 4850 (€ 4,462) including an accompanying person, but a number of relaxing nights are invaluable. resortragaz.ch
Get there: Aer Lingus flies directly from Dublin to Zurich from € 105. Bad Ragaz is a 75-minute train ride away.
Cliff House Hotel, Co Waterford
Not too confident with your yoga skills? Morning classes in January and February are free at the cozy 5-star Cliff House. The stylish hotel and spa with 39 rooms is located high up and offers a breathtaking view of the Waterford coast. If it turns out that yoga is not the activity of your choice, it is still a relaxing break at an affordable price (from € 99 per person in the room). And when a lifelong habit begins, so much the better. cliffhousehotel.ie
Relax at the Cliff House Hotel
Glass House Retreat, England
The Glass House Retreat in Essex is a solid all-round option. It is the state-of-the-art conservation area that you might expect. Daily yoga and Pilates sessions are standard in every package, as are other fitness classes, treatments, spa use, and full board (of course, with clean food and plant meals). For the really serious, there is a cell phone safe to promote digital detoxification. It’s not just the sterling euro prices that make this withdrawal competitive. Breaks for solo travelers start at £ 520 (€ 610) or £ 416 (€ 487) per person. glasshouseretreat.co.uk
Get there: Ryanair flies directly from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to Stansted from € 30. The glass house is a 30-minute drive away.
Coopershill House, Co Sligo
The historic Coopershill House takes advantage of the location that inspired young WB Yeats and opens its doors to the outside. The estate itself has an area of 500 acres, so the walls are busy for hours. However, to ensure that the blood really gets going, the staff provide maps as part of their three-day walking in Yeats Country package (€ 375 per person) and plan hiking routes to the most famous sights in the area. Head to the quiet Lough Gill, from which Yeat’s poem Lake Isle of Innisfree or Slishwood emerged, which appears in The Stolen Child as “Sleuth Wood”. Nearby is Dooney Rock, home of The Fiddler of Dooney. The team includes a picnic and afternoon tea to strengthen the hikers. coopershill.com
Stock Hotel, Austria
You don’t have to be a super skier to stay fit in a wintry ski area – guests of the contemporary 5-star hotel in Tyrol can also look forward to the three-day Body Management With Dynostics program. It includes a metabolic analysis to determine how many calories your body needs, since the 2,000 calories often quoted are the roughest measures. Equipped with this information, personal training and an extensive timetable are waiting for you. Take a spinning class on the fitness terrace or take guided hikes and Nordic walking trips to a nearby waterfall to enjoy the winter wonderland surrounding this design hotel. Indoor classes range from aqua fit to power plates to military training. Three nights cost € 987 per person with full board (attention: the food is tempting first class). stock.at
Get there: Indirect flights to Innsbruck from € 166.
Ard Nahoo, Co Leitrim
If life’s white noise is a little too loud, press the reset button in the Ard Nahoo, deep in the heart of Leitrim’s landscape. The hotel has undergone further development and improvement since it opened in 2001. The quiet location amidst wildlife and a soothing view aims to put the guests back in the center. The home for the long term is one of the cozy eco-huts, which mostly cater for themselves, although a vegetarian dinner and organic food are offered. Here it means long walks, pure silence, a bath in the whirlpool or simply nothing. Imagine. Two-night breaks cost € 180 per person and € 210 on weekends. ardnahoo.com
Self-service restaurant in the Monastère des Augustines
Monastère des Augustines, Canada
Monastère des Augustines believes that spiritual wellbeing comes from within and offers spiritual renewal in the heart of Old Quebec. The monastery dates from 1639 and is now a stylish, non-profit hotel that welcomes people of all cultures and religions while honoring the mission of the Augustinian sisters. The three-night extension package (€ 750 per person) includes holistic health advice, treatments and private lessons, access to daily activities and advice at the end of your stay. Meals are also included – a silent breakfast prepares you for the day, and lunch and dinner are also based on conscious nutritional principles. However, it’s not an extreme environment: they serve organic wine, and non-residential guests help to increase the dynamism of this urban retreat. monastere.ca
Get there: Indirect flights to Quebec from € 445.