I was recently invited down to Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa for a weekend trip away with my best friend Chris. I've never been to Cork (I know, I know) so I jumped at the chance to head down for a nice little break away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin life for a few days.
Inchydoney Lodge is over an hour's drive from Kent train station in Cork city and was miles and miles away from everything; we didn't mind this too much, as the point of the lodge was to escape city life for a while. However, we regretted not bringing down any food or drinks with us to snack on as there were no shops nearby. The hotel itself is gorgeous; extremely friendly staff and the interiors are modern and quirky. We were even given a homemade pot of jam to bring home, which I thought was a really lovely touch. The bedrooms are gorgeous and have everything you need to settle in - even a Nespresso machine! Each room looks out on to the sea; the surroundings are so beautiful and tranquil, as you can see by the photos. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing is beyond dreamy - no matter how cheesy it sounds, trust me.
The greatest thing Inchydoney Lodge had to offer - for me - was the sea water swimming pool - fresh sea water is pumped daily into it. Sea water is highly beneficial for the skin and mine felt exfoliated and cleansed as soon as I got out. Something you mightn't know about me; I was practically a fish as a child! I swam in galas, lived in the pool on holidays and was generally a complete water baby. The last time I had swam previous to this trip was around 4 years ago - the relief swimming around the gorgeous pool in Inchydoney was amazing. There were jets, waterfalls - you know name it! I went into a sauna for the first time too, which wasn't my cup of tea but they're also meant to be extremely fantastic for the skin - and mind. I suffer from anxiety quite badly so the heat and enclosed space didn't really go down to well for me but Chris absolutely loved it.
I was genuinely quite nervous about the spa treatment day as I didn't know what to expect. I was booked in for a Skin Specific Facial (€80 - 50 mins) and an Absolute Face & Body Sensation (€99 - 55 mins). I was petrified having to lie down in the nip (apart from my pants) as I can be quite self-conscious at times, I kept worrying about this factor before I had even stepped inside the spa itself. The spa therapist was so comforting however and I was given privacy throughout if I had to move around on the table. Any fears I had initially were soon gone.
The facial was absolutely amazing; my skin felt so plumped and fresh afterwards. I remember nearly dozing off asleep during it - the smell of the oils was so relaxing! I didn't notice a huge difference to my skin over the next few days but I imagine getting facials done regularly would be brilliant in maintaing youthful and cleansed skin. The body massage was scary at first as it's something I've never experienced; after a while, I relaxed fully and began to enjoy it. The therapist constantly checked if she was going too hard on me so I wasn't in any sort of pain or discomfort. I found the entire experience really meditative, it's something I'll do again if I'm stressed or in need of some pampering. There's a relaxation room you head into after your treatments in the spa, where you can reading magazine or listen to music whilst looking out on to the sea. It was truly gorgeous!
Like I've previously mentioned, we regretted not bringing down our own snacks. We found the food in the hotel to be extremely expensive and there were no vending machines/ small shops around. We ordered room service one night as we were starving - I ordered sausages and chips and Chris ordered a fish meal. We nearly died when we saw the bill came to €38 as the food wasn't that nice, at all and the portions were bizarrely small. Despite this, the food we ate in the restaurants for breakfast and dinner was lovely but again, really expensive. If you're heading down on a budget, make sure to bring some of your own food and drink with you.
Overall, our experience was fantastic. It was great to get away for a few days and be pampered! I'd recommend it if you're looking for a break from work and need to switch off for a day or two - we forgot we were in Ireland, it was like another world - in the best way possible! Obviously, like most things in Ireland, it was very weather dependent so we didn't get to go out on the beach as much as we would have liked to. I'm sure Inchydoney is a dream during the Summer months so definitely hold off until then if you're planning on popping down!