2014 has finally arrived and we can’t think of a better way to kick it off than with a little self-indulgent spa weekend. If you feel like getting out of dodge without venturing too far away there’s a decidedly hip hotel in the Irish countryside about 45 minutes northwest of Dublin. Sitting on a lovely bit of land along the River Boyne, Bellinter House is one of a slew of Palladian style manors built in the 18th century by renowned architect Richard Cassels. In 2006 it opened to the public as a hotel fashioned with that eclectic type of décor popularized by designers like Isle Crawford and Suzy Hoodless.
As for its Bathhouse Spa, the signature treatment is a decadent 55-minute seaweed bath. It’s admittedly daunting to walk into a room where a roll top tub is literally filled to the brim with seaweed but rest assured it’s well worth the dip (and the seaweed is all hand-harvested off the Irish coast). In addition to the extensive treatment menu, there’s also an indoor infinity pool, sauna and steam room, along with an outdoor hot tub that’s particularly invigorating in the depths of winter!
The spa aside, one of our favorite things about Bellinter House is how utterly relaxing it is. There’s not an ounce of pretention, the rates are affordable, the food is locally sourced (think salmon caught fresh from the river) and drinks by the fire on a cold winter’s night are idyllic. There’s also wellies on loan for exploring the grounds and for the more adventurous, Rathe House isn’t too far away and offers clay pigeon shooting, archery, off-roading, horseback riding and more.
Photograph © Bellinter House