At the end of Semester 1 of my Masters, I had six Christmas exams to power through. This whole process, including revision weeks and handing in final assignments, was spread out over about 3 weeks. 3 weeks where I gave it my all, my 110%, and worked my brain and butt off. I finished up 4 days before Christmas Eve, and was absolutely ECSTATIC to finally put the books away. What made finishing up with all of these deadlines even more epic was a trip I had booked in for 2 days after my last exam. I was absolutely delighted to be invited in November by Adrienne of the beautiful Rainforest Spa in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow (Ireland!) to visit their lovely new wellness studio and spa for a morning, and so I penciled my date there for a well-timed post-exams spa trip! And it was such an utterly glorious experience that, as it was also my very FIRST spa trip, I decided to write a review on my blog for you guys!
Yes, I did say my FIRST spa trip. I realise that being able to visit a spa, and indulge yourself in a treatment such as a facial, or massage, or beauty treatment, IS without a doubt a luxury. I’ll hold my hand up and say that while I try to look after my body and mind from an exercise, sleep & nutrition point of view, I’m not really great at treating myself to much else. But after a lot of hard work over the last 4 months of college, I figured it was the perfect time to! Plus, any chance to jump out of the busy city for even half a day is always welcome in my book. I love Dublin, but swapping the hustle and bustle for a little tranquility is an absolute dream whenever I get time to. The photos below show you just how incredible the view around the spa is!
I spent my morning at Rainforest trying out both the fitness classes and spa facilities they offer. I first tried a Power Pilates class taught by the loveliest lady called Bernie (shout out if she’s reading this!). You guys know I do a LOT more yoga than pilates, but I am keen to mix it up more in 2019, so this class was a great push to do just that! Bernie took us through a fantastic hour long class which used resistance bands as well, and targeted every body part I think! She made it very accessible, and adapted for us anything that we needed to, depending on our mobility and flexibility. I felt so refreshed afterwards. PLUS – oh gosh, the studio. An absolutely gorgeous little room, bright, with two big bay windows looking out over the mountains as you flow, with the most inspiring quote on the back wall – ‘Create A Life You Love.’ You can see it for yourself in the photos below!
Rainforest offers both yoga and pilates classes in the morning and evening, and your first class is free too! Their class timetable is on the website. It’s lovely to be able to combine a class and a treatment in a visit to really make the most of your time there. Of course, we grabbed some poses in the beautiful studio after class!
After the class, I was delighted to spend a little time trying out the spa facilities, followed by an absolutely amazing back massage. Everyone was so friendly and polite, and the spa interior is just gorgeous. I changed into Rainforest slippers and a big fluffy dressing gown (who doesn’t love a dressing gown?!), and popped into the relaxation room, which has tea, coffee, healthy snacks, and a whisper policy, so that guests have the most relaxed, switched-off experience possible. I chilled out there before popping outside and onto the epic dream-catcher swing chairs – you can see my happy camper face in the photo! There is also a hot tub outside, and I braved the winter chill for a dip, which was absolutely glorious and warm – so much so that I didn’t want to get back out! I escaped into the sauna then, before what I was most excited for – my first massage!
Holy moly. The massage was… bliss. We all hold SO MUCH tension in our backs and shoulders, particularly those of us that use desks during the day. I am definitely so much more aware of it in myself since taking up yoga in January, and I’ve 100% noticed how much yoga has helped with any tension I pick up from sitting during the day in lectures or the library at college. The massage therapist I had on the day of my visit was lovely, friendly and really welcoming, which was great for a gal who was having a first massage! I noticed such a delicious release in post-exam knots in my neck, shoulders and upper back especially afterwards. Of course, booking a massage for yourself is as I say a luxury, and it’s not something I would do like getting a haircut! But I would definitely go back for another visit during 2019, and I’ve also bought gift vouchers for massages before too, as it’s a lovely present many of us don’t give to ourselves!
After all of that, feeling totally zen in body and mind, I headed back for the Dublin city lights, full of countryside winter air and a refreshed, relaxed vibe for my Christmas break. It was a blissful visit, just what I needed, and it melted away all of the post-exam hype that I often find hard to let go of. If you’re in Ireland, especially in Dublin or close to Wicklow, I would definitely recommend a visit to Rainforest, and make a day of it! Get out of the city, try a yoga or pilates class with a friend or family member, book a treatment together, or time it around a big event (like a wedding!) and make the whole thing even more special. Self-care and self-love might be buzzwords of 2018 and into 2019, but they aren’t fads. We need to look after ourselves in body and mind (and therefore, soul!), and an escape to Rainforest was just the right thing to motivate me to take care of myself as I start a new year. If you’re keen to check it out for yourself, head over to the Rainforest Spa website here! Any questions, just leave a comment or pop an email to the Rainforest crew!
Ciara 🙂 x