Do you ever treat yourself to a stress-relief break?
Relaxation seeking or not, one of the best hotels I’ve been to in Ireland is Farnham Estate in Cavan.
Maybe you’re feeling good but want a treat, or perhaps your body has aches & pains, your mind feels frazzled, or your emotions have been a bit raw. I know when I went for an overnight at Farnham Estate I was less than rosy! I’ll use my achy & slightly frazzled self to illustrate in this review why I reckon you’ll enjoy Farnham Estate.
I wasn’t sure if visiting the spa would much benefit my spine & shoulder pain, though I sure felt in need of a soothing break. But, YAY! The overnight spa break eased the pain and refreshed me greatly. I was on a tight budget and only availed of the indoor/outdoor infinity pool & the thermal suite, yet even without any hands-on spa treatments I felt better for days. Here are some reasons why you’ll enjoy Farnham Estate, too:
Total relaxation and comfort.
It’s not just the spa that makes you feel the cares of the world lifting, it’s the peaceful country estate surroundings, elegant historic building, and the friendly, capable professional staff. Yes, Farnham Estate is a beautiful, safe place to bliss out and rejuvenate. And sometimes we just need that!
“Going to a spa is a way of getting taken care of that is psychologically and culturally acceptable — and we can carry that feeling of being cared for with us for a period of time, and very often that can help us cope better with stress,” says NYU professor of psychiatry Virginia Sadock, MD via www.webmd.com
Of course, you needn’t go with total relaxation in mind, you may want use the 4 star Farnham Estate as your base to explore and visit the Cavan area. (Do visit the Cavan Burren!) But let me warn you, once you get to Farnham Estate you may find it hard to part from it 😀
AHHH…Thermal Suite and Spa
Fancy a treatment? There’s a wide array, and the treatment areas looked fantastic. You can also have lunch in the spa, chillin’ in your robe. I didn’t do either of these as I was completely broke. (Same for why I didn’t eat dinner at Farnham’s main restaurant, Botanica. But the menu sounded bril, & they’ve won awards.) I did do all the free spa stuff though- it was ace! It made a nice difference to my aches and pains. Do try all the thermal suites!
In the thermal suites there are several hot and cold therapies. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the more extreme ones, but I SO did. On the warm side there is the Reflexology Foot Basin, the Aroma Steam Bath, the Amethyst & Salt Room, the Laconium, and the warmest, the Finnish Sauna. In between rooms you can refresh yourself in the Snail Showers; I adored the Fresh minty one, gently zingy! On the colder side of things you can have a cool/cold rain Snail Shower, step through the Kneipp Walk which alternates temperatures, and coldest of all, the Ice Fountain. I was so surprised by the Ice Fountain; I totally enjoyed it! Perfect after the Finnish Sauna (which I also thought I mightn’t enjoy, but did! If you’ve not done a sauna, do try!)
This is an ideal contrast to the heat treatments (sauna, steam bath)
The crushed ice stimulates the circulation and boosts the lymphatic and immune systems. The continuous falling ice and the refrigeration give a powerful and uplifting feeling, which is why ice fountains are used in medical spas to treat anxiety, stress and depression.
How to get the best results?
Take handfuls of ice flakes from the Ice Fountain and rub them vigorously all over the body, this contracts the pores of the skin rapidly, forcing out impurities. via Farnhamestate.ie
YOU GUYS, THIS WAS FAB! I did the rounds several times, and went back again next morning. It was then that I had a very special experience:
The Infinity Pool: a mist-ical experience!
Farnham Estate’s indoor/outdoor infinity pool can be used year-round as it is heated. It’s quite nice to paddle, water exercise, or swim, but for me the magic happened in the morning, in the pool’s outdoor section.
It was early Spring when I visited Cavan, so the mornings were still quite cool. When I went to the pool only a handful of folk were about, and none had gone through to the section outside. There, steam from the heated pool rose up to meet the mist and fog that had settled upon Ireland overnight. I lowered myself into the pool and headed to the divider between inside and out.
The cool fresh air rushed forward to greet me as I slid back the clear panel and it shut behind me. Suddenly I was enveloped in fresh mist. It was wonderful! As a robin sang out from the hedgerow, I turned onto my back and floated… just me, the caressing mist, the warm supportive water, and springtime birdsong. All I could feel and see was softness, infinity. No edges; not to the pool, not to the world around me. Bliss.
Will you be lucky enough to experience the same? Have a morning or evening swim– who knows when the mystical Irish mist may descend 😀 The Farnham Estate Spa is open daily from 8am to 9pm. Find out more about the Spa and the treatments available here.
Tip: If you are staying at Farnham, change into your swimsuit and (provided) robe & slippers in your room; the spa changing rooms are for day-spa guests. I wasn’t too sure it was okay to walk from my room in the historic part of the hotel and cross the lobby to the spa in my robe, but the receptionist reassured me that is exactly right. You know, sometimes in very nice hotels I get a little intimidated, and it is lovely when staff are warm & genuine when you ask (perhaps ‘obvious’) questions like that. You could think a place is gorgeous, but if you feel unwelcome, of course you’ll never go back. I felt very welcome.
Oh, and There’s Golf.
Tee hee (I’ll get my coat!..); what I mean is there is actually plenty at Farnham I didn’t experience. Golf is a big thing for many people, and Farnham Estate is big on golf.
Jeff Howe designed their course and that seems to be a good thing – LOL- I’m completely golf ignorant, but by the standard of what Farnham does elsewhere I reckon the golf is class!
You can also rent a bike for €15 a day, and there are 7 km of walking trails on the Estate. Or go fishing on their lakes- you can hire tackle for €15 at reception. They’ve a gym in the spa, too, for fitness fans like my hubby Terry.
Time to Cocoon; Lovely Rooms
In both their modern and historic wings, Farnham Estate has very appealing rooms. I had a wonderful upgrade to a junior suite in the 400 year old Farnham Estate House. So lovely! I’m a huge fan of period properties, and the elegant, airy proportions of the Georgian era just seem to say: be at ease here.
The junior suite bathroom at Farnham is my favorite of any hotel I’ve stayed in so far; it just felt lush. The toiletries were divine; you’ll feel so pampered! A soak in the big beautiful tub, as well as a splash under the fantastic rain shower is a must.
The bed was enormous, sheets so smooth and soft; you’ll sleep like a log, especially after all your spa-ing! Of course, I say always bring earplugs (I find the squidgy silicon ones best) to any hotel. Especially in period properties where preservation doesn’t allow for elaborate sound proofing; you never know how noisy the other guests may be even if the general surroundings are quiet.
Everything you’d expect from a fine 4-star hotel is at Farnham Estate, and the suites have Nespresso machines; fantastic. I dearly wish other hotels in Ireland would follow suit; it is disappointing (and fairly yuk!) that many only have instant coffee. (So far the other hotel where I’ve found Nespresso is the affordable-fab executive room in Belmore Court in Enniskillen. Others have ground coffee & supply a French press, which is good, too.)
Delicious Food, Local Ingredients
Farnham Estate’s breakfast buffet will tempt you to eat yourself to bursting! There is a plethora of delicious options and locally sourced ingredients; plenty to make both veggies and dedicated carnivores happy. This breakfast impressed me, and in my brekkie experience is second only to the 5 star Hayfield Manor in Cork. That is high praise!
The dinner menu at Farnham’s AA Rosette winning restaurant Botanica is mouth-watering, and the Wine Goose Cellar Bar seems a cozy place for a drink, but as mentioned I hadn’t the funds this stay to do either. Have you been? Tell us! I had a few folk via Twitter tell me that they love the Sunday Lunch there. You can find out more about dining at Farnham Estate here.
Special offers are the business! Certainly I can’t afford to stay 4 star without them, and Farnham Estate has good ones. They also have competitions, so sign up for their newsletter & follow their Facebook to stay in the know. (This is a good tip in regards to many hotels.) Farnham is also part of the Radisson Blu network, so I think if you a person who has Points, you get deals too; sadly on the subject of Points I’m as clueless as I am on golf!
One thing I do know, though, is I like the sound of this (current at time of writing) Special Offer:
Dine and Stay Two Nights
This package includes:
- Two Nights accommodation
- Super Breakfast Buffet each morning
- Set Dinner in the Botanica Restaurant on an evening of choice
- Unlimited use of the Health Spa’s Indoor/Outdoor Infinity Pool, Watermint Thermal Suite, Gym, Relaxation Rooms and 7Km of Walking Trails through the Ancient Woodlands
- VAT and applicable taxes included
Midweek Rates from: €149.00 per person sharing
Rates are valid for Sunday – Thursday and are subject to availability
Weekend Rates from: €207.50 per person sharing
Rates are valid for Friday or Saturday and are subject to availability
So keep your eye out for special offers, and consider treating yourself to a break at Farnham Estate. It’s actually good for you 😀
So you know: I negotiated a special price and upgrade with Farnham Estate. I think it is always a good idea to go to individual hotel websites directly, and/or to talk/email to the hotel if you’re looking for their specials or are having an occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. Big booking engines usually can’t get you the same special deals in nice rooms. Worth a shot!
Photo gallery, Farnham Estate hotel, Cavan, Ireland: