I hope everyone is having a great week…we’re nearly at the end of it now, praise the lord!
The Summer is well and truly over – I think we are all starting to feel a nip in the air! I know you are probably thinking ‘sure Summer was over at the end of August’…well not in our house. Summer ends when September ends – Colin makes his annual voyage to Electric Picnic, I go somewhere as far removed from Electric Picnic I can find, and then we usually take a week off and head to the sun together after a busy Summer.
This year was no different except I didn’t want to go too far for my weekend away as I needed to pack my bags for holidays and I was working too on the Saturday. I remembered Colin had bought me a voucher for Sirana Spa in The Sheraton Athlone Hotel as part of last year’s Christmas present and sure I was only dying for an opportunity use it. This was the perfect time…while he was ‘mucking it’ at the picnic!
Working in the hospitality industry myself you would think I would tire of hotels and spas and run a mile from them on my days off – not me…I’m the total opposite. I love being the guest, enjoying all the pampering and of course watching it all from the other side.
I am forever popping in and out of The Sheraton Hotel in Athlone. If it’s not for lunch or to meet up with the girls for drinks, we might pop in to watch a match (groan!) and have some food in the bar. We actually held our engagement party there a few years back and had a fantastic night in a private area off the main bar. It’s a super stylish hotel and of course it’s beside Athlone Town Centre which makes it too handy for that sneaky glass of wine when running around the shops! But I am kinda mortified to say, I had never been to the spa there.
So off I went with my pal (who joins me on my annual escapade every year) and we set the sat-nav for Gleeson St. After a weary 5 minute drive from the house, we arrived at our destination! Haha.
I have to say I am a sucker for all things modern and stylish and Sirana Spa at The Sheraton was right up my street. The dark wood, the gorgeous smells and the relaxing music took effect the moment we walked through the spa entrance. We looked at each other approvingly and thought ‘yep, we’re gonna love this!’.
The therapist who greeted us on arrival was absolutely ‘adorable’…I hope she won’t mind me using that word! She chatted away happily as we filled out our consultation forms and swapped our heels for cosy slippers, then off we padded into the spa. She took us around the changing area (very swish indeed with Hollywood light mirrors, beautiful décor and and more gorgeous smells). Then she walked us through the tepidarium, steam temple, rasul etc. and explained all the features and benefits of each area.
After she left us we floated around in our snuggly robes for 45 minutes or so trying out all the areas (snap-chatting as I went along!), then we were taken to our treatment rooms. My treatment was simply amazing. It was called the Aching Muscle Body Bliss and it included body brushing, a back, neck and shoulder massage and a head massage. And oh my, it was soooo blissful! I am always racing around and never seem to stop. My head is forever thinking, planning and organising, and for once this treatment stopped me in my tracks. There was piano music playing in the background and it was just so soothing, I completely zoned out and just listened as each key played. That never happens to me! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mairéad my therapist was absolutely brilliant and I could tell she was very passionate about her job and she was an excellent masseuse.
We had decided that we would treat ourselves to afternoon tea as well and we had booked this in advance – sure when you’re out, you’re out! It was nearly too pretty to eat – there was a lovely mix of wraps, crusty bread and brown bread open sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and an array of calories disguised as desserts, which we absolutely devoured. I had a green tea to wash down the bold stuff…but we all know that calories and carbs don’t count on the weekends. Right?
The spa dining area was very plush with crushed velvet seating and it overlooks the swimming pool. We looked down guiltily at guests and members who were swimming lengths of the pool as we munched our way through the afternoon tea, but we did spy them looking up at us enviously too – I bet they were wishing they were eating all the yumminess in front of us!
After that we headed to the relaxation room with our bellies full. We could’ve had fresh fruit and infused waters there, but we just lay back under the cosy blankets and read all the fab glossy magazines and had a natter. It really was the ultimate girls day out.
Since then we have been away on holidays and now it’s back to work and it’s all ‘go-go-go’. Writing this post has made me think of how we all spend our time off. But really is there such a thing as ‘time off’? And if there is, don’t we always find a way to fill that time gap with more things to do? We should really look after our body – afterall it’s the only one we have. Down-time is what we all need and here’s a suggested idea…
When it comes to Christmas (I know I said it…the dreaded ‘C’ word) myself and my sister don’t buy each other a Christmas present – instead we always go away for a ‘spa-day’. We are usually both so busy throughout the year it’s always just snatched time we spend together. This way we can re-charge the batteries, catch up on life and just have a girly day out. I would highly recommend doing this with a sister, friend, mum or your other half. It really is so relaxing and it’s so much easier that traipsing the shops for pressies. So maybe you could try this too?
When I told her I was writing this post, she announced that she now wants to go to The Sheraton Athlone Hotel and when we do, we are going to stay there too – sure why not? Then she said perhaps we could go to the January sales next door in Athlone Town Centre! Woohoo, you would know she is my sister…spa, shop and stay – I’m looking forward to it already.
So why not give Sirana Spa at The Sheraton Athlone a shout. They have amazing Autumn offers – check them out here or maybe like me and my sis, you would like to plan a Winter/Spring break too as a Christmas pressie to yourselves.
I love promoting everything that Athlone has to offer and it’s hard to believe this calm little oasis is right in the middle of our town. I really can’t wait to go back. So go on treat yourselves, or better still, get someone to treat you. We all deserve a bit of pampering from time to time…
Contact Sheraton Athlone Hotel:
Ph: 09064 51000
Log onto their website here
Follow them on facebook here