A winter treat for the senses at Sheraton Athlone

When the treatment you’re about to enjoy is called ‘Starry Starry Night’ and the accompanying music is a whimsical version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, you know you’re in for a treat.

Sirana Spa at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel knows how to do winter bliss. In a busy December when it can be hard to find a moment to yourself, never mind give your winter-addled skin the attention it is crying out for, the experts at Sirana are there to offer the ultimate luxurious timeout.

Their winter treatments have magical names like ‘A Winter’s Tale’, ‘A Flame Burns Bright’, and ‘Winter Warmer’, not to mention a ‘Shine Like a Diamond’ package for those getting ready to hit the town.

‘Starry Starry Night’ is a dreamy, 90-minute treatment that promises to leave you walking on air. There are certainly worse ways to start the afternoon than reclining in the spa’s rustic tepidarium; I immediately decided I’d be happy to while away a quiet couple of hours here, but there were better things to come.

Whisking me off to a treatment room, therapist Vivien began with a quick consultation to highlight any skin issues or muscle tension I was concerned about, before filling me in on the steps involved in the treatment. ‘Starry Starry Night’ is a head to toe therapy designed around the luxury Payot skincare brand.

The first step was body brushing to help shed dead skin cells and increase circulation, followed by a fabulous full body exfoliation to leave the skin polished and ready for the treats to follow.

The next step is where the Payot experience really comes into its own, when the body is drenched in their signature Elixir Oil. Easily the most stunning body product I’ve come across, Payot’s Elixir is a dry oil with extracts of myrrh and amyris, which acts to repair, nourish, and soften the skin.

With my skin velvety smooth, it was time to enjoy a stress-relieving luxury back massage. Vivien expertly trod the fine line between working out the stubborn knots from my back and shoulders, while still keeping the experience relaxing and enjoyable. I was then cocooned top to toe in a beautiful Payot balm and elixir, which, in addition to drenching the skin in moisture, smells amazingly sweet.

As if I wasn’t already relaxed enough, the treatment is completed with a gorgeous Payot taster facial tailored to my skin’s needs, and a blissful scalp massage.

Vivien was a mine of helpful information and advice on the types of products I should be using to help keep my skin in balance, particularly during the drying winter months.

After lounging around for a while in Sirana Spa’s relaxation suite, it was off for a spot of spa dining. The Sheraton have provided a perfectly private room overlooking the pool, where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and refreshments while still kitted out in a fluffy robe and slippers. There you can dine on an array of artistically presented savoury and sweet delights prepared by the hotel’s expert chefs.

Literally pampered from head to toe, it was off into the starry night with me, relaxed, refreshed, and ready to calmly face whatever madness the season had yet to throw at me.

For more information or to book one of Sirana Spa’s winter offers, call the Sheraton Athlone Hotel on (090 ) 6451058, or see www.sheratonathlonehotel.com

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