Caroline Whelan went to visit the amazing spa at the Lough Rea Hotel

There is a hidden gem in the south Galway town of Loughrea and it is called the Shore Island Spa. The spa is located in the newly refurbished Lough Rea Hotel and the rural town is blessed to be home to a facility of such immense quality.

There is ample free parking at the front of the hotel. Set over three floors, Shore Island is the epitome of luxury. A beautiful thermal suite and a large number of treatment and relaxation rooms allows hotel guests and spa users to unwind to their heart's content. Guests enter a tranquil haven, are handed a fluffy dressing gown and transcended to a state of ultimate relaxation.

The advice is if you are attending the spa for a treatment, bring your swimwear to enjoy the benefit of the thermal suite. The area includes aromatherapy sauna room, steam room, tropical experience shower, ice fountain, soothing foot spas, a fabulous Jacuzzi/hot tub, and a sanarium. Use of the thermal suite is complemintary with the majority of treatments booked. 

Shore Island uses the highly regarded Yon-ka products and it is currently offering a state of the art skin scanning machine which allows clients undergo a full analysis of their skin. The mechanism takes a picture of your face which is then displayed on a computer screen. The scan will outline any potential problem areas and highlight things that may not be as visible to the naked eye, like pigmentation, sun damage, congestion, oily skin, pores, and dehydration. This can sound a little daunting but it is an enlightening experience and to find out these things about your skin can lead to preventative measures being taken before problems exacerbate. As the old adage goes prevention is better than cure. 

For example, my skin showed significant dehydration under the eyes which has highlighted the need to purchase a good eye cream, and fast. With the type of climate Ireland has, we are subjected to huge amounts of artificial heat, meaning dehydration can be a substantial problem for many. I also displayed a limited amount of sun damage, further highlighting the need to wear a high SPF, not only when being exposed to direct sunlight but on a daily basis.

A personalised facial was then designed by my therapist, based on the skin scanner results. The relaxing Plaisir d'Aromes facial used various oils, massage, and a mask to leave my skin feeling quite radiant. And a further positive indictment of the treatment was a friend informing me later that day that my complexion had a real glow! 

Take some time out after your treatment to enjoy the beautiful thermal suite, while away some you-time in the hot tub, and there are further chill-out options due to the choice of bright and dark relaxation rooms. Here you can enjoy a few magazines and some complimentary fresh fruit and forget about the real world for as long as you like. Shore Island is a most enjoyable experience that is highly recoMmended. 

The Lough Rea Hotel and Shore Island Spa, Loughrea, Co Galway. 091 880088, www.loughreahotelandspa.com.

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