Make some ‘me’ time at Temple Spa

If a hectic lifestyle with all the stresses and strains it involves appears to be your lot in life, then make some ‘me’ time and get away from it all at the Temple spa and country retreat. Rest, relaxation and fabulous beauty treatments are the order of the day at Temple Spa. Relax in the pool, enjoy some quiet time in the quiet room, or simply sit down and relax while the staff take expert care of all your beauty needs. Being the intrepid reporter that I am, I decided that this was one area worth special investigation and headed east in the Westmeath direction to discover whether or not the claims that it is ‘an oasis of wellness’ were merited. The trip involved arriving at Temple Spa in time for dinner on Thursday evening and availing of the facilities on Friday, before leaving on Friday evening at tea time. Accompanying me on what was to become known as the ‘trip to Temple’ was a female accomplice who shall remain nameless. Temple Spa was established in 1992 by Declan and Bernadette Fagan and is one of Ireland’s longest established destination spas. The facility is located a few miles outside Moate, on the Dublin to Athlone road, a very convenient location for Co. Roscommon visitors. The Fagans involvement in the business of wellbeing began many years ago with the establishment of a B&B facility which branched out and began specialising in yoga weekends.  The business ethos is simple. Staff at Temple believe wellbeing is a natural state of health and wholeness. To help visitors find their way back to wellbeing, they provide some of the good things in life, such as fresh air, good food, gentle exercise, space and time. Time for yourself and space of your own to rediscover the real ‘you’. On arrival, we booked into our room and prepared for dinner. I have to admit that there was a misunderstanding on my behalf, I expected that dinner would be a lettuce-leaf affair, with a menu presenting a range of lettuce options. Not so, the menu was varied, with lots of tasty options and we enjoyed a leisurely and sumptuous dinner. If you’re looking for a great dinner venue for a small group, Temple restaurant is well worth a visit. The food is cooked to perfection, presented well and served by some of the most professional staff we have encountered in a long, long time. After dinner came bedtime, a totally new experience to be tucked up in bed by 9.30 pm in beds which got ten out of ten on the comfy scale. The next day began shortly after eight, so we were well rested. We took our time over breakfast and missed the ‘mile with a smile’ which usually starts off the morning at Temple. Treatments began at 9.30 am and I started with the famed Yon Ka facial and wasn’t disappointed. Afterwards, there was a yoga class and then it was time for lunch, another leisurely and fun affair. After the yoga class, we attended lunch in our sports attire, but most other diners were in ‘robe culture’ mode.  ‘Robe culture’ is a true Celtic Tiger phenomenon. No doubt, David McWilliams will have some daft equation to make, but I will remain a committed fan. Never having experienced ‘robe culture’ before, I was hugely curious about the phenomenon. For the uninitiated, it involves wandering around dressed in bathrobes and slippers provided by the spa. Now, while this may not sound like the most exciting invention, it was actually a highlight of our trip. With everyone dressed in robes, including most people at lunch and many at dinner, it removes the tyranny of labels, makes people anonymous and proves a great leveller. Temple is a destination spa with 23 rooms, including two luxurious suites, in a beautiful purpose-built building with an internal garden and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Being a destination spa, it’s business is well-being and restoring stressed bodies to a healthy balance, which makes it quite different from the experience of a hotel spa where guests may be meeting wedding guests, seminar attendees or families on holiday. After lunch, a gruelling afternoon followed. First it was the massage treatment, then the vitality pool, steam room, sauna and relaxation room. Trust me, it was a tough job! Our treatments clashed with the posture class, and the ‘Breathing for Relaxation’ classes which are an integral part of the daily routine at Temple Spa, but we managed time for the briefest of strolls in the surrounds, which are an experience in themselves. As we left the spa on Friday afternoon, we were refreshed, energised and generally feeling in top shape. ‘Robe culture ‘was deemed the top new discovery of the trip, the body treatments came out on top on the treatments side. In terms of food, dinner was the best meal encountered. Although the others were excellent, dinner simply couldn’t be beaten, for the laughs we enjoyed and the truly delightful food.  The attention to detail at Temple Spa has to be seen to be believed. Magazines and newspapers were all up to date, the surroundings are spotless, the staff super-professional and of course, the couches comfy! Would I recommend it? Absolutely, suffice it to say that 2008 return visit has been decided upon for sure and certain.  For more information on the packages available at Temple Spa, contact (057) 93 35118 or visit www.templespa.ie A tailored get-away just for you Huge emphasis is put on tailoring the break to suit your individual needs, so if what you need is to sit on a big comfy couch and read the latest editions of the fashion magazines or the daily paper, then you can do just that. Temple spa has a huge range of spa breaks on offer. Chose from the few days away, pamper weekend, wellbeing (three nights), spa holiday (five nights), girls get together (one or two nights), spa and golf breaks, his and her getaway and mum-to-be (recommended after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy). All packages includes a three-course lunch, use of all facilities including the vitality suite, gym, quiet rooms, gardens, activity classes and of course, the complimentary spa slippers and robe hire. Treatments available A huge range of holistic therapies, dedicated to your wellbeing, are at the core of the Temple experience. All of the treatments are conducted by qualified and caring therapists and the therapies are designed to stimulate the body’s own innate self-healing mechanisms. Treatments on offer include massage, reflexology, naturalmoor peat treatment, Indian head massage and La Stone Therapy, the original hot stone massage from Arizona. Balneo Hydrotherapy Bath uses seaweed, aromatic oils or epsom salts to detoxify the body. Powerful water jets massage the soles of your feet, your ankles, calves, thighs, hips, back and abdomen. Yon-Ka aromatic treatments are among the most popular treatments at Temple Spa. Yon-Ka skincare products are based on pure essential oils, lavender, cypress, rosemary, thyme and geranium. In terms of facial treatments, you can choose from Le Grand Classique, Escale Beauté, Vital Intense, a deep regeneration facial and Eclat Conour, an eye-contour treatment. I had Le Grand Classique and believe me, it’s true luxury. Also available is Optimizer lift effect facial, Hydralessence Visage and Soin Pureté, an acne solution treatment. Yon-Ka body treatments are also available, including the body silk, phyto marine, jambes toniques, body detox and body firming treatment. Ishi Chocotherapy and Vinotherapy are available exclusively to Temple. Two of the most luxurious and delicious gourmet face and body treatments available, they work on a multi-sensory level, using grapes and chocolates in an amazing combination of ancient methods and treatments combined with modern innovative scientific research. Hand and foot care, nail care is also available, as well as specialised treatments such as endermologie and flotation therapy. Personal Training Services are also available, you can have a consultation with a fitness instructor, nutritionist or even a life coach while at Temple.