I had been meaning to visit the Spa at the Marker Hotel in Dublin for a number of months, especially as it was recently awarded Top Spa by Irish Tatler. The Spa, located on the 1st floor up a discreet flight of stairs, has a minimal look and feel. While it doesn’t quite have the sharp contemporary interior as the Peninsula in Paris, it is clean, relaxed and inviting and a perfect city centre escape. As it happened, Friday evening turned out to be free in my calendar and as the week wore on between work and travel, I thought it was as good a time as any to check it out.
Arriving in from the rain, I was escorted to the changing rooms by a friendly receptionist who kitted me out with a fluffy robe and slippers. I was booked in for a deep tissue massage for 90 minutes, which felt like the right amount of time to tackle my tense shoulder blades. After a brief introduction from my therapist, I settled myself on the treatment table and with a deep inhale of neroli oil, I tried to switch off and unwind. The problem with going for a massage either during, before or after work is that typically you are still mulling over conversations or thinking about unsent emails in your head. In my case, I had come from a series of back to back meetings and while my body ached to relax, my brain was still diligently processing each and every detail of prior exchanges. It therefore took quite some time before I could actually relax, even though I avoided the temptation to engage in any chit chat as I lay there in silence.
My therapist however was able to work miracles and after several rounds of firm even strokes I eventually relaxed as she deeply massaged my tensed up neck and rigid shoulders. With generous amounts of sweet smelling almond oil, I reached that blissful point where I no longer knew who or where I was. The 90 minutes seemed to pass quicker than expected and as I slowly slid out of the treatment room, I felt very chilled out and serene. With a post spa aperitif of mango sorbet and orange juice, I spent some time relaxing in the calm relaxation suite, before I found the energy to settle the bill and take my leave. Downstairs, a party was in full swing at the Marker hotel but I continued to feel beautifully disconnected as I stepped into my waiting taxi and headed off into the night.