“Set on a beautiful 1,300-acre country estate on the outskirts of Cavan Town, Farnham Estate is one of Ireland’s most popular Spa & Golf destinations with a superb reputation for being a genuine ‘retreat to nature’.
Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort is situated in Cavan, around an hour and a half away from Dublin by car, (less if your husband drives like a lunatic like mine). We were invited to have an overnight stay and I was booked in to have a facial in their newly established ESPA luxury spa.
My visit to this award-winning hotel and spa was a real treat offering a chance to try out some of the newest treatments at the Day Spa, including the ESPA facial and the signature massage- absolutely ideal for those in need of relaxation.
10/10: First Impressions
Upon entering the grounds of the estate, we were immediately met with endless, rolling, bright green fields and a gently curving, long and winding road to the hotel itself. The receptionist told me that it is a mile in length from the hotel to the front gate when I commented on the lovely drive up.
The car park is not situated anywhere near the front door, (although they do have wheelchair parking spaces directly outside) you have the option to walk up from the carpark or else they run a complimentary shuttle back and forth, which I’ve never seen at a hotel anywhere in the world before.
The porter who greeted me at the door (and kindly took my suitcase up to the room) had also lit the gas fire, which ensured the room was homely and cosy. The room itself was one of the hotels modern suites, which are priced from €159 upwards midweek, for an overnight stay including breakfast and dinner.
8/10 Style & Atmosphere
The hotel bedroom was decorated in a modern boutique style juxtaposed with very sleek and new looking facilities, such as the bathroom, which had a stunning free standing bathtub.
The products that were in the bathroom are a very generous size from ESPA, they were actually the exact same as the products we had in our hotel room when we visited Dubai’s Atlantis on this exact day last year. Only the best of the best hotels are permitted to have ESPA spas and use their products.
With a little under an hour to kill, and a plate of pastel coloured macarons (my weakness) staring at me begging to be eaten, I settled in to one of the cosy armchairs by the window with a cup of tea, thoroughly relishing the peace and tranquility of the view outside.
9/10: The Spa
I then changed into my robe and slippers provided and made my way downstairs to the spa. I filled out a consultation form before Bernie – my therapist for my ESPA 60 minute Skin Purifying facial priced at €95 – guides me to her treatment room for a verbal consultation.
She invited me to smell two different skin toners on cotton discs fashioned to look like lotus flowers (impressive!), and again to smell two different massage oils to determine my favorite, that would be used on my skin during my bespoke facial.
Bernie promised to mix and match products to treat my complexion and balance my skin out. For the next hour, I felt as if I was floating in complete bliss, surrounded by woody scents and tucked under a warm blanket with a bolster under my knees for comfort.
During the treatment she loosened the very tight knots in my neck and shoulders during my facial, as well treating me to a deeply relaxing head massage, which was part of the treatment.Her hands are truly magicial and the treatment was one of the highlights of our visit.
My only comment regarding the experience, this is not even a complaint but just an observation, is that the music is a little odd. It stirred me twice out of my sleepy state with the combination of maracas and tropical drums (I felt like I was back in Jamaica.
The music is pretty much like that throughout the entire hotel, from the Botanica dining room to the Cellar Bar. It’s not that I ever would normally notice background music in bars or restaurants, but expect it to be different and a little quirky.
Bernie then allowed me time to put my robe back on, and brought me a brochure of the products that she used on my skin. She then asked me had I any questions about any of the products, before guiding me to one of the two relaxation rooms and giving me a glass of water.
I personally hate relaxation rooms, I’m just too loud and restless to sit and read a magazine, so I promptly tried to glug back my water as fast as I could in order to make a swift exit to the pool .
The thermal suite and pools are something else entirely. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, there was everything from an Amythyst Salt Inhalation Room to a Kneipp Walk of cold and warm tubs with additional massage pressure jet.
You could easily spend over and hour or two there, and we were really kicking ourselves that we didn’t arrive sooner, as dinner was booked for 7 pm. We finished off with a swim in the indoor and outdoor infinity pool, it is just stunning, the smell of Irish soil in the air and the crisp beginnings of autumn cold weather are really breathtaking.
We arrived back to our room utterly relaxed and Jordan ,my husband, even had a peppermint tea (which he NEVER does!), he must have been feeling a newfound sense of zen from the experience.
I quickly applied some makeup in preparation for dinner, all the while feeling very guilty that I was undoing Bernie’s hard work. I even pulled out my beloved Louboutin’s for this special dinner (they were a wedding gift from himself last year).
9/10: Food & Drink
The instant I entered the restaurant I realised how massively overdressed I was. Not one single another female in the restaurant was wearing heels, most were in trainers.
The restaurant itself is quite luxurious, with sheer mint coloured drapes separating tables and sections. I assume that it was just because it was a midweek stay that I was overdressed because every time I eat out I would wear heels and a full face of makeup.
A 3-course meal is €45 per person, which is excellent value, especially as there is a steak option on the menu. This includes a starter, main, dessert and tea or coffee.
>We then made our way to The Cellar Bar in the basement, which is a rustic underground wine cellar bar. You can also eat in there too, and it’s very much a more relaxed setting. It was lovely and warm and we both ordered some fancy gin and tonics with fresh fruits and peppercorns adorning them.
The next day, unfortunately, it was still raining and we were unable to explore the enormous grounds which span over 1,300 acres. I was a little disappointed that the weather wasn’t on our side, but even with grey Autumnal clouds and dewy grass, there was no denying the beauty of the estate.
Price: One Night, Bed and Breakfast including Dinner from €90
Facilities: The facilities are wonderful, with free wifi, free parking (with a pickup service complimentary as the carpark is a short walk away), Nespresso Coffee Machine with complimentary pods, ESPA Products in the sizeable bathroom. Two dining restaurants and a bar, mini bar is also available on request. There is an ESPA Spa, gym, and extensive Thermal Suite.
Access for guests with disabilities? Yes, there is parking right outside the door for guests with disabilities, the porter will meet you at the door and carry all bags to your room as well. There are also elevators in numerous locations for ease of access.
Family-friendly? With plenty of nature trails and walks among the 1,300 acres of land, this would be ideal for a family break. The hotel itself is very opulent, with various vases and delicate china and definitely more aimed at an adult audience rather than an entertainment area for children.
Verdict: Farnham Estate is a breathtaking hotel that screams Ireland. It is perfect for a break to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. The staff could not be more helpful if they tried, they are an asset to the hotel. Thoroughly enjoyable experience in the most stunning surroundings.