Satruday 29th April - Rachel Collins
The shores of west Cork are known for their for abundant seafood and excellent surfing, but there are saltwater pursuits of another kind worth discovering.
A stay in Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, introduced us to a jewel of west Cork, the wonderful Lough Hyne. The only inland saltwater lake in Europe, Lough Hyne is connected to the Atlantic by a slender channel, and is Ireland’s first marine reserve, which sustains a diverse population of more than 1,000 marine plants, animals and fish. Researchers have been coming here since the 1880s, but it’s the modern pursuit of starlight kayaking that brings us to its shores on a chilly spring evening.
Thursday 16th March - Amy Molloy
Inchydoney is a place that leaves you wanting more, says Amy Molloy.
Set the mood
Within fifteen minutes of arriving at Inchydoney Lodge & Spa Hotel, you quickly forget the hustle and bustle of city life. The fresh sea air greets you on arrival, along with a glass of warm apple cider and seahorse-shaped chocolates in your room...
Monday 13th February - Marie Madden
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is so special about Inchydoney Lodge & Spa but the stunning location is a good place to start.
Sitting (literally) on Inchydoney Beach, one of the stand-out parts of my recent visit was sitting on the balcony of my room, sipping a coffee and listening to the waves crash on the sand below. It's remote, serene and a great example of the rugged beauty of the Southern coast.
Satruday 28th January - Finbarr Rourke
My wife Fadila and I left our two little sons with a family member while we escaped to glorious Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa near Clonakilty, west Cork for a well-deserved break. The beach at Inchydoney is famous and rightly so. In between some lovely pampering treatments, eating great food and drinking some nice wine, you need a good walk.The views of the beach and sea are amazing and hard to beat anywhere in the world, I would imagine.
Satruday 16th July - Esther McCarthy
For anyone who’s lucky enough to know Inchydoney beach, it will have come as no surprise that TripAdvisor users voted it number 1 for the third year running.
The stunning strand is the top favourite Irish beach. And we live 45 minutes away from it. Self high five.
Husband spent teenage summers life-guarding on the “glorious and unspoiled stretch of beach” near Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
I didn’t know him back then, but I imagine him running in slow motion, pretending he was Mitch Buchannon.
Over the years, we’ve made the drive just to walk the dog there, our kids have learnt to surf there, we’ve spent happy hours constructing castles and conquering the sand dunes.
Sunday 29th May 2016 - Sean Gallagher
Des O'Dowd, owner of Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, tells Sean Gallagher what makes the resort so special.
o most of us who live here - and to the millions of tourists who visit us each year - Ireland is most definitely a country of great natural beauty. From our towns and villages, to our rolling green hills and beautiful sandy beaches, there's something natural and unspoilt about this land we live in. Add to this the quality of our food, the uniqueness of our culture, and the warmth and friendliness of our people and it's easy to see why tourism plays such an important role in Ireland's economic future.
Saturday 1st August, Heidee Martin
There are two ways to enjoy the idyllic setting of Inchydoney; one is to pack the car full of children, kites, buckets and spades for a fun-packed beach holiday that the little ones wont forget. The other is to leave it all behind and bathe in the peace and tranquility of this West Cork hideaway.
Saturday 1st August 2015, Rosemary McCabe
SURF N TURF
WHERE: Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, West Cork; inchydoneyisland.com.
HOW: Get there by car, via Cork city (plus 30odd minutes, depending on your confidence on country roads) or, for a fancier option, fly into Cork airport and call a taxi.
WHAT: A four -star beachfront hotel just outside Clonakilty with a deadly spa, surfing lessons and moonlight kayaking on demand.
WHEN: Book a two-night break in September, complete with surf lessons from Inchydoney Surf School, from €238 per person.
WHO: This is one for beach lovers, seafood aficionados and avid spa-goers. Something for everyone, so.
WHY: Come for the incredible views over two magnificent stretches of Blue Flag beach; the award-winning Gulfstream Restaurant, delish fish ’n chips in the hotel bar and the deadly seawater spa. If your wallet stretches to it, try the Island Spa Tropical Ritual, €80, a deep cleanse and polish followed by a gentle massage.
Sunday 26th July, Caoimhe Young
INCHYDONEY beach feels like the edge of the Earth- it is solace for the soul and a break from the rat race. This beach is up there with the best in the world. I haven't been to all the beaches in the globe, naturally, but I do have my favourites. First up is Cape Tribulation, which is where the rainforest meets the reef in Queensland, Australia, and the closest thing to heaven you will ever see. I promise myself every summer that I will return before-t die. Then there's Venice Beach in Los Angeles for all the posers, the palm readers and the hippies - not so much for the beach, really, but the fun of it. Right here at home, just on your doorstep, is Inchydoney - only 5km from Clonakilty, 30km from.Cork city and a two-minute walk from the beautiful Inchydoney Lodge & Spa. By the way, I don't know the beaches of Donegal, before anyone is tempted to hammer furiously at the keyboard and send me an email. Inchydoney Lodge & Spa has a fine lobby with beautiful wood pieces and the bar's chowder does not contain one mussel and lots of salmon - it's a fine bowl of fishy deliciousness. The chowder and the incredible view will set you up for the day. I went with my mum and dad and my
little boy and we had a room with a view - the only problem was I had to leave the room to go up and down on the elevator 20 times, but that's kids for you. It was April and the. wind was phenomenal. Raincoats were vital to go out looking for crabs, but one hour on the beach Had you in fine form for fish 'n' chips and a glass of wine. It's a long drive from Dublin and if I was to do it again I would never go for just two nights - I'd stop over on the way, but Inchydoney is a place everyone should see at least once. If you've got kids, they've loads going on, like any good Irish hotel, and the little man in my life went to learn how to make muffins with the hotel chef and a gang of other happy children. Older kids can go fishing, surfing or windsurfing - there's organised activities every day. The self-catering houses along the beach look ideal for families, but the hotel is for me. It's comfortable, the décor is not fussy and you can settle down in any available comfy sofa and really not want to get back up again. The spacious rooms have luxurious furnishings, flat-screen TVs andNespresso coffee machines. Rooms Include bathrooms with bathrobes, slippers and hairdry rs and each bedroom has a private balcony. The hotel was the first in Ireland to introduce a proper Thalassotherapy Spa with a saltwater pool and Thalassotherapy treatments. Therapeutic seawater is pumped into the saltwater pool daily and heated to 31 degrees. The resident's bar was very nice too, as my father discovered - not on his own I have to admit.
Top-class food, opulent comfort, surfing, spa treatments, moonlight kayaking, scenery: Inchydoney in West Cork has it all.
.....Aside from the beautiful location, the standout best thing about the place is the food It champions the west Cork reputation for high-quality local produce. Head chef Adam Metcalf delivers that tradition with plenty of modem flair. We had oysters before dinner that were plump and shiveringly fresh. The
hotel’s special marque of champagne is Lanson: the fizz of choice for Wimbledon, apparently Its crisp dry citrus zest matched the oysters perfectly......
.....The other big attraction here is the cathedral of relaxation that is the Island Spa. Inchydoney was the first Thalassotherapy (ie, seawater therapy) spa in Ireland, a decade before everyone else got their Thalasso on. The swimming pool, like a Portuguese lido, is seawater, but unlike the Celtic sea from which it is pumped, it’s heated to a blissful 32 degrees and comes with all the usual bubbles and jets and adjacent steam room and sauna fun. Up on a panoramic mezzanine above the pool, you can stretch on loungers looking out at the ocean, swathed in your white bathrobe sipping herbal tea like a New Age monk from a very decadent order. A walk by the sea or through the dunes is another therapeutic must......
......If the weather is really dreadful, this is where it hardly matters. The resident’s lounge, a room that looks like a large but more fun gentlemens’ club has big soft sofas to get swallowed up in and read, or play Connect Four, or gaze out one of the huge picture windows at the raging sea while a fire blazes in the hearth. You could also have a game of snooker or avail of the giant screen offering Netflix in a nearby room. If you’re attempting to combine relaxation
with having your children in tow, all is notlost. Amongthe thoughtful amenities here is a large, well stocked kids’ playroom with a range of toys and a huge statue of a pirate......
Saturday 11th July 2015, Sarah Horgan
A WEST Cork spa has scooped a prestigious award for the second year in a row, acknowledging its quality service. The Island Spa at Inchydoney Island Lodge faced competition from spas across the country to win the Best Service award at the Irish Tatler Spa of the Year Awards 2015. The event took place at the InterContinenetal Hotel, Dublin, and was attended by 120 guests. Now in its sixth year, the Irish Tatler Spa Awards commends the top spas in the country with awards presented in ten categories. Owner of the hotel, Des O’Dowd said: “Our spa manager Brid O’Sullivan and her fantastic team work hard to ensure guests feel comfortable, relaxed and pampered during their visit. “We are delighted that this has been acknowledged with this award.”
Sunday 5th July 2015, Graeme Lennox
2. Inchydoney Beach, Co. Cork
Voted Ireland's best beach two years in a row by Trip Advisor users, Inchydoney is a blue flag strand, a short walk from the town of Clonakilty. Its vast, family-friendly expanse is split in half by a rocky headland with shallow waters that are ideal for swimmers. You can warm up, if needs be, with a drink at the four-star Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, which occupies a prime spot at the midway point. Time your visit right and you could even spot a migrating humpback whale or two.
Monday 1st June 2015 - AK
Marine Body Scrub & Elemis Skin Specific Facial
When you travel to West Cork and reach the idyllic surroundings of Inchydoney Island Lodge, you feel like you might be on the set of Home & Away in Summer Bay (except with slightly less perfect weather... West Cork is still Ireland, after all). There's a surf school, waves, beaches as far as they eye can see and all you feel like doing is chilling out after catching some waves. Which is exactly what I did in the Island Spa. First, Angela my therapist started me off with a full body polish. I'm usually on the fence about these they're more a light brushing than a real in-depth scrub. But not with Angela and the marine body polish she used. She really got in there and scrubbed my skin to the point where it was tingling with the buzz of being buffed. Usually after showering off a body polish you're slathered in a thick moisturiser and left to soak like a marinating vegetable, but not this time. The polish contains lots of oils, which meant post-shower all I had to do was lie back down. My skin felt the softest it's been in a long while. I was officially off the fence about body polishes for the first time in my career as a beauty editor, and I was delighted. Next came the Elemis prescriptive facial. Angela examined my skin and used her judgement on the day about what products and methods to use. I liked this approach. Sometimes you
book treatments far in advance and on the day, your skin might not necessarily need what you'd initially booked. There was the traditional double cleanse I've come to expect from any great facial, and then a lengthy facial massage (including a muscle melting neck and shoulder massage too, just to sweeten the deal). Facial massage is such an important part of the process, and I could tell Angela has expert knowledge of lymph drainage too. Nothing like the reassuring hand of a true professional to make you feel like you're being well looked after.
My skin didn't break out after the facial! Result. This is a rarity. It’s normal enough to have some reaction to a facial in the form of pimples and things, but to not get any is a sign of a thorough facialist and a clean spa. Having the sea brushed off me with the body polish after an afternoon in the Incydoney Surf School was the perfect antidote to experiencing wave after wave crash on to my face as I tried surfing for the first time. Could it be that island life is for me?! AK
Saturday 23rd May 2015, Rose Martin
Rose Martin is refreshed after a weekend in the five-star Inchydoney Island Hotel and Spa, eating homemade breakfast, walking on the beach and dining to sea views . Read more
Friday 1st May 2015, Marlene Wessels
It had been almost nine years exactly since our last visit toInchydoney. Memories from our previous visit were distinctly hazy (maybe we had been distracted with our three-month old new arrival). When we turned up this time, we were stunned. The place was nothing like we'd remembered. In the back seat of the car, our nine-year-old and her younger brother were ecstatic at the sight of the white sandy beaches on three sides of the hotel. We were greeted inside the airy reception area (which contains design pieces by Joseph
Walsh) with a glass of Irish Mist. We were ready to relax. The hotel has undergone significant refurbishment in recent years and it really shows; whether you are sitting in the lobby, the restaurant or the bar, the light textures and aged timbers inspire visions of sandy beaches, breaking surf and endless days. Then you have the sounds of wind and waves all around you. Later that evening, dinner in the Gulfstream Restaurant was impeccable; the kids stayed seated for nearly two hours (easily a record), which is testament to the food and surrounds. Next morning, my husband and the kids decided to work up an appetite for breakfast with a swim in the saltwater pool, while I indulged in a relaxing facial in the luxurious spa. Breakfast was fantastic, with a choice of buffet or set menus (the kids opting for pancakes as a treat!). A beach adventure followed, in which we walked, ran, played long jump and looked for crabs. Weather permitting, the hotel can even organise a family sea-kayaking
trip with Atlantic Sea Kayaking (atlanticseakayaking.com). This short break ticked every box for us, and the only question the kids are asking now is - when are we going back?
Monday 16th March 2015, Anna Coogan
Middle-aged, non-driver needs to get to Inchydoney. GSOH, will bring her own sweets, and can be relied on to wind down the window and ask for directions should the need arise. Read more
Thursday 8th January 2015, Caroline Foran
When you spend your time beavering away in the big smoke, surrounded by concrete and stuck in traffic, it's easy to forget how utterly gorgeous certain parts of Ireland can be and what opportunities for total tranquility you may find should you dare to venture westward. Read more