Spa Weekend at the Ice House Hotel

Outdoor hot tub in the middle of the dreary and cold Irish winter?

Why Not!

A few weeks back we went on a spa break to the Ice Hotel in County Mayo, Ireland. The drive took just under 3 hours past some lovely countryside..

Can you guess what time of the year it is?

The last time we were in Mayo we stayed in Ashford Castle, a luxurious hotel set into a medieval castle (read about it here), this time the hotel was not quite so old, but it was set in the building of a former ice house. 


The vibe of the Ice House Hotel Lobby was akin to what I'd imagine a buddhist monks sanctuary to be like. Delicate tranquil harmonies echoed in the hall, and candles and spa products decorated the reception area... oh so zen... minus the crazy storm outside!


It was dark by the time we checked into the rooms so unfortunately we had to wait to make use of the ceiling to floor windows over-looking the River Moy, but at least it was lovely and cosy.

Better yet there was a massive bath tub! Since moving out of my parents house anytime I get to use a bath is a time for celebration!

I also loved loved loved the little added touch of candles next to the bath.. it was like the movies where baths always have ample amounts of bubbles, come lined with cute little candles, and a have a nice glass of red wine... Ok there was no wine but I was still delighted!


Since 3 hours is obviously far too long to go without food we quickly rushed down to dinner and ate pretty much everything we could get our hands on.

Before the starters came a tasty little amuse bouche.

Amuse Bouche at the Ice House Restaurant

For starters we ordered Homemade Chicken Liver Pate and Sesame Coated Camembert Cheese, both were incredibly delicious.

We also kept demanding refills of the homemade bread basket, but lets pretend that didn't happen.

Seafood seemed to be the speciality of the Ice House so for mains we both went for Monkfish served on a bed of gnocchi ...yummm!!

Trying to work out how I can order this to Dublin

After the Monkfish we were both so full but for the sake of completeness we ordered a lemon tart. It was nice but not on par with the rest of the meal.

The next morning we woke up to this...

My apartment needs this

The cold frosty winter morning looked beautiful as we were safely wrapped up nice and warm inside. Looking over the river was perfect for the relaxation vibe we had going on.

Breakfast is included in all the room rates and is served in the restaurant downstairs (same place as dinner). They serve a full Irish breakfast, just in case you weren't full enough from the night before... Or of course you can just have fruit.

View of the wonderful Irish weather..

Finally it was time to check out the spa! I am not really into all day spa treatments, but I would never say no to a massage.

Treatment room at the Ice House. Photo credit: Ice House
As I am a physiotherapist perhaps I am a little overly critical but I wasn't bowled over by the massage itself as it was a little on the timid side. I did like the room though, very calming and beautifully decorated.

Outdoor Sauna for those who like extremes

The best part of the whole trip was definitely the hot tub over looking the River Moy. 

It was so cold my toe went turned blue ;)

We were a little hesitant at first about walking outside in 3° in our swimsuits! Our brief moment of pain was greatly rewarded with a very toasty 37° hot tub!

My apartment also needs this

Very much refreshed we left the Ice House and stopped into Ballina on our way home. There isn't all that much to do in Ballina so if you are in the area I would recommend driving on to Westport or Castlebar... Or of course you could just lounge around at the Spa!



  1. The outdoor sauna and hot tub look brilliant! Am surprised how big the Ice House is, perhaps they extended it?

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. They did! The hotel is actually a few stories and it is just the basement floor that used to be the Ice House. The extension blended in quite well though :)

      Ash | Liakada Travel

  2. I want this. All of it. The tub, the wine (even if you didn't have any), the view in the morning, the hot tub.. looks perfect!

    Corinne x

    1. It was so nice!! I really need to turn my place into a spa.. where is my lotto money? ;)

      Ash | Liakada Travel

  3. That is quite the view, this looks like a lovely spa and the food looks yummy too Lucy x

    1. The view was great! I love being near water. Food was delicious, I ate the world when I was there haha

      Ash | Liakada Travel

  4. Love reading about all these fun activities you've been getting up to to get you through a cold winter! The candlelit bath sounds so magical. I am rarely a bath kind of girl but in hotels like this where they are so luxurious, who can resist?! ☺

    1. Thanks so much Shikha! I definitely can't resist, I love baths... I should have lived in ancient Rome ;)

      Ash | Liakada Travel

  5. Wow this place looks so beautiful! Nice food and deco in the hotel! Great pics of you two!

    1. It was so nice, very beautiful! Thanks so much, I was really worried I was going to drop my phone in the hot tub! Thank god it survived :)

      Ash | Liakada Travel