Our babymoon itinerary originally involved a jaunt to the Cayman Islands for a pal’s wedding back in April. But of course the Gods were out in force to spoil such plans (although only for poor little me – Mark, the martyr that he is, very much still attended said nuptials).
With the mess that was April a distant memory to me now, I made do with a babymoon staycaysh instead. And so earlier this month off we spun to the Monart Destination Spa for some chilled out bank holiday vibes. And what with the gorgeous ‘exam weather’ (yawn) on our side, it actually felt all the more tropical. Kinda. Sortish.
The Monart had been on my wishlist for an absolute AGE, mainly because it was placed in the top three resorts in the world by Conde Nast Traveller. The world! Now for ya. I needed to suss out what the craic with it was, as its social media presence was telling me nada. The mystery…
But as soon as we checked in, I got it (‘it’ being the five-star feels). To be honest the valet parking alone would have sold it to me. Easily pleased when you’re violently incapable of parallel parking. (Actually, as if I drove there!)
But this, along with its strictly adhered to adult-only vibes = Winning! Although ask me that again in four weeks.
The hotel itself is gorgeous, what with the tastefully restored Victorian townhouse frontin’ a v. modern, v. spacious extension. The country house serves afternoon teas and such, as well as hosting the hotel’s only (v. poor) wifi signal.
Once you’re through to the main hotel lobby/spa/bedroom suites, there’s an imposed ban on newspapers, mobile phone usage, photography etc. Hence the Monart’s elusive social media presence perhaps! You feel seriously cut off from the modern world, which totally adds to the relaxation plan of action.
Obviously my first port of call was to the spa. And as to be expected, it’s faaab.
Although I was initially disappointed to discover there’s no jacuzzi. Bizarreness. But we’ll get over that. Its thermal suite holds all other usual suspects; an outdoor sauna, steam rooms, caldarium and so on and so forth. So far so lovely.
On a sidenote, the babymoon vibes were out in force dans le spa, with a ratio of pregnant ladies to non-prego an equal 1:1. Lolz. Thankfully the spa wasn’t too busy either, is there anything worse?!
We dined at both of the hotel’s restaurants during our stay (the Monart a la Carte along with the Garden Lounge), and both were divine. As in, incredibly delicious. Five-star food combining five-star service. In keeping with their chilled out vibes, no cameras or phones were allowed at dinner, and subsequently I’ve no #foodporn flatlays to include. Sigh. But trust me on the food front. Or actually trust their mounds of foodie awards.
Breakfasts were equally delish, with quite the health conscious slant on it. Whilst initially I was stressed re zero pain au chocolat/nutella/cake with the buffet (obvz whilst waiting for my pancakes), it was a first for me to leave a hotel breakfast table without feeling violently grotesque. High five.
However in saying all of these kind words, I was still a tad bit skeptical as to how the Monart placed in he top three spas in the world. Now, not that I’m a professional spa connoisseur or anything (GOALS) but that’s quite the bow to their string, is it not? (PLUS no biggie but there wasn’t a mini-fridge in our room. Like seriously, can you not!)
Fret not, it soon all made sense. This missing fridge/missing jacuzzi fiasco was all forgiven once I checked in for my treatment. I signed up for the pregnancy package and Oh My Lawd, it was INCREDIBLE. Hands down the most enjoyable spa treatment I’ve received, ever.
This was my second pregnancy massage and to be honest I had zero expectations. Mainly because the first one I received was very meh, and I therefore was under the impression therapists probz can’t apply too much pressure on the old pregnant ladies.
Pregnancy massage numero uno was at an equally renowned five-star Irish resort (hollah to my instagram @thepharmersjournal should you wish to have a nose for the check-in!). And it was graaand, but nothing major – I obviously loved the day’s lounging with my pal etc, but I didn’t leave the actual treatment with any knots kneeded or the likes, d’yaknow?
Hence my low expectations for pregnancy massage number two. Low expectations which were subsequently lifted ALL THE WAY UP from literally the word go. Every single ache and pain left my soul from head to toe – I was in absolute heaven. The therapist literally worked out knots in my fingers that I didn’t know existed, and my legs left (with me attached!) feeling twenty stone lighter (if only), and my back brand shiny new. The dream.
And just like that it all made sense – five-star treatments, service, food and surroundings. Absolute bliss!
I am itching, ITCHING to return. Possibly for the detox plan they provide?! I say as I’m stuffing my face with malteasers….