Hugh Wallace celebrity architect and star of RTE’s ‘The Great House Revival’ and ‘Home of the Year’ has brought his flair and design intuition to the new Osprey Spa in Naas, Co. Kildare. Hugh, together with his colleagues Damian Meehan and Katie Jakkulla were tasked with creating a space that would become an urban retreat at the Osprey Hotel. Over €1.2 million has been spent on the spa to create a place that will revive and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. The brief was to create an urban sanctuary using natural materials and textures and to bring elements of nature inside so that guests could really leave the stresses of modern life at the door. “We wanted the spa to feel like a real retreat but didn’t want it to feel forced or contrived so we took our inspiration from the natural Irish landscape and used the colours and textures that are readily seen in nature and in Ireland. For example, the curved feature wall which snakes its way through the heart of the spa is made with beautiful Irish oak, the wallpapers have been inspired by the weave seen in Irish linen and even the light fittings are reminiscent of delicate, traditional Irish wicker baskets. It was important for our client, the PREM Group who own The Osprey to make the spa feel inherently Irish, not in a twee way but to create a contemporary Irish spa that will really ‘wow’ even the most discerning spa aficionado.”
Stretching over 10,000 sq ft the spa is set over three floors with the thermal suite offering a range of heating experiences including double and single seaweed baths, a dry floatation bed, Rasul Chamber, heated, mosaic, free standing stone loungers and a Salt Grotto. Meanwhile, two distinctly different relaxation rooms will offer guests a wonderful space to relax either pre or post treatment. The Light Relaxation Room features a complete wall of glazing which looks out onto a balcony and has been heavily planted in lush bamboo. The Dark Relaxation Room on the other hand is very conducive to a post treatment nap and has been adorned with a rich, textured linen weave wallpaper and natural wood log panelling around each relaxation bed.
The second floor of the spa has six treatment rooms while the private couple’s suite on the third floor is filled with natural light, thanks to a large glazed atrium and is complete with a swing! This area is completely separate to the rest of the spa and is approached by its own private spiral staircase.
Natural, light tones and colours have been used in the treatment rooms to great effect- duck egg blue walls and bleached ship latte wood panelling have been inspired by the colours of the sea. “Where possible we used natural materials,” said Katie Jakkulla of Douglas Wallace, “spas can often be cold, clinical spaces and we wanted the space to feel warm and relaxed, so we combined various textures such as exposed red brick with polished granite and natural wood. This combination was repeated in various areas and has allowed us to create enclaves and really beautiful, intimate private spaces.”
In order to continue the natural theme throughout the spa, the Irish seaweed based product, VOYA was chosen as the product for the spa. It is made from seaweed hand harvested off the Atlantic Coast of Ireland, from the beach at Strandhill, Co. Sligo. Certified organic, VOYA uses the exceptional healing power of marine elements, long since recognised for their healing, detoxing and purifying abilities.
The Osprey Spa will offer guests a whole host of treatments and experiences including face and body treatments for both men and women and even seaweed baths and bathing rituals. Dating back over 300 years, seaweed baths were Ireland’s only indigenous therapy and were traditionally seen as ‘the sailor’s cure’. Speaking in advance of the spa opening, Osprey Spa manager, Blanaidh Bailey said, “Seaweed naturally absorbs the nourishment from the sea and as a result seaweed contains countless minerals, vitamins and beneficial ingredients in high concentrations.”
There is a great choice of signature treatments to choose from including the ‘Osprey Revive & Harmonise (90 minutes from €120). This treatment starts with a peppermint foot soak which is followed by a dry body brush and a signature body massage. Guests will also enjoy a VOYA express facial and hot oil scalp massage followed with a deep soak in a detoxifying seaweed bath. This wellbeing focused treatment evokes instant peacefulness and nurtures inner mindfulness, calmness and serenity.
The extensive range of both VOYA products and Osprey merchandise will be available for purchase in the dedicated Retail Area so that guests can continue their wellness regime at home while a dedicated grooming area will offer nail care, pedicures and general beauty maintenance services including waxing and tinting.
The Osprey Spa is the latest luxurious addition to the complete Osprey Complex, last year the hotel opened a new restaurant in the hotel called, Herald & Devoy which was also designed by Douglas Wallace Architects. The lobby area was also completely remodelled by Hugh and his team in order to bring space and light into the heart of the foyer of the hotel. Plans are already in place to boost the capacity of the hotel by another 23 bedrooms, and work is due to begin on that project before the end of this year.
Commenting on the completed spa, Jim Murphy, CEO of the PREM Group said; “We are looking forward to officially opening The Osprey Spa on June 8th. The facilities on offer at the Osprey Spa will be second to none, and I am confident that it will be a great addition to The Osprey and will become a must visit destination for our guests. Hugh’s vision has become a reality and The Osprey Spa is a true urban retreat.”
To book a spa treatment at The Osprey Spa call (045) 881111 or see www.ospreyspa.ie