Spa Report

The luxe of the Irish

We've always loved its location in the mist-cloaked mountains of County Kerry. Now the Park Hotel Kenmare gives us another reason to return: Sámas spa, a striking 10,000-square-foot addition of modern stone and glass overlooking the woodlands of Kenmare Bay. Therapists are of the first order, booking clients in time blocks instead of by specific treatments (but do request the remarkably soothing hot-stone therapy and a circulation-boosting scrub). This allows you a tranquil pretreatment soak in the outdoor vitality pool and a sweat in one of the gorgeous, cavernous steam rooms. There's also a laconicum for women, which delivers less intense heat than the men-only Rock Sauna, plus a relaxation room equipped with eight channels of music and noise-canceling Bose headphones. Asian-style offerings include shiatsu, reiki, ayurvedic therapies, and a tai chi pavilion; in the spring the hotel will launch a series of yoga retreats led by such visiting gurus as Megha from the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. Rates, $565-$955. Treatments, from $175. 353-64/41200;

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