Review: The Cliff House & The Well Spa, Waterford

I can’t think of a better way to quench the ol’ January blues than escaping to a quiet luxury seaside hotel. The Cliff House Hotel & Well Spa in Ardmore, Co. Waterford had been on my hotel bucket list for quite some time, so I decided to bite the bullet and see if it lives up to its reputation.

The hotel is less than a three-hour drive from Dublin, located in the lovely seaside town of Ardmore in West Waterford. Perched on the side of a cliff, the building itself exudes a certain grandeur and commands some pretty spectacular views of Ardmore Bay. Add a Michelin-starred restaurant and a destination spa - what more could you ask for?

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On entering the reception, we were greeted by a very friendly front of house staff member who showed us around and explained the hotel's unique history. Although the hotel has just 39 rooms, it’s quite easy to get lost as it is split over four levels - so take note of your bearings. The furnishing is modern yet comfortable, and the corridor walls are beautifully designed with grey slate which gives the impression of the hotel being literally built into the cliff.

We were advised not to leave without doing the Cliff Walk – a beautiful 1-2 hour loop walk beside the hotel. The hotel even provide you with wellies for the walk (no excuse!). We did manage to do the walk the next day which was breathtaking, to say the least. We treated ourselves on the first evening to a meal in the Michelin-starred House Restaurant, which is a gourmet experience not to be missed. Each course was beautifully presented with a short explanation from the waitress of what lay on our plates.

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I was booked in for a rejuvenating Anne Semonin Top-To-Toe treatment in the Well Spa during my stay. My therapist, Shannon, had a brief chat with me before the treatment to determine my skin type and what products she thought would best suit my slightly dehydrated skin.


The treatment started off with a relaxing back cleanse and exfoliation which was utterly blissful. Next up was a soothing back, neck and scalp massage followed by a hydrating facial.I found the Anne Semonin products were particularly good for sensitive skin, and I didn’t feel any tingling or sensitivity which can often happen if your skin reacts to products you haven’t tried before.

After my facial, Shannon worked her magic on my legs and feet with a pressure point foot massage. I found this particularly relaxing as it seemed to just click my body into relaxation mode. I would highly recommend a top-to-toe treatment if you want to switch completely off; each stage of the treatment complement each other very well and leave your full body feeling restored.

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I was then lead to the beautiful relaxation room which has huge glass windows with a dramatic view of Ardmore Bay. I had three types of herbal tea to choose from as well as a selection of fresh fruit.

The Well Spa has all you need to unwind: an infinity pool with stunning sea views, sauna, steam room and outdoor hot tub and two outdoor baths.  The spa recently underwent a complete renovation and is immaculately clean.

A sense of tranquility permeates The Cliff House, and if it’s a relaxing break you are after, then it’s an ideal choice.


Yvonne was a guest of The Cliff House.

How do you get away from it all? Do you de-stress in a hotel and spa or are you more of a stay in a cabin in the woods and do some hiking kind of person?

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