First look: the all-new five star wellness destination that has a fan in Rory McIlroy

The doors have opened at Éalú, a custom built health and wellness centre at the five star Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

The new wellness destination at Ashford Castle is a purpose built pavilion surrounded by mature trees

Rory McIlroy was one of the first visitors to Éalú, a new leisure destination in county Mayo launched in late October.

Situated on the estate at Cong’s five star Ashford Castle, a multi million euro investment has delivered a purpose built centre that includes a fifteen metre swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, plus a light-filled gym and ‘functional fitness’ room (where McIlroy enjoyed exclusive use) and two treatment rooms where the emphasis is placed on holistic wellness.

Rory McIlroy photographed during Day Four of the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 19, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Photo by Andrew Redington

Brands selected include Klafs (who installed the sauna in bespoke Swiss stone pine wood), Life Fitness (treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines and other gym equipment), premium yoga mats by Manduka, and Natura Bissé, the Spanish beauty and wellness brand that was named World’s Best Spa Brand at the prestigious World Spa Awards for four consecutive years from 2019.

Patrons may also avail of the Halo App, which provides on-demand guided workout sessions, or book in with one of the on-staff personal trainers.

The Functional Fitness suite at Éalú

“Éalú is a place where guests can work out, chill out or enjoy time with family and friends,” said Ashford Castle general manager Niall Rochford. 

“While there is already an abundance of activities for guests to enjoy on the Ashford Estate, we had always planned for a full size pool. That was our starting point for Éalú, the concept for which evolved and grew, along with our ambition, resulting in something that is so much more.  Éalú is a space that exudes energy and we think that guests of both Ashford Castle and the Lodge at Ashford Castle are going to love it.”

Ashford Castle estate at Cong, Co Mayo

While currently open exclusively to guests of both properties, there are plans to make Éalú available to the public on an annual membership basis. Éalú meanwhile comes in complement to the Spa at Ashford Castle which was recently voted Ireland’s Best Spa for the eighth consecutive year at the World Spa Awards.

A view from the jacuzzi at Éalú

“Éalú’s development is part of our owners, Red Carnation Hotel’s ongoing investment in the estate and its wider commitment to tourism in the west of Ireland,” Rochford told the Business Post.

“The new development follows a multi-million euro investment and we are thrilled to welcome an additional ten team members to the estate who will help ensure that Éalú is recognised as the one of the finest hotel health and fitness centres in the country.”