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Heaven in the heart of wicklow

LET'S face it -- the life of a city slicker isn't always easy. Work hours are longer, money is tighter and stress levels are at an all-time high.

If, like me, you're feeling world-weary and looking for that perfect rescue remedy, then why not check out of the rat-race for a day and treat yourself to some TLC at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Powerscourt?

Nestled in the heart of the Wicklow countryside, just 20 minutes from Dublin, the five-star resort's luxurious spa complex is the ultimate in guilt-free indulgence.

Looking out over the stunning backdrop of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, the peaceful surrounds of the spa will leave even the weariest of souls in a Zen-like state of tranquility after their visit.

No matter what your ache or pain, one of the spa's highly skilled therapists will relieve all your stresses and strains with everything from a hot stone, Swedish or aromatherapy massage to intensive facials, body wraps and luxury ESPA pedicures and manicures on the menu.

Each of the 20 treatment rooms boasts a heated table, where therapists use ESPA products, each of which are sourced from the finest plant extracts and oils to create a private Eden for every customer.

Afterwards, visitors can relax in the rejuvenating solitude of the Serenity room, as they take in the stunning views of the Sugar Loaf.

And the opulence doesn't end there, with a state-of-the-art thermal suite, hot pools, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas all on hand for customers to enjoy.

Of course, no visit would be complete without testing out the spa's breathtaking 20-metre pool, which glistens with fine-cut Swarovski crystals.

Natural materials of stone, wood and slate reinforce the connection with nature throughout, while customer care at the ESPA is second to none.

Guests at the Ritz-Carlton can choose from a variety of day and overnight packages ranging from the luxury retreat option to the city escape.

Day packages, which include a healthy lunch, up to two hours of treatments and full use of the spa and gym facilities, start from just €155.