Last week, I had the pleasure of celebrating my 26th Birthday over a little getaway with Yoseph. I usually have a little party back in Galway to celebrate, but this year I was craving something a bit more low-key, and wanted to spend some relaxation-time with Yos.
We decided on the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone, just an hour’s train journey away from Dublin. Located beside the river Shannon, the hotel is attached to one of the biggest shopping centres in the midlands, with it’s own spa and gym facilities, a spacious, modern restaurant, and a cute little bar.
The weather last week was pretty gloomy, so the though of not having to leave the hotel for the two-day stay was a welcome one. We arrived on Monday evening and were greeted by the super-attentive staff, leading us to our room in the tower. With a huge glass window spanning the whole wall, the room was pretty spectacular. We unpacked just as the sun stared setting, and it filled the whole room with this beautiful, orange light. It was one of those unexpected moments of beauty, I loved it.
After unpacking, we popped down to the pool to have a quick dip before it closed, and had a little fun playing with my new Instax camera. How cute are these photos? I just love having these little physical momentos of trips away. After drying off, we settled into the Sheraton Bar for a bottle of wine. A few cosy hours (and many glasses of Sauvignon) later, we were feeling peckish, but given the time, we knew all the kitchens in the hotel would be closed. The night porter came to our rescue, directing us to a lovely little takeaway shop just around the corner form the hotel, and welcoming us to bring food up to our bedroom! I thought that was pretty cool of them, and twenty minutes later we were eating cheesy fries in bed laughing at Community on the big tv in our suite, which had Netflix. It was actual heaven.
The following morning we popped down for breakfast, ate like kings, and returned to our bed for another nap, not to resurface again before noon. As an early riser usually, this is my absolute favourite thing to do on holiday; (and on my birthday) the ol’ post-breakfast snooze! Nothing better. In the afternoon we called into the Athlone Town Centre, to do indulge in a little birthday shopping. The ATC has a great selection of shops, such as Highstreet favourites like Zara and H&M, which I always used to miss when I was living in Galway. It’s handy to know that all your favourites are under one roof, without having to travel all the way to Dublin. I picked up two pairs of trainers in JD Sports, a beautiful Michael Kors necklace in Fields, and some makeup in McGorisks, the huge pharmacy. The summer sales are on at the moment, and there were so many buys I had to walk away from, especially in Zara. I’ll be sharing all my purchases in an upcoming post, so stay tuned for that.
We finished up our shopping trip at about 4pm as we had some treatments booked in the Sirana spa, which I was eager to indulge in. We started off with a couples “Rasul” treatment, which involved covering ourselves in a mud paste, and sitting in a heated chamber together. It was super-relaxing, and there were plenty of giggles also! Next, we each had a back massage, with some relaxing time afterwards, before our dinner in the Sheraton restaurant. I was feeling so relaxed after my massage, that I fell asleep, and was subsequently ten minutes late for dinner, not that anyone minded. Our dinner was a delicious, relaxed affair, and the staff were so attentive. They even snuck up behind me with some birthday cake during dessert to wish me a happy birthday, which I thought was incredibly thoughtful.
Overall, it was a special little trip, the memories form which I will always cherish. I think people often overlook the midlands as a getwaway option, but with all that the Sheraton has to offer and how easy it is to access, I highly recommend it for a little shopping-spa getaway.
Here’s a quick rundown of my outfits from the trip. you can view and shop them in the widget below:
Look 1: Drinks at the Sheraton Bar | Look 2: Shopping in ATC | Look 3: Birthday Dinner