Ballymaloe House, County Cork
with Melissa Spamer & Sara Easterson
April 20-26, 2024
Family owned and run, Ballymaloe House will be your home for 7 lovely days and 6 nights. Tucked into the quiet Cork countryside and complete with farm, pristine gardens, artists residency and a world renowned cookery school, your days will include morning and afternoon yoga classes, farm to table meals, strolling the property, picnicking on the Ballycotton cliffs and more. You’ll enjoy a day trip to Blarney castle with a special dinner out, and have the opportunity to visit the Jameson distillery or enjoy a tour of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. This special retreat is an experience of all of the splendors of Ireland and is perfect for single travelers, couples, culinary enthusiasts and everything in between.
Join us as we stroll through the gardens, linger of libations and enjoy each others friendships.
Your retreat week will be at the award-winning Ballymaloe House. Condé Nast Traveller Magazine has acknowledged Ballymaloe House on their Gold List, and it was the only Irish venue on this prestigious list of the World’s top 100 hotels. The McKenna Guide 2018 listed Ballymaloe House as one of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants.
Accommodation at Ballymaloe House is simple and elegant. Each room has a private bathroom (most with bathtubs!), where you can enjoy a nice soak with fresh bath salts. All accommodations have a calm and relaxing feel. There are paintings and drawings by Irish modern artists such as Pat Scott, Michael Farrell, Louis Le Brocquy and Norah McGuinness throughout the house, as well as examples of Irish studio pottery.
Enjoy afternoon tea in the drawing room by the fire or in the conservatory, which is filled with scented geraniums and winter jasmine and overlooks our gardens and river. The gardens are dotted with benches, where you can sit and read or listen to the sounds of the farm. During your visit, the drawing room will be warm and peaceful—the perfect place to relax after a long walk by the sea and look out at the wild Irish sky.
Yoga classes will be onsite at the “Grainstore,” which was originally built in the 17th century, but converted to host groups and events. Many of our meals will be catered for us here at the Grainstore, and we’ve been invited to a special dinner at Ballymaloe House.
During our week, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the grounds of Ballymaloe, a picnic on the Ballycotton cliffs, and a day trip to Blarney castle (with a special dinner out at a surprise restaurant!). This unique retreat will open your eyes to many of the splendors of Ireland and is perfect for single travelers, couples, culinary enthusiasts and you!
Please plan to meet the group at Ballymaloe House on the start day of your retreat. Rooms will be available between 2 and 4pm. On the last day of your retreat, check out is after breakfast (so there will not be a yoga class on that day).
The closest airport to Ballymaloe House is Cork international (ORK) which is about 30 minutes via taxi or car. The other major airports in Ireland are Dublin (3 hour drive) and Shannon (2 hour drive). We anticipate that some participants will add time before or after the retreat to explore and some may choose to fly into an Dublin or Shannon, rent a car or take other transportation, for example hiring a private driver service to get to Cork and then to our retreat home at Ballymaloe.
There is so much beauty worth exploring if you have any extra time to add. In the past, some have added time in Dublin, while others have ventured from Cork to Killarney, the ring of Kerry, Dingle and other gems. Kinsale is also a lovely village not far from Cork. So, a car rental may be worth it, especially if shared by a friend or two (to share the cost) … but don’t forget – the Irish drive on the left!
We will start gathering participants travel plans well in advance, and certainly if we see many on similar flights arriving to the Cork Airport, we may be able to connect those of you on similar arrivals if you want to hire a taxi bus as a group. For transportation after the retreat (for example back to Cork airport), the receptionist at Ballymaloe can easily assist.
- Cool weather clothing
- Good walking shoes
- A couple of nicer outfits for evenings out
- Yoga clothes
- Adapters for electronics
Melissa completed her first certification to teach Yoga in 1997 with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, and has been consistently teaching Yoga for twenty five years. She has gone on to complete more than six 200-500 hour teacher trainings. Her primary influences are from twenty years of in depth study with elder teachers Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten and the late Rama Jyoti Vernon. She has completed additional trainings with the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, TriYoga, and Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow method, among many more. She incorporates knowledge of alignment, therapeutics, somatics, and functional movement to serve each student’s needs safely and individually. Her own practice is continually evolving, always becoming more alive in spirit and form which lays the foundation for her teaching. As her own teacher, Angela Farmer, has said, “Melissa is a true teacher. She allows her practice to be a tool for personal evolution and that brings a deep understanding and creativity to her teaching enabling students to have the confidence to make their own inner journey through Yoga.” [read more about Melissa]
A Level 2 Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Sara has studied extensively with Senior Iyengar Teacher Patricia Walden, completing Patricia’s 2-year Teacher Training program in 2015. Sara has studied with Geeta Iyengar in Pune, India. She also gratefully acknowledges the major influences of Iyengar teachers Ja Soon Kim and Carrie Owerko on her Yogic path. Sara has taught public classes, private classes, workshops, and retreats since 2014.
A lifelong New Mexico resident with a background in studio art and architecture, Sara’s other passions include learning from her chihuahuas and reading the widest range of poetry possible.
Ireland was amazing! Everything was absolutely wonderful: beautiful land and accommodations, spectacular hosts, delicious food, fun day trips, nourishing classes, fantastic community. It was bittersweet to leave, but I did so feeling completely replenished and full of joy. This was my perfect first solo traveling adventure.
– Kelly S (Ireland retreat participant)
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY ROOM
Queen / King or 2 twin beds
$3995 per person
SINGLE OCCUPANCY ROOM:
SUPERIOR DOUBLE OCCUPANCY ROOM:
$4195 per person
*to reserve, you only need to place your initial $695 deposit. We will confirm your reservation and can split your balance into payments through January 2024
- 7 days / 6 nights accommodations at Ballymaloe House
- Classes with your teachers (2 / day on most days)
- Breakfasts lunches and dinners catered by Ballymaloe House
- Walking tour of Ballymaloe
- A day trip to Blarney Castle plus a special dinner out
- Picturesque walk along the Ballycotton cliffs with picnic
- Optional add ons: tour of the famous Jameson Distillery, tour of the world famous Ballymaloe Cookery School
- Travel to and from Ballymaloe House
- Optional activities (ex tour of the Jameson Distillery)
- Gratuities you might like to offer drivers and guides
- Travel Insurance (highly recommended – see Travel Guard Link)
If you place a deposit, the balance due will be set to charge in equal installments starting the month after deposit through January, 2024, unless other arrangements are made. Participants will be required to sign the application and liability waiver to participate on this trip.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like Travel Guard and Trawick International offer policies that insure your investment in case you need to cancel (including “cancel for any reason” coverages), coverages for expenses incurred due to to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.
We recommend that you consider purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. Trawick International and Travel Guard are two providers that we recommend. Please review policies carefully to ensure they provide the coverage you need.