The Spa at Ashford Castle appoints new director of spa and wellness

Joanna Moran is a spa and wellness expert with 23 years of experience


By Wendy Golledge

22 May 2024

The Spa at Ashford Castle, Ireland’s only Forbes five-star spa, has appointed Joanna Moran as its new director of spa and wellness .

Moran brings a wealth of international expertise, with more than 23 years in both spa management and ownership roles.

She was spa manager at Indian spa, The Royal Spa at ITC Grand Bharat. She has also spent time as a corporate spa trainer at the Leela Spa Academy in Mumbai.

A County Mayo native, Moran has also developed brand and operational standards and spa menus for seven luxury five-star properties.

Man in dark suit against dark background, posing for camera

“With her wealth of experience and passion for the role, Joanna was a stand-out candidate. We are looking forward to seeing her enhance the spa experience for our guests and oversee the introduction of new beauty and wellness brands.”

Niall Rochford

Managing director, Ashford Estate

Moran holds a diploma in spa management from Raison D’Etre and an ITEC diploma in Anatomy, Physiology and Body Massage.

“As director of spa and wellness, my role will involve a blend of strategic oversight and a deep passion for wellness, aimed at delivering the highest standards of luxury and relaxation for our guests,” says Moran.

“My responsibilities will include evaluating and enhancing our spa offerings and refining our treatment menu. A key focus will be maintaining promoting sustainable practices and ensuring a continued emphasis on service excellence.”

A castle in Ireland
The Spa at Ashford Castle
Two of the spa's five treatment rooms

The Spa at Ashford Castle

Overlooking Lough Corrib, the Spa at Ashford Castle offers personalised treatments grounded in essential holistic principles. It was named Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa for its eighth consecutive year in the 2023 World Spa Awards.

The Spa is partnered with VOYA, Elemis and Natura Bissé, and has its own B|Africa product range, created in honour of founder, Bea Tollman.

“The Spa is an establishment I have admired for many years and leading the team is the dream job. The commitment to excellence and providing unparalleled experiences are second to none; I’m excited to see how we can further elevate and expand the offering.”

Joanna Moran

Director of spa and wellness, The Spa at Ashford Castle

Energise at Élaú

In late 2023, Ashford Castle Estate opened Energise at Éalú, a 1,080sqm health, fitness and wellness centre by architects and designers Toni Tollman and Brian Brennan from the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

The new wellness centre includes a relaxation pool in a striking bronze conservatory, five treatment rooms, a 15m swimming pool by Bracken Pools, Life Fitness-equipped gym, functional fitness studio and therapy room.

The pool area is complemented by a sunken hot tub, an essence-infused steam room by Bracken Pools and a KLAFS sauna.

A sunken hot tub overlooking a leisure club pool
Energise at Éalú on the Ashford Castle Estate

Operational efficiency for a seamless guest experience

“My strategy for enhancing the spa’s wellness offering involves integratingthe latest wellness trends with personalised guest experiences, and comprehensive health practices,” continues Moran.

“The recent opening of Éalú allows us to expand our wellness programmes with a diverse range of classes, including yoga, Pilates, water-based fitness sessions and personal training.

Collaboration with the estate’s culinary team is also a priority, as we aim to offer health-focused menus that complement our wellness initiatives. My vision is to establish a comprehensive and dynamic wellness offering at Ashford Castle.

“Operational efficiency will also be a major focus, involving the optimisation of spa scheduling, inventory management and workflow processes to provide a seamless guest experience. I intend to establish a solid foundation for ongoing improvement and innovation.”

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