The Inis Spa and Wellness Center – A Bit of Heaven at Sea Level

by Donna Byrd

It used to be that going on vacation to “get away from it all” didn’t necessarily mean that you were staying at a five star resort or a vacation home equipped with all the luxuries one might imagine. It just meant that you were actually going to get away from it all!

That meant there was nothing to remind you of work or the humdrum of life back home.  It oftentimes was a rustic version of home; no telephone service at all, televisions that had nothing to offer but three snowy stations, dimly lit rooms that hid the shabbiness of the furniture – it was just shabby, not shabby chic. The only air conditioning was a breeze coming in through an open window and the drinking water often tasted of iron or sulfur.  Still, we were more than willing to exchange our luxuries at home for a few weeks “roughing it” by the sand and sea.


Vacations have changed quite a bit. We now make plans, unless we’re camping, to retreat to places that advertise all of our creature comforts, plus more!  And, if one one of your “plus more” desires is not listed, you can probably find it nearby, down the street.


I found one of those places this week.  I was driving in Surf City on Topsail Island and saw the Inis Spa.  I had heard wonderful things about it so I decided to go in and have a look around.


Walking into the Inis Spa was like entering heaven.  Traditional Irish music was softly playing in the background and suddenly, I realized that by just being in that atmosphere I felt a bit more relaxed and calm.  IMG_2340The smell of something citrusy and maybe faintly beachy was in the air and I noticed some Inis Skin Care products, colognes and lotions on display on the far wall.  There were Himalayan salt rocks lit up with their orange glow and lovely crystal pendants drawing me with their mystical energy.  I could hear the soft voices of women and their muted laughter as they were having  pedicures in the adjacent room. What a friendly atmosphere!

I walked up to the counter to speak with Ellen, the lovely girl answering the phone and directing the guests. “I’d like to write a blog for Treasure Realty about your spa,” I said. “ I want to let the vacationers and locals know about the unique services you offer. Sometimes, being on vacation requires a bit more than relaxing by the sea.  Some may want to give their body, mind and spirit some much needed attention, too.”

Mary Rowe, the owner of this lovely establishment, wasn’t in that day, but while I was there she called in and I was able to speak with her about the Inis Spa.  She had a soft Irish accent and I could have listened to her for hours!

IMG_2341She told me that ten years ago she came from Ireland to the United States.  Mary was very proud of the fact that last year she became a US citizen. Living on Topsail Island is dream come true for her and she uses the beauty and natural surroundings of the sea to draw inspiration for her spa.  The word “inis” is an old Irish or Welsh word that means “island.” Thusly, Inis Spa (Island Spa) was created at Surf City on Topsail Island, using the spirit of the island and energy of the sea to bring calmness to the “mind, body and spirit with treatments that go beyond pampering.” (Quoted from the front page of the Inis Spa brochure.)

IMG_2346Mary pointed out that the American website, TripAdvisor, Inc. had given the Inis Spa Wellness Center the prestige of voting it the number one spa on the North Carolina coast for 2015. “We worked hard for it,” Mary told me. “We have a 4,000 square foot building that contains five massage rooms, two facial rooms a relaxation room and a manicure and pedicure area. We have a high season staff of sixteen and an off season staff of fourteen.  These qualified therapists make our spa special by performing sixty or ninety minute signature massages tailor made for our clients after discussing their individual needs beforehand.”

“Reflexology treatments are becoming very popular.  These are holistic treatments that apply pressure to the points on the feet to help increase the body’s ability to heal.  It’s relaxing too!” She also mentioned that speciality facials are also available as well as waxing, lash and brow tinting and a “Sea Salt Glow.”  (I think it’s a body scrub.)


Mary excitedly told me about a new service the Inis Spa is offering: retreats!  During the off season the spa will provide to small companies or corporations retreats that will make accommodations for their guests in the Surf City area, and include luxurious holistic approaches to pain treatments, facials, massages, reflexology, nail treatments, yoga and healthy meals.  The retreats can be two day affairs, an entire week or whatever the company likes.  Contact Mary Rowe if you’d like to design a special get-a-way retreat for your treasured employees and office staff.

Mary invited those in the area to come to the Inis Spa Open House in November. You’ll be able to find details about their services on their website.

I walked out of the Inis Spa with a sense of well being and calmness and I had not even experienced any of their wonderful services. Hmmm…what would I feel if I had just had the “Spirit of the Island Special?”  I think I need to make an appointment and find out!

Inis Spa is located at 214 North Topsail Drive, Surf City, NC  28445

The telephone number is 910.328.3988

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