Manchester was not the first place that sprang to my mind when looking for rest and relaxation but a recent visit to The Midland Hotel and its heavenly basement spa changed all that.
Located at the heart of Manchester, minutes from Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations and close by Manchester Town Hall and square, The Midland is the city’s most iconic hotel, instantly recognisable with its grand, ornate, red tiled exterior. It opened in 1903 to serve rail travellers from London, and is now a Grade II listed, 4-star hotel, a much-loved landmark of the city and a destination for landmark occasions too, from weddings to post-graduation drinks. (That’s where we went for my daughter’s graduation – straight for the lovely bar.)
There are 312 bedrooms and ours was a wonderful surprise, huge and grand but far from intimidating, and with a great view across the city. We felt pampered and very comfortable. You can pop on your robe and go straight down to the basement level, where the spa is.
The Spa at The Midland Hotel is a bit of a find, too. The centrepiece is the cool blue pool – hugely inviting and we couldn’t wait to get in. Actually, we went in twice on our spa break, once in the afternoon of arrival and then again in the morning. On week days, it’s open from 6.30am.
A one night spa break costs from £150 per guest including one of seven Spa Ritual Treatments and full access to the two spa areas: the Thermal Experience and Relaxation Suite with its fabulous hanging sleeping pod cocoons, to relax a little more after your treatment. It also includes a two-course lunch in Mr Cooper’s restaurant, dinner in Mr Cooper’s also, overnight stay at the hotel, Full English breakfast and use of the gym.
The Spa has a heated relaxation pool; Alder wood sauna with Himalayan salt block wall, heated at 85 degrees for optimum relaxation; aromatherapy steam rooms with sea air atmosphere to clear the senses and the mind; invigorating shower experiences Caribbean Storm and Arctic Rain to stimulate the circulatory system; Swan Neck Fountain to ease shoulder and neck tension; and four relaxation areas including those hanging pod cocoons, ergonomic sleep chambers, mini relaxation zones that can be closed off for groups on request and comfortable lounge seating with sound-cancelling egg chairs.
Winner of Best Luxury Urban Escape – Northern Europe in the World Luxury Spa Awards 2019, this really is a lovely sanctuary in the heart of the city and I can’t wait to return. It uses Espa products, which I love, and has a fantastic range of face, body, relaxation and holistic treatments including skin lifting facials, Rasul mud body treatments and a Serene Sleep at The Spa At The Midland treatment using ESPA to create a tailor-made experience with a personalised aromatherapy back massage using hot stones and warm essential oils, focusing on the Marma points, clearing toxins and rebalancing the chakras. It also includes a Facial Massage and Scalp Massage and lasts 55 minutes for £85. This strikes me as the perfect winter break treatment.
In the meantime, I need one of those hanging cocoon pods.