The Spa at The Midland Hotel was recently voted one of the best spas in the North in the Good Spa Guide 2015, but does it live up to expectations? We asked Jemima Forbes to investigate. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it…
Situated on the lower floor of this grand Edwardian hotel building on Peter Street, this luxury spa really couldn’t be more central. And once you once you reach the sleek glass entrance and enter into the space beyond, signs of the city above melt away and you really could be just about anywhere.
My chosen spa day was to include a treatment and lunch as well as full access to the spa’s facilities. I opted to visit on a Saturday, one of the busiest days for the spa, and was not surprised to see a steady stream of hotel guests, out of town visitors and locals visiting the spa and attached gym. On our arrival we were asked to fill in a consultation and lunch request form. Choices for lunch included sandwiches, healthy and delicious tasting platters or a decadent afternoon tea and were served in the spa’s small café space. We were given a tour of the facilities before changing into our swimming costumes, soft towelling robes and slippers in order to fully begin the day.
Beginning at the thermal facilities area, I tried the small pool with a swan neck fountain to aid in easing neck and shoulder pain and soaked in the large jacuzzi. Around the corner was the alder wood sauna with its Himalayan salt rock wall and the salt infused steam room that effectively help to clear my airways and skin pores. Next door to this was the lifestyle shower, an usual feature that combines heat, water and light to recreate a Caribbean storm or Arctic rain. The shower was perfect to use after a trip in the sauna and a definite novelty to experience in the heart of Manchester (well, the Caribbean storm was anyway!)
In the afternoon, it was time for the spa treatments. I opted for a Swedish massage while my companion had a hot stone massage. Both treatments were carried out in relaxing private rooms with neutral décor, calming music and heated beds covered with soft towels for maximum comfort. The treatments lasted an hour and began with a consultation and ended with a feedback session during which ESPA products were recommended for aftercare.
Following this, we moved on to the relaxation area. This consisted of a large room with low mood lighting and various seating areas to curl up in with a book or sit and enjoy the complimentary specialty teas. Two side rooms could be blocked of for privacy for groups or if you are just craving complete peace and quiet. My favourite feature was the unique cocoon pods that made a quirky centre piece to the room. The pods looked like canvas tepees suspended above the ground and were filled with comfy cushions, making them the ideal place to climb into and relax before or after a treatment.
My spa day was perhaps a little too long as it started at 9am and finished at 5pm. Whilst I did have ample time to try out every one of the spa’s facilities I couldn’t help feeling restless and looking forward to lunch by the time 12pm rolled around.
Overall, though, I enjoyed my experience and would recommend it to anyone who fancies a day of pampering or is after some much needed pain or stress relief. A spa day at The Midland could be a unique way to celebrate a birthday, catch up with friends or family or spend valuable time relaxing with your partner in a calming atmosphere.
A couple of tips if you are thinking of visiting. There’s no car park at the hotel which meant we had to park next door at the Manchester Central Convention Complex car park, a convenient walk but a pricey £20 fee for a whole day of parking. So if you’re thinking of visiting, the tram would be a cheaper option.
And remember to bring your swimming costume or risk not being able to use the facilities or having to make a hasty trip to Primark!
Spa Days start from £69pp.