Manchester’s Newest Spa Hotel – The Midland
So you’re working hard to earn a living, putting in the hours week after week, and it’s about time you took a break. A holiday is out of the question, you just want a day off to relax and unwind. Maybe you’re coming to Manchester for a concert, for the Christmas markets, or maybe you live here – you lucky devil.
How can you really relax in Manchester and get the most out of your time off? Well how about a Manchester Spa hotel…
Take a minute to meet the Midland – it’s been around for over 100 years and is one of Manchester’s top hotels. Home to two restaurants by Simon Rogan, The French has four AA Rosettes, while the newer Mr Cooper’s House & Garden has two AA Rosettes and was named the best UK restaurant outside of London 2015. That’s a big deal.
Part of the Q Hotels family, they recently spent £1.5million on brand new spa facilities at the Midland. Since they went to such great efforts, I decided to try the hotel and spa, and the mildly exciting Mr Cooper’s too. A One-Night Spa Break at the Midland will cost you £129pp which includes your hotel room, full use of the spa and gym during the day, one spa ‘ritual’ treatment, lunch in the Spa Cafe and breakfast before you leave the next day. Here’s what I thought of the Manchester Midland hotel Spa Package.
The Midland is opposite the Central Library, just off St Peter’s Square. It’s a minute or two walk to the Town Hall on Albert Square (where the Christmas markets are), and right around the corner from both Manchester Central exhibition centre and the Bridgewater Hall. This area is really pretty and the council have been working hard to give the whole area a shiny new urban facelift – it’s a shame they are still busy tearing up the roads to finish new tram connections at present. If you’re staying longer than one night, there are loads of great restaurants and bars within easy walking distance, but don’t miss the restaurants inside the building first.
The hotel Spa Package includes a nice big double room with it’s own sofa area, a big bathroom and a desk for anyone who has work to do. Hopefully you won’t on this trip! I checked in with my girlfriend at around 11:30am so we could leave our bags before heading straight to the spa. The room was ready and waiting for us, and they also check as you arrive whether you’d like to eat in the hotel that evening. You will need to book as both of the restaurants are popular.
The Midland has a nice sense of grandeur to it, from the lobby to the decor throughout. It doesn’t all feel brand new but things like a piano bar in the lobby and the marble flooring set the Midland apart from a minimal modern outfit.
The Spa at the Midland
Head down to the spa a few minutes before your treatment time at least. The whole idea of the Spa at the Midland is for you to relax while you take your time using the facilities and enjoying the different spaces. You’re free to use the small pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms on the day of your treatment, as well as the hotel gym. They have lockers for your belongings and once you’ve filled in a short form you’re set to use the facilities. If your treatment is first then you’ll be met by your therapist and taken to a treatment room. The first 5 minutes is spent as a consultation and you pick the scented ESPA oil you’d like to use. The one that smells nicest to you is supposedly the one your body needs most.
The One-Night Spa Package includes a choice of Ritual – they have five to choose from and they’re a mixture of massages, exfoliations, masks and hand/feet treatments. Each one lasts about 55 minutes, and being the backpacker I usually am, I went for the ‘City Living – Fit For Business Back Ritual’. This one sounds aimed more at the blokes among us and actually did wonders for my back (thank you Nicola!). The Deep Massage was the main reason I picked it, but my skin has never felt as fresh after the exfoliation and back mask too – a first for me. I was utterly relaxed as my back mask did its work, with the heated massage table and leg massage nearly putting me sound asleep.
Another option for couples (or anyone you’d happily go to a spa with, friends, family etc) is the Rasul Experience Ritual. We considered this and it sounds like a great way to relax with much more focus on treating your skin. There’s no massage element with the Rasul Experience though and I was glad we didn’t go for it in the end. There’s still plenty of time in your spa day to relax with whoever you bring along so don’t worry about that if you choose separate treatments.
After your treatment you get to enjoy the rest of the spa. The relaxation room is the biggest selling point here, my favourite being the cushioned pods that hang gently from the ceiling. They have lots of other chairs and spaces to lounge in, including some single beds with reading lights if you want to bring a book, and there’s a selection of teas and fresh water to keep you hydrated.
The pool area is nice although not big enough for a swim. It’s got some interesting features, like a ‘Hurricane shower’ that mimics different types of torrential downpours, and the usual jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
If you’re planning to use the gym on your visit I’d recommend you book a later treatment and hit the gym beforehand. I felt so mellow and peaceful after my Ritual that attempting exercise was completely out of the question, even with loads of time before dinner.
The Spa Cafe
Included in the spa package is lunch at the Spa Cafe. You choose when you’d like it to be ready as you first arrive, and then it will be waiting for you on one of the small café tables. We ordered two of the lunch platters, without knowing what kind of portions to expect. They are modest but very delicately put together with nice ingredients. Two of the 10 plates we tried lacked flavour (hello, the Panna cotta) or actually tasted bad (looking at you, strange vegetarian soup!) but the rest of the dishes were really tasty. It’s not a lunch that would fill you up but it’s perfect after a treatment, and especially if you’re saving yourself for dinner – which trust me, you should be!
I was planning to write about eating and drinking at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden here but to be honest I think it deserves its own post! So stayed tuned for that later this week, sneak preview for you below. Did someone say Buttermilk fried Oysters?! :)
The last thing your spa package in Manchester includes is a Full English breakfast. Breakfast is served in Mr Cooper’s just off the hotel lobby, and the staff are as attentive as they are during dinner service. There’s everything you’d expect from a really nice hotel breakfast, with most of the continental options self-service, hot food and anything else you just order with your waiter. Perfect if you have plans in the city centre for the day.
So, I really enjoyed my stay at the Midland and thought the Spa Package was good value for money. What do you think? Would you visit this Manchester Spa hotel?
For anyone who lives close enough I’d also recommend the spa treatments without necessarily having to splash out on the hotel room as well. Massages are around £65, and the 60 minute Rasul treatment for two people is only £50 for both of you.
My Spa Package at the Midland was courtesy of the hotel, but I keep full editorial control over anything I write. You can read my No Bias Guarantee here. All photos Copyright Peter Parkorr 2015.