Spa Hotel Review: The Midland, Manchester
Review: Jennifer Bonfield
This impressive Grade II listed Edwardian building stands grand in Manchester’s city centre. Build in 1903, this former railway building is now home to one of Manchester’s most established hotels. The Midland recently underwent an extensive £15 million refurbishment, which has made the award-winning Midland Spa an urban pampering destination.
Entering the grand imposing lobby, it’s clear to see The Midland is still very much part of the ‘old-school’ club of hospitality. The welcome is formal, efficient and quintessentially British. Our bags were left with the concierge, some of whom have spend decades looking after the residents of The Midland, while we headed to check out the spa before checking into our room.
We made our way to the basement level and were advised to ‘follow the spa scents’ once we came out of the lift to locate the direction of spa reception. Sure enough our senses tuned straight in with the direction of some serious pampering. We were checked-in for our treatments by lovely spa staff and given a tour of the facilities, then armed with robes and spa slippers, escorted to the changing rooms.
After figuring out the locker situation (believe me, these things can get complex!) we took a seat in the petite waiting area to be collected by our therapist and taken through to our treatment rooms.
Nicola, my therapist talked me through the treatment (City Living – Fit For Business Back Ritual) and asked if I wanted to opt for a relaxing or reviving treatment. Nicola asked me to sensory select my massage oil by scent alone. Naturally I was drawn to the sleep inducing scent of Espa’s Soothing Oil. This multi-treatment consisted of a back cleanse, exfoliation and deep massage followed by a purifying back mask.
My guest opted for the Relax in Manchester – Face and Back Ritual, she was so impressed with the knowledge of her therapist she continued to update me with snippets of feedback for the duration of her stay – now that is one happy customer!
The spa itself is more compact than I imagined considering the expensive investment, however the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. The Thermal Suite includes sauna, steam bath, lifestyle shower and swan neck fountains. The pool is quite small and not for serious swimmers but you can manage a work-out if you get creative, and let’s face it, how many times do you go to a spa pool with the intention of doing 100 lengths? Yes, me too, and usually manage around 2.5 before the sauna shouts my name. Water coolers are also readily available around the pool and heat experiences.
The Relaxation room is where this spa gets impressive and the art of relaxation is taken very seriously. This expansive hub of tranquility offers different chill-out areas; full size beds with marshmallow-soft duvets, private relaxation pods suspended from the ceiling – filled with plump pillows, there’s even a private chamber with half-moon sofa and sliding doors. A refreshment station is available filled with infused fruit iced water and herbal teas.
For lunch in the Spa you can opt for a selection of sandwich, super-healthy platters or Afternoon Tea.
Our room was an impressively spacious twin room, which was welcome considering twin rooms are usually the least exciting rooms in a hotel. There was plenty of room for two girls to fill with the contents of Boots and Topshop. Some rooms offer complementary mineral water, robes and slippers, and all have the usual tea and coffee facilities, hair dryer and flat screen TV.
The Midland Hotel has two restaurants by Simon Rogan; The French – four AA Rosettes, and Mr Cooper’s House & Garden – two AA Rosettes. For dinner we were booked into Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, which is the cool little sister out of Simon Rogan’s gastronomic dining duo. Before we were seated in the restaurant we took a table in Mr Cooper’s Bar and enjoyed outstanding Espresso Martinis and from the award-winning mixologists.
For starters we dined on Cream of chestnut soup, salt baked celeriac and roast chicken skin, which was nothing less than sublime. The Hand dived, glazed scallops with caper, hazelnut and shallots was also delicious. For mains I had the Cumbrian rib steak, smoked brisket ravioli and beetroot fritters and my guest plumped for Green coriander curry with roast Goosnargh duck and oriental vegetables – both of which were absolutely amazing. We teamed both courses with a bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Haut Poitou.
The Midland Hotel/ The Spa at The Midland
Spa Days – From £69 per person for spa days,
Spa Breaks – From £129 per person for one night with treatments included
T: 0161 932 4086