Over the weekend my husband took me to The Midland Hotel in Manchester for a romantic weekend to celebrate my birthday. My gift from him was a night in a suite; a nine course meal in The French and some time in The Spa at The Midland. It was not the worst present I’ve ever been given. The boy did very well.
I am VERY fond of a spa day. Sometimes I will go to a spa for a treatment or two and then chill out in the thermal rooms. Sometimes I will just go for a swim, a sauna and a steam. I find thermal rooms are very good for my back (I have chronic pain). The warmth of a sauna or a steam room really eases my old bones, so a spa day isn’t just a nice treat, it’s like therapy.
As a guest at The Midland if you just want to use the spa; all you do is phone the Spa Reception and they’ll book you in for a time. This is so the spa doesn’t get too busy and noisy. If you’re not staying in the hotel, then you’ll need to book a spa day. There are a range of different options on their website.
The Spa at The Midland has won a whole host of awards including Best City Spa Break Manchester, Best City Spa Day Manchester and Best Hotel Spa Manchester. The Spa at The Midland has also been named as ‘Best City Spa’ in The Candis 2016 Spa Awards. It is very good.
Take the lift to the lower ground floor and open the door to the spa; the smell of soothing essential oils permeates up the corridor to the spa reception. We were greeted by one of the staff; given a fluffy towel, a robe and slippers and directed to the changing rooms.
The communal changing rooms are a little on the small side, but if they only have small numbers in at a time it shouldn’t be an issue. The changing area has showers as well as an area where you can dry and straighten your hair.
I headed straight for the pool area, taking a shower before diving in. The shower has three different settings, and is a bit of an experience in itself. The cool misty shower is great after the sauna.
The pool isn’t large, but it’s big enough to do a few gentle laps before sitting in the jacuzzi. The jacuzzi is very warm, it was too warm for my husband; but the bubbles pummelled my back in all the right places so I did spend quite a lot of time in there.
There is a small sauna and a steam room tucked away near the tropical shower area. Both rooms are probably big enough for 4 or 5 people but no more. I really enjoyed both rooms and I would very much like to go back and spend some more time in them. There is something very cleansing about having a sauna and a steam; I’d recommend it, especially if you suffer with aches and pains.
I didn’t venture into the relaxation room, but hubs spent quite a lot of time in there; he made himself a herbal tea, found a restful corner and promptly fell asleep. I do enjoy a relaxation room after I’ve had a treatment, they’re good places to chill out in whilst you come round after a massage or facial. Or if you’re my husband, a great place to have a nap.
We spent a couple of hours enjoying the pool and thermal suites before heading back to our room to get ready for dinner. We didn’t have the time to try out any of the treatments on offer at The Spa at The Midland, but that is something we will look at for our next visit.
The Spa at The Midland also has a gym, a number of treatment rooms and a cafe to enjoy when you visit. I’ve been to a lot of spas and this felt very luxurious; it was clean, the lighting was soft and relaxing and the staff were attentive without been obtrusive. I enjoyed my couple of hours in the spa very much and I’m looking forward to our return.
For more information and more detailed photographs (I didn’t take any photos inside the spa for obvious reasons), visit The Spa at The Midland website.
Despite a promise to look after myself a bit better this year, beauty treatments and spa days have been pretty thin on the ground. Other things and other people come first, which as a mum is how it should be, but it was definitely my turn for a bit of TLC. Real life friend and fellow blogger Liz from Expression and Confession and I hopped in the car for a day at Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. We had been invited to the spa for the day to check out their facilities and to find out more about the treatments they offer.
We arrived at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and not being locals we had no idea what to expect. It is a large, very modern leisure centre. It’s an interesting state of the art building, filled with sculptures, interesting art works, the biggest swimming pool I’ve seen in a while, a gym, squash courts and lots more.
We headed upstairs to the Volair Spa. We were greeted by Hayley who gave us fluffy robes and slippers to change into. Once we’d got changed we sat in the relaxation room and chilled out with a cup of herbal tea while we waited for some more people to arrive. This is a really restful place, with soft mood lighting, scented candles and comfortable chairs or beanbags to sit on.
After a short welcome and health and safety talk we were shown downstairs to the Thermal Suite. I love thermal suites, they are always my favourite part of a spa. The thermal suite at the Volair Spa was small but perfectly formed. It had one steam room, a sauna and a jacuzzi. Everything looked new, scrupulously clean and very very tempting.
We were given some Lycon Spa Essentials exfoliating sugar scrub to scrub ourselves all over with before we began. There were lots of different scrubs to choose from, but I went for the pomegranate. We scrubbed and showered, and with fresh glowy skin we slipped into the jacuzzi to let the de-stressing process begin.
We had an hour in the thermal suite, and we tried out the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. We felt deliciously relaxed and reluctant to leave for lunch. A two hour session in the thermal suite costs just £9.50, or two people for £15 which is excellent value. If I lived locally I could happily spend the day here, swimming for an hour or so, then unwinding in the thermal suite for a few hours.
After a light lunch and a glass of fizz we found ourselves in the capable hands of Beauty Therapist Hayley. Hayley gave us a fascinating hands on workshop on how to take our make up off and give ourselves a lovely home facial. My skin already felt pretty fantastic after applying the AromaWorks facial cleanser, toner and facial oils.
We were then ushered into one of their treatment rooms. The rooms are quiet, lit softly and are lovely relaxing spaces. I volunteered to have a Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion treatment. It works by gently exfoliating the outer layers of the skin and gives immediate results for a range of skincare niggles including fine lines and wrinkles, open pores, blackheads, pigmentation, blemish scars and acne scars. I have pretty good skin for my age, but they promised to blast out some of my stubborn blackheads, clean my open pores and give me a general freshen up.
The Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion didn’t hurt at all. Ultra-fine crystals are blasted onto your skin, but it feels quite gentle, just a little bit like someone is gently pushing your face with something like the rubber end of a pencil (that’s the only comparison I could think of, I’m sorry). It took around 20 minutes and afterwards my skin was moisturised. When I got home I took a photo…
… and I was impressed by how fresh and glowy my skin looked. It was visibly cleaner (yes I do wash every day) and brighter. Everyone who has clapped eyes on me since has remarked on how well I’m looking too.
We had a thoroughly relaxing day at the Volair Spa at the Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. It’s a lovely, modern spa with good facilities, great treatments, a restful atmosphere and free parking. It was so good we’ve booked to go back next month!
The Volair Spa is at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, Longview Drive, Huyton, Merseyside, L36 6EG Tel: 0151 443 2580
We were invited guests of Volair Spa, but all images and opinions are our own. We were under no obligation to blog about our spa day.
I’m not a person who likes to treat myself much, I rarely buy clothes, or spend hours browsing posh beauty counters, I’m not one for a new pair of shoes each month and a matching handbag. My treat to myself is getting everything waxed every month and occasionally going for a pamper. Whilst on holiday in Bluestone Wales I booked myself in for four hours of pampering in The Well Spa Retreat. It was incredible.
I’d spent a long time (weeks, months maybe) looking at the website and examining in detail everything The Well Spa offered. I knew I wanted to do the “Celtic Spa Experience” and I also fancied a treatment, my favourite treatment being a facial. After being forced to make my mind up the week before we went to Bluestone Wales, I opted for the “Early Bird & Spa”, which was breakfast, three hours in the Celtic Spa Experience and a 50 minute treatment.
I arrived at 9am on the day of my treatment and was asked to sit in the “Cwtch” area (cuddle in Welsh) and complete my health and safety form. I was then given a bathrobe and a towel and shown to the changing area and told where to go for breakfast. The Well Spa changing area is large and open plan, there were no private changing cubicles, but at a push if you’re shy you could change in a toilet cubicle.
I put my swimming costume on, wrapped myself in a big snuggly bathrobe and went to find breakfast. There was no breakfast menu on the website for Caffi Mor so I wasn’t sure what to expect. On the tables were individual bottles of britvic orange juice and a box which contained a croissant (with butter and jam), a pain au chocolate, a pot of creamy yoghurt and an apple. The waitress came along and took my coffee order and I was left to munch my big continental breakfast in relative peace. It was a very lovely breakfast, I was very full by the time I’d eaten it all, I’m a sucker for a croissant so it was perfect for me.
After breakfast I had about half an hour before my treatment, so I had a very quick look around the Celtic Spa Experience, I would go back in after my treatment for a few hours of relaxation. The Celtic Spa Experience is a selection of thermal rooms you can use and spend some time in relaxing and unwinding. The Well Spa has six rooms including, the Red Brick Sauna, the Herbal Steam Room, the Marine Steam Room, the Hot Slate Sauna, a Salt Inhalation Room and an Ice Room. There are also Experience Showers and The Sanctuary Relaxation Room as well as an outdoor Hydrovitality Pool.
I didn’t want to get too hot and bothered before my treatment, so I had a quick sauna in the very lovely Red Brick Sauna which was a nice temperature for me, bearably hot, it was probably my favourite room so I did go back in a few times.
The time came for my treatment, so as instructed I went back downstairs to the Cwtch room and waited to be called. This was by far the least fun part of my experience. Having unwound a little upstairs in the spa I was in a fairly draughty waiting area with the most awful pop music blaring loudly at me. At one point I sat with my fingers in my ears for a few minutes to stop the aural assault. Thankfully Ruth my therapist arrived after about ten minutes and took me to my treatment room. I may well be showing my age, but I’m not sure why places, especially places which should be quiet temples of relaxation feel the need to blare out loud pop music all the time. Silence is underrated.
Ruth showed me upstairs to the Opal Treatment room and we had a little chat about what I was expecting from my facial. I had opted for the ESPA Re-Hydrator Facial as I’d been told a few months ago that parts of my skin were quite dehydrated and the previous day I’d managed to burn my face a bit in the sun, so hydration and pampering were the order of the day. Ruth wrapped me up on the treatment couch, made sure I was comfortable and began the blissful and relaxing treatment. The 50 minute Re-Hydrator facial is an intensive and regenerating facial for dehydrated skin leaving it supple and nourished. My skin looked and felt fantastic after it and continues to feel good a few days later.
After the treatment I retired to the Sanctuary Relaxation Room for a few minutes, had a drink of water and returned to the Celtic Spa Experience for a proper look around. I visited each thermal room in turn, here’s what I thought of them…
The Salt Inhalation Room – This was a room with two curved seats in it, it was slightly colder than room temperature and I wasn’t really sure of the benefits of it, though it did seem quite popular on the day, it wasn’t for me, my old bones prefer heat. The Red Brick Sauna – A good sauna which runs at about 65 degrees. It was a great temperature for me, comfortable and I kept going back for ten to fifteen minute sessions. The Herbal Steam Room – A lovely steam room with herbal steam, running at around 45 degrees this was a very pleasant room to spend time in, again I returned to this room a few times. The Marine Steam Room – I thought I’d love this room, the marine steam smelt incredible and the sign suggested it was a 45 degree steam, but it was much hotter than the sign suggested and I couldn’t tolerate it for more than a few minutes. I did ask a member of staff but she didn’t know why it was incredibly hot in there, I heard several other people complaining to each other about it too. The Hot Slate Sauna – This is a hot sauna, running at 85 degrees I really enjoyed it but couldn’t tolerate it for as long as I would’ve liked. The Ice Room – This is a cold room, it’s about 10 degrees and there’s a big bowl of ice you can rub all over yourself. I didn’t linger, but understanding the benefits of an ice room, I popped in for a few minutes at the end. The Experience Showers -Three showers of varying temperature and power, these were very pleasant and refreshing, especially after a session in the Hot Slate Sauna. The Outdoor Hydrovitality Pool – This is probably my favourite thing. It was a lovely hydrotherapy pool on the roof top, it was incredibly peaceful and I enjoyed floating in the pool and enjoying the jets of water even in the slight drizzle, in fact I think the rain added to the experience. I wasn’t cold, it was just blissful.
The Well Spa Retreat is so lovely, it was pretty quiet, it wasn’t full of people, at other places I’ve been they’ve been full of large, noisy groups which I feel aren’t conducive to relaxation, this was just right for me. Peaceful perfection.
I only have two words of negativity about the spa, the first was the blaring pop music in the Cwtch room (it was like being trapped in Top Shop in my swimming costume); and the second is the slate floor can get quite slippy, especially when it’s wet, I think it would be good to offer people the use of spa slippers.
My four hours in The Well Spa and my Early Bird Experience cost just £75 which I thought was incredibly good value. The facial treatment alone should have cost £70, a two hour spa visit is £35 and the breakfast was plentiful and good quality. I’d love to go back, it was probably the most restful spa experience I’ve ever had. For more information about The Well Spa Retreat at Bluestone Wales visit their website.
Note: I paid for my visit to The Well Spa in full.
I like to think of myself as a reasonably articulate person. I’m usually pretty good at stringing a sentence together, but as I left the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester, I literally had no idea how I was going to write it up. It’s rare I’m left speechless, but my afternoon at the Sienna Spa was so incredible I had no words. A few days later I’m now able to formulate proper sentences, so here goes.
On Monday I went to the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester. I love going to the spa and pre-baby, it was something I treated myself to fairly regularly, I used to have regular facials and massages but now time is tight and my face further down the priority list. I was booked in for an ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’, I arrived early and was offered the chance to use the facilities before my treatment. I took one look at the pool and couldn’t resist.
The Sienna Spa is gorgeous. There is a modern, well-equipped gym, a stunning pool with jacuzzi as well as a selection of steam rooms. I had a quick swim in the pool and enjoyed the hot bubbles in the jacuzzi before drying off and going for my treatment (for this reason, next time I’ll take a spare swimming costume, one to swim in, one to wear during my treatments).
I was given a lovely fluffy dressing gown to wear and I was escorted to the relaxation room. This had a number of comfortable, adjustable couches where you could recline, relax and drift off before and after your treatment. You could also help yourself to water and herbal teas. The relaxation room had ‘spa music’ piped in, you know the kind of music I mean, the sound of water in a stream, birdsong and such like. I do find ‘spa music’ quite restful and it helps me to focus on relaxing and clearing my mind.
My therapist, Cathy came to collect me and ushered me into the treatment room. Cathy ran through the details of my ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ and explained that it was quite an intensive treatment which would involve a fruit acid peel which wouldn’t be suitable for very sensitive skins.
The ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ is described as “a powerful and highly effective facial to boost cell regeneration and give an instantly smooth, softly glowing complexion. A deep brush cleanse is followed by an intense Enzyme Peel containing botanical extracts and Pumpkin Enzymes to deeply exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. After a soothing massage using Rose Quartz Crystals to help cool and calm, a Lifting and Smoothing Mask is applied, containing concentrated Seaweed Extracts, Argan Oil and Menthol, to give your skin a more plumped and firmer appearance”.
I lay on a heated treatment table and the treatment began. The heated table is such a good idea, especially for someone like me with a very bad back, the heat helped to soothe my aches and after my 90 minute treatment was over I got off the table quite nimbly, without the heat it would’ve been a different story.
Cathy talked me though every step of the process, telling me what might tingle and what might feel cold. She looked at my face carefully under a special lamp and told me that the skin around my eyes, on my forehead and chin was quite dehydrated, she advised me on skincare to help hydrate my skin as well as encouraging me to drink more water, something I have been trying to do lately anyway.
The facial was relaxing but thorough, the treatment also included a scalp massage and conditioning treatment as well as a hand and arm massage and some neck and shoulder work too. At one point I drifted off I was so relaxed.
My skin looked and felt so much better. It was clearer and it glowed, some of my more noticeable lines were less prominent too. Have a look at my before and after picture and see for yourself. (Also, note how incredibly relaxed and happy I look in the ‘after’ picture).
It was absolutely the perfect pampering treatment and without a shadow of a doubt THE best facial I’ve ever had, both in terms of how good my skin now feels and just how relaxed and pampered I feel right now.
The Sienna Spa is a beautiful spa, well designed and comfortable, I am already planning to go back very soon. They have regular special offers available to book on their website, so it’s worth looking our for deals on their spa days and treatments.
My ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ cost £100 for a 90 minute treatment. Any regular spa goer will know that this is a good price for that quality and length of treatment, especially one which includes a peel. I really feel it made a big difference to my skin and to the appearance of my wrinkles. I will be returning to the Sienna Spa very soon. Sometimes a girl just needs to treat herself.
Note: I was an invited guest of The Sienna Spa and I was not asked to pay for my treatment. All images and opinions are my own.
Having a day at a spa is a bit of a treat, but as a busy working mum it can be hard to find the time to relax and have some time to myself. Having a spa day is for me one of the best ways to relax, when I was invited to the Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa in Bolton for a spa day with a treatment thrown in I thought it would be rude not to say yes.
I’d been to the Last Drop Village before for a wedding about ten years ago, but I’m sure the spa wasn’t there then. The Spa at the Last Drop Village Hotel is really quite lovely, based around the hotel pool but with a selection of steam rooms, hydro-pools and treatment rooms upstairs. I was with a group of local bloggers on a much needed pamper day. We were given a tour of the facilities as well as fluffy dressing gowns, towels and slippers and sent off to enjoy the steam rooms, swimming pool and the stunning infinity pool.
My first stop was the lovely warm hydro-pool which was divine, so warm, bubbly and therapeutic. It led outside to an equally lovely infinity pool (an infinity pool in Bolton, who knew?) which had views across the fields, to the hills beyond and was all very restful. It was really warm in the pool despite the fact we were teetering on the brink of December and it was cold enough outside for us to be able to see our breath.
For keen swimmers there is a very nice 18ft swimming pool which I had to go in. Whilst I was in there part of the pool was roped off for swimming lessons, but I didn’t find it intrusive and I don’t think I bothered them either. I firmly believe swimming pools are for swimming in, not for socialising. I knocked out a few lengths and then got out and explored the sauna and steam rooms.
There were several thermal suites to choose from, each offering different temperature and steam/sauna experiences, as well as showers, they were quite empty so I didn’t stay in them for long, especially as the infinity pool was so glorious. Even on a cold winter day it was stunning!
It was soon time for my treatment. I’d opted for the “Taste of Perfection” facial which took 25 minutes. In the brochure it says “experience the world-renowned Decléor facials and enjoy the benefits of essential oils. This introductory facial is perfect when time is of the essence and the skin needs a radiant boost”. Sounds alright doesn’t it? In reality it was fantastic and I could very happily have let the lovely Leah (my beauty therapist), carry on for hours.
My skin looked and felt fantastic afterwards. Leah very kindly wrote down what she’d used during my facial just in case I wanted to buy any of the products now or at a later date. To be honest, top of my shopping list is another facial and spa day, it was so relaxing and I’ve not felt so pampered in a long time.
After my treatment I retired to the hydro-therapy and infinity pools and there I stayed until my boys turned up to drag me home, re-chain me to the kitchen sink and continue my days of domestic drudgery and cuddles.
Although the spa at the Last Drop Village is a distance away from home, I’d be very happy to have another spa day there. The treatment was very well done and the facilities were good, although the changing rooms are a bit basic. It’s not a luxury spa, but it’s a good hotel spa and worth visiting if you’re in the area.
We were invited guests of Andrex and were not asked to pay for our spa day.