Valentine’s day started well, cards duly landed on the mat – one for the daughter and one for me. Well technically mine wasn’t a valentine’s card but it was a card and that was good enough for me.
We decided to continue the good mood by spending a few hours relaxing at a city centre spa. The Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa is situated close to Piccadilly station. Originally built to be a hotel, the building was best known as the BT offices, only reverting to its original purpose in 2007. From the air the building was designed to resemble a train pulling into Piccadilly station, lost on most of us who view it as we zip past at ground level.
The Spa is part of the hotel and guests have access to it direct from the bedrooms. For day guests there is a separate entrance off the main road. The ground floor houses a gym, changing rooms and a self contained sauna/steam room area that is only accessed with key cards from the Spa reception.
One floor up is the Spa reception area, treatment rooms and relaxation room. We were checked in promptly and asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire. Asked what I wanted to achieve – look 30 years younger – brought the daughter out in hysterics. “it’s a Spa Mum, they don’t work miracles”
We spent some time in the various sauna and steam rooms and noted the nice touch of the marbled loungers which acted as a mini relaxation room in the middle of the area, which allowed you to stay in there without having to continually sweat it out in the various rooms, great if you are a hotel guest and just want to use this part of the Spa. As these were occupied, we decided to wait for our treatments in the relaxation room on the first floor. The Spa is usually quiet on a Monday, but of course this wasn’t any old Monday, but a Valentine’s Day Monday, so the Spa was buzzing with couples having a romantic day together, mixed with groups of friends and hotels guests who were taking advantage of the discounts offered to them.
The relaxation room was well kitted out, 7 loungers, two sofas and the usual array of complimentary herbal teas and fruit juices. The lights were low, a little too low for reading which was a shame. It was also difficult to appreciate how much effort had been put into the decoration of this room – made to be reminiscent of Thailand – just add a few more lights in there and it would be perfect.
Bang on time our therapists arrived for us, Phoebe and Lisa. We were shown to a double room, which made me feel a little guilty given the number of couples there. All the treatment rooms are well proportioned, beautifully decorated and well equipped. This is a Spa were money is no object and it shows. Phoebe drew the short straw and got me. I carried out my spa ritual of apologising up front if I fell asleep and snored. We had opted for a signature treatment each of which consisted of a massage; body exfoliation; body wrap; body moisturiser and facial. (£75 each Monday-Thursday; £80 Friday-Sunday) and was worth every penny. We both agreed the massage had been deep and welcome. At one stage I thought there was more than one person massaging me such was the intensity. The hour and a half flew by, always a good sign of a well received treatment and we both agreed it had been one of the best we had had in a while. I was particularly impressed that I wasn’t subjected to the usual sales pitch of products, which I always find embarrassing on both parts.
There is a comprehensive range of treatments and packages that use Decleor products. It is always worth checking the website before booking to see what offers are available. For hotel guests, there is a last minute booking system which allows up to 50% discount off treatments on the day.
There is a light lunch menu available that ranges from a noodle block to champagne and chocolate fondue – no prizes for guessing what I would choose, but the daughter was making a surprise visit to her boyfriend in Sheffield and we needed to get home as she only had 6 hours to get ready!
So Valentine’s Day ended as it had begun - on a high note. There may not have been any red roses on my doorstep or a romantic dinner with Johnny Depp, but a great Spa day, a glass of fizz and a revitalised me was good enough.
Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa
London Road, Manchester, M1 2PG, GB
Tel 0844 879 9088