Serene Spy tries an ESPA Glow from Within Facial

Oct 30 2023

Serene Spy

On the Road

4 min read


Take me with you…

The King Street Townhouse is nestled in what was once Manchester’s Victorian financial district, now reinvented as a vibrant shopping area. The hotel’s state-of-the-art spa sits next to the 40-room boutique bolthole, accessed via a sleek, wood-panelled staircase. Despite the property’s energetic city location, it’s thoroughly tucked away, making it as secluded as it is central.

Shall we spa?

The spa lounge is a space-age spot with striking lighting above, smooth marble tables, tactile fabric seating and neutral tones. A welcoming tray of avocado, apple and spinach shot, hot hand cloth and camomile tea to enjoy whilst completing consultation forms eased us nicely into the spa mood.

The changing rooms are a thing of beauty with textured white tiling, curved mirrors, modern lighting and ESPA products. One wall is entirely lined with grey lockers equipped with grey towels, robes and flip flops.

After changing, we checked out the spa’s thermal suite, an intimate space which includes a Himalayan salt cave and experience showers - tropical bird song and colour changing lights will transport you away from Manchester to far more tropical climes. We loved listening to the crackling coal stove in the sauna and relaxing in the pearly tiled herbal steam room, before heading to a mosaiced ice fountain to reinvigorate our skin and bliss out on heated loungers.

The spa also has a well-equipped gym.

Treatment talk

We tried an ESPA Active Nutrients Glow from Within Facial (60 mins £115) and a Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage (30 mins, £75).

My therapist, Emily, met me in the spa lounge and led me to a warm, welcoming treatment room with neutral walls, grooved wooden panels and subdued lighting.

As my feet relaxed in a copper bowl filled with warm water, Emily talked me through the treatment, enquired about my daily routine and asked about areas on which to focus: stiff neck and shoulders; dull, problematic skin. Emily then selected two ESPA body oils and dabbed drops of each onto the back of my hands to determine which I was drawn to. I favoured Positivity, a blend of Jasmine, Bergamot, Gardenia and Sweet Orange. She then left the room so I could disrobe and make myself comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face down.

Using my chosen oil, Emily began the back neck and shoulder massage with deep, slow strokes on my back, switching to her forearms and elbows to work out spots of tension whilst checking the pressure was comfortable. Asking me to turn over, Emily turned her focus to the facial - the hypnotic twinkling ceiling lights helped me to relax.

Emily thoroughly removed my eye and lip make-up using a deliciously-scented yuzu and ginger cleansing sorbet which melted onto my skin. Using a UV light, Emily then analysed my skin to determine which products to use - spotting the dehydration lines around my eyes, she settled on ESPA’s Optimal Skin range.

An exfoliator containing ingredients good enough to eat (pineapple; pumpkin) prepared by skin for a mask; while this worked away, Emily drizzled oil though my hair and used a pressure point technique to massage my scalp. Mask removed, Emily sculpted my neck and jawline with a rose quartz Gua Sha, a tool that – she said – is used to release muscle tension. She followed this with a long, relaxing facial massage.

The treatment ended with dots of eye cream, a dollop of moisturiser and a wild black cherry sorbet served on a wooden tray.

King Street Townhouse offers a range of ESPA and Hydrafacial treatments, tanning waxing, manicures and pedicures as well as UK-exclusive facials from Perricone MD.

How did it measure up?

I floated back to The Spa Lounge with looser, lower shoulders and fewer facial blemishes. Result.

Spot of lunch?

If you’ve booked a day spa experience, you will pre-order lunch and can dine in style (and en robe) without leaving the comfort of the spa. Take a seat in The Spa Lounge and wait for contemporary dishes to be delivered to your table prepared by the hotel’s chefs.

We tucked into a delicious salmon dish with crispy skin, roasted broccoli and a colourful Poke Bowl brimming with beansprouts, rice, avocado, picked onions and cherry tomatoes. If that wasn’t enough (it was), we added some slices of halloumi. Dessert was a real highpoint: a tangy mango and passionfruit Eton Mess. A glass of Champagne complemented each beautifully-presented dish.

Got all day?

Book the Total Indulgence package - two hours in the thermal area, a 90-minute treatment and a two-course lunch – before checking into the hotel for the night.

Short on Time?

Book a treatment – you won’t be disappointed. The spa’s salt cave (the only one in North England) is also a must - press the button to release a fine mist of salt and give your immune system a boost.


Serene Spy

30th October 2023

Spy Likes:

Soft fluffy robes, imaginative vegetarian food, products that combine luxury with strong eco credentials and spas which look after their therapists’ wellbeing too.

Spy Dislikes:

Showers that aren't spotless, snootiness and having to get dressed for lunch.

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