Spirited Spy tries an ESPA Back, Face and Scalp Treatment
Take me with you…
The Edwardian is a five-star-beauty-of-a-hotel in one of Manchester’s grandest buildings, slap-bang in the buzzing city centre. The basement houses an architectural gem of a spa: cool, modern and a world away from the city humdrum. Sweep through the hotel’s grand doors and atrium, and head down the brightly lit staircase to spa nirvana.
Shall we spa?
With cosy, natural tones and exposed industrial pipes, the spa is serene and chic with touches reflecting this powerhouse of a city – a sanctuary for urbanites in need of recharge, as well as friends on a city break.
We sat on stylish monochrome hounds-tooth chairs to check in with Stacy, who also gave us a quick tour. We then donned our caramel-hued robes in the gorgeous changing rooms – all grey, honeycomb-shaped marble tiles, matt black fittings and REN products – and readied ourselves to relax in style.
There’s a spacious thermal suite with sauna and steam room and - behind an impressive glass brick wall - four invigorating experience showers. Next door, we loved trying out the 12-metre blue stone-lined pool and jacuzzi – and relaxing on plush grey cabanas. The pool area is light and bright, with a calming, neutral palette. If you prefer to sweat it out in a gym rather than a thermal suite, there’s also a high-spec fitness space with Technogym equipment, and weights room.
We tried an ESPA Back, Face and Scalp Treatment (90 minutes, £170).
My therapist, Oa, collected me from the relaxation area – an atmospheric spot in the vaults with dim lighting, calming music and adjustable loungers – and led me along the corridor to a tranquil treatment room.
Oa asked me about any problem areas before quietly leaving the room so that I could disrobe and settle down on the treatment bed, lying face up.
The treatment began with Oa sweeping Hydrating Cleansing Milk over my face to remove any make-up and city-living impurities, and to soothe my skin. She then used circular movements to apply a Detoxifying Salt Scrub to my back, legs and arms. This felt – and smelt – heavenly. Oa then used a variety of strokes to stretch and release my muscles and bring my skin back to life, targeting my knotty shoulders and unravelling tension in my lower back.
Oa then asked me to turn onto my back for the facial, which began with a blissful scalp massage. Oa personalised the facial for my dehydrated skin using an Overnight Hydration Therapy mask, which had a gorgeous lavender scent. The treatment ended with a glass of water and a warm shower to remove the scrub. Oa then led me back to the cosy relaxation area, where I blissed out with a camomile tea and a magazine.
How did it measure up?
My shoulders felt malleable and looser; my skin radiant and plumper – the stresses of the week melted away, but I felt invigorated too, thanks to Oa.
Spot of lunch?
The Edwardian has two restaurants, but you’ll have change out of your robe to dine at either. There’s the uber-contemporary Peter Street Kitchen (pictured above) - which serves small plates of Japanese and Mexican cuisine, such as gyoza tacos with lobster and grilled soya mince empanadas - or head to Parisian-inspired The Library, a chic spot for afternoon tea and cocktails, or delicious mains, including steak frites and lemon basil risotto.
Got all day?
Saunter between pool, thermal suite and the subterranean calm of the vaulted relaxation area. Inner calm restored, take yourself upstairs to enjoy The Library’s afternoon tea, including homemade finger sandwiches, scones and patisseries, such as coconut mousse and pistachio and strawberry choux. You’ve literally got Manchester on a plate outside, too – including the super-cool bars and restaurants of the Northern Quarter.
Short on time?
Spend a good amount of time under the spacious and invigorating experience showers. In a city known for its generous rainfall, we’d take the Edwardian’s Caribbean storm shower over real-life Mancunian drizzle any day.