Spirited Spy tries an ESPA Strength and Resilience Massage
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?
We felt like VIPs as Charley showed us into a sumptuous spa lounge area – a space-age spot with a luxury edge. There’s striking lighting above, smooth marble tables, tactile fabric seating and neutral tones. The attention-to-detail was second-to-none, with a welcoming tray of watermelon, strawberry, lime and mint smoothie shots.
The changing rooms are a thing of beauty, with textured white tiling, curved mirrors, modern lighting and ESPA products. After we changed into our super-soft grey robes, we checked out the spa’s thermal suite, a beautifully serene space, which includes a Himalayan salt cave (the only one in North England). We loved relaxing in the sauna and glittery eucalyptus steam room, before heading to a mosaiced ice fountain to reinvigorate our skin and bliss out on heated loungers. Experience showers - with sounds and lights - will transport you away from Manchester to far more tropical climes.
We tried an ESPA Strength and Resilience Massage (90 mins, £160).
My therapist, Zahra, 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, Zahra talked me through the treatment and enquired about my areas of concern: knotty shoulders and sensitive skin. Zahra then invited me to get comfortable on the warm treatment bed, lying face up. The hypnotic starry ceiling lights helped me to relax.
Zahra began the treatment with some neck and shoulder stretches using ESPA’s Muscle Rescue Balm, a restorative product containing peppermint and eucalyptus. This flowed into a relaxing massage with gentle strokes on my abdomen, ending with an expertly-delivered scalp massage.
After placing a warm wheat cushion on my eyes, Zahra shifted her attention to the tension and knots in my IT band (the tissue that runs down the outside of the leg) and feet – just what my weary runner’s body needed. She then used ESPA’s Fortifying Oil to loosen my legs and nourish my skin. Asking me to turn over, Zahra continued the massage on my back and the back of my legs to loosen tension.
The treatment ended with one more shift on the bed – hello again hypnotic stars – and a gentle facial massage to release my sinuses.
King Street Townhouse offers a range of ESPA treatments as well as UK-exclusive facials from Perricone MD.
How did it measure up?
If drifting off mid-way is a sign of a good treatment, then this gets the thumbs up. We loved the yogic stretching element of the treatment, too. The spa also excels on personal touches.
Spot of lunch?
If you’ve booked a day spa experience, you can dine in style (and en robe) without leaving the comfort of the spa. Take a seat in The Spa Lounge and choose from a contemporary menu prepared by the hotel’s chefs.
We tucked into a delicious salmon dish with crispy skin, roasted broccoli and a heritage tomato salad, alongside a glass of bubbly. Dessert was a real highpoint: a platter of small desserts, including an orange and mascarpone tartlet, chocolate marquise and handmade chocolates.
Got all day?
If you want to break more than a sauna sweat, there is a super-sophisticated gym above the spa. But if relaxing’s more your vibe, definitely linger in the spa’s heated marble loungers with a book – and treat yourself to lunch or afternoon tea in The Spa Lounge.
Short on time?
Don’t miss the opportunity to try the spa’s salt cave – press the button to release a fine mist of salt that will help clear your airways and give your immune system a boost. Invigorating is the word.