Stylish Spy tries a Temple Spa Champagne & Truffles Facial
Take me with you…
The Hope Street Hotel is a lovely new addition to Liverpool’s Georgian quarter, an easy-on-the-eye area with cobbled streets, Georgian buildings and black railings. The city’s Anglican Cathedral, Philharmonic Orchestra, Music College and many stylish bars are all on the doorstep.
The décor inside is industrial chic-meets retro, with exposed brickwork, original parquet flooring, industrial pillars, black leather chairs and 60’s chrome lighting.
Shall we spa?
From the spacious reception area, head down a flight of stairs to the spa, a sympathetic modern extension with plenty of glass and black pillars juxtaposing the red brick of the hotel.
We were warmly greeted in the reception area - with its light wood floors, mustard and grey chairs, and exposed brickwork (a theme) - and handed a grey robe, towel and flip flops, as well as a wristband to operate the doors and (rather interestingly) the jets in the pools.
Changing rooms are spacious and bright, with grey lockers and marble vanity bars with wooden stools, hairdryers and GHD’s. Five showers behind glass doors ensure there are no queues even during busier times. Change beside one of two padded light grey benches or nip into the private changing cubicle.
The 20-metre indoor pool is dark, sleek and fantastic for swimming lengths, if a little on the chilly side when first getting in. Use your wristband to turn on the swan necks on by pushing it against the button – how very high tech. We loved watching our backstroke technique (or lack of it) in the mirror above.
At the far end is a door to a the large square courtyard which has a vitality pool, several wooden benches and two black open fires which, due to the rain, were covered on our visit.
Use your wristband again to operate several jets and bubble seats – pushing ‘Volcanic’ will awaken a large jet in the centre. Ask a passing spa butler for tea, coffee or fizz – we saw several guests sipping glasses of Prosecco it in the pool itself.
A door from here leads to a large thermal area edged by loungers for pre- or post-heat relaxing. The gentle Herbal Sauna accommodates 10 spa goers at a time on wooden benches; for something hotter, enter the moody Aroma Steam Room, with its black marble walls, floors and seats. Cool down at the ice fountain afterwards or brave the cold water bucket.
There’s a separate room with four hot tepidarium beds, good for – a spa butler told us on asking us what we would like to drink (Prosecco please) – relaxing the muscles before a treatment.
Our favourite thermal experience was the Himalayan Salt Sauna with its orange salt bricks, three levels of wooden benches, and full windows overlooking the Vitality pool and courtyard.
Post-treatment relaxation takes place in the Serenity Lounge with its flickering fire and five grey loungers separated by flowing curtains. There’s also a hammam and a studio for classes.
We tried a Temple Spa Champagne & Truffles Facial (120 minutes, £140).
My therapist, Megan, met me in reception and led me to a single treatment room where she asked me to get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face down. The treatment began with a hot stone massage on my shoulders and upper back; this put me nicely at ease.
Megan then asked me to turn over so that she could begin the epic facial, starting with a double cleanse, which was made more effective by the use of two little buzzing brushes which Megan moved around my face.
A glycolic resurfacing peel then fizzed and popped away on my skin in preparation for an Alginate mask – while this worked away, Megan massaged by head using oils; I could easily have endured 120 minutes of this.
Megan then painted on another mask using a brush - while this hardened, she scrubbed and massaged my arms and hands. The mask peeled off in one rather satisfyingly go.
Megan popped on some serum, a good layer of moisturiser and a slick of lip balm, and sent me on my way looking and feeling radiant. A glass of Champagne and several chocolate truffles concluded a winner of a treatment.
How did it measure up?
This treatment rarely fails to impress – effective and indulgent in equal measure. Bravo.
Spot of lunch?
Lunch is served at several tables and chairs beyond the reception desk where spa goers choose from a small menu of starters, salads and pasta dishes. Our Bruschetta to start was large but tasty; our chicken Ceasar salad just what the doctor ordered. My spa partner tucked into Mozzarella with pesto followed by a flatbread with gorgonzola, ham, rocket and fig. We washed this down with a glass of pink 0% Nossecco, the perfect tipple for drivers wishing to indulge.
Got all day?
Wander around this charming area, stopping at Papilion for a pre-dinner drink before dining at The London Carriageworks.
Short on time?
If you prioritise pool time and lunch, you can’t go far wrong.