Sybartic Spy tries a Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Active Lift Facial

Aug 15 2023

Sybaritic Spy

On the Road

3 min read

Take me with you…

Buxton Crescent is a grand, curved honey-stoned Georgian terrace set in the centre of Buxton town in the leafy county of Derbyshire. The spa uses the natural geothermal waters bubbling up from deep in the earth in its treatments and bathing rituals. Traditional and contemporary treatments, mineral baths, salt caves, mud treatments and cutting-edge spa products allow spa guests to tackle some health issues whilst also getting a good dose of R&R.

Shall we spa?

Yes please - there is plenty to do here. The spa is laid out over four floors with a rooftop pool at its apex – sitting in the warm water (with its massage jets, swan pipes and bubbling seating areas) and looking out across the town’s creamy rooftops is a delight whatever the weather. You’ll find the thermal pool filled with mineral rich water from the Buxton Spring on the lower ground floor.

Whether you like to be hot or cold, spa goers are spoilt for choice in the thermal area, with three saunas to choose from, including a traditional hot Finnish sauna, a slightly cooler bio-thermal sauna, and an infra-red sauna which is perfect for aching backs. The large steam room is super hot; the smaller aroma therapy steam room somewhat gentler. Cool down under mosaic-tiled experience showers or – for something snappier - grab handfuls of ice from the fountain.

The salt cave – accessed via a salt floor which feels like you’re walking on sand – is a must. Sit back, admire the ceiling studded with colour lights and just breathe in the salty air. This has the same effect as a stroll at the seaside, clearing the sinuses and making breathing easier.

And if this wasn’t enough, the 20 treatment rooms include three mud rooms, two mineral baths, an underwater Jet Massage room and a wave balance treatment room.

Treatment talk

We tried the Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Active Lift Facial (75 minutes, £95).

Sandra, my therapist, led me to the treatment room and settled me down on the warm treatment bed so she could begin the facial, which includes two peels, an intensive mask and a lifting massage called Kobido, meaning ‘ancient way to beauty’ in Japanese.

Sensing my tense shoulders, Sandra incorporates a massage into the treatment, bidding my shoulders to soften with some very firm – but oh so effective – techniques that make me squeak at times.

During various stages of the facial, Sandra continues her relaxing work on my neck and décolleté, on my arms and my hands. Before the face mask, she kindly asks if I’m claustrophobic (I am) so leaves the mouth and nostril area uncovered so that I can breathe easily. Once set, Sandra pulls it off in one swift motion.

Sandra finishes with the treatment with some Sublime Skin Serum and some post care guidelines: drink plenty of water, avoid makeup and wear SPF 50 for the next few days to prevent sun damage.

How did it measure up?

The results were pretty amazing: my skin looked much brighter, the dark patches around my eyes had vanished and my laughter lines appeared softer. This glow continued for a couple of days. Sandra recommended a facial once a month – if only we lived closer.

Spot of lunch?

The bright Spa Café is central in the spa and a very useful point to orientate yourself for facilities. Special day? Order up a glass of Prosecco and sip it whilst working out which thermal wonders to try, or opt for a delectable afternoon tea.

For lunch there is everything from soups and salads to burgers and risottos, as well as some desserts on the menu. We tried the hot smoked salmon salad: a suitably light spa day lunch that was also a generous portion. My spa partner was tempted by (and gave in to) the chicken burger with a side of French fries.

Got all day?

Start at the top and work your way down. The rooftop pool with its indoor/outdoor sections is a delightful way to start your spa day. Move on down to try the mineral pool and the thermal areas. Take a rest in the relaxation room or the spa cafe. Fit in a treatment or two and then double back to the pools.

If the sun shines head back to the outdoor seating by the rooftop pool. Finish your day with tea and cake in the elegant spa café.

Short on time?


Head straight for the mineral bath - the silky warm water washes away your stress and soothes aching joints. It’s a joy to just to lie back and gaze at the Victorian domed stained-glass roof, too.


Sybaritic Spy

15th August 2023

Spy Likes:

Warm treatment beds; fragrant steam rooms; therapists who listen to what you say; unexpected treats such as back massages that start with hot towels on your feet.

Spy Dislikes:

Small towels; crowded changing rooms; black mould in the showers; therapists who sniff; anyone who doesn't take my lavender allergy seriously - until I'm actually sick on them!

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