In the Mailbox district of Birmingham, The Club and Spa is a prestigious health club and day spa set in a 25-storey city centre landmark known as The Cube. The spa offering has a sequence of wet and dry thermal rooms, a vitality pool with jets and waterfalls, a floatation tank, rasul, Himalayan salt room, steam room, two saunas – one traditional, one hot kelo – and a range of Elemis and Natural Spa Factory treatments. Great for friends and city-breakers.
- Couples treatment suite
- Vitality pool
- Dry floatation suite
- Rasul mud therapy suite
- salt halotherapy treatment room
- Fitness studio
Our Spa Spy review
The Club and Spa Birmingham is a fun and relaxing city retreat, at the foot of a 25-storey Birmingham landmark known as The Cube. Inside, the plush spa spaces and low-lit vitality pool room lend a subterranean, secret feel to your spa experience.
What's on offer?
Spa reception has a retro vibe thanks to velvety patchwork sofas and multi-coloured spotlights, accentuated by daylight filtering down through The Cube's central courtyard.
Decked out in dark wood, opaque glass and bright walls, the female changing area (signposted "the girls") has bench seating and plenty of roomy lockers. I opened my locker easily although, being just under 5ft 2in, wished I'd been allocated one on a lower level as there was no hope of me reaching the clothes hanger. There are no private changing cubicles, but the space (including eight showers, four toilets, three hairdryers and two sets of hair straighteners) never felt crowded, even when the spa grew busy by mid-morning.
The wet and thermal facilities are designed solely for relaxing; there's no swimming pool to stretch out in. The vitality pool is heated to a balmy 29 degrees and, with jets and waterfalls, it's a pleasant place for a sociable splash in between sauna and steam sessions. The Himalayan salt room has a back-lit amber wall; it's quite cool, so you may want to take your towel with you if you've been in the heat of the sauna.
The steam room is super-hot and steamy, and would comfortably seat eight people. The twinkly lights overhead had us drifting into a happy reverie. There are also two saunas; one traditional wooden one and one very hot kelo sauna.
The darkened, deep-relaxation area has private tent-like pods suspended from the ceiling. The pod design was inspired by the dangling nests of the Weaver bird; they can be a little tricky to get into but are very relaxing once you do.
The other dry areas of The Club and Spa -- the reception and walkway to the gym space, the manicure and pedicure bar and the chill-out lounge area -- are bright and sometimes noisy. You're definitely in health-club territory here, rather than cocooned in the warmth of the spa.
Tell us about the treatments
Emily, my therapist, led me to an immaculate, cosy and toasty treatment room (each one is individually styled and named after an aromatic oil). She talked me through my treatment and asked whether I had any particular concerns. I explained that this was my first day away from my baby (five months old) and, because I was still breastfeeding him, I was feeling a little sore and full.
Emily was understanding and sensitive, bringing me an extra towel as a cushion and regularly checking the pressure of her massage, especially on my upper back. My main area of sensitivity turned out not to be my chest but my neck and shoulders: I hadn't realised how tense they'd become. Emily worked wonders on my knots.
The facial came next. Without any self-consciousness, I drifted away as Emily applied a series of cleansers, creams and an immensely satisfying peel-off Elemis Amino Active Mask. By the end I was so blissed-out, I felt I was levitating. "I think you needed that!" Emily said when I surfaced. I agreed. My baby is not a great sleeper, and for me to yield to someone else's caring touch for two hours was heavenly. My skin felt butter soft, my limbs felt looser and, when I peered in a mirror later on, I was glad to see my complexion looking brighter and dewier than it has been since pregnancy.
The Club and Spa Birmingham offers Pevonia and Elemis facials, massage, wraps and scrubs. Try a mud ritual in the rasul, dry floatation or treatments designed for men or mums-to-be. You can have Jessica manicures and pedicures and beauty finishing touches, too.
The Club and Spa Birmingham has an arrangement with the Marco Pierre White restaurant Bardolino, upstairs in The Cube. I was asked to tick my lunch choice upon arrival at the spa and opted for a veggie pizza on the simple pizza/pasta/salad menu. Drinks weren't included in the package and staff told us to take a debit card or cash for drinks or dessert.
Bardolino is styled as a "pizzeria, bellini and espresso bar" and we loved its casual ambience. Spa guests are encouraged to wear their robes to lunch, but my visit to Bardolino did not feel like a natural step in my spa journey: the spiral staircase leading up to it was chilly, and several other diners were fully dressed.
My pizza, a Fiorentina (of which I've eaten many), was under-seasoned and a little dry but I savoured it with a glass of full-bodied Puglian red. All the staff were friendly and warm.
We loved / we didn't love
The first-rate treatment and the feeling of being in expert, soothing hands from start to finish.
The styling, the music and the subterranean feel to the vitality pool.
We didn't love
The lack of attention to small but important details. Both my first and last name were spelled wrong in various pieces of documentation.
Who do you think would like it?
When we visited on a Monday during the summer holidays, The Spa and Club Birmingham was being enjoyed by small groups of female friends, one or two couples, and a handful of club members who had used the gym.
The treatment menu has specific options for groups, ideal for a chilled-out hen party. Located in the upmarket Mailbox district, the spa's young, funky vibe also makes it perfect for city-breakers seeking the new, happening side of Birmingham.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Club and Spa Birmingham a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. All of the spa staff were warm and friendly and the laid-back, funky styling to the spa made it feel very modern. The lack of continuity in the spa journey was compensated for with the flawless treatments.
A light lunch is available for spa days.