The sumptuous Midland Hotel is central to the hustle and bustle of Manchester, but the spa is a world away from city life. Take a dip in the relaxation pool, warm up or cool down in aromatherapy steam room, Alder-wood sauna or Arctic rain shower. Curl up in the with sound-cancelling sleep chambers, relaxation pods or mini relax zones. Treatments at The Midland range from results-driven facials to indulgent body therapies.
Duo treatment suites
Alder wood sauna
Salt infused aromatherapy steam bath
Caribbean storm and Arctic rain showers
Big sleep relaxation room
Time out relaxation zones
Our Spa Spy review
The Midland Hotel is a grand Victorian building in the heart of Manchester, where it has served the needs of travellers since 1903. Its vast, bustling lobby has marble floors and ornate ceilings. Walk through to the back of the lobby and the lifts will whisk you down to the spa and gym in the basement.
The hustle and bustle of the hotel gives way to an elegant spa which shimmers in tones of honey, dark wood and grey. Its lighting has been designed so that you don't notice you are underground; the pool and wet areas have a bright, golden glow, while the relaxation room is dimly lit, setting the mood for serious chilling.
What's on offer?
The rippling glass wall of the relaxation room shepherds you to the smart spa reception area, where you fill in your consultation form on a soft sofa. Here, you will choose the music to accompany your treatment: getting you in the mood from the start. Flickering candles, subtle scents and flowers set the scene: this is a spa with relaxation at its heart.
High ceilings in the changing rooms make them feel spacious and calm. Plenty of dark-wood lockers line the main changing area, each with space for a small bag. The changing rooms have seating along the lockers and in the centre of the room, two vanity stations with hairdryers and mirrors, two loos, three spacious showers with shampoo and conditioner, and two private changing cubicles.
The wet facilities are just across the corridor from the changing area. The nine-metre relaxation pool is beautifully refreshing. The hot tub has a swan neck fountain to massage your shoulders. Bench-style seating is set into the walls.
The alderwoodsauna has a salt wall in shades of pink, gold and red. The small salt-infused steam room is lit in warm colours with white walls and white seating. Cool off in the experience shower. A copper sink has cool water and plastic cups stacked beside it so you can stay hydrated.
The centrepiece of The Spa at The Midland is its sumptuous relaxation room. The large space is dimly lit and well separated so you won't be immediately facing another guest. There are four hanging pods in the centre of the room, soft cocooning chairs and traditional armchairs. Two seating areas can be completely closed off from the rest of the relaxation room, with three beds covered in duvets and pillows, each with individual reading lights. There are plenty of magazines and a choice of warm herbal teas or iced water.
There's also a well-equipped gym next to the spa reception.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the spa's signature Serene Sleep treatment (55 minutes, £80). Created by ESPA especially for The Spa at The Midland, the treatment is designed to relax your body and help promote a restorative night's sleep.
My therapist, Valeria, settled me onto a wide bed in our tranquil treatment room, decorated in blues, browns and greys. She placed a pretty tray of therapy oils and flowers on the bed and described the treatment.
She selected two relaxing oils, placed a drop of each on my hand, and asked me to choose the one I found most appealing; I chose rebalancing.
I turned face down on the heated bed, and Valeria poured the rebalancing oil over my back. Using heated stones, she massaged my back, paying attention to marma points; in Ayurvedic medicine, this is believed to have a rebalancing effect.
Valeria gently asked me to turn over for the facial massage. She started with a warm cleanse followed with a lymphatic-drainage massage using warm rose-quartz crystals. This facial massage was so gentle and comforting that I drifted off. Next, she applied a rich mask and massaged my neck, shoulders and head while the mask worked into my skin. Valeria removed the mask, cleansed again, and applied finishing products. I felt revived and my skin felt refreshed. All the creaks and knots seemed to have vanished from my head and neck.
At The Spa at The Midland, you can try ESPA facials, massages, scrubs, wraps and mud treatments. The spa menu also has therapies for men, mums-to-be and beauty finishing touches. If you're looking for more dramatic results, you might want to try the 3D Skintech facials, which use microdermabrasion, radio frequency and mesotherapy to lift, plump and tuck!
You can eat lunch in your robe at the tables alongside the spa reception desk; they're separated from the walkway by a chain-effect dividing wall. Choose from a menu that includes light sandwiches, healthy platters or traditional afternoon tea. We tried the Superfood Platter which was presented in ceramic dishes, each carrying a different element of the meal. We loved the sweet potato and thyme soup, and the quinoa, pomegranate, edamame bean and spinach salad.
If you are staying at the hotel, you have two dinner options. We ate in Mr Cooper's House & Garden restaurant. While it doesn't have an actual garden, it does have a tree at its centre and garden-style seating. Our Herdwick lamb was absolutely delicious. You could also try The French, which offers more formal fine dining.
We loved / we didn't love
Choosing the music to listen to during our treatment: What a pleasure!
The completely private, sound-proofed areas in the relaxation room.
The food in the spa and hotel: Delicious.
We didn't love
The lack of products in the changing rooms. There was no cleanser, moisturiser or cotton wool on offer.
We felt the product recommendation immediately after the treatment broke our peace. We would have liked some time to come round from the pretty blissful facial.
Who do you think would like it?
The Spa at The Midland is a lovely place to rest and unwind on your own.
Couples can also book the dual treatment rooms and enjoy the facilities together.
The space also works for small groups of friends; the sound-proofed areas in the relaxation room mean you can chat to your heart's content and not worry about bothering other people.
For Manchester locals, there's a menu of express treatments you can squeeze in around shopping, a school-run, or an evening out.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Spa at The Midland a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. The relaxation room is very well designed and the wet and thermal facilities small but lovely. The Spa at The Midland is a treasure in the heart of Manchester.
The Spa Cafe serves afternoon tea and a healthy lunch menu, fresh fruit smoothie’s, botanical cocktails and of course, ‘bubbles’. The hotel offers award winning cuisine by Simon Rogan in The French restaurant and Mr Cooper's House and Garden restaurant.
There are 312 bedrooms at The Midland Hotel.
The leisure facilities are open Monday to Friday: 6.30am-9pm and Saturday and Sunday: 7am-7pm. The spa facilities are openMonday to Thursday: 9am-8pm; Friday: 9am-7pm; Saturday: 8am-6pm; Sunday: 10am-6pm.