Fifteen years ago, Birmingham wasn’t exactly considered a cultural destination, but a multi-million-pound regeneration over the course of several years has put the city firmly back on the map. Now Birmingham is a gleaming metropolis with a rapid transport system; eclectic shopping; a wealth of art galleries, music venues and historic theatres – the National Ballet is loved the world over – and a restaurant scene that continues to push the napkin. The city has more curry houses than you can shake a naan at - many wielding Michelin stars. Unsurprisingly, spa fans are in for a treat, with a good mix of hotel spas, wellness retreats and day spas to escape to when the constant throng of the city gets too much. Here’s our round-up of the best day spas in Birmingham.
Urban hotel spas don’t generally have the space for waves of spa facilities, but the Santai Spa - part of the chic Genting Hotel in leafy Marston Green - has much to offer. There’s a sleek 15-metre low-lit pool with swan jets to ease tension in the neck and shoulders; relax on one of several loungers afterwards or warm up in the 15-metre hydro-pool, glass-walled sauna or mosaic hot stone lounger. Too hot? Grab some ice from the fountain and douse yourself for an instant refresh. Or brave the elements and jump into the star of the Santai Spa show, a stunning hydro-pool accommodating four to six people with views of Pendigo Lake. There’s a brand new fitness suite for gym bunnies to find their bounce in, while treatments from ESPA include facials, massages, finishing touches, express treatments and scrubs. There’s also manis/pedis from OPI and a VIVE juice bar.
The Cube is a striking square-shaped glass building in the centre of Birmingham containing flats, restaurants, bars, offices, a bowling alley, shops, a health club (The Club) and a spa (The Spa). Guests wielding a day pass can access both The Club and Spa, with its 5th floor city views. After a session in the gym – with its myriad equipment and four fitness studios – take a dip in the pool, slather yourself in mud in the tasul, get hot in the steam room or relax in the bubbling vitality pool with its massage jets and waterfall. We defy anybody not to fall asleep in the relaxation room’s hanging pods which are what heaven must feel like. Facials and massages are brought to you by Elemis; manis and pedis from Leighton Denny, and waxes from Lycon. Hungry? Float out of The Club to one of four restaurants, including one by Marco Pierre White. Head to the Champagne bar afterwards to drink in the city views.
Located right in the centre of bustling Birmingham, The Hyatt Regency is a busy, popular hotel with a high turnover of business and leisure guests. Thank goodness, then, for Amala Spa, a sanctuary for guests and day trippers to escape Brum’s bustle and hustle. Whether working out in the gym; swimming in the 16-metre pool; warming up in the sauna, Turkish hamman or steam room; or cooling off in the plunge pool, the city will feel miles away. Day spa guests can choose from several packages, including City Escape (with afternoon tea), Pamper and Party (with cocktail masterclass), Pamper Day (with two-course dinner) or Luxury Day for Two (with two-course lunch or dinner), each including a treatment from ESPA (think facials, massages, hot stones and scrubs), a mani/pedi from Orly or a signature treatment from Comfort Zone. End the day with a pint of local ale or a glass of wine in front of an open fire at the hotel’s Gentleman & Scholar Pub.
The gardeners at The Belfry must really know their stuff - not only do they keep the extensive grounds, pretty lawns and 18-hole golf course immaculate and weed-free but they maintain the climbing ivy running up the front of the hotel. As entrances go, it’s pretty eye-catching. The spa is no less impressive with so many facilities on offer we’ve listed them alphabetically – ready? Aroma cave, caldarium, crystal steam room, feature showers, fitness suite, foot baths, hydrotherapy pool, igloo, mani & pedi station, salt cave, sauna, sanarium, shower grotto, swimming pool and whirlpools. You might need more than a day to get round it all. After all that warming up and cooling down, head to the light and airy conservatory or the darkened relaxation room to snuggle up. The treatment menu spans 12 pages (no surprises there), with a range of ESPA staples wrapped up in dedicated spa days, including the Body Glow Spa (with afternoon tea) and the Twilight Spa (with Prosecco and truffles).
The National Exhibition Centre may seem like an odd place for a spa, but nothing screams ‘massage me please’ like a day at a conference. The canal-side setting more than makes up for the hotel itself, which is long overdue a refresh, but the facilities – including several meeting rooms, three restaurants and a canal-side bar – are not to be scoffed at. At the LivingWell Health Club, hotel and conference, guests can swim in a ginormous round pool with glass apex ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows offering lakeside views. It’s a little kitsch, but definitely worth donning the togs for. Glass allows light to flood into the spacious gym, too, making lighter work of exercise; those wishing to run outside can lap around the lake on a dedicated track. You’ll need a few hours to pore over the Ocean Room Spa’s 28-page treatment menu which offers everything from advanced anti-ageing facials and colon therapy (yes, really) to seaweed massages.