The best spa hotels in Manchester

The Edwardian in Manchester - one of the best spa hotels in Manchester - ANDREW BEASLEY
The Edwardian in Manchester - one of the best spa hotels in Manchester - ANDREW BEASLEY

Manchester’s energy is infectious, whether you’re soaking up the atmosphere at one of the city’s many festivals, people-watching in a cool coffee shop or exploring one of its buzzing neighbourhoods. But, sometimes, on an action-packed city break you need to take some time out too. There are plenty of tempting spas to retreat to in the city’s hotels, with tranquil relaxation areas, invigorating massages and even an infinity spa pool overlooking the city skyline. Here’s our pick of the best spa hotels in Manchester.

Opened in 1903 as an extravagant railway hotel, the historic Midland’s claims to fame include being where Rolls decided to go into business with Royce, Becks wooed Posh, and the first tango in the UK was danced. The imposing ornate building is home to several excellent restaurants: head to Adam Reid at The French for fine dining, the Tea Room for afternoon tea and the Mount Street Dining Room & Bar for a less formal meal. The spa is a decent size, with a large relaxation area, treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, whirlpool tub and small relaxation pool. Note that hotel guests will need to book a one-hour slot on arrival for access.

• The best hotels in Manchester

King Street Townhouse is the antithesis to a chain hotel. Everything from the furniture to locally commissioned artwork throughout the property has been sourced by former owner, Sally O’Loughlin, and no two bedrooms are the same. The ridiculously comfortable beds have crisp, white bedding sourced from South Africa, and thoughtful extras such as luxury bathrobes. There’s a gym, thermal suite including a steam room and Himalayan salt cave, and four spa and beauty treatment rooms. Hotel guests can pay £20 to access the thermal suite for two hours. The infinity spa-pool on the seventh floor is the jewel in this hotel’s crown: it’s a calming spot from which to admire the Town Hall’s clock tower, and is much loved by photographers (free access for hotel guests). .

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Like a true Mancunian, this five-star hotel is showy without being pretentious and fiercely proud of its roots. Huge stylish rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and attentive service keep guests coming back for more. There’s a spa called RE:TREAT with a cryotherapy chamber, meditation pod, sensory deprivation tank and a wellness studio with a range of classes. These are complemented by more traditional treatment rooms and a relaxation room – book in advance for treatments as this is popular with visitors as well as hotel guests. There’s also a small gym and a hairdressers. There’s a focus on art in this hotel, which is named after one of the city’s most famous artists; there are changing exhibitions on the first floor.

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This five-star property, set in one of the city's grandest buildings, the Free Trade Hall, often hosts celebrity visitors to the city (Simon Cowell and Sven-Goran Eriksson among them) making it one of the best spa hotels in Manchester. Guests will enjoy the spa, featuring a good range of ESPA treatments, a relaxation room in one of the building’s former vaults, a 12-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room, experience shower and whirlpool tub. Hotel guests receive 10 per cent off treatments Monday to Thursday. For some great views of Manchester’s skyline, including the Town Hall and Central Library, opt for a city view room.

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This modern hotel in Manchester's iconic Beetham Tower offers views over the city and beyond from its floor-to-ceiling windows. Its bar on the 23rd floor has the ultimate vantage point and is a popular spot for special occasions. There's a swimming pool with a glass roof and walls, along with a whirlpool tub, steam room and sauna. Rooms have neutral colour schemes, Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries, and wooden furniture; views are either south of the city and beyond or into the city centre down Deansgate.

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This fairly upmarket hotel is on the edge of the centre but well located for Manchester’s main train station and largest university campus. The welcoming, warmly decorated spa offers Elemis treatments, plus a thermal suite with hot-rock and infra-red saunas, a steam room, an ice igloo and a sensation shower. The spa also has a relaxation room with magazines, teas and water, a space for snacks and afternoon teas, a tanning room and a gym; no swimming pool, however. Many of the rooms, which are spacious and welcoming, have great views.

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Located right over the road from the Manchester Arena and Victoria Station, this colourful chain hotel has excellent leisure facilities. The spa is the real selling point, with its five treatment rooms (guests get 20 per cent off treatments) and nail bar, spruce-coloured indoor pool surrounded by loungers and deckchairs and supplied with free glossy magazines, and its sauna and steam room. There’s also a spacious gym and daily classes including yoga and spinning. There’s a terrace where you can sit out in warmer weather.

Contributions by Rhonda Carrier and Cathy Toogood