Sometimes you just need to relax, and where better to recoup and rejuvenate than in the comfort and luxury of a spa? Take a break from pounding the pavements, step away from all of the culture that’s surrounding you in Manchester and enjoy an afternoon of unwinding as you are preened and pampered in one of the many city-centre day spas and spa hotels – bookable with Culture Trip.
For a slice of Guys and Dolls-era New York in Manchester, Hotel Brooklyn ticks the boxes. With all the style of a Brooklyn brownstone, inside rooms are swanky – appropriately named the Highline, Liberty, Governor and Uptown – with huge beds and terraces with views in some. Kick off your wellness break with vegan-friendly food at Runyon’s Restaurant (or drinks in the speakeasy-style hotel bar), then book into nearby day spa, Bali Health Lounge, for multi-award-garlanded massages, facials and treatments.
Although without its own wellness facilities, the City Warehouse Aparthotel is handily located close to the superb Sarasin day spa. With leather sofas, wooden floors, smart kitchen areas and dining tables, there’s everything you need here to make yourself at home, and the apartments are ideal for longer stays. Around the corner, the Sarasin has gorgeous red-walled, flower-filled interiors, and offers Thai massages and aromatic oil treatments, so you can easily transform your aparthotel stay into a spa break.
The Waterside Hotel might just lay claim to being the best spa hotel in Manchester. On the city outskirts, it has extra space for impressive facilities. There’s a heated 25m (82ft) swimming pool, a sizeable gym, a hydrotherapy pool with jets and aroma- and salt-infused steam rooms. Rooms are small and simple yet comfortable, and there’s a riverside restaurant proffering healthy dishes, such as coconut king prawns with a light Thai salad.
Innside Manchester by Meliá offers another top spa in Manchester, with sleek sauna and treatment rooms for reviving tired muscles and encouraging a healthy glow. The hotel is handily located in the city centre, a short walk from Deansgate and Oxford Road. Its rooms are smart, with plum-coloured feature walls, and there’s a contemporary, colourful restaurant with a great inside-meets-outside design and lovely outdoor terrace serving up fresh Mediterranean-style fare.
Malmaison Manchester has the boutique brand’s signature sexy room decor, here featuring crushed velvet and king-size beds across spaces that span from snug standards to suites. The spa is particularly good, offering ESPA treatments, yoga classes and a gym. A great city-centre location and popular bar-brasserie that’s a cut above, serving calamari and beetroot-based vegan burgers, complete your wellness weekend.
The Lowry is the type of place where doormen usher you inside and there’s champagne already on ice. But we’re still in salt-of-the-earth Manchester, mind you – so there’s no hint of stuffiness. The refurbed River Restaurant looks like Palm Springs on a plate, all mid-century modern design and millennial wall art. But when you’re not sinking martinis on the roof terrace, the serene spa offers space to dial things back. Elemis and Aromatherapy Associates sign their names to the treatments, and there’s Technogym kit and personal trainers to whip you into shape in the gym.
The Midland may have been around for more than 100 years, but she’s certainly not showing her age. That’s in large part down to her time-defying spa, where you might just step in and forget all about coffee-hopping through the Northern Quarter or filling your boots on the food scene of Ancoats. This being the brisk northern reaches of England, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a toasty thermal pool, tropical showers, a steam room and even an 85-degree sauna with a Himalayan salt-block wall to help conduct heat. Book in for a spa day, or simply a treatment, with French brand Caudalie presiding over the starry line up.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Emma Lavelle.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.