In a surprising twist, the allure of a cocktail at a swim-up bar is no longer exclusive to sun-drenched Mediterranean resorts or tropical Caribbean getaways. Breaking the mold, a recently unveiled spa hotel, located just beyond the borders of Stoke-on-Trent, has introduced the United Kingdom’s inaugural swim-up bar, sparking widespread curiosity among eager patrons. The unexpected juxtaposition of a refreshing poolside libation within the confines of the Staffordshire countryside has piqued my interest, leaving me utterly intrigued.
What surprised the spa
Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to take the plunge and visit the Spa at Manor House, situated in Alsager, east Cheshire. Determined to uncover whether the infamous British weather would cast a shadow on the experience, or if this establishment could successfully emulate the essence of swim-up bars found in sun-soaked destinations, I embarked on my spa adventure.
Accompanied by my fellow mothers, equally exhausted from the constant demands of our energetic boys, we yearned for a day of pure indulgence and relaxation. Fortunately, our desires were met and surpassed.
Upon our arrival, it became evident that no compromises had been made in creating an immersive spa experience. A lavish changing room welcomed us, setting the tone for what awaited in the recently unveiled English spa garden.
Enchanting panoramic views and cosiness
In an enchanting scene overlooking expansive countryside, two remarkable facilities, the sauna and laconium, captivate visitors with their breathtaking panoramic windows that seamlessly blend the outdoor splendor with indoor comfort.
The joy of basking in cozy warmth while immersing oneself in the picturesque vistas of verdant fields and majestic trees is an unparalleled experience. These transparent portals allow guests to relish in the tranquil beauty of nature, creating an ambiance that transports them to the very heart of the idyllic English countryside.
As guests venture indoors, they are greeted by the indulgence of an outdoor pool, meticulously heated to perfection. Nestled amidst the breathtaking surroundings, this oasis boasts a swim-up bar, where patrons can savor their favorite libations while being enthralled by the lush greenery that envelops them. With every glance, any notion of being anywhere else fades away, leaving guests fully immersed in the quintessential English countryside ambiance.
Continuing their journey, guests are treated to a sublime hour-long massage, the epitome of relaxation. Aptly named the “sound asleep massage,” it promises to gently realign and harmonize the body, leaving one feeling revitalized and complete. Warm orange and fennel oil, with their soothing and aromatic properties, enhance this rejuvenating experience, providing an exquisite sensory delight.
As patrons indulge in these extraordinary amenities, they are enveloped by a sense of tranquility and serenity, cocooned in a world where nature’s beauty and indulgence converge. This remarkable destination offers a haven of respite, where one can immerse themselves in the very essence of the English countryside, leaving behind the cares of the world and embracing a profound sense of well-being.
The perfect world of goodies
In the aftermath of our invigorating spa experience, we luxuriated in the embrace of oversized, plush armchairs within the serene confines of the relaxation room. Such was the level of relaxation attained that conversation seemed almost unnecessary amidst the state of tranquil bliss.
As we sought to satiate our appetites, the pool house beckoned, promising a delightful culinary interlude. Our palates were tantalized by a delectable vegetarian mezze, accompanied by a delightful glass of prosecco, graciously served for our midday repast. Meanwhile, fellow guests indulged in a lavish afternoon tea, an opulent spread so abundant that the adjacent table’s enchanting ladies generously extended an invitation to partake in their assortment of confectionary delights, as they found themselves unable to consume another morsel.
Graciously accepting their kind gesture, we found ourselves enchanted by the taste of these sweet temptations, which proved to be as equally delightful as our own savory culinary selection. Our palates reveled in a delectable assortment, comprising of roasted camembert, marinated feta, creamy hummus, accompanied by freshly baked Lebanese flatbread. Additionally, the vibrant display included luscious melon slices, tantalizing olives, succulent mozzarella balls, and a medley of stuffed vine leaves and peppers, perfectly complemented by a bed of aromatic couscous.
This culinary experience proved to be a feast for both the senses and the soul, an exquisite fusion of flavors that transported us to a realm of gastronomic pleasure. Within this idyllic oasis, where every appetite is catered to with finesse and generosity, we discovered a true haven for gourmands, where delectable creations and warm camaraderie intertwine harmoniously.
Cosmopolitan’s financial inconvenience has been ironed out
In the heart of the pool house, a cozy log burner radiated a comforting warmth, dispelling the coolness of the day. Time seemed to slip away unnoticed as we leisurely grazed on delectable offerings for an entire hour, completely immersed in the serene ambience. Now, the moment had arrived to take a dip in the inviting pool.
As we swam towards the swim-up bar, I couldn’t help but voice a minor criticism. Purchasing a refreshing drink at the bar required the inconvenience of carrying a credit card, a task easier said than done when one is clad solely in a swimsuit. Luckily, nearby sofas provided a temporary solution, allowing us to drape our robes and securely store our cards and phones in their pockets. It would indeed be a welcome enhancement if the spa-access bracelets, serving as gateways to the facilities and lockers, could also serve as a means of payment.
Nevertheless, any minor inconvenience was swiftly forgotten as I savored the deliciousness of my Cosmopolitan. Immersed in the inviting warmth of the water, a palpable holiday vibe permeated the atmosphere. We luxuriated in the pool, basking in the sun-kissed ambiance, relishing the sensation of sipping our drinks amidst a backdrop of pure relaxation.
The pool can cope with the weather
To ensure an optimal experience regardless of the weather, a translucent shelter elegantly extended over a portion of the pool, shielding it from raindrops while preserving its allure. Meanwhile, an equally enticing indoor pool awaited, boasting an array of enchanting features. At one end, a swing bed designed for intimate relaxation beckoned, while along a wall, cozy alcoves adorned with built-in loungers offered secluded havens for repose.
As the hours slipped away, it was with a tinge of reluctance that we realized it was time to depart for the school run. However, the allure of this extraordinary spa was undeniable, leaving an indelible impression that ensured a swift return for some much-needed personal rejuvenation.
Throughout our visit, the spa’s immaculate cleanliness left a lasting impression. Every nook and cranny exuded a pristine ambiance, a testament to the meticulous attention to detail exhibited by the staff. Each member of the team demonstrated unwavering attentiveness and a genuine desire to cater to our every need, ensuring a truly seamless and delightful experience.
The accolades bestowed upon this remarkable establishment came as no surprise. A finalist in the esteemed categories of best boutique spa and best spa garden in the Good Spa Guide awards, it was evident that this oasis of tranquility had garnered well-deserved recognition. Its impeccable facilities, combined with a devoted and knowledgeable staff, solidified its status as a sanctuary where every guest’s well-being and serenity were of utmost importance.