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Escape For A More Blissful Manchester Spa Break In The Country

The churning water froths and bubbles around me as I lounge indulgently in the vivid turquoise thalassotherapy pool. The pitch black outdoors contrasts with the warm hues of this tranquil haven and I find myself relaxing for the first time this week (corporate finance assignments have a habit of stressing you out!). The bubbles create a bioluminescent effect in the water as tiny little yellow lights twinkle in the ceiling and I find myself sighing contentedly. It’s hard to believe this Manchester spa break in the countryside is less than an hour from the big smoke!

The spa by night at Stanley House
The gorgeous spa by night courtesy of Stanley House

Welcome to Stanley House Hotel and Spa

Welcome to the Spa at Stanley House hotel where floor to ceiling windows allow nature to blend seamlessly into heavenly relaxation, the icing on the cake of what is truly a sublime secret escape.

A secret escape

Until I was gifted a secret Escapes voucher, I’d never even heard of this place, not imagining that such a lush treasure would be tucked away on the outskirts of Blackburn. This town may not be your first choice for a weekend away but if you want a romantic getaway or even precious time to catch up with friends, this is a destination worth considering. The spa alone should be enough to entice you but you can also enjoy the gym with far reaching views of quintessential English countryside, fabulous food and fine wines.

The very Elizabethan hotel

The Elizabethan manor that sits at the heart of this complex has been lovingly restored to create unique rooms. Old antique pieces, grandiose candelabras and royal russet drapes and cushions merge into an ultra-modern bathroom. There is even a rouge claw foot bath squirrelled into the central turret.

Bedrooms are reached via an entrance lounge with a huge fireplace adorned by oversized logs. From here a narrow staircase winds up to our room where we find a super king size bed and spacious seating area. Mini thrones line the foot of the bed, a perfect vantage point for views over the ornamental gardens. I find myself transported back in time to a time when lords and ladies lazed on day beds admiring views of the grounds and surrounding countryside.

The Elizabethan Manor at Stanley House hotel
The Elizabethan Manor at Stanley House hotel: Courtesy of Stanley House

Giddily I explore the room – a treasure chest fit for any pirate ship alas holds no treasure but there’s character in abundance in this bolt hole. Old beams, antique lampshades, oil paintings and the tantalising prospect of ghosts. Surely any building that is almost 400 years old must have a ghost! We don’t experience any haunting experiences although my water bottle did have a habit of dropping off the bedside cabinet.

Room 6 at the Stanley House Hotel
Room 6 at the Stanley House Hotel, courtesy of Stanley House Hotel

The Stanley House Hotel and Spa is a place for indulgence. Pre-book your spa experience, chill out over a drink, indulge in exquisite dining, read a book or simply relax in the tub admiring the views.

The spa

The only downside is that we don’t sleep especially well given the softness of the mattress but even that doesn’t dampen the relaxation I feel after our trip to the spa.

After dragging myself away from the thalassotherapy pool where the swirling patterns entrance me, we head to the thermal suites. Here we indulge in the Japanese style herbal room, the aroma steam with rose scents to soothe away stresses, the aromatherapy steam room to sweat out all those toxins and finally the Finnish saunas.

Whilst saunas may not be my favourite indulgence, this one is a gem with a panorama window allowing guests to enjoy scenes of nature by day. By night, a vague outline of the pond beyond is visible as a family of ducks waddles by. It’s truly delightful and the perfect end to a day.

Stanley House Spa
Stanley House Spa: picture courtesy of Stanley House Spa

What you need to know

We booked through secret escapes paying £147 for a luxury double room including breakfast and a two-course dinner. Spa access costs just £10 for guests Monday – Thursday but £35 per person at weekends.

Please note that you must pre-book slots at the spa as a maximum number of 10 guests are allowed at any time. Leave it too late and you may be disappointed but plan ahead and you will have a truly exclusive experience. You can even spend a little time relaxing in the dedicated chill area.

Chill out in the relaxation room at Stanley House
The Spa relaxation room at Stanley House: Picture courtesy of Stanley House

Where is your favourite bolthole?

Have you discovered a little British gem which surpassed your expectations? If so, feel free to let us know where as I’m always seeking new travel inspiration for future escapes.

Stanley House Pinterest
Pictures courtesy of Stanley House

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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7 comments

  1. Wow that spa, looks beyond amazing!
    It totally changed my vision of Manchester!

  2. Wow, what a funky looking spa! The contrast between the historic house and the uber-modern spa design is quite marked. I love those spa lounge chairs. They look so comfy.

  3. That hotel and spa looks amazing! Totally my cup of tea. I am a big fan of Secret Escapes too! We’ve done some cool bookings through them but they don’t have many that accommodate kids which is a serious downer for family travel like I do.

    • Yes I definitely found there wasn’t tons of choice but it threw up places I’d never heard of which was exciting. The spa is fabulous!

  4. OMG this looks soooo dreamy at night with those neon lights and all that jazz. something like a disco spa hehe. And that room – damn, so lavish and “fit for a king”. Sweeeet!

  5. I would have never thought of Manchester as a relaxing destination, but you sold me! What a great deal for everything that was included. I hope you enjoyed your relaxing trip.

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