MOST people who want to enjoy a cocktail at a swim-up bar imagine a sunny stay in the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean.
But when I found out there is a spa hotel right outsideopened with the UK’s first swim up bar, I was fascinated.
I took the plunge and visited the Spa at Manor House in Alsager in East Cheshire to see if the great British weather would spoil the experience or if a sunnier resort could raise the bar for this spa.
As two frazzledof guys keeping us on our toes 24/7, we definitely needed a day of pure indulgence and relaxation, and that’s exactly what we got.
From the moment we arrived it was clear that no compromises were made when it came to maximizing the spa experience.
A luxurious dressing room led to the recently opened English spa gardens.
Both the sauna and laconium, overlooking the rolling countryside, had large windows to bring the outside in.
It was wonderful to be comfortably warm inside and at the same time to enjoy the view of green fields and trees.
The heated outdoor pool, which houses the swim-up bar, also offered a magnificent view of the surrounding greenery, belying any notion that you could be anywhere but in the heart of the English countryside.
Heading inside we enjoyed a 1 hour sleep massage billed to gently realign your body and put it back together to perfection with warm orange and fennel oils.
After that we lounged in huge comfy chairs in the relaxation room, almost too relaxed to talk.
We shared a delicious vegetarian mezze, each with a glass of Prosecco, with our lunch at the pool house, while other guests ate a sumptuous afternoon tea so plentiful that the ladies on theThe table even offered us some of their cakes as they couldn’t eat another bite.
We happily complied and the sweet treats were just as delicious as our savory snack board of toasted camembert, marinated feta, hummus, Lebanese flatbread, melon, olives, mozzarella balls, stuffed vine leaves and peppers and couscous.
A wood burning stove in the center of the pool house kept the chill of the day at bay and before we knew it we had spent an hour grazing. Now it was time to go to the pool.
The only criticism I have of the swim-up bar is that you have to carry a credit card to purchase a drink, which is easier said than done if you only carry oneCostume.
There were sofas nearby for us to drape our bathrobes on so we could keep our cards and phones in our pockets, but it would be great if the wristbands used for spa access and locker operation were could also be used to pay.
However, my Cosmopolitan was delicious and we certainly got in the holiday spirit as we rolled in the warm water and sipped our drinks.
Part of the pool was covered with a clear canopy to keep rain out as well.
An indoor pool was just as inviting, with a swing bed for two at one end and alcoves with built-in loungers along one wall.
Before we knew it it was time to head out for the school run, but I’d come back in a heartbeat the next time I needed some me-time.
The entire spa was spotless and everyone who worked there was attentive and helpful.
I’m not surprised that it’s a finalist for Best Boutique Spa and Best Spa Garden in the Good Spa Guide Awards.
The swim-up bar spa is a wonderful way to spend a day in Britain when a trip to sunny shores is not planned.
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