If ever there’s a much-needed time for a spa visit it’s during these spells of cold, bitter weather when our complexions are exposed to harsh conditions and our energy levels take a hit. We were therefore delighted to receive an invitation for an indulgent overnight stay at the wonderful Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa resort in rural Cheshire, back in February.
As we were heading over to the North West to host one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs at the prestigious Chester Grosvenor, we thought tagging this stay onto the weekend of the event would be an ideal way to recharge the batteries. And so, after our successful wedding show came to an end we packed up the car and travelled 20 minutes from city of Chester out into the countryside to unwind in Portal Hotel’s idyllic surroundings.
Upon arrival we received an incredibly warm welcome and were informed that our room had been upgraded – a super nice touch, which saw us staying in a spacious twin room with large veranda looking out onto rolling lawns and woodland. It was perfectly serene and ensured a we had a peaceful night’s rest.
Having checked out the accommodation, we headed to the bar for an early evening drink before taking our seats for a three-course meal in the hotel restaurant. The service from the waiting staff was faultless and we were well looked after throughout. My mum joined me on this visit and we both have identical taste and so we ordered the same starter and main course; a winning combination of salmon, cream cheese and capers to start, followed by beautifully cooked lamb, accompanied by perfectly cooked vegetables and a tasty jus. For dessert I whole-heartedly gave into my sweet tooth opting for the chocolate tart served with a berry sorbet while my mum went for the slightly lighter cheesecake option. Having polished off a bottle of Rioja we headed to our room and, as expected, had a blissful night’s sleep in our comfortable suite.
Keen to make full use of the hotel’s facilities, I was up early the following day for a workout in the gym ahead of breakfast. As with many hotel gyms, it was on the smaller side but had all the necessary equipment for a full work out. I also enjoyed that its large windows gave gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside, making the exercise feel all the more refreshing.
Ready to refuel I joined my mum for breakfast in the restaurant where we had eaten the night before. There was a full continental offering laid out buffet style, including cereals, fresh fruit, juices, and pastries, plus the option to order something hot. As we had time in the spa area to come, we didn’t want to overfill and so enjoyed fresh fruit followed by a comforting bowl of porridge accompanied by nuts and honey. Delicious.
Treatment time was next. As mentioned I felt my skin was particularly suffering from the cold winter weather and so I selected the Elemis Superfood Pro-Radiance Facial, while my mum opted for the Elemis Deeper Than Deep Hot Stones Massage.
My therapist Karen showed me to the cosy treatment room and explained details of the treatment before asking me about any skin concerns (of which I have many!) and then informed me how she would tailor the facial to address my combination skin. All I had to do was lay back, relax and be transported to the height of relaxation. The varying lotions and potions were massaged, tapped and smoothed into my skin before a face mask was applied and the pampering continued with a scalp massage – literally one of the best things in life as far as I’m concerned. When my treatment came to an end, my skin was left radiant and glowing as promised. Certainly, an ideal pre-wedding pick-me-up for brides-to-be whose big days are just a matter of weeks away.
Meeting my mum in the warm and dimly-lit relaxation room, she reported equally good things from her treatment saying that all knots had been removed from her back and that she felt much less tension in her shoulders, so perhaps a good one of any of you ladies out there suffering a little planning stress.
We spent the rest of our time at the hotel using its 18-metre indoor pool and thermal suite, consisting of infra-red sauna, rock sauna, aroma steam room, ice room and experience showers
All in all, we had a blissful 24 hours and left the hotel feeling truly relaxed and spoilt. Those of you craving some post-winter pampering could plan a day here with your mum (just as I did), or perhaps organise a classy hen do at Portal with your friends, or even a romantic pre/post wedding getaway with your other half – after all the hotel does also boast three magnificent golf courses, meaning your man will be perfectly entertained as you while away the hours in the spa.
If we’ve whet your appetite for a heavenly escape to Macdonald Portal Hotel, there is a range of fabulous packages and breaks to fulfil your blissed-out-bride needs…
For the brides-to-be:
The Luxurious Spa Day, from £99.99 per person – Enjoy two treatments and afternoon tea with prosecco. Includes full use of spa facilities including use of robes, slippers and fluffy towels.
For the girls:
The Essential Spa Break, from £79.99 per person – Includes a 25-minute treatment, full use of spa facilities including use of robes, slippers and fluffy towels. Later, sit back and enjoy a delicious evening meal and a relaxing overnight stay with award-winning breakfast.
For the happy couple:
The Ultimate Spa Break, price on request – Two nights away to completely unwind your busy mind. Relax and recharge with two 55-minute treatments, prosecco and afternoon tea during your stay. Includes full use of the spa facilities, including robes, slippers and fluffy towels.