Spa review - The Spa at Cottons Hotel, Knutsford

Face treatment

Face treatment - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s all change at the Cottons Hotel in Knustford

Cottons Hotel & Spa has completed a bit of a refresh and refurb over recent months, and their pool area is looking rather smashing, I have to say. It’s always been a friendly, family-oriented place, perfect for taking the kids to swim while mum chills out (or hits the gym) but before now I hadn’t actually thought of it as a first choice for a chilled out Spa day of the ‘all about me’ variety. Recent experience has made me reconsider this, let me tell you!

For 15 years the Spa at Cottons was filled with the scents of ESPA essential oils, but the company has just this summer switched to French brand Caudalie, so I had to ask – why? It’s due to the hotel group’s preference with working with other family-owned companies, it seems, where personal relationships can be built based on a mutual understanding of customer service, quality, values and value. Caudalie is a family-owned skincare brand based in Bordeaux, on the family’s vineyards at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, using vine, grape and grape-seed extracts, which have proven powerful properties for anti-aging and blemish reversal. The ingredients are all natural – no nasties such as parabens, mineral oils, sodium laureth sulphate, phthalates and animal products. They’re rather fabulous too, and surprisingly sensibly priced – both the products and the treatments - which makes it all the more exciting a discovery.

When asked which I prefer, massage or facial, I genuinely can’t answer. I believe that a regular massage isn’t a treat, it’s a therapy for supporting your body in dealing with our hectic lives. In the same way, our skin is faced with so many stresses – environmental and lifestyle – not to mention the marching on of the years, that a regular facial is less about pamper than purpose too. So, when faced with a choice – I choose both.

The Caudalie Fleur de Vigne Candle Massage uses warm, liquid soy wax rather than oil to facilitate the treatment. And oh my, what a treatment. When you book (and you really, really must) ask for ‘Magic Hands’ Kelly; she’s amazing. It was without doubt the most fabulous full-body massage I ever experienced. This lady doesn’t mess about; ask for deep tissue and just feel the tensions disappear. An hour of bliss – and afterwards, my body felt soft and sleepy and, weirdly, energised too.

As no It’s All About Me Day is complete without epicurean indulgence, let me point you at the Cottons Hotel Afternoon Tea. A perfectly traditional serving of tea and sandwiches and a positive waterfall of tasty cakes, tarts and cheesecake – and the vital scone, jam and clotted cream of course. Delicious!

After a bit of a lie down in the relaxation room, I headed off with Kelly again for the Permier Cru Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial. Oh wow. This is seriously purposeful pampering. Starting with a deep cleanse and exfoliate, there is then the application of a derma-roller, to improve the penetration of micro-ingredients infused into the soothing treatment mask that follows – which smells just like a glass of white wine, unsurprisingly when you learn that it’s packed with Reservatrol, the active ingredient drawn from their own grapevines and the central part of their most successful skincare products. While this did its thing, I enjoyed a scalp massage of the most relaxing variety, and drifted on a sea of sleepy bliss. Next, the most fabulous facial massage EVER! I may have named Kelly ‘Magic Hands’ myself, but it’s an epithet she deserves. They should make her a badge. Lots more happens, over the course of an hour, but no need to list, just believe it was bliss.

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And the results – oh my gosh! Defined cheekbones, a tighter jawline, plump and glowing (really, glowing!) skin. And even now, days later – still smooth, firm and with a distinct glow. I am a very happy bunny.

Cottons are hosting a Caudalie launch event on 27 September, with taster treatments and an introduction to this little known, but serious contender, brand – and a glass of wine from their own vineyards! See you there?

Knutsford | 01565 652 001

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