Sipping herbal tea in a dressing gown while listening to panpipe music, it’s fair to say I was feeling a tad self-conscious at the beginning of our staycation.
I’d somehow managed to make it to the age of 36 without ever having a massage, and as I waited to be unknotted, my comfort zone seemed miles away.
The his-and-hers set-up (my wife Rose was beside me in matching garb) wasn’t helping.
But any anxiety I had drifted away the minute my deceptively strong masseuse pressed the point of her elbow deep into my shoulder with what felt like all of her might. What a revelation.
We’d only arrived at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Manchester an hour earlier, child-free for the first time in two years, and I’d been clicked into relaxation mode.
A back, neck and shoulder massage lasting 30 minutes costs £42. If my freshly unwound torso could talk, it’d tell you it’s worth every penny.
By the time we’d taken a dip in the hot tub and visited the steam room, I was practically sleepwalking. And it wasn’t even 5pm. Bliss.
Energy levels low, we opted for an early dinner in Brew Bar, one of three restaurants on site.
We tucked into chicken wings, calamari, quesadilla, sirloin steak and chips, washing it down with a couple of drinks – and our bill was around £55.
The food was fine, but the real unexpected treat was watching the Saracens rugby team receiving a team talk in the courtyard before their match at Sale Sharks, just down the road.
I’m not sure if it was the excitement, food, Guinness, massages or a combination of everything, but we were flagging. Our king-size bed beckoned.
The next morning, after doing our best to sample all the comprehensive breakfast buffet had to offer, I explored the hotel grounds while Rose returned to the spa for a facial (I’m reliably informed that at £42 it was excellent value for money).
The hotel, conference facilities and golf course – which recently had a £15million makeover – have stood on the former Worsley New Hall site since 1998.
With spa facilities – including a pool, sauna, steam room and gym – there’s enough to keep you occupied for a weekend.
But if you want to burn off those breakfast calories, leafy Worsley village and the Bridgewater Canal are short walk away.
Alternatively, you could take advantage of the jewel in the hotel’s crown – its golf course.
Saturdays at Worsley Park are all about golf. From mid-morning, Tempo, the property’s sports bar, starts filling up with Pringle sweaters and Callaway caps ready to tee off.
If you’re a novice, there’s a shop with equipment to buy or hire – and resident pro David Screeton is available for lessons. We weren’t feeling overly active so we passed a few hours in the spa, before a couple of perfect steaks at the hotel’s upmarket Grill in the Park.
With direct links to Manchester, Worsley Park is popular with football teams playing at United and City.
One corridor is adorned with signed shirts from European teams. If it’s good enough for Marseille…
Book the holiday
- Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Manchester, has B&B from £99 a night based on two sharing. Dinner, B&B packages start from £129 a night.
- Spa treatments from £20. Time for Two spa session £55pp.
- Pay and play golf from £20pp.
- Sunday Driver Break £99pp including pre-golf breakfast, two rounds, three-course dinner, one-night stay.
- Visit marriott.com to find out more.
For more tourist information see visitmanchester.com.