My partner Sarah has had a few spa treatments, but we have never managed to go on a spa day or break together, so a two night break at Mercure St Paul’s Hotel and Spa with Spabreaks.com was just perfect, especially as we have an 18 month old daughter, so there isn’t often the opportunity to relax, and from the moment we arrived, the whole experience was incredible.
The hotel has everything, it’s centrally located so you can have a night out, but it has all the space and facilities to let you relax and unwind. Our room was a Privilege Room on the top floor with floor to ceiling windows and a great view, so we made sure to spend some time relaxing and really making use of the space to simply chill out and have a cup of coffee.
We woke up quite early in the morning, I think we’re used to it because of our little one, so we headed for breakfast at about 8am and it was wonderful and quiet – we basically had the place to ourselves before everyone else woke up. After that we went for a stroll for some fresh air before heading into the spa where they had lots of facilities; a steam, aroma grotto, ice igloo, sauna, experience showers and a pool. So we sat in the steam room and worked out some of the hangover before laying on the sun beds by the pool.
In the afternoon, Sarah started to get a considerably better end of the deal than I did. While I went off to catch a train to watch the football in the freezing cold (nil: nil draw in case you were wondering) she spent some time in the relaxation room (nearly fell asleep) before having a 70 minute facial and a 70 minute wrap back in the spa. She had never had a wrap before, and is now a complete convert (she has already booked her next one). Her facial was the best she has ever had and her therapist, Gemma, gave her lots of information beforehand about the products and her skin type, which she was really impressed by. By the time I got back from football, Sarah was glowing, dressed up and heading back to the Champagne bar to wait for me while I got dressed.
On our first night we had a choice of the a la carte or set menu, so we had a bit of both, which wasn’t a problem. There was plenty of choice, but I had duck breast and Sarah had a mint and balsamic lamb rump (so of course we shared) – it was excellent. Our waitress, Rachel, was the real star of the show – we asked her advice on where to go after dinner and she was extremely helpful. Great food, great wine, great service – we couldn’t have asked for more. On our second night, everything was just as good, if not better. We took a little more time to enjoy the atmosphere in the Champagne bar and then we both opted for the ribeye steak with another bottle of wine.
When we first arrived we drove up, walked through Sheffield’s Peace Gardens outside the hotel, and checked in at about 2.30 in the afternoon. Having thrown the bags into the room, we headed off for a walk around Sheffield for a little retail therapy and to explore, which helped us to unwind and really get a sense of just how convenient the hotel’s location is. On our first evening we decided to take advantage of having a night away from our little girl, so we got dressed up, went to Champagne bar, had dinner and had a night out – from what I can remember of the bits after dinner, it was great!
On Sunday morning we had one last go in the spa before heading home, feeling thoroughly spoiled. It’s not often you go to a hotel and have nothing you think ‘they could have done that’ about, but everything from the location to the food, the design to the service was fantastic.
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