Lifestyle: A Spa Day at the Macdonald Portal Hotel Cheshire


Whenever I’m asked to describe my perfect day, I usually answer with one main thing: a relaxing spa day. If I could, I would book myself in every week at a luxurious hotel to enjoy the spa facilities and have a pampering facial/massage/beauty treatments. And of course, followed by a delicious lunch and free time to unwind.

The most recent spa day I adventured to was at the Macdonald Portal Hotel in Tarpoley, Cheshire. This beautiful place was brought to my attention when researching for gift ideas with a difference this year for Christmas for the females in my family, or even my best friends. I spotted that the Macdonald Portal Hotel now offers what they call ‘The Perfect Gift’ – a peaceful spa day for two voucher along with an afternoon tea booking and a £5 retail voucher to spend at the spa too.

Sounds pretty much like the perfect gift to me!



I headed along to the Macdonald Portal Hotel during a crazy busy week to experience what the hotel spa had to offer, from selecting a luxury treatment, to having a peaceful hour indulging in delicious food.

I arrived at The Spa at the Macdonald Hotel and was given a tour of the facilities and spa spaces. I was booked in for an Elemis Dynamic Facial Peel, which I really recommend for anyone who is worried about ageing, pigmentation and dull, dry skin. I actually use the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing products at home, in particular to facial wash, so it was a no-brainer for me to select their dedicated facial, carried out a deeper peel level which you can only have done by the professionals.


Before heading into my treatment room, I was take to the comfiest and cosy relaxation room, where I could help myself to teas, coffees and water before going in for my treatment.


My therapist was exceptionally nice and really knew her stuff when it came to skincare. She analysed my skin and gave me her professional advice on the products to use and the treatment she was going to carry out. It was a 55 minute long facial, so she warmed up the treatment bed with heat and covered me in soft towels, making me pretty much ready for a deep sleep!

The facial involved two forms of masks, one being a stronger peel which helps to remove the dead skin and encourage cell renewal for a softer, brighter complexion. My skin is full of red marks, lines, wrinkles and all sorts of pigmentation (yes, I was a sun worshipper and it was probably the worst beauty mistake of my life!), in which this Dynamic Peel was aimed to tackle and treat.



After a relaxing hour of facial pampering, I wrapped up in my cosy oversized robe and slippers and headed to the pool area for a swim and a bit of chill out time. My skin felt fresh and dewy, soft and supple, so I waited a good half an hour before heading into the saunas and steam rooms.

What I do want to point out is that I was overly impressed with the fact this hotel offers an infra-red sauna –  these are incredibly rare to find at spas and hotels. They actually have the power to heal and sooth aches and pains all over the body, and are a known treatment for Fibromyalgia.

I hadn’t actually ever been in one before, and boy do they get really hot, but definitely not uncomfortably hot – my skin was totally rejuvenated after stepping out as all my pores had re-opened and cleansed out.




As you can tell from my photos, I spent rather a long time popping in and out of the saunas and the ice rooms, to give my skin that boost of heat and ice to revitalise my face.

If it wasn’t for a lovely lunch and prosecco waiting for me, I probably would have hidden myself away in the warm heat of the suanas all day, but I had definitely worked up a hungry belly. So I remained in my robe and slippers, and took up a little window seat overlooking the stunning gardens and golf grounds of the Macdonald Portal.





The dining area for lunches reserves a number of tables which are situated against the glass doors and balconies, so you can enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea overlooking the views. With the clear white skies and a bit of sun shining through, it actually gave me that holiday vibe!

The staff in the dining area were brilliant – super attentive and helpful. As they have a more grand dining room which is the hotels Steak House, I assumed that the dining room for lunch would be much more laid back and almost not as fancy. But surprisingly, it had that special, premium feel, and the waiting on staff were fully unformed all smart and professional. Then there’s me in my robe and slippers!



I liked the fact I could chose my meal options when I signed in at reception at the start of the day, so it meant I didn’t have to go through all the selecting and ordering my food at the restaurant. I had a glass of fizz waiting for me, in which a nutritious green smoothie drink followed as my starter.

There were lots of amazing looking meat and fish dishes on the menu, but I love a good veggie dish (even though I’m not a vegetarian), which made me opt for the sweet potato and vegetable stew with rice. The portion was huuuuuge! It looked smaller than it was, but it was never ending and incredibly filling. A real warm, hearty meal with so much flavour.





And of course, I opted for a dessert, because no luxury lunch is complete without a sweet treat to finish! Just look at the pretty presentation for the below creamy delight…



It’s not very often that we give ourselves that time out to just relax and pamper ourselves, as well as fitting in quality time with our Mothers, Sisters, friends etc. If you’re struggling to buy a gift for someone this year, look down the route of a spa day with lunch, such as the Macdonald Perfect Gift.

There are 24 Macdonald spa hotels dotted around the UK which boast a stunning range of swimming pools, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and spa facilities, and why not look at booking one in a different city and work it into a weekend away break too? The voucher costs just £99 for two (that doesn’t include an overnight stay, but covers the spa, treatmemt, lunch and retail voucher)

You can find out much more about this over at the Macdonald Hotel website.

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